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Holding it Down: Modern Power Toggle Clamps & Workholding

Even when a part or product is to be held in place for an hour or more, the time spent securing it can easily add up. Back in the bad old days, workers were forced to grapple with screws and other slow, painstaking means of fixing parts in place so work could proceed. However, clamps and workholding products have advanced considerably since then, with modern advances allowing for an ever quicker and more secure setup. A couple of the most important related developments of recent times are still ongoing, and producing rewarding results with every new refinement.

Automatic Adjustment to Even Odd-Shaped Parts

Clamps and workholding devices were transformed for good with the 1936 introduction by the Detroit Stamping Company of the first toggle-style device. Instead of needing to slowly bring a clamp up to the proper holding pressure with the turn of a screw, workers could simply flip a lever. What had previously taken minutes could
suddenly be accomplished in an instant, and with far greater accuracy and precision.

Recent improvements to the same basic idea are enabling even faster securing of parts. Just as the first manual toggle clamps allowed for the direct application of a desired amount of holding power, their modern descendants afford even closer fit and specificity. The mere pull of a lever on a customized clamp can move a part precisely into place, cradling it with the exact right amount of force all the while.

Shrinking Sizes Move Existing Technologies into Tighter Spaces

Today's pneumatic power toggle clamps and workholding systems are essential for many shop and industrial applications.

Heavy-duty sealed clamps provide superior clamping power in harsh welding environments. Light duty power clamps and workholding devices are used worldwide to provide precise clamping, locating, and gripping applications. They are especially useful for inspection, light machining, and assembly operations. The productivity of many industrial processes can be increased with the fast swing-and-clamp movement of pneumatic swing clamps.

Basic Operation of Pneumatic Power Workholding Systems

In general, the primary functions of pneumatic power clamps are to:

  1. Position - to position the work piece against a locator
  2. Support - to support the part and resist the forces caused by cutting
  3. Clamp - to lock the part

How Toggle Clamps Work?

  • The power transmission source is compressed air.
  • The depressurized air exhausts directly into the air.
  • The speed of a pneumatic device drops as the load resistance increases.
  • The cycle reverses.
  • It's important to realize that moisture in the air can cause rusting in some pneumatic cylinders and valves. Regular lubrication will minimize this effect.
  • System pressure can be varied with the use of a pressure regulator

The Benefits of power toggle clamps

Pneumatic power clamps and workholding devices provide substantial benefits including:

  • Increased productivity and production
  • The ability to control clamping forces
  • Efficient and consistent for repetitive production operations
  • Work supports that adjust automatically
  • The ability to operate clamp remotely
  • Automatic sequencing
  • Increased flexibility from multiple mounting surfaces
  • The ability to custom fit the clamp to the application by welding, cutting, drilling or machining clamp arms
  • Long life of the cylinders
  • High-performance and maintenance-free bushings

Various Types
There is a type of clamp for just about any application. Some of the available models include:

Pneumatic Block Hold Down Clamps

Pneumatic Cylindrical Hold Down Clamps

Pneumatic Block Swing Clamps

Pneumatic Push Pull Clamps

Power Clamp Switches & Sensors

Blank Clamp Arms

Clamp Arm Extensions

Power Clamp Mounting Blocks

Some clamps are controlled by the pneumatic power source. This consistent clamping pressure provides increased safety for the operator, and permits higher machining feed rates. Once the clamps are set properly, performance remains consistent during the entire production run.

When profit margins are tight, increased productivity is essential. The use of pneumatic power clamps can also be instrumental in reducing accident rates because of safer operation, as well as in preventing returns caused by inaccurately-made parts.

Find the perfect high-quality pneumatic power clamp system and all the accessories you need at Reid Supply. Connect with us today by calling 800-253-0421, or shop clamps and workholding devices now!