Time to Change Your Toolholders If You Consider Them Consumables

by | Oct 2, 2023

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Because some toolholding systems have very limited working life cycles, many shops consider them consumables, a mindset that translates into increased job costs. Additionally, such systems are too involved and require significant user training to avoid accidents as well as prevent incorrectly loaded tools that can scrap parts. It is for this reason that many shops should consider making the switch to a toolholding system that not only takes the hassle out of loading/unloading tools but also provides high levels of longevity, making it anything but a consumable.

Two commonly used toolholding systems that shops tend to consider consumables are those based on heat or hydraulics. While heat-activated, shrink-fit systems provide high clamping force, the metal used for optimal expansion and contraction only lasts so long. The stresses placed on these systems also reduce stability.

In fact, one 2022 study examining clamping fatigue properties of shrink-fit holders found stability significantly decreased after 2,500 cycles and recommended replacement after 3,500 cycles to avoid machine damage and/or operator harm. Additionally, shrink-fit systems require a substantial investment for toolholder heating and cooling equipment.

Similar to heat shrink-fit systems, hydraulic-based toolholders have limited working lives as well and are inclined to lose gripping strength and produce excess runout over prolonged use. Moreover, the hydraulic fluid that actuates these toolholders is under high pressure, increasing the risk of leaks that will seriously affect gripping power and longevity. Heat generated by the cutting process can also be transmitted to the holder and affect fluid viscosity, thereby affecting performance. Finally, hydraulic type holders are not particularly well-suited to high-speed machining in general.

As opposed to heat-shrink and hydraulics, the REGO-FIX powRgripâ (PG) toolholding system is mechanical and backed by a 5-year/20,000-cycle warranty. It is comprised of the PG collet, toolholder and manual or automatic clamping unit, and it strikes the optimal balance of longevity, performance and ease of use.

In less than 10 seconds and with the simple touch of a button, the automatic hydraulic clamping unit clamps the PG collet into the toolholder with a force of up to 9 tons, creating the safest, strongest and most accurate toolholder in the industry with higher clamping forces than shrink-fit systems. Furthermore, the tool is ready to use as soon as it comes out of the clamping unit without operator safety issues and added time for cooling.

With PG, total indicated runout (TIR) is less than 3 mm, and the interrupted surfaces at the toolholder-to-collet and collet-to-toolholder interfaces provide excellent vibration damping for high accuracy and security. Properly maintained, a PG holder and collet will maintain TIR of less than 3 mm with no erosion of impregnated surface treatment.

If you’re not familiar with the REGO-FIX PG toolholding system, click here to learn more. Better yet, you can take PG for a test run. Follow this link to apply for your exclusive powRgrip test and trial to discover the industry’s most cost-effective and long-lasting alternative to other toolholding systems. Standard test and trials generally run three to four weeks and do not obligate you to any purchase. With REGO-FIX, you can always try before you buy.