Located in Milpitas, California, Precision Swiss Products Inc. has gained a reputation for being able to handle the toughest jobs in the most challenging industries. Whether rapidly producing prototypes for the medical industry or handling the incredibly tight tolerances required for semiconductor components, Precision Swiss Products delivers. In fact, business is booming at Precision Swiss Products Inc. – and it’s all thanks to consistency.
A huge boost in that consistency has come from the increased use of powRgrip® toolholders across the shop, particularly in its advanced 5-axis Multi-Tasking machines. “With these machines, we can make some pretty incredible parts, perform some nice blending,” said Derek Baskett, a machinist at Precision Swiss Products. “The diameter of the powRgrip holders allows us to get the reach we need for those complex 3D contours.”
Given that the shop often meets tolerances as tight as ±0.00015″ for parts such as these, the powRgrip system’s superior gripping strength and low TIR makes a significant difference as well, especially when that level of precision is available with the push of a button. However, while powRgrip clearly represents the shop’s future, the present still includes a range of other toolholders, particularly the ER collets and intRlox MX Mini Nuts used for its Swiss-style machines.
Unfortunately, torquing these nuts can be less than perfectly consistent, but most shop challenges can be solved with a smartly designed solution. For Precision Swiss Products’ ER collets, that solution is TORCO-BLOCK – sometimes for surprising reasons.
The TORCO-BLOCK uses a simple, ring-based system that takes all the guesswork out of clamping tools in ER collets. Setup was simple; according to Baskett, they simply bolted the TORCO-BLOCK to the table and that was that. Achieving the proper torque with any wrench is easy when the correct indicator ring points out an effective level of torque. But for Baskett, the possibilities have gone much further. “I think the one thing that surprised us most is that some of our team wasn’t torquing collets enough. After a few examples, we went through all our collets, and the TORCO-BLOCK helped us spot all the equipment that had been damaged.”
The TORCO-BLOCK also helps with training, added Baskett. “It’s a really good instructional device. As long as they’re using consistent torque, checking their runout and using good machining techniques, I don’t care what they do – but if you’re a new operator, especially with any of the ER systems, I can actually teach exactly what that ‘feel’ is like. If I just try to explain it, that doesn’t work, but the TORCO-BLOCK helps them get a good feel, lets them know they’re on the right track.”
Perhaps most importantly, the system allowed the shop to eliminate yet another source of inconsistency. “It takes out the room for differences of opinion or disagreements,” said Baskett. “It sets the standards on its own. We’re taking out that extra human factor.”
To learn more about how TORCO-BLOCK can help your shop optimize its use of ER collets for superior process security and reliability, click here.