TuffCam ™ 7 MPa Swing Clamp Arms
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I buy your arm rather than have my toolmaker make one? Our arm is designed to hold orientation when properly installed. It has a relief to keep from over-stressing the locknut. It will probably cost you less than the total cost of making your own. You can rest assured that our arm is made to our specifications and will withstand the forces our clamps generate, when used as recommended. Vektek arms also include an area to add clocking set screws making arm changes faster and more accurate. I need an arm slightly different from those you make. How do I make my own? Our first recommendation is to investigate the possibility of modifying our existing arms. All VektorFlo ® arms are machinable and weldable. You should be able to easily modify any standard arm you purchase. We recommend this because our original design for the cross bolt orientation mechanism is the most secure, dependable and versatile orientation method available. Many customers and competitors have tried to copy it, some with limited success. We welcome you to use our method. Please be sure to put in the 0.5 mm step for the locknut and use the bolt to squeeze the plunger shaft. If you do not take these two steps, your custom arm may not work satisfactorily. Can I pin the arm to hold orientation? Yes, it is possible to add a set screw to our standard arms to assure orientation is retained. We do not recommend a pin because it limits the future replacement of clamps and arms with standard product when (not if) there is a machine crash. Our arms, when installed properly, will hold orientation in normal use. They will hold even when crashed repeatedly. Customer designed arms sometimes require pins but often are very expensive compared to our "off the shelf" models.
I need to make my own arms, what information do I need? The information that you need is detailed on page D-3. We strongly encourage you to copy our connection to the swing clamp rod. The combination of the top locknut and side bolt squeezing action is the most secure connection on the market today. You should be sure to put the 0.5 mm step in your custom arms for best results. Can I modify the arms I buy from you? Yes, you can. Our arms are made of a cast alloy steel that you can easily weld or machine to fit your needs. Do I really need to put the step in the top of the arm like you do? Yes, you should. The step in top of the arm relieves stress on the locknut and the piston rod. If you make custom arms and leave this off, you will probably experience premature failures if your clamps are run near maximum capacity. I want to use the locknut only to hold my arm in place. Will this work? It is unlikely that you can use the locknut to hold arm orientation adequately. We have had customers modify clamps to include flats, pins, serrations or use set screws to hold orientation. These methods may work in specific instances. We still recommend our method of attachment, locknut and cross bolt for a secure, dependable, universal attachment. Other methods may complicate the replacement of clamps when they are damaged by a machine crash or other problems. I am using a double ended arm. Is the capacity of your 8 kN swing clamp still the same? No. First of all, the 8 kN rating is with a standard arm installed and includes the frictional loss inherent in all cantilevered designs. The true capacity rating for this clamp is 9.4 kN. If you are pulling in the center of the arm and both points are being contacted at the same time, divide the force by 2 (two).
I want to clamp two parts, with each double ended swing clamp arm. Do I need a fixed or pivoting arm? If your parts will not vary in size (clamped height) you can probably get by with a fixed clamp arm. If your parts vary by as little as 0.1 mm you may get significant variations in clamp force with a fixed arm (higher force on the taller part, lighter force on the shorter one). If your parts vary or the clamp force is crucial, we recommend a pivoting arm so that the force is equalized on both parts. (Remember, if the length varies, the resulting forces may change. Be sure that both ends are equal length.) Do you have a way to "quick change" my clamp arms? The Clocking Features, located on the plunger, help arm installation in repeat fixture applications and with arm changes when maintaining fixtures. Installing a set screw into the arm properly positions the arm relative to the plunger and swing clamp body. Vektek swing clamp arms are made with clearance to allow the drilling and installation of set screws. See the end of Section C. I have a number of parts to clamp with my swing clamp fixture. The parts are of different heights. Do you have an easy way to alter the clamp arms to make them work for all heights? You will need to make a custom attachment. Set your swing clamp to be able to clamp the tallest part with the standard arm. The height or width can then be adjusted by attaching a contact device to the arm. You might also want to consider the clevis clamp for minor variations in height
© Vektek January 2019
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