Introduction to Hydraulic Workholding

What is it?
Hydraulic workholding is the use of hydraulic systems to position, support, and clamp parts for machining. The hydraulic systems are made up of cylinders, pumps, valves, and other components to control and automate the process.

Why use it?
Properly implemented, hydraulic workholding provides these benefits:
•Vastly reduced setup time
•Less scrapped parts
•More consistent results
•Increased safety

Who should use it?
From the simplest fixture to robotic assisted machining centers, Enerpac workholding products can perform the positioning, support, and clamping functions in a wide array of manufacturing processes. With a setup time per part of only 5-10% of manual methods, hydraulic workholding offers a huge productivity increase in processes such as machining, punching, pressing, and many others.

Not only are fabrication processes accelerated, but less parts are rejected and results are more consistent because each part is positioned, supported, and clamped in exactly the same manner. And, the automated nature of hydraulic workholding systems allows them to be readily integrated with operator safety systems.

The benefits of hydraulic workholding don’t apply just to high-volume manufacturing; it’s often attractive for short and medium run production. A system can be set up quickly and inexpensively for short runs. Center-hole cylinders utilize standard stud thread sizes and are easily interchanged with manual clamps. Many manual elements can be used directly with hydraulic cylinders. Add a simple air-operated pump and controls, and your fixture is converted to a hydraulic setup. For medium runs, a little more automation pays off. For example, swing cylinders allow easy loading and removal of parts.
What makes up a hydraulic workholding system?
The three elements of a system are cylinders, pumps, and control devices.