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When a casting proved too malleable for traditional gripping, Thomas/Euclid Industries adopted — and succeeded with — Blue Photon adhesive workholding.
As metals go, aluminum is soft and quick to bend — factors which make it easy to work with for most machining applications but make workholding to tolerances of 0.0005 inch unfeasible with traditional grippers. The force required to perform workholding could send the part out of tolerance, requiring rework or scrap. For Thomas/Euclid Industries, this difficulty became the push it needed to experiment with alternative forms of workholding, utilizing Blue Photon’s adhesive grippers to perform contactless gripping on an EV strut housing made from an aluminum casting.
Maximizing Lights-on Profits
Thomas/Euclid is primarily an aerospace manufacturer — EV automotive parts are not the norm for the company. In this case, the job came about not long after the shop installed a Matsuura MX 330 five-axis machine. The new machine’s automation capacity enabled the shop to run many of the jobs previously on its five-axis Haas UMC 750 for longer periods, decreasing the time necessary to complete these jobs even as it left the UMC 750 idle. Ryan Merrill, chief operating officer at Thomas/Euclid, says the search for additional work to put on the shop’s UMC 750 led the company to a customer already committed to machining EV strut housings.