The nesting process is commonly used to lower material costs. The individual elements are slotted together or nested, resulting in minimal waste. A wear plate is then clamped on the grid table of the CNC machine. The raw material is positioned here. The vacuum is so strong that the wear plate is able to keep even the smallest milled parts safely in position. Horizontal processing, such as drilling, is not possible during nesting. However, this is no longer a problem with the Schmalz clamping system.
The vacuum blocks of the VCBL-G series are particularly suitable for use directly on the MDF wear plate of nesting machine tables. This means the user does not need to set up the machine, which avoids long downtimes. The suction cups are connected directly to the vacuum system of the CNC machine via hoses in order to generate the necessary vacuum. If the user places the workpiece down, a touch valve with a soft surface activates the vacuum block – this protects the workpiece surface. Unneeded suction cups can also remain on the machine table. The friction pad on the underside of the suction cup creates a high holding force, even on smooth surfaces. Schmalz has designed the connection to the suction plate with a robust main body made from plastic so that the suction plate can be easily replaced in the event of wear. Another advantage of the vacuum block series is its minimal operating height of 30 millimeters. This makes the VCBL-G solution ideally suited to 3-axis machining centers with low Z values.
Flexible Modular System
For users who want to use a vacuum block VCBL-B instead of a suction cup VCBL-G, Schmalz has developed the Adapter-Plate AP-G. The vacuum is still generated directly from the nesting machine system via a hose. The suction cup mount includes a grid: The vacuum blocks can be inserted in the Adapter-Plate in 15° increments in any direction so that the suction area can be aligned as desired. The modular system—vacuum blocks are available in three different heights and with four different suction areas—increases flexibility and shortens set-up time. Due to the variable working heights, users can also use the Schmalz system for 5-axis machining centers.