Unmanned machining with vacuum

Vacuum clamping is increasingly being used for unmanned products, allowing automatic workpiece exchange. Tepas Clamping Systems has standard solutions, most of which are available from stock, to guarantee safe processes and the operational reliability of these processes.

Vacuum chuck suitable for automatic workpiece exchange.

Workpiece-specific clamping chucks are usually used when workpieces are exchanged automatically. The vacuum adapter plates are placed loosely on a BaseChuck, held only by vacuum. Therefore, when exchanging workpieces, there is a risk that the adapter plates with the workpieces are pulled off the standard BaseChuck. To avoid this problem, adapted standard BaseChuck tables are available where the adapter plates are mounted mechanically. The Tepas vacuum mats provide extra clamping force for the workpieces, guaranteeing even more reliable clamping. The risk is that workpieces, particularly those with smooth surfaces, remain stuck to the vacuum mats and cannot be removed from the clamping by the changer. To this end, the adapted standard BaseChuck tables modified for these applications have been fitted with an additional compressed air duct. At just 1 to 2 bar, the workpieces are released reliably from the clamping, resulting in 100% process reliability. The dimensions of these adapted standard BaseChuck tables for these applications are always bespoke, guaranteeing the best solution. If you would like to receive more information about whether your workpieces can also be clamped, please send an email to engineering@tepasclamping.com  

Vacuum units with sensors and control

For the standard vacuum units, a complete set of sensors and a control unit are available from stock for unmanned machining with vacuum clamping.

  • The TVA-55 vacuum sensors register an error message if too little vacuum is available. The user manually sets the depth of the vacuum that triggers an error message.
  • The TVA-56 level sensors register an error message if there is too much moisture (coolant) in the separator tank which could make this overflow.
  • For these applications, the motor circuit breaker is fitted with an auxiliary contact.

These sensors connect to the TPA-501 or TPA-502 control unit. These are then connected to the processing machine. As soon as an error message is registered, the processing machine will stop. By means of a potential free contact, this connection is usually connected by the machine supplier.  

Vacuum unit with automatic overflow-function.

For unmanned production with clamping where coolant is drawn in, vacuum units with automatic overflow-function are included in the range as standard. The Tepas TVU-4 vacuum units are fitted with an additional separator tank and control and sensors. A 'plug and play' vacuum unit for unmanned production with vacuum clamping, where workpiece machining takes place with emulsion.