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Zimmer’s new SPP pallet changer zeros in on productivity and accuracy

20 February 2023

Building upon the company’s existing comprehensive range of zero-point clamping systems, Zimmer Group has now expanded the range with the launch of their new pallet changer technology.

The use of zero-point clamping systems allows parts to be clamped with accuracy, and speed, reducing set-up time and maximising productive machining time. 

In addition to changing pallets in machine tools, this system also opens up numerous other applications, for example, the handling of components using robots whilst maintaining the highest levels of repeatability.

The slim design and low set-up profile of the clamping plate and clamping pallets allow both close-proximity pallet loading on the machine table and optimum use of the space within the machine. 

High clamping forces create an extraordinarily rigid system. Excellent retaining forces enable the highest torque levels, together with a high-precision connection between the robot and the clamping plate. This makes the handling of heavier pallets in particular, easier, and safer.

The pallet changer was designed for clamping pallet couplings or clamping pins with high levels of repeatability. The innovative structural design means that the system is clamped without the need for pneumatic pressure. 

However, clamping forces can be further increased by using Zimmer’s PLUS connection, which provides pneumatic assistance. 

In addition to four rotation locks for pallet coupling, the system features an integrated blow-out or cleaning function which prevents dirt or liquid from collecting in the pin holder, contact surface, and rotation locks.

The pallet coupling is used as a pallet interface for the product and creates the connection to the clamping pallet. The rotation lock enables the backlash-free positioning of the bearings when joining with the product. 

Safe operation can be verified by sensors by means of piston position sensing and a clamping position check. All functions can be controlled directly via the pneumatic connections on the sides. There is also the option to control the unit using alternative connections on the bottom of the product.

Automating processes using the zero-point clamping system dramatically increases the productivity of tasks that require precision. Machine set-up times are reduced by up to 90 percent, and cleaning and maintenance of the system are minimal. 

The option to link processes, one after the other, in a single workpiece clamping system, in various machining cells, based upon identical clamping system geometries, allows manufacturing synergies previously unachievable. 

The workpiece carrier with the zero-point clamping system accompanies the workpiece all the way through the different production processes, ensuring maximum precision and optimum cost efficiency.

In the challenging environment businesses operate within today, Zimmer Group’s zero-point clamping and pallet change systems provide manufacturers with the opportunity to increase and maintain the highest levels of productivity. 

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