New FixLogix “Soft Locators” Simplify Holding Flexible Parts for CMM Inspection

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FixLogix LLC has introduced new technology for staging flexible parts for CMM inspection. New infinitely adjustable clamps can be used to stabilize flexible parts without “over-constraining” them with excess hard locators. Typical applications might be parts made of soft materials like plastic or rubber, flexible tubing, and thin walled stampings or fabrications.

soft rubber part fixture

Developing CMM fixtures for flexible plastic parts or thin walled stampings has always been challenging. This is especially true if the call-out is for the part to be inspected in an unconstrained condition. In that case the parts should be positioned using the geometric minimum number of locators. The quandary is that holding a flexible part with a minimum number of locators may allow for unacceptable errors during the inspection sequence due to part deformation caused by sag or even probing force from the CMM. FixLogix has introduced a new type of infinitely adjustable self-wedging locators and clamps that help solve this problem.

Once a part is positioned using the geometric minimum, FixLogix self-wedging locators can be positioned in strategic points on the perimeter of the part surface without applying any force that would distort the part geometry. An opposing clamp may then be used to trap the part firmly against the soft locator, thereby reducing part movement errors that may be caused by the CMM probing system.

FixLogix utilizes modern T-slot structures for modular CMM fixture technology. The T-slot technology also enhances building fixtures for flexible parts by providing multi-axes infinite positioning of locating components. This simplifies fixture construction by easily allowing the fixture to be “built to the part”, placing locators where they don’t interfere with datums or critical part features.

The FixLogix component kit utilizes ¼-20 threaded components, and is cross-compatible with many other fixture systems, and is also cross-compatible with the FixLogix fixture systems for vision systems and optical comparators. The much lower cost point of the system allows for effective implementation in a variety of other coordinate metrology applications. Users of portable coordinate inspection systems such as articulating arms, white light, and laser scanners have found the fixture system to be very helpful. The system is available in English or Metric versions.

FixLogix LLC was formed in 2007 to produce and sell modular fixture systems for metrology, and other light duty part-holding applications. The company also produces modular fixture systems for vision systems, optical comparators, and laser scanners. The company maintains an E-commerce website, and takes most major credit cards.

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Dan Smith
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