OEM Machine Tool Builders and end users alike involved with CNC lathe operations depend on precise and quick part holding. Shortened cycle times and tight tolerances are a must. There are choices to consider as well – pneumatic, hydraulic or mechanical – depending on the need, application, machine and spindle type.

Part holding became a critical issue in one such case for a customer machining three different automotive die cast parts, turning both the ID and OD using an industry-standard CNC lathe with an A26 style spindle. The part design presented challenges to hold securely as well as to permit machining of all needed surfaces, and the customer was faced with what to do without having to grip and regrip causing additional downtime and questionable tolerance?

Die cast automotive parts in modified 22c collet

Zagar modified 22c collets for holding die cast automotive parts

Enter a Zagar 22c CNC collet chuck and three standard / customized collets. The three 22c collets were modified to mate exactly with the unique die cast part configuration, holding securely on either ID or OD surfaces, providing total machining access to the part. The same CNC collet chuck held all three collets, working in harmony with the A26 draw-bar spindle, coupling with the back of the collet chuck and actuating the clamp mechanism inside to securely locate and hold the part in a single step. Machining performance was very high, providing very low runout as well as quick changeover to keep machine uptime high.

Zagar CNC Collet Chuck with A26 spindle

Zagar CNC Collet Chuck for draw bar style A26 spindle

“Through design and engineering, we can help customers with virtually any special need”, says Brian Zagar, vice president of sales for Zagar Inc. “And often times the solution is simpler than you’d expect, like this three-in-one CNC collet chuck and collet where we modified an existing solution to save the customer man hours and increase machine utilization”, Zagar continued.

CNC collet chucks and collets are a long-time proven method for part holding. Ideal for high production runs, standard shapes such as round, square and hexes can be held accurately and quickly – especially when compared to a three or four jaw chuck. Engineered solutions to mate with unique part geometries, such as in this case, can often begin with standard collets, although complete customs are also available. As a US company, Zagar offers high quality and fast turnaround as well as application assistance and customer support.