ATLANTA, Ga. - J. Schmalz GmbH has produced a new range of aluminum vacuum blocks for machining structured solid wood workpieces. The hose-free vacuum clamping system for CNC machining centers with a console table ensures the workpiece is held securely in place, enabling high precision in the production process.
Solid wood workpieces generally have a structured surface and are processed using high cutting speeds. Clamping solutions therefore have to apply strong holding forces to keep the workpiece securely in place. The new aluminum vacuum blocks from Schmalz meet both these requirements.  On the VCBL-K1, the vacuum block is clamped firmly to the console table using mechanical clamping levers or attachment tabs. The workpiece is then clamped using a vacuum, which enables all round machining without any interference contours. On the VCBL-K2 vacuum block, vacuums are used both to clamp the workpiece and to secure the vacuum block to the machine table. No additional mechanical clamping is required – the power of the vacuum is sufficient.
Both the main body and the suction plates on the vacuum block are made of aluminum, ensuring the connection between the machine table and the workpiece is extremely stable and free from vibrations. Schmalz developed the friction pads specifically for rough surfaces. They permit strong holding forces and high dimensional accuracy, particularly when strong shear forces are at play. This means that heavy workpieces can also be machined from the front. The vacuum blocks are available in heights of 100 and 125 mm and with two different sizes of suction plate. Depending on the machine, this enables five-axis processing. 
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