Frozen to the core

Based in France, AMCC is a world leader in the development of advanced technology for plate freezing small and delicate components for micro machining. Ongoing research and engineering development has seen the company expand its product range with the new GFR series.

Leader Chuck Systems is the exclusive UK agent for this impressive and unusual technology, which uses a film of ice to firmly secure parts for grinding, milling and turning operations. Managing director, Mark Jones, says: “Most components that require traditional micro machining operations, where material is removed from the part, are very fragile and therefore susceptible to damage. AMCC has answered this challenge with an innovative solution that is quick and easy to use.”

Designed specifically for clamping via an ice film, delicate parts held with the GFR series are rigidly clamped without any distortion or mechanical stress being transferred to the part. This makes it ideal for grinding, milling and turning watch parts, medical implants, jewellery and other finely detailed manufactured goods. The technology is also ideally suited to applications where vacuum or magnetic fixturing could not be applied. For instance, when the components have through holes or the material is non ferrous, which includes ceramics or engineering plastics.

In operation the AMCC products are very easy to use. A fine spray of water is laid down on the freezing plate and the component is positioned in a jig or specially designed top plate. The ‘freeze’ cycle is selected on the compact control unit and within seconds the film of water turns to ice, which clamps the component ready for machining. After the machining operation the ‘thaw’ cycle is selected and the control unit releases the part.

Mark Jones concludes: “AMCC has a wealth of experience in the field of freeze-clamping small, fragile parts in a production environment. We can tap into this knowledge and provide UK engineering businesses facing the demands of micro machining with a proven, cost-effective solution.”

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