There’s an old saying among machinists–fixtures are where you make your money. If you’re good at making fixtures that save time, you’ll turn a bigger profit. Or so the saying goes.
But is it really true? Is it always true? Will every job benefit from fancy fixturing?
I put together a Free Fixture Calculator that makes it easy to find out whether a fixture is a good idea for your job or not. It will even figure out what the savings (ROI) will be if you build the fixture by comparing two different workholding options.
The free fixture calculator make sit easy to compare scenarios, and it even has one click options so you can factor in:
- Repeat Runs: What are the savings once the fixture is made and the customer reorders another run?
- Modular Fixturing: Setup time is saved when you can just drop a fixture on the pins with a modular fixturing plate and run.
- Pallet Changer: Perhaps the ultimate is a pallet changer that allows you to load/unload a pallet while the machine is working on another pallet.
I’ve also made a video that walks you through the savings that are possible from fixtures and demos how to use the free fixture calculator to determine what the savings on particular scenarios might be:
For more information on fixturing, be sure to check out our Total Guide to CNC Milling Machine Workholding.
I want to give a special shout out to Dave Bishop over at MiteeBite. Dave and the MiteeBite gang have forgotten more about fixturing than most of us will ever know, and he gave me some great suggestions to improve the fixture calculator. Also, if you’re doing job cost estimation, be sure to check out our G-Wizard Estimator software. The Fixturing Calculator started out there, and there are many other useful calculators and functions in the software to help with job cost estimation.
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