You can't beat hydraulics for clamping systems to hold workpieces in place during machining. Hydraulics is fast, reliable, and generates high force from small actuators. And with today's high-output CNC machining centers, multiple clamps are used for holding several parts in place simultaneously. So when machine setup needs to be modified, operators often have to disconnect and reconnect individual hydraulic lines, often working in cramped quarters that complicate the procedure.

City Machine Tool & Die, Covington, Ky., introduced their Hydro-Coupler system to overcome this problem and more. Their system provides a "through-door" continuous hydraulic connection to hydraulic work-holding fixtures on carrousel-type pallet changers, and it's compatible with most CNC machining centers.

The Hydro-Coupler system integrates the machine tool, control, and hydraulics fixture, providing electronic feedback to the machine control on critical data regarding fixture and hydraulic status. The system automatically monitors clamping pressures, hydraulic pressure and temperature, and responds to irregularities. The result is repeatable and consistent clamping forces.

The Hydro-Coupler provides continuous pressure to 5000 psi. The pressure is applied from the top of the pallet, as opposed to the bottom, so full clamping force is never lost — even while pallets are being rotated in and out of the work cube.

Hydro-Coupler features a continuously connected closed-loop hydraulic system that reduces contamination of hydraulic oil from the atmosphere, while increasing machine uptime by virtually eliminating hydraulic pressure loss.

For more information on the Hydro-Coupler system, call City Machine at 765/ 288-4431 or visit www.citymachine.com.