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jigs and fixtures

Purpose of jigs and fixtures

Automobile Industries Air craft industries Fixtures in numerically controlled machine tools Other application of jigs and fixtures (Ex. Plastic, textile, consumer products Industries, etc.)

Advantages of Jigs & Fixtures

Productivity : By way of eliminating the human effort in marking positioning and frequent checking there is a considerable reduction in machine tool time and human fatigue by using Jigs & Fixtures which ultimately contribute to the increase in productivity.

Interchangeability : Jigs and Fixtures facilitate the production of similar components of uniform quality. So much so contribute to the interchangeability. Waiting for assembly is totally avoided. They help in the maintenance of uniform assembly and unified assembly schedules.

Skill Reduction : Skill of the individual is taken over by jigs and fixtures by simplifying the locating and clamping techniques. There is no need for skillful setting of work or tool. Any average worker can be trained in the skills of using jigs and fixtures. The replacement of unskilled/semi skilled workmen, in place of skilled workmen results in considerable saving in labour cost.

Cost Reduction : Higher production, reduction in wastage, reduction in labour cost, easy assembly reduction in inspection costs etc. affects in substantial reduction in costs by using jigs and fixtures.

Disadvantages of Jigs & Fixtures

Initial cost is high Maintenance of the tool is a problem

Elements of jigs & fixture

For precision machining operations proper positioning of the work with respect to the tool is very important to obtain the desired accuracy. Precision location of the work piece with rigid support while machining are basically required for any machining operation. This apart loading and unloading of the tool must be ensured. Certain basic rules for locating the work piece and some of the widely employed locating methods are discussed in this chapter.


To restrict the movement of a part and have the part positioned properly requires skill and planning. Part locators should never be installed as an afterthought, but must be planned into the tool design. A tool designer must keep the following points in mind while designing the tool: Positioning the locators Part tolerance Fool proofing Duplicate location

Positioning the Locators

Whenever possible, locators should contact the work on a machined surface. This permits accurate placement of the part in the tool and ensures the repeatability of the jig or fixture. Repeatability is the feature of the tool that allows different parts to be machined consistently within their required tolerances. Accurate location is an important element in the repeatability of any tool.

Locators should be spaced as far apart as possible. This permits the use of fewer locators and ensures complete contact over the locating surface. Where chips or foreign matter may become a problem, the locators should be placed to avoid this interference. If this is not possible, the locators should be relieved.

When designing a tool, the designer must keep the part tolerance in mind. As a general rule, the tool tolerance should be between 20 and 50 percent of the part tolerance. For example, if a hole in a part must be located within .010 mm, then the tolerance of the hole in the jig must be between .002 mm and .005 mm

This is necessary to maintain the required precision. Specifying tool tolerances closer than 20 percent serves only to increase the cost of the tool and adds little to the quality of the part. Generally, tolerances greater than 50 percent do not guarantee the desired precision. The single factor that should determine this decision is the specified accuracy of the part being machined

Locators must be designed to fit the part at any size within the part limits. If the part shown in Figure 33 were made at its smallest allowable size, it would be 1.240 inches in diameter. If it were made to its largest size, the diameter would be 1.260 inches. Any parts made within these sizes would be correct. If the tool is made to fit the part at its design size of 1.250 inches, the parts between 1.250 inches and 1.260 inches, while correct, will not fit into the tool. To prevent this, the tool must be made to fit the parts at their largest or smallest limits of size, depending on how the part is located.

Foolproofing is a means by which the tool designer ensures that the part will fit into the tool only in its correct position. The part in Figure 34A must be machined on the tapered end, so the tool designer includes a pin to prevent the part from being loaded incorrectly. This pin foolproofs the tool. The part in Figure 34B shows a hole that must be drilled with reference to the holes in the flange. A simple pin placed in one of these holes makes it impossible to load the tool incorrectly. Other foolproofing devices are just as simple. If foolproofing devices are not simple, they tend to complicate an otherwise easy task.

Duplicate Locators
The use of duplicate locators should always be avoided. Figure 35 shows examples of duplicate locators. Locator duplication not only costs more but also could cause inaccuracies.

For example, the flange in Figure is located on both the underside of the flange and the bottom of the hub. Since these are parallel surfaces, only one is needed and the other should be eliminated. If the reference surface is the flange, as in Figure, the hub locator is not necessary. If the hub is the reference surface, as in Figure the flange locator is unnecessary. To correct this, the tool designer must first determine which surface is to be referenced. Only then should the locators for that surface be specified.

Locational inaccuracies develop because of the difference in position and location tolerances between the tool and the work (Figure 36). Locating the part from both its outside edge and the holes can create problems. First, the location of the pins in the tool is fixed and cannot be changed to suit each part. Second, the location of the holes in the part is variable within limits. When a part is placed in the tool that is at either extreme of the part tolerance, it may not fit.

To eliminate this possibility, the hole locator can be made smaller to accommodate the variation, but if this is done, the effectiveness of the hold locator is minimized and the locator becomes useless. To avoid this problem, the tool designer must specify whether the part is to be located from its holes or its edges, never both.





Stability Single Define Double Define Fully Define Min. Requirement Rough castings, adjustable locators should be used

Nesting Flat surface : Single, double and full nesting 3-2-1 principle : Min requirements for locating elements 4-2-1 principle : 4th converts ~ Stability rough casting 1 adjustable locator should be used

Introduction Degrees of freedom Locating principles Nesting 3-2-1 Principle 4-2-1 Principle

Location establishes dimensional and positional relationship between component and the tool 12 degrees of freedom for an object in space

A part may be located or restrained between two or more surfaces such that motion is prevented in the
two opposite directions on at least one line

Represents the minimum requirements for locating

elements By the addition of a fourth locator in the base, the shape of the supporting area can be changed from triangle to rectangle

An unrestricted object is free to move in any of twelve possible directions. Figure 37 shows an object with three axes, or planes, along which movement may occur. An object is free to revolve around or move parallel to any axis in either direction. To illustrate this, the planes have been marked X-X, Y-Y, and Z-Z. The directions of movement are numbered from one to twelve.

To accurately locate a part in a jig or fixture, movements must be restricted. This is done with locators and clamps. The fixture for the part in Figure 38 illustrates the principle of restricting movement. By placing the part on a three-pin base, five directions of movement (2, 5, 1, 4, and 12) are restricted (Figure 39). Using pin- or button-type locators minimizes the chance of error by limiting the area of contact and raising the part above the chips. Flat bases may also be used, but these should be installed rather than machined into the base. Installed locators are less expensive to use because they take less time to install and are replaceable. If button or flat locators are used, the most important consideration is keeping the part above the chips and in constant contact with all three locators.

To restrict the movement of the part around the ZZ- axis and in direction eight, two more pin-type locators are positioned (Figure 310). To restrict direction seven, a single-pin locator is used (Figure 311). The remaining directions, nine, ten, and eleven, are restricted by a clamping device. This three-two-one, or sixpoint, locating method is the most common external locator for square or rectangular parts.

When a workpiece having holes is located, the holes provide an excellent method of locating the complete part. As shown in Figure 312, the center hole is used as a primary locator, and one of the other holes is used as a secondary locator. Here the primary locator is a round pin, and the secondary locator is a diamond pin. As shown, the base plate with the round pin positioned in the center hole will restrict nine degrees of movement (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12). The diamond pin, located as shown, further restricts another two degrees of movement (6 and 3). Together, these locators restrict eleven degrees of movement.

The only direction the workpiece can move in is straight up, so the clamping device is actually holding only one direction of movement.


Parts are made in almost every possible shape and size. The tool designer must be able to accurately locate each part regardless of how it is made. To do this, the tool designer must know the various types of locators and how each should be used to get the best part placement with the least number of locators.

Locating from a Flat Surface

There are three primary methods of locating work from a flat surface: solid supports, adjustable supports, and equalizing supports. These locators set the vertical position of the part, support the part, and prevent distortion during the machining operation.

Solid supports
Solid supports are the easiest to use. They can be either machined into the tool base or installed This type of support is normally used when a machined surface acts as a locating point.

Adjustable support
Adjustable supports are used when the surface is rough or uneven, such as in cast parts. There are many styles of adjustable supports. A few of the more common are the threaded (Figure 3 14A), spring (Figure 314B), and push types (Figure 314C ). The threaded style is the easiest and most economical, and it has a larger adjustment range than the others. Adjustable locators are normally used with one or more solid locators to allow any adjustment needed to level the work.

Equalizing supports
Equalizing supports are also a form of adjustable support (Figure 315). They provide equal support through two connected contact points. As one point is depressed, the other raises and maintains contact with the part. This feature is especially necessary on uneven cast surfaces.

Locating from an Internal Diameter

Locating a part from a hole or pattern is the most effective way to accurately position work. Nine of the twelve directions of movement are restricted by using a single pin, and eleven directions of movement are restricted with two pins. When possible, it is logical to use holes as primary part locators.

Several types of locators are used for locating work from holes. Figure 316 shows a few locators used for large holes. When large holes locate the work, fasten the internal locator with both screws and dowels. Under normal conditions, two dowels and two screws are needed to hold the locator. With more force, it is better to use larger dowels and screws rather than to increase their number.

Pin-type locators are used for smaller holes and for aligning members of the tool When the pins are used for alignment, special bushings should also be used so that they can be replaced when they wear. Pins used for part location are made with either tapered ends or rounded ends, allowing the parts to be installed and removed easily

Diamond pin locator

Another style of pin common to jigs and fixtures is the diamond or relieved pin, which is normally used along with the round pin to reduce the time it takes to load and unload the tool. It is easier to locate a part on one round pin and one diamond pin than to locate it on two round pins. In use, the round pin locates the part and the diamond pin prevents the movement around the pin (Figure 319). Notice the direction of movement the part has around the round pin. By installing the diamond pin as shown, this movement is restricted.

In addition to the diamond pin relieved locator, other types are used for some workholders. A few examples of relieved locators are shown in Figure 321. The specific design of any relieved locator is determined by the workpiece and the type of location required. Relieved locators reduce the area of contact between the workpiece and the locator. Decreasing the contact area has little or no effect on the overall locational accuracy; however, reducing the contact area helps make the jig or fixture easier to load and unload and lessens the problems caused by dirt, chips, and burrs.

The split contact locator, shown in Figure 322, is a type of relieved locator used for thick workpieces. Here, rather than using the complete thickness of the part for location, the locator is relieved in the middle, and only the top and bottom areas of the locator contact the workpiece. This design provides full location and makes the locator less likely to bind in the workpiece.

Nesting of work piece

Locating work from an external profile, or outside edge, is the most common method of locating work in the early stages of machining. Profile locators position the work in relation to an outside edge or the outside of a detail, such as a hub or a boss. The following are examples of the most common ways a part can be located from its profile.

Nesting locators position a part by enclosing it in a depression, or recess, of the same shape as the part. Nesting is the most accurate locating device for profile location. Since the nest must conform to the shape of the part, nests are very expensive to design for complicated shapes. The most common type is the ring nest, which is normally used for cylindrical profiles (Figure 3 26). The full nest completely encloses shapes other than cylindrical (Figure 327).

The partial nest is a variation of the full nest and encloses only a part of the workpiece (Figure 328).

Vee locators
Vee locators are used mainly for round work. They can locate flat work with rounded or angular ends and flat discs (Figure 329). The vee-block locator is normally used to locate round shafts or other workpieces with cylindrical sections (Figure 330). One advantage vee locators have over other locators is their centralizing feature. When using a vee locator, be sure it is positioned to allow for the differences in part sizes (Figure 331).

The suitable angle for V is 90. Smaller included angles hold a round piece more securely but is more susceptible to location errors caused by burrs, chips, dirt and work piece inaccuracies. Fixed stop locators are used for parts which cannot be placed in either a nest of vee locator. Fixed stop locators are either machined into the tool body or installed. V location is used primarly to locate Round work pieces or work pieces with convex circular surfaces Irregular like parabolic surfaces. Applications : V locator can be used as One fixed V as a locating element One fixed V and another sliding V. Two sliding Vs (Self centering) One Sliding V in conjuction with cylindrical pin.

Error : Due to variation in the size of the component Greater the V-block angle, lesser the error Angles : 60, 90, 120. Smaller angles susceptible to location errors caused by burrs, chips, dirt etc. Use: Workshop, inspection V with clamps also available Standard V angle is 90 : In metrology, 90 is preferred because, by using this, the stability of component will be more. Nomenclature Sketch