Pro Pallet System

Downloads | Videos | FAQs

Mini Pallet System

Downloads | Videos | FAQs

SmartVac II Vacuum System

Downloads | Videos | FAQs

RotoVise
System

Downloads | Videos | FAQs

Pro Pallet System

DOWNLOADS

Printables: PPS Flyer (PDF) | PPS Manual (PDF) | PPS Base Dimensions (PDF) | PPS Pallet Drawing for Hardware Kit (PDF)
Models: PPS model for Fusion 360 | PPS Base model in STEP format | PPS Pallet model in STEP format (STEP files: Right click and select "Save link as...")

VIDEOS

Overview: Pro Pallet System

Customer Testimonial: The Blower Shop

How Harrelson Trumpets uses their PPS

FAQs

1. How will the PPS save me time and money?
Look at any high production machine out there and you'll see pallet changers, tombstones, and high density workholding fixtures. The industry has figured out that to maximize profits you have to maximize spindle time. The more parts you can get in a machine per cycle and the faster you can get them in and out translates into bigger profits. The problem is that these "efficiencies" have such a high initial cost that you might not see any return on investment until several years down the road. The Pierson PPS provides all the efficiencies of high density workholding and fast part change-outs without the astronomical price tag.
2. Why don't I just swap fixtures in and out of my vise?
Several reasons. First of all, vises rely on holding objects using brute clamping force. Our workholding systems hold pallets with a downward force. Once locked, resistance to movement in the X and Y directions are not dependent on clamping pressure. This downward locking method assures that there is no excessive pressure exerted on the pallet which might cause distortion or bowing. Second, the system has a repeatability of .0002. With vises, the constant clamping and unclamping distorts a pallet either by bowing it or by compressing the material so much that accuracy starts declining from the first crank of the vise handle. Since the system is air actuated, you'll never have to deal with a vise handle again. It's as simple as flipping a single hand valve. Best of all, you'll be swapping fixtures in and out of the machine in about 15 seconds. No vise can compete with that! Finally, pallets are easy to install and ready to go right out of the box. They also come in sizes that would not be able to be held in a standard capacity vise without time consuming modifications. This means faster fixture creation and more parts per fixture.
3. How is the PPS installed in my machine?
An PPS will work with any vertical machining center or knee mill. The Connection Kit contains all the components needed (air fittings, air lines, hand valve, grommets, instructions) to begin using the PPS in your machine. The only other thing you'll need to provide is an air source with a minimum of 100psi for operation. Mounting the PPS Base is easy. The PPS Base mounts to your table with the same T-slot nuts that a standard vise uses. We even include the toe clamps and bolts.
4. I do short production runs and prototyping and I'm comfortable with vises. Would I even have a use for the system?
Vises have been around for a long time and have their right place in manufacturing. High density workholding systems don't have much benefit on prototype and short run jobs, but they are not always for holding parts! Many of our customers use our system to hold and store vises, indexers and clamping fixtures. Imagine bolting your current vises and rotary indexers to pallets and simply dropping them onto your table with no need to indicate them ever again! For more ideas on what people are mounting to their pallets, check out our Instagram feed.
5. Other systems are hydraulic. Is the PPS not as powerful?
Not at all. The PPS still maintains a tremendously high locking force of over 3000 lbs due to its powerful springs. This is more than enough to maintain a secure hold. Plus, other systems use hydraulics which can be a great liability of losing holding power should the hydraulic pump fail. The PPS is designed to be failsafe. The air lines can be completely removed and the system will continue to stay locked.
6. What maintainance is required for the PPS?
Spreading a light coating of grease on the alignment pins and locking bearings is all you'll need to do to ensure consistent holding force. This should be done on a regular maintenance schedule as outlined in the PPS Manual. Because all critical components are hardened, the system has shown very little wear after 100,000 test cycles. We've found that the best preventive maintenance is to keep everything clean, covered and dry when not in use.
7. How much does everything cost?
Our goal is to provide quality products that are in every shop's price range. Currently a PPS Starter Package is $2,195 USD.
8. I'm ready to purchase a Starter Package. Can I get a different sized pallet other than the 8 x 12?
Yes, substituting a different size pallet for the 8 x 12 that comes with the Starter Package is not a problem. Our workholding store will automatically quote the price for different pallets.
9. Where can I purchase a Pro Pallet System?
All of our products can be purchased directly through us. This allows us to establish a close relationship with our customers and provide the best applicaton advice possible. Click here to order online or give us a call to place an order at (800) 352-2894. We accept all major credit cards and company checks.

Mini Pallet System

DOWNLOADS

Printables: MPS Manual (PDF)
Models: MPS Model for Fusion 360 | MPS Model in STEP format

VIDEOS

Pro vs Mini

Making the MPS part 1

Making the MPS part 2

John Grimsmo unboxes his MPS

FAQs

1. What is the biggest difference between the Mini Pallet System and the Pro Pallet System?

The Mini Pallet System is built with the same basic components of the Pro Pallet System, but with the roughly half the components and cost. The MPS is best suited for lighter machining applications (spindles under 7 horsepower). The base lacks a perimeter seal so air/mist coolant is preferred over flood coolant but still functions perfectly in any cutting conditions.

2. What is the accuracy of the Mini Pallet System?

The repeatability of the MPS is .0003" - the same as the PPS. However, the MPS lacks a cast iron core which makes it more sensitive to large temperature fluctuations that could change accuracy up to .001".

3. How rigid is the system?

In short, very rigid. Bolting the base down with 2 included toe clamps is sufficient, but the question arises about the overhang of the pallets. For this reason, we've limited the maximum pallet size to 8" x 14". 2000 lbs of force at the corner of the larger pallet can flex it up to .004" in Z, but stable in X and Y. However, in reality no drill or endmill exerts this much force without breaking.

4. Is there a hardware kit to make my own pallets?

The MPS uses tight tolerance components that depend on equally tight tolerance machining of the aluminum pallet. For this reason, we prefer to manufacture all pallets in-house so that performance will not be affected. One workaround is to use our pallets as a master in which the user can bolt on other fixture plates.

5. Where can I purchase a Mini Pallet System?

All of our products can be purchased directly through us. This allows us to establish a close relationship with our customers and provide the best applicaton advice possible. Click here to order online or give us a call to place an order at (800) 352-2894. We accept all major credit cards and company checks.

SmartVac II Vacuum System

DOWNLOADS

Printables: SmartVac II Flyer | SmartVac II Manual
Models: Solid models are available after purchase. Please email us at questions@piersonworkholding.com.

VIDEOS

Overview: SmartVac II Vacuum System

Overview: Top Plates

Vacuum Chuck Workholding: Designing a custom Top Plate

Vacuum Workholding for Small Parts

Vacuum Chuck Workholding: Making Nested Parts

Troubleshooting a Customer's Top Plate

Vacuum Chuck Quick Shot 1

Vacuum Chuck Quick Shot 2

Overview: Premium Vacuum Gasket

Easily Clean the Vacuum Control Unit

FAQs

1. How powerful is the vacuum chuck system's holding force?

The US short answer - Multiply a part's surface area in square inches by 14 to find the downward holding force in pounds.
The Metric short answer - Multiply a part's surface area in square mm by .0098 to find the downward holding force in kg.
The long answer - The holding power of any vacuum chuck system is measured by the amount of air it can remove from under a part. You'll see vacuum ratings measured as "Inches of Mercury" or "Hg. A perfect vacuum, like outer space, would equal 29.9" Hg. It takes a lot of energy to create a perfect vacuum on Earth however the SmartVac II vacuum chuck draws a 94% or 28" Hg vacuum using only 0.8 cfm or compressed air! This is equal to 14 psi of downward holding force.
This means a 6" x 6" part will be held with a force of 504 pounds (36sq.in. x 14psi = 504lbs) or a 150mm x 150mm part will be held with a force of 221 kg (22500sq.mm x .0098 = 220.5 kg).

2. What types of parts can the vacuum chuck hold?

The perfect part has a large surface area and with a small thickness cross section. Materials can range from plastics to metals. Harder materials can increase side loads during cutting which can slide a part off the chuck so lighter feedrates and depths of cut should be observed. One tip to overcome part movement is to sandwich a piece of 400 grit sandpaper between the chuck and the part to increase friction. Take a look at this article that explains this concept in further depth: CNCReport.com

3. Compared to other systems, how does the SmartVac II vacuum chuck measure up?

The SmartVac II VCU draws a vacuum equal to or greater than convential vacuum pumps. Plus, the system is low maintenance since it does NOT require particle filters or coolant traps. Other systems require an electrically powered pump where the SmartVac II runs off a small amount of compressed air. The chuck portion of the system has nine vacuum inlets allowing up to nine individual parts to be held simultaneously where other systems only hold one part at a time. Pricewise, the system is far less expensive to purchase AND maintain than traditional systems.

4. I have an odd shaped part with a bunch of holes. How do I hold it?

This is easily done by attaching a Top Plate to the vacuum chuck surface and milling a gasket groove just inside the part's perimeter. Any through holes in the part need to have gaskets around them so the vacuum isn't lost when a cutter breaks through the bottom surface of the part. If the finished part has very thin features (imagine cutting out the letter O), consider leaving .002" to .005" of material at the bottom (the inside of the O) to maintain a larger vacuum area. Depending on the material, you should be able to easily peel out the center section by hand.

5. What dimensions should I use for the gasket groove I machine in a Top Plate?

For all sizes of gasket, the groove width should be 95% of the gasket diameter. The groove depth should be 75% of the gasket diameter. This means our 1/8" gasket should have a width of .118" and a minimum depth of .094". The same formula for a 1/4" gasket comes out to .238" wide and .188" deep. For best results, add at least a .015" chamfer to the top of the groove.

6. My part is larger than the vacuum chuck sizes you offer. Can I still use the vacuum chuck system?

Yes! The SmartVac II is perfectly suited to handle large parts. Multiple bases can be setup adjacent to each other using a Twin Base Kit. This kit contains everything needed to chain multiple bases together and operated by one VCU.

7. Where can I purchase a SmartVac II Vacuum Chuck Workholding System?

All of our products are sold direct. This allows us to keep prices low and to establish a close relationship with our customers to provide the best applicaton advice possible. Click here to order online or give us a call to place an order at (800) 352-2894. We accept all major credit cards and company checks.

Vacuum Workholding Tips

  1. Vacuum Power has an Upper Limit – The absolute maximum vacuum power any vacuum pump can achieve on Earth is 14.9 pounds per square inch at sea level.  This is because the weight of air around us is what actually pushes the part down onto the chuck.
  2. Vacuum Workholding is Often a Secondary Choice – Yes, vises and clamps are the preferred method of holding a workpiece due to theoretically unlimited clamping force, however thin parts aren't easily held with a vise.  A vacuum chuck may be your only choice, but don’t expect to be able to machine a part as aggressively as when using a vise.  For example, a 3" square workpiece will only be held with 126 lbs of downward force and a 10" square workpiece is held with 1,400 lbs.
  3. Use Common Sense – Holding a part that is 1 inch square and 4 inches tall is not going to work. Short and wide parts that absolutely cannot be held with a vise are the best candidates for vacuum workholding.
  4. Use Workstops Whenever Possible – Side loads are the enemy of vacuum applications! Though vertical holding force may be high, cutting forces can shift a part sideways, especially when machining plastics with a low friction ratings (nylon, teflon, delrin).  Adding pins, side rails or best practice of cutting a shallow pocket in one of our customizable Top Plates for the part to sit in will maximize sideways rigidity.
  5. Use Small Cutters when Possible (if you’re not following tip #4) – Small cutters exert less torque, reducing side forces thereby reducing the chance of sliding a part off the chuck.  Instead of taking a 1/2″ wide cut around a part, use an 1/8″ cut with four passes.
  6. Use Sharp Cutters – Sharp tooling naturally exerts lower side loads which reduces the chances of a part sliding on a chuck.
  7. Use 45 Degree Helix Endmills – Low helix cutters won't lift a part, but they exert higher side loads.  45 deg cutters split the difference between lifting and sliding forces.
  8. Flexible Workpieces Might be Problematic – Because the rigidity of the workpiece helps maintain a vacuum seal, very thin or very soft materials may be more likely to flex at the edges and peel off the vacuum chuck. Use reverse helix cutters that have a downward cutting action and follow the 3 C's:
  9. The 3 C's of reverse helix cutters – Coolant: Have adequate coolant or air to help with chip evacuation since chips are forced downward.  Clearance: Also consider milling a trough in a Top Plate along the edge of the cut so chips have a place to go. Corners: Outside corners have minimal support so slow down. Inside corners have good part support but more of the tool is engaged in the cut so side loads are higher than normal so slow down here too.

RotoVise

DOWNLOADS

Printables: RotoVise Flyer (PDF)
Models: RotoVise model in STEP format | RotoVise model for Fusion 360 (STEP files: Right click and select "Save link as...")

VIDEOS

RotoVise Oversize Aggressive Machining

FAQs

1. Do I need a tailstock?
Simply put, a tailstock is NOT needed. Because of the compact length, rigid materials and parts held closely to the rotary table face, tailstocks have no effect on performance. We've rigorously tested the RotoVise for over two years and have cut aluminum, steel, stainless, cast iron and hardened alloys with excellent results and surface finishes at aggressive feed rates (250-600 ipm depending on material) without the need for a tailstock.
2. What materials can I machine?
As previously mentioned, we've machined aluminum, steel, stainless, cast iron and hardened steels during the two year development of the RotoVise. In fact, most components of the RotoVise are made on the RotoVise! For comparison, we machine the ductile cast iron sliding jaw carriers at 300 ipm, .750" doc and .050" woc with a 4 flute 1/2 inch diameter carbide endmill with amazing results.
3. What types of rotary tables can it adapt to?
The RotoVise is designed to bolt to all brands of rotary tables that use 4 or 6 t-slots platters. For best results, only use rotary tables that have integrated pneumatic brakes that provide a minimum of 100 ft-lbs (136 Nm) of brake torque. Manual rotary tables also work well as long as they have a manual brake.
4. What is the clamping force of the RotoVise?
Each jaw station grips with up to 5,000 lbs of clamping force. Let's think about this... a good conventional 6 inch vise clamps with about 8,000 lbs. With only 3 inch wide jaws, the RotoVise has an equivalent clamping force of over 10,000 lbs compared to 6 inch vises.
5. Where can I purchase a RotoVise?
All of our products can be purchased directly through us. This allows us to establish a close relationship with our customers and provide the best applicaton advice possible. Click here to order online or give us a call to place an order at (800) 352-2894. We accept all major credit cards and company checks.

Before Ordering

Is my information safe?

Yes, your privacy is very important to us. We keep your personal information private and secure. When you make a purchase from our site, you provide your name, email address, credit card information, address, phone number, and a password. We use this information to process your orders, to keep you updated on your orders and to personalize your shopping experience.

Our secure servers protect your information using advanced encryption techniques and firewall technology.

To keep you informed about our latest offers, we may notify you of current promotions, specials and new additions to the Sample Store site. You may unsubscribe from our newsletters by following the unsubscribe instructions in any email you receive from us.

When entering any of our contests or prize drawings, you provide your name, email address and mailing address. If you win, we will send the prize to the address entered and notify you by email. When you enter a contest or drawing you are also included in our newsletter list to receive notice of promotions, specials and new additions to the Sample Store site. You may unsubscribe from this news list by following the unsubscribe instructions in any email received.

We use “cookies” to keep track of your current shopping session to personalize your experience and so that you may retrieve your shopping cart at any time.

What Payment methods do you accept?

We accept the following credit and debit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. There is no surcharge for using your credit card to make purchases. Please be sure to provide your exact billing address and telephone number (i.e. the address and phone number your credit card bank has on file for you). Incorrect information will cause a delay in processing your order. Your card will be billed at the time of your order. Note: Some debit cards have a $1000 limit on purchases. If your order exceeds this amount please contact your card issuer and request a temporary exception on this limit.

We also accept money orders, cashier’s checks, personal checks, and company checks in U.S. Dollars only. Orders are processed upon receipt of a money order or cashier’s check. For personal and company checks, please allow up to 10 banking days after receipt for clearance of funds before the order is processed. We cannot guarantee the availability of a product by the time funds clear or payment is received. We will charge a $25 fee on all returned checks.

I'm not able to order online? What should I do?

Contact us directly and we’ll be happy to help!

Email: questions@piersonworkholding.com

Phone: (800) 352-2894 Ext 701

M-F 7am-5pm Pacific

After Ordering

How long will it take to process and ship my order?

Most orders received before 2:00PM PST will ship the same day, provided the product ordered is in stock. Most orders received after 2:00PM PST will ship the next business day. We make every effort to ship orders before the cut off time however, higher volume days may delay shipping by one business day. Orders are also processed in order of the selected shipping speed. Orders are not processed or shipped on Saturday or Sunday.

We cannot guarantee when an order will arrive. Consider any shipping or transit time offered to you by Pierson Workholding or other parties only as an estimate. We encourage you to order in a timely fashion to avoid delays caused by shipping or product availability.

International flat rate shipping options are offered to countries outside of the America’s and vary as follows per price range:

Order Price Shipping
$990.00 to $1649.99 $99.00
$1650.00 to $2149.99 $149.00
$2150.00 to $4999.99 $199.00
$5000.00 to $9999.99 $349.00
Can I change my order?

Due to the high speed with which we fulfill orders, you will need to call us ASAP to see if we can modify your order after it’s been placed. There’s a good chance we will be able to if it’s within a few hours of when you ordered. If your items have already been shipped, we would be happy to help you with a return and replacement.

How do I return a product?

We will gladly accept the return of products for exchange that are defective due to defects in manufacturing and/or workmanship. Unopened and unused products may be returned within 30 days for refund minus a 15% restocking fee. It is the sole discretion of Pierson Workholding to determine if an item has been used or not. Used items are not eligible for refund and will be returned to the customer. Shipping costs for all returns is the sole responsibility of the customer and are non refundable. Special and/or custom designed products are not eligible for return.

Before You Call…

Still need help? Send us an email or give us a call.

Phone M-F 7am-4:30pm Pacific
(800) 352-2894
Option 1 – Sales
Option 2 – Tech Support
Option 3 – Accounting

Fax
(888) 818-9267

Email
questions@piersonworkholding.com

Headquarters
Pierson Workholding
4550 Runway St., Suite B
Simi Valley, CA 93063