Locating Block

What is a Locating Block?

Locating block is the components which are designed to fasten and position the workpiece with a slot and thread screw. It is also known as locator blocks. It is the main structure elements within jigs or fixtures rather than accessories. The locating blocks always contact the pieces on a machined surface. Some versatile locating blocks include the tapered pin style, the V-shaped style, which is also called a V-block, the plate-holding style, sliding and locking block and last but not least, the straight locating block. 

Locating blocks ensure the parts are precisely positioned, firmly secured and supported. One of the goals of the reusable locating blocks is to easily load and unload products with little tolerance. The locating block technology is widely used in a wide range of applications. They are often utilized on machining centers, especially the horizontal models. For example, the metal stamping production or fabrication, the custom metal fabrication. It is commonly used in the injection molding industry and tools, molds or dies manufacturers. 

Different Types of Locating Blocks

Common locating blocks that are widely used for positioning workpieces or mounting other work-holders are large 2-sided locating blocks and large 4-sided locating blocks and v-blocks.

● 2-sided Locating Blocks:

2-sided locating blocks are for positioning or installing pieces or holders on two opposite sides. They are suitable for fixturing two parts which are both large. This large locating box has wide mounting surfaces for positioning large workpieces.

● 4-Sided Locating Blocks:

As the name implies, 4-sided locating blocks have four working surfaces for fixturing the products. The feature benefits the high volume production in machining. They are more suitable for workpieces in medium sizes.

● V-blocks:

V-blocks are popular, accurate metalworking fixtures which are ideal for holding pipes, round metal parts especially in milling and drilling machines. The typical materials V-blocks are made from are steel and cast iron. They are rectangular locating blocks with a V-shaped channel on the top which is 120 degree rotating 45 degrees from the sides. Small grooves are cut at the bottom of the V-shaped channel, firmly clamping and holding the round parts with screw clamps. Some advanced V-blocks also insert internal magnets which allow magnetic locating. V-block is usually manufactured and sold in pairs.

● V-shaped Cast Sections:

Some types of precision cast sections are also used as the locating blocks. The V-shaped cast section is one good example. V-shaped cast sections are great alternatives for V-blocks while a V-shaped element is required for locating or clamping the round shaped or cylindrical parts. In this cast section, the thin portions are frequently utilized as V-pads while the longer one can be used as v-blocks. V-shaped cast sections have rectangular cross sections that are wider than the height. There are also grooves in the structure, which is machined to approximately 90º. Some common applications include riser and supporting elements.

Locating Principle

Locating, or work-holding, is a term that refers to securing and supporting the parts for machining or other further processing. Locating should be uniformly, repeatedly, continuously in almost all industrial processes. It is a vital step in manufacturing especially for mass production and high volume assembly lines. All jigs and fixtures can be divided into four types depending on the volume of products they are intended to work with and the permanence of the fixture, which is the makeshift type, disposable type, modular type, and the permanent type.

To ensure the workpiece is located and secured firmly, eliminating the shift during machining processes, the locating assembly should always get rid of movements in twelve different directions, which is also known as degrees of freedom. The degrees of freedom include three axes including translational motions and rotational motions. Translational directions, or degrees of freedom, allow upward, downward, leftward, rightward, and the movement going front and back. On the other hand, the rotational directions include roll, yaw, pitch with clockwise or counterclockwise directions in the rotation. Degrees of freedom should be considered when designing and selecting locating blocks or other fixtures, jigs. The motion should be limited to restrict the degrees of freedom in order to make the locating blocks or other fixtures versatile, reusable and flexible with different machining processes.

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