Power Vices

What are power vices?

Power vices refer to those vices that are not manually operated. Typically, a vice clamps a work piece by screwing the jaws with bare hand. With the modern advancement to increase the vices’ practicality, the power vices are invented and available on the market. The major power systems for vice clamping are hydraulic power vices, pneumatic power vices, and the electric power vices. Generally speaking, the power vices are mostly designed for industrial use. The hydraulic power vices and the pneumatic power vices, in particular, are incorporated with the CNC machines and has become a substantial part of CNC tooling system.

Basic components of vices

A vice includes two jaws to clamp objects, a base to hold the jaws, and a screw and a lever to move the jaws. The design of the jaws embodies a fixed jaw and a movable jaw. The movable jaw approaches the fixed one along the screw. Usually the screw is hidden inside or under the vice base and there is a groove for the jaw. 

In a nutshell, a vice looks like a box with two jaws on the top and a lever on the side. To better perform the intended tasks, vices are often mounted on a work bench on which the operation is undertaken. Vices can be made of different materials and sizes to meet different needs. The main body of a vice is made of metal such as cast iron or steel in most cases. The jaws, however, can come in a variety of materials and designs.

What do vices do?

The purpose of a vice is to secure a work piece by clamping it with two jaws so that one can perform the designated operation with the stability provided by clamping. For example, when a sculptor intends to work on a piece of rock, the rock needs to be held in place for the ease of subsequent tasks. And When a carpenter needs to saw a piece of wood, he needs to make sure that the wood does not wobble during the saw process. The power vices will always play a crucial role in the heavy manufacturing industry; conventional vices would not have been able to carry out the same, heavy-duty tasks. As a result, the vices have developed in multiple aspects to enhance their durability, stability, flexibility, and mobility.

The significance of power vices

The goal of a vice is to secure work pieces so that works can be performed on it. To meet industrial standards, a power vice needs to withstand machining of high strength level. The vibration and force generated during the machining operation can be so strong that the jaws can possibly be loosen or the vice body may fall apart during the procedure; It is obvious that the conventional, manually-operated vice is inadequate for such tasks. This is why power vices were invented to provide steady clamping against shocks and vibrations during the operation. There are generally two main power systems for a vice: the hydraulic power and the pneumatic power.

Hydraulic power is also known as fluid power. It works by providing means of circulating pressurized fluid and converting it into mechanical output. It is evident that hydraulic power systems generate more power than that of other power systems, and they are sensitive enough to provide prompt responses to controls. These features allow the hydraulic power devices to be applied in heavy industrial machinery.

Pneumatics utilizes a distinctively different. Instead of using water or fluid, the pneumatic power system utilizes compressed gases to drive the vice. The advantage of applying pneumatic power system is that it is very simple to operate. Ultimately, it takes only the on-off control to work. Due to the simplicity of the mechanism, a pneumatic power system is more durable and easy to maintain.

The power system of power vices does not take control only over clamping and work holding. With the multiple axis design, certain degree of mobility is equipped to power vices. The power vices these days do not just sit on a work bench as its conventional counterpart. Power vices can move in multiple directions to collaborate with other machining devices. Having progressed in multiple aspects over time, the power vices are now an irreplaceable component in the modern manufacturing industry.

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