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Cam operated index plungers enable easy positioning and locking

31/10/2018 08:44:36
 
 
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ImagesClick Image for 300dpi jpg fileCam operated index plungers enable easy positioning and lockingCam operated index plungers enable easy positioning and locking

Stopping moving parts in target positions and locking them into place is a common requirement for plant and machinery engineers. Their favoured method for doing this is often the index plunger, with the cam operated version being particularly popular. Engineering components manufacturer WDS Component Parts Ltd. offers a wide range of index plungers and is a leading authority on the technology.

Conveyors are often fitted with diverter gates which are positioned to direct the flow of parts in a given direction. Many machines have an inspection hatch or other shutters that needs to be locked into position for safety. Assembly and packing stations may need to be able to lock major components into a precise place so that a robot arm or other automated mechanism can accurately fit other parts to them.

In all of the above examples – and many other similar applications – an index plunger is the preferred method of positioning, particularly if parts need to be held firmly, positioned accurately or locked into place. There are many types of index plungers, including spring-loaded, screw-action and push-type, with cam-operated plungers being noted for their ease of operation.

Like all index plungers, cam action plungers have two operating positions, extended and retracted. The cam mechanism makes the selection of either precision position a simple one-touch operation, rotating the handle or lever through 180 degrees. In operation the lever glides smoothly along a cam track machined into the top of the body of the indexer to retract or extend the pin.

A spring is usually incorporated into the plunger to hold the lever against the cam track with a specific force as the lever is rotated. A small groove in the cam allows the lever to be held in exactly the fully retracted position with a slight locking effect. The groove also acts as a visual reference to indicate the fully retracted position and can be seen as a safety feature in some applications.

WDS can supply cam action indexing plungers in a wide range of sizes and variants. For instance they can be made of steel, stainless steel or aluminium and with extension lengths from 38 mm to 57mm. They usually have a threaded outer casing for easy mounting and come fitted with two lock nuts and a plastic lever grip.

A matching range of mounting blocks is also available, which facilitate both vertical and horizontal plunger mounting. Each mount incorporates a feature allowing the plunger thread to be gripped securely without the need for lock nuts and without damaging the plunger body thread, thus making future adjustment easier.

Cam index plungers are usually operated manually and individually, but they could be adapted and incorporated into automated systems, providing an alternative to solenoid plungers.

WDS’s catalogue, viewable at www.wdsltd.co.uk, includes a huge range of index plungers, including cam operated and other sorts. The website can also be used to order plungers, with overnight dispatch normally being available as the standard option. Two- and three-dimensional CAD drawings can be downloaded from the site and full technical details are available. Technical support is available via email or a telephone helpline.

Image Captions:

Image 1: There are many types of index plungers, including spring-loaded, screw-action and push-type, with cam-operated plungers being noted for their ease of operation.

Image 2: WDS can supply cam action indexing plungers in a wide range of sizes and variants.

About WDS

WDS are the UK’s leading manufacturer of standard parts for use in machine build components, standard parts, jigs & fixtures, and consumer products. The range of products available from WDS grows daily and so has the methods available to designers and engineers for identifying, specifying and purchasing any of the 20,000+ parts currently held in stock. For example, WDS has made ordering workholding solutions cheaper and quicker by removing small order surcharges.

The WDS range covers five main divisions, Standard Parts, Machine Accessories, Spencer Franklin Hydraulic Workholding, Broaching and General & Modular Workholding.

The image(s) distributed with this press release may only be used to accompany this copy, and are subject to copyright. Please contact DMA Europa if you wish to license the image for further use.

Editor Contact

DMA Europa Ltd. : David Bedford
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436 Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315
Web: www.dmaeuropa.com
Email: david@dmaeuropa.com

Company Contact

WDS Component Parts Limited : Sarah Gray
Tel: +44 (0)113 2909852 Fax: +44 (0)845 601 1173
Web: www.wdsltd.co.uk
Email: SGray@wdsltd.co.uk

 
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