By Jim Lucas
In 2019, SPEP has released a full family of toggle clamps to its catalog. These are a fantastic addition to our industrial access hardware because toggle clamps are like the wall-mounted light switch of the manufacturing world. They are used for situations that require workpieces to go “on” and “off” consistently, reliably and easily. They are used on applications that vary from test fixtures to manufacturing jigs to pressure vessels. While the large collection may be a little intimidating when you’re getting introduced, the selection of the right one based on functionality of these versatile tools are quickly learned.
First, toggle clamps are simple mechanisms that hold things together. They generally consist of 3 primary components that are of interest:
There are also linkages that affect the motion (or stroke), and attributes like the holding capacity and the clamping force. While applications may vary, I’ve found that most people that need toggle clamps aren’t really concerned with these details because it’s more of a size & function application (and the application generally doesn’t come close to the holding capacity or clamping force). However, just to be complete: the “Holding Capacity” is how much force is required to overcome the clamp when it is in the locked position and the “Clamping Force” is how much force the clamp can push down on a work piece.
Toggle Clamps work base on a simple linkage-system. The system “locks” or “clamps” when it is over-center. When a clamp is in the “locked” or “over-center” position, it can only be released by pulling the handle or by overcoming the holding capacity.
There are three basic toggle movements: vertical-hold down clamps (force is perpendicular to the base), horizontal-push clamps (force is parallel to the base) and horizontal-pull clamps (force is also parallel to the base, but hooking or pulling something in- also known as a squeeze clamp).
Within each category, there are several variations of handle movements.
Furthermore, there are several items in our catalog that aren’t located in the toggle section that could be used for the “Pull” Toggle functionality (aka- the “Squeeze” Toggle):
These are generally called “Draw latches” and are considered very close cousins to the toggle switch. They are used in a similar applications. If you want to sound like a pro, try using the following terminology:
Once you have a general idea of what you want, give us a call @ 888-444-6437 or download some parts from our website www.spep.com.
If you have any technical questions or comments, or you want to show off your unique toggle application, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Lucas
As an engineer at SPEP (a supplier of industrial access hardware- like hinges, latches & handles), I'm fortunate to work in industries spanning everything from controls to medical devices to RVs. Even though we have more than 3000 items in our catalog, we have more than 3000 additional products that are custom made for per customer request. As you can imagine, these additional products are a result of working on fast-paced projects. In order for these projects to be successful, we need to generate and turn-around prototypes, drawings & digital models quickly.
While I’ve picked-up a few tricks by taking (and teaching) some SolidWorks courses and certifications (like the CSWA & CSWP). I’ve found a separate methodology based on 2 principles. The first is to try to get really good at a few moves (instead of knowing every move). This comes from a Bruce Lee quote: “I don’t fear someone who knows a thousand different kicks. I fear someone who has practiced a kick a thousand times.” The second principle is to minimize time clicking in menus, and maximize time designing parts. This is done by working smart and using a variety of hot keys & mouse gestures.
In order to break the habit of clicking in the Command Manager and using the Feature Manager, force yourself to practice by going in “Jedi Training Mode”. This is done by pressing F9 (hide Feature Manager Tabs) and F10 (hide Command Manager).
One last tip before getting into the shortcuts. Remember that shortcut keys are almost entirely customizable. If there is a certain feature you like but it’s buried away on a remote menu you can give it its very own shortcut through the options menu.
If you discipline yourself to use these shortcuts for 30 days, you’ll find yourself spending more time on building and less time digging through menus. This will make you far more proficient in your classes, give you a higher chance to pass the CSWP but most importantly, the speed you want when you are making your latest creation.
If you have any recommendations for speed tools you’re using, or for our next article, please let me know at email@example.com.
At Sierra Pacific Engineering & Products, we are proud to be a premier supplier of access hardware to a variety of industries and product makers. Our new product catalog is now available and we have added over 600 new products and have earned many new patents. Please check it out for an exhaustive list of high-quality products. It is available in both English and Spanish and can be downloaded from spep.com. Or call 800 433-5554 and we will be happy to send one out to you.
Congratulations to SPEP's new 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) vested retirees!
Graciela was part of the SPEP team for over 10 years and Myrna for 17 years. Thank you for all your contributions and may you enjoy retirement.
SPEP is proud to announce that we recently added a Robotic Welder to automate our welding process.
This allows for improved weld control and ensures achievement of maximum precision.
We are looking forward to increasing our productivity with the help of Sierra Pacific’s robotic welder!
Sierra Pacific Engineering and Products is a proud member of The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) and will be attending its much anticipated annual trade show in late February. NATM promotes trailer safety and the success of the trailer manufacturing industry through education and advocacy. It is a high priority of theirs to continuously advance trailer safety and these trade shows greatly aid in showcasing the latest in the industry. NATM's values include:
To learn more about NATM please visit http://www.natm.com/
Sierra Pacific Engineering and Products has finalized its migration process from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015. With the implementation of the new standards, SPEP's quality management system will help us to continue offering quality products and exceptional service while improving efficiency and increasing customer satisfaction. For more information about the new ISO 9001:2015 standards please visit ISO.
We thank you for your continued support and we wish you a wonderful holiday season!