Successfully holding thin-walled parts with 8 clamping points

Based in the German city of Pegnitz, KSB Aktiengesellschaft is a leading supplier of pumps, valves and related services. The company employs 1,600 employees to research, design and manufacture ultra-modern pump technology and industrial/power plant valves. The plant also has its own foundry. Recently, the company adopted INOFlex® chucks combined with INOZet® pendulum bridge chucks to improve workholding on its shop floor.

Modern manufacturing increasingly involves machining parts with thinner walls and asymmetrical geometries. These trends have simultaneously impacted machining operations at KSB.

“We clamp a lot of thin-walled parts, as well as misshapen, non-symmetrical ones”, says Heribert Sier, Head of the Valve Factory Shop. “We used to deal with this using a traditional 4-jaw chuck or 3-jaw chuck.”

Unfortunately, high clamping pressures and a lack of compensation can lead to substantial deformation of thin-walled parts. KSB holds itself to exacting requirements for machining quality and precision, which caused workpiece clamping to become a significant challenge. To maintain its standards, setup times grew in line with part complexity.


When researching potential solutions to KSB’s workholding challenges, Mr. Sier came across HWR, which proved to be a perfect match. To reduce set-up times, KSB now uses the compensating, centrically clamping INOFlex® 4-jaw chuck. The patented chuck compensation prevents the application of unacceptable levels of force at clamping points. Additionally, rather than settle for four clamping jaws, the KSB also applies INOZet® pendulum bridges, which double the number of clamping jaws to eight. The pendulum bridges also ensure compensating clamping.

“We are delighted with the INOFlex® and INOZet® combination”, says Mr. Sier. “As we have 8 clamping points, instead of the usual 3, and the integrated compensation, we can direct the clamping pressure more evenly and with less deformation to the component.”


The combined automatic compensation of the two clamping devices ensures simpler handling and, in particular, shorter set-up times. This has been enormously beneficial in the case of thin-walled workpieces.

KSB did not require special clamping jaws, as INOZet® covers the entire clamping range with its default product range. Furthermore, asymmetrical workpieces pose no problems since the patented compensation of the INOFlex® clamping chuck also centrically clamps any misshapen parts.

“We are very impressed by the chuck and highly delighted with it”, explains Mr. Sier.

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