Jigs and fixtures are essential equipment in the manufacturing industry, particularly in machining processes. They can be produced manually but there are advantages of making them using a CNC router.

Jigs and fixtures:

Jigs and fixtures are devices designed specifically to hold, support, and position workpieces during machining operations, this ensures accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency in production.

  1. Jigs: Jigs are devices that guide tools to perform specific operations and processes on an item being machined. They often incorporate bushings, clamps, or other guiding elements to ensure precise positioning and alignment of the tool relative to the part being machined. Jigs are commonly used for drilling, reaming, tapping, and other machining operations where accuracy and consistency are critical.

Jigs and fixtures for the manufacturing industry created with a CNC router

  1. Fixtures: Fixtures are devices used to hold a part being processed in place during machining operations securely, they can also be used during the assembly process. They provide support and stability to prevent movement or vibration, which can lead to inaccuracies in the finished part. Fixtures are designed to accommodate the specific shape and dimensions of the workpiece, often using clamps, vises, or other securing mechanisms.

How does a CNC router fit into this process of creating Jigs for the manufacturing industry?

A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router is a machine that operates under the control of a computer program to perform various cutting, drilling, and shaping operations and is a perfect machine to make Jigs and Fixtures for many industries including the manufacturing industry. 

CNC router machine used in the manufacturing industry

Here’s how a CNC router can help.

1.Precision Machining:

CNC routers offer high precision and repeatability.  This makes them ideal for machining components of jigs and fixtures with tight tolerances. This ensures that the resulting jigs and fixtures will accurately position and hold parts during subsequent machining operations.

2.Complex shapes and details:

CNC routers can easily machine complex shapes and contours.  This allows for the creation of intricate jigs and fixtures that may be difficult or impossible to produce manually. This flexibility enables manufacturers to design custom fixtures tailored to the specific requirements of their manufacturing processes. Here at Westfield Patterns, we work closely with our customers to understand their needs to create Jigs. Ultimately to enhance their machining and assembly production. Contact us Here to tell us about your requirements.

3.Changes can be implemented rapidly:

CNC routers facilitate rapid prototyping of jigs and fixtures. Design changes can be quickly implemented in the CAD program controlling the CNC router. Therefore allowing manufacturers to test and refine their fixtures before finalising their jig for production. In the design process of jigs and fixtures we work with the customer testing prototypes and amending as necessary. 

4.Batch Production:

CNC routers can efficiently produce multiple identical jigs and fixtures. Multiple jogs means streamlining the manufacturing process and ensuring consistency across production batches. This scalability is particularly advantageous for high-volume manufacturing operations. We can produce the jigs from MDF, or for more hard wearing use Birch Ply. Depending on the industry plastics may be used, for instance, in the food industry we may use blue Nylon or other food safe plastics. 

Plastics cut to size and shape to be used as a jig and fixture
Cutting plastics to size and shape with the CNC Milling machine.

Westfield Patterns is located in Peterborough and we can quote for nationwide CNC router machining jobs. Get in touch with us HERE with your project requirements.

In summary,

CNC routers play a crucial role in the manufacturing Industry.  Producing jigs and fixtures by providing precision machining capabilities.  This enables the production of detailed & complex parts, facilitating rapid prototyping, and supporting batch production processes.