Setting up and accurately producing glass components on a vertical machining center requires slow, careful positioning and continuous operator attention—a process that Idex Health and Science of Oak Harbor, Washington, needed to improve for volume operation. However, a DoveLock jaw setup on Cluster Tower workholding from Kurt Manufacturing Co. (Minneapolis, Minnesota), along with a different machining center orientation, enabled the company to more effectively precision machine custom glass pieces.

Called Slipstream flowcells, the flat, glass devices enable liquid samples to flow through a measurement region for automated analysis. They, along with other machined glass components, are used by the life sciences, industrial, medical device and analytical instrumentation industries. The average flowcell glass measures 3.875 by 1.25 inches with a thickness of 0.125 inch. The milled flow paths require accuracy to 5 microns.

Read more: New Workholding Setup, Machining Orientation Enable Lights-Out Production