The clamping technology of EMUGE-FRANKEN enables you to keep an eye on things!


Clamping technology for the production of telescopes

Binoculars allow us to look into nature and the world in front of us becomes clearer and more detailed. The possibility of being able to look at distant objects and people or even the universe is, as we can all certainly confirm, simply fascinating and has been from childhood. Binoculars or telescopes enable us to have fun discovering things and are rightly perennial favourites for Christmas and birthday presents. 

It is obvious that specially designed telescopes also play a major role in the hunting and military sectors. The various uses are almost self-explanatory. The clamping technology of EMUGE-FRANKEN has developed and manufactured a clamping concept for manufacturers of telescopic sights, with which the main tubes are clamped for various and highly precise turning operations. 
In this article, we take a closer look at the complex clamping concept that our colleagues have developed for this application. 


The basics: Different designs and many lenses

At the beginning, we were confronted with the question of how a telescope or binocular actually works. We were amazed: The foundation for the telescope as we know it today was laid more than 400 years ago! Our colleague, who was in charge of this project, immediately pointed us in the right direction with the above question: A distinction is made between two types of construction, which would go beyond the scope of this article to explain. We will limit ourselves to naming the two designs: On the one hand there is the so-called Galilean telescope and on the other hand the Kepler telescope. Both designs use lenses to magnify the viewing angle. The type and arrangement of the lenses, among other factors, are different. Both designs fulfil the same purpose: You can see into the distance and quite far! 

Special designs require flexible clamping systems.

When you think of telescopes, you think of long, thin components. That's exactly right, and this description also fits the workpieces we had to clamp. This is also our first challenge. One clamping point is not enough to fix the workpiece appropriately. The second clamping point also has a different diameter. If you look at the entire series of workpieces that had to be clamped, you also notice that the clamping points differ from workpiece to workpiece. 
Our colleagues have developed a flexible system, which enables the user to react to the changing clamping diameters and the varying clamping points with exchangeable clamping elements.  This means: There are differently manufactured clamping elements that fit on the basic mandrel. The clamping of the "larger" clamping bush is triggered by an exchangeable spring assembly. This can be changed depending on the workpiece to be machined. The clamping in the smallest workpiece diameter is done in the "conventional" way. A pull rod on the machine side pulls a clamping bolt axially and the clamping bush opens. An additional tailstock support gives more rigidity when turning the outer contours. Special grooves in the stop ensure positive torque transmission, i.e. higher holding torques. 

Sophisticated media transfer for operation and durability.

The clamping function is essentially based on springs and tensile and compressive forces on the machine-side. Nevertheless, we notice four media channels in the various components in the discussion of the clamping concept. Our colleague explains the functions of these channels to us. 

  • Channels 1 and 2: Cooling lubricant and sealing air for turning are transferred via these channels on the machine side. 
  • Channel number 3 does the following: To complete the final turning operation of the workpiece, the fence moves a defined distance away from the workpiece after pneumatic activation. 
  • Channel number 4 enables the lubrication of moving parts. This contributes to a reliable function and longevity of the clamping device. 

Keep an eye on the big picture and take advantage of the benefits!

Our colleagues have designed and implemented many other and very similar clamping concepts for optical components. Our customer therefore has access to a well-founded pool of know-how and the subsequent projects were correspondingly successful. As a result, the clamping concept also delivers the best results in the long term and enables the user to carry out high-precision machining. 
By the way, a recommendation for your next private purchase: The classic binocular has a significant advantage over the telescope, also called monocular: Both eyes are used with binoculars: This is much more comfortable for the user.
Keep an overview of your project and talk to our experts about your challenges. 

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