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Fixtures are a key part of the consistent production process. Both precision and accuracy are required; precision to ensure repeatable, part to part consistency, and accuracy to simplify setup and reduce the amount of training required to set up jobs consistently.
Good fixtures have the folowing characteristics:
1) Ample finger clearance and allow operators or other material handling elements to quickly load and unload parts.
2) Can be easily cleaned up if there is a need to do so.
3) Can be rapidly interchanged with other fixtures without concern for updating offsets or making height adjustments
4) Are poka yoke'd so that a production level operator cannot err when changing fixtures.
New Precision Technology has an internal design rules list of seventeen elements that must be considered for any new fixture design. These rules are a compendium that is a result of (ironically) seventeen years of fixture desing.