Supplying fluid to hydraulic fixtures is not merely an afterthought. Fluid supply is an integral part of fixture design. The following Swing Clamp fixtures illustrate four distinct plumbing concepts.
1. Tubing lines on top of fixture plate.
This is the oldest, most traditional method of supplying fluid to hydraulic clamps. Before manifold mounting, using tubing was about the only option available. Advantages; less baseplate machining is required; quick build time. Disadvantages: chips are easily trapped in tubing lines; a large base-plate area is required; exposed tubing is subject to damage.
2. Tubing lines underneath fixture plate.
Running tubing lines below the working area is an improvement on option 1. Advantages: no chip traps in working area; more freedom to position clamps with tubing out of the way. Disadvantages: a large base-plate area is still required; more complicated fixture construction.
3. Manifold mounting with O-ring ports.
This option uses passages drilled in the fixture to feed fluid directly to O-ring ports underneath the clamps. Advantages: more compact fixture size; no chip traps in working area; most economical construction. Disadvantages; gundrilling is sometimes required; less freedom to mount clamps in odd positions.
4. Threaded-body or Cartridge-type manifold mounting.
Similar to option 3, except clamps are embedded in specially prepared, tapped mounting holes. Advantages: most compact fixture size; great freedom to position clamps in tight places; no chip traps in working area. Disadvantages: gundrilling is sometimes required; a thicker base plate is usually required (this is also an advantage because it makes the fixture more rigid).