What is “Custom” Workholding?

work holding clamp

When we at Ahaus Tool & Engineering describe workholding, what exactly are we talking about?

The technical meaning is the “design and build of any device used to safely support or secure a workpiece for machining and manufacturing.” That sounds simple enough. But there’s so much more to what workholding is and what it can do for you and your production system needs. Let’s dig deeper into what workholding is really all about.

Let’s say you’re a traditional industrial facility. You’ve got a component that you need to manipulate and secure in a specific position in order to drill a precise hole at just the right angle. You may have the resources and ability to do that yourself using on-hand vises and clamps, especially if it is a one-off component. But what if you need to scale up that process to making hundreds, thousands, or even millions of that same component? You need those components to be fabricated quickly and efficiently to meet production needs at that level. You also still need the machining of that hole to be precise, producing high-quality, identical pieces at all times.

This is where custom workholding becomes more than a convenience – it becomes a necessity. With custom workholding you can reliably meet your requirements for positioning, placement, number of parts, deflection, and machine forces, even at the largest manufacturing scales. Whether you are delivering high quality machined components to your customers or producing your own finished products, the right workholding setup will work seamlessly within your systems to maximize uptime and output quality.

Ahaus is not only a leader in custom workholding, but we have also been one of the pioneering drivers in developing the industry as a whole. On average, Ahaus completes 200 workholding fixtures per year. It doesn’t matter if your need is for hydraulic, pneumatic, or manual applications. We can handle the engineering, design, and fabrication of workholding fixtures that facilitate the accurate and efficient production of your components, regardless of scale. We have designed and built horizontal, vertical, 4th axis, and 5th axis fixtures for a wide variety of machine tools. As part of our commitment to quality, our Richmond, Indiana facility includes an 1,800 square foot climate-controlled room for more precise and repeatable inspection of critical features. Whether it’s a mass-produced automotive component or a life-saving heart valve, Ahaus can create the necessary custom workholding for your system.

As our longtime president, Kevin Ahaus, explains, “When we’re talking about workholding, we’re talking about custom applications that you cannot do in a vice or on a workbench.  In today’s industry, you need accuracy, down to a thousandth (.001) or half-thousandth (.0005) of an inch and repeatability of dozens, hundreds or hundreds of thousands of parts.  Custom workholding from Ahaus are a must to meet today’s demanding manufacturing needs.”


To find out how Ahaus can work with you on your custom workholding needs, contact one of our Sales Engineers here.