Cobb Tool was recently approached by a regional contract engineering designer with a unique and challenging problem. He had the customer and the idea but needed engineering expertise and a shop that he could count on to build a new custom tombstone machining fixture.

Scott Phillips, of Phillips Engineering of Dallas, Georgia, was developing a machining fixture that could handle considerable clamping force, rapid cycle times and still deliver precise locating capability. His client, a national armaments manufacturer, had been using an antiquated, custom-designed machining fixture that had reached the end of its life. “I needed an engineering and manufacturing partner with fixture experience, who could bring their expertise to the design and deliver great results,” said Phillips. “Cobb Tool had both the insight, creativity and the production wherewithal to manufacture the fixture once the design was conceived.”

Together Phillips and Cobb Tool worked to create a prototype machining fixture featuring a unique and durable, compact hydraulic clamping system using standard machining centers. Each fixture holds 16 parts so each part can be exactingly drilled and counterbored from both ends. Each fixture’s 16-part cycle is completed in about 12 minutes. Once the customer saw how well the fixture performed, Cobb Tool completed the initial order of four fixtures.  Now in operation, the fixtures are demonstrating their durability – in spite of the inevitable customer cutting tool crashes.

The customer is so pleased with the results, they have asked Cobb Tool and Phillips to quote another set of similar fixtures.  The design for the new fixtures will use the same hydraulic system – enabling the customer to stock common spare parts.  And says Phillips, “I have found in Cobb Tool a team that I trust and respect.  I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else after the terrific experience I had with them on this project.”