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The PATCO® System: Overview

Fixture Build In 1986 Patco inventor, Richard Feltrin observed changes in the prototype manufacturing processes and noted as well the appearance of new tools and techniques. He then correctly predicted that a significant bottleneck in this prototype development phase would involve workholding procedures and techniques, that is, how prototype fixtures are designed and built, secured in place and used.

  • Holding the work in reference to the CAD data is critical.
  • Knowing exactly where the fixture is located is critical.
  • Holding the work in reference to the principal locating points is critical.
  • Replicating the tool holding in gauge repeatability is critical.
  • Holding the work in a functionally repeatable mode is critical.
  • PDF Until the PATCO® Modular Tooling System, workholding or fixture building was a combination of art, tradesman’s technique and trial & error. Tradesmen spent as much or more time designing and fabricating workholding fixtures as they did analyzing products and processes—the absolutely critical activity. The PATCO® Modular Tooling System replaces dedicated fixtures and components with a re-usable, repeatable system.

    The PATCO® Modular Tooling System
    generates benefits in a wide range of pre-
    production operations.
    View the big picture in this Adobe Acrobat
    PDF file.
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    The period from design to manufacturing is a period of learning, verification and, typically, making and implementing changes in design and the production process. Traditional “one-off” fixture builders face a dilemma: build a stable fixture optimal for extensive fit and function exercises or build a flexible fixture to accommodate inevitable product and process changes. The consequence of a wrong choice is costly. Costly in terms of wasting significant investment in a fixture or of a fixture being identified as the problem in a root cause analysis. In either case irretrievable time is lost.


    The PATCO® Modular Tooling System transforms this operational bottleneck into a predictable, productive phase while dramatically reducing man-hour involvement and project costs.
    PATCO®’s modular design provides the means to construct stable fixtures while allowing for fast and flexible modifications.

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