|Screw clamp: Slow, forceful||Quick release: Fast, easy|
Quick releases and disconnects have multiple advantages over traditional fasteners:
- Production point of view — faster
- Employee well-being — fewer motions and typically less force
Whenever feasible, quick releases should be the preference.
Reduce force and motions.
Ideas and Options
|Before: Screw clamps||After: Quick releases|
Light-weight quick releases (or “toggle clamps) are common throughout industry. However, it is also common to find additional applications where quick releases could be used to great advantage. The photos above show a set of clamps, before and after.
|Bicycle tire quick release||Bicycle quick release in manufacturing|
One of the most common types of quick releases is the bicycle tire clamp. In the photo above right, an enterprising employee adapted a bicycle clamp to use in a workplace fixture.
|Mid-sized: Subtantial holding power|
Larger quick releases are also available, but less common, perhaps because of a misperception that quick releases are not sufficiently robust. However, normally, a quick release can be as strong as is needed for the task.
|Quick release incorporated into a fixture|
The example above shows how a quick release can be incorporated into a fixture. The closing hook can be designed as strong as is needed. Likewise, the lever handle can be strenghtened if needed.
Heavy duty clamps
|Heavy duty quick releases (left) compared to traditional bolts (right)|
The quick releases in the example above hold as much pressure as the bolts. Yet the quick releases are considerably easier to open plus do not require an additional tool.
Huge (ship) release
|Traditional bollard||Modern bollard with quick release|
The term “quick release” sometimes suggests something small. However, this example shows that there is no limit to the size and strength of a quick release.
Traditionally, when docking a ship, sailors would throw a hawser (the heavy rope) to dockworkers, who would pull the looped end over a bollard. If the hawser was ever dropped in the water, its weight increased and the effort needed to lift it multiplied.
Today, the sailors simply throw a light line, which is then easily wrapped around a winch, which powers the hawser in. All that is necessary for dockworkers is to place the loop over a large hook. When the ship is ready to depart, the dock worker pulls a lever to release the hook. The system is much faster and easier.
|C-clamps||Quick hand clamps|
C-clamps are useful low-cost tools, but can be slow and a bit clumsy. If frequent use is required, then quick release hand clamps offer advantages.
|Light weight plastic quick clamp||Miniature locking pliers|
Multiple types, shapes, and sizes of clamping tools are available on the market.
|Welding clamp||Electromagnetic clamp|
Magnets can be used in a variety of ways for quick releases. Magnetic clamps are commonly used in welding, but with some creativity could be used in other applications. Electromagnetic locks are used for some types of doors. The same concept can be applied for other industrial uses, such as quick release systems for large molds and dies.
The coupling devices shown above right incorporate standard magnets that hold high pressure (straight out), but slide on and off easily when pushed sideways.
Hose quick disconnects
|Standard air hose quick disconnect||Small tube quick coupling (www.colder.com)|
Quick disconnects are common and available for a huge variety of air and hydraulic hoses and tubes.
|Before: Pipefitting and pipe wrench||After: Flexible hose and quick disconnect|
This example shows a quick disconnect hydraulic hose added as part of a quick changeover setup.
|Squeeze clamp incorporated into test fixture|
The quick release clamp shown above is incorporated into a test operation, providing near instantaneous coupling of the product into the test unit.
|Garden hose quick coupling|
Quick disconnects are even available for home garden hoses.