One Team. 30 Hands. 300 Years of Engineering Experience

Hardinge Inc. (Elmira, New York) has a talented group of workholding engineers with over 300 years of combined engineering experience. These hands (and intelligent minds) are ready to improve accuracies, reduce setup times, reduce costs, add flexibility to a machine, develop new workholding concepts and solve gripping problems.

There isn't a shop worldwide that can say they've never had a problem gripping a part. "It's an odd shape, it's slipping, it's too delicate, it's getting scratched, there is not enough gripping surface, or it's threaded." The list goes on and on. Before sinking hours into experimenting and creating a pile of scrap metal, the logical, fail-safe move would be to put these frustrating gripping problems in the hands of experience, where the end result will be safe, accurate and reliable.

Hardinge and their engineers hold several active patents for new and improved workholding products. As a company, Hardinge supports the Society of Manufacturing Engineer's local chapter 24, with several of their engineers as members. SME Chapter 24 is active in promoting a skilled workforce in the Twin Tiers of New York and Pennsylvania, USA. Joe LaRussa, SME Membership Director, states that SME members are exemplary individuals who are on the leading edge of manufacturing knowledge. "Our members of Elmira 24 are great examples of the 21st-century workforce, contributing daily to the success of their companies. Hardinge and SME both benefit from the synergies between our organizations," says Joe.

Who is Hardinge?

When it comes to workholding, Hardinge is the world's largest manufacturer of collets, feed fingers and pads. According to Matt Roberts, Engineering Manager at Hardinge Workholding, they offer over 40,000 standard products and have completed over 200,000 custom product designs. Hardinge workholding products grip parts to be turned, milled, ground, welded, assembled or positioned in the small-to-medium parts machining industry. Hardinge is an ISO 9001:2008-certified company with name brands including Hardinge, Bridgeport, Kellenberger, Jones & Shipman, Hauser and Tschudin. Hardinge is well known for their SUPER-PRECISION® CNC lathes with collet-ready spindles and their ingenuity in precision workholding solutions. Hardinge recently received recognition for 50 years of membership in the Precision Machined Products Association. Michael B. Duffin, Executive Director of PMPA, recently presented the award to representatives of Hardinge at a chapter meeting in Rochester NY. Duffin notes, "Hardinge is a respected member of our association with a reputation for high quality products and services. Representatives from Hardinge contribute greatly to our programs and committee activities."

Custom Workholding Manufacturing

A significant percentage of Hardinge workholding products are custom manufactured for a specific application. 150,000 square feet of production facility (running three shifts) is dedicated to custom manufacturing. "Many customers have told us that they assumed that custom workholding products would be too expensive, or thought that they could make something in-house to solve their gripping problem," says Mike Levanduski, Sales Director at Hardinge Workholding. "Later they realize that they've compromised the part quality and/or they've created a situation with added setup and changeover time. In the end, the customer will hand the problem over to Hardinge." Compromising the quality of the gripping device and increasing the cost of the part could cost you an important customer. But these aren't the only reasons for using a custom gripping device.

Reasons to consider custom workholding products:

1. Increase precision and accuracy

2. Increase production

3. Minimize expensive, bulky fixturing

4. Add flexibility to the machine

5. Solve problems like crushing and distortion of delicate materials and thin walls, gripping on a thread, over-the-shoulder gripping of screws, and slipping during off-center machining and other heavy cutting forces

6. Save money by using a custom-designed gripping device

7. Integrate automation

8. Reduce the workload of your own engineering staff

Now might be a good time to take a second look at any of your questionable gripping methods. Have you compromised part quality? Is there a different gripping method that could shave off setup, part location or cycle time? Would you like to expand the capability of your machine? Why not put Hardinge Workholding engineers to the test.
Sample parts can be viewed at Drawings and sample parts can be sent to Hardinge Inc., One Hardinge Drive, Elmira, New York 14902; emailed to; faxed to 607-737-0090; or phone 800-843-8801. Hardinge Workholding was chosen as "The World's Greatest" workholding manufacturer in 2011, as seen on ION television.

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