The company originally known as Hardinge Brothers was founded in 1890 by Canadians, Henry and Franklin Hardinge. The brothers started out making watchmakers’ tools in the back of a Chicago boarding house. In the 1930s, after a number of expansions and ownership changes, the business relocated to Elmira, N.Y., its current home.
Today, Hardinge Inc. is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of turning, milling, grinding, rotary and workholding solutions. Through innovation and acquisition, the company has built a diverse portfolio of brands and products to meet the needs of its customers.
That offering includes Hardinge Super-Precision CNC lathes; Bridgeport machining centers; and grinding equipment bearing the Kellenberger, Jones & Shipman, Hauser, Tripet and Tschudin names. The manufacturer also produces Hardinge collets, chucks, rotary tables and indexers and many other workholding products.
In addition to its domestic operations, Hardinge has manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China and Taiwan. Almost three-quarters of the company’s sales last year were to customers located outside North America.
The Hardinge customer base includes metalworking companies that manufacture parts used in aerospace, agriculture, communications, consumer goods, construction, defense, electronics, energy, medical, pharmaceutical, recreation and transportation.
“We’ve built our reputation manufacturing Super-Precision machine tools capable of machining the tightest tolerances, the finest surface finishes and the hardest-to-machine parts,” says Andy McNamara, the company’s director of sales and marketing for North America. “Our machines are highly reliable and generally have a longer life than those of our competitors. We also have the ability to provide custom, engineered solutions, along with quick turnaround and delivery of our products.”
“The gripping devices we manufacture are not only for our own machines,” adds Tom Mitchell, director of North American manufacturing. “They’re also for other brands of CNC lathes; automatic, high-speed production lathes; machining centers and Swiss screw machines. We offer many types of gripping devices used in a spindle or in assembly and automation applications.”
Last year, Hardinge was recognized for being a member of PMPA for 50 years. “PMPA and Hardinge have mutually benefited from our long-standing membership,” says Sue Draht, the company’s customer service manager. “As a technical member of PMPA, Hardinge benefits by relationship-building with our customers at association events, such as the National Technical Conference and the Precision Machining Technology Show.” She adds that she values the chance to talk directly to Hardinge customers at those events and to keep in touch with what’s going on in the industry.
“The PMPA provides Hardinge with opportunities to interact with our customers, to network at association events and to keep our customers abreast of our new products at those events,” Ms. Draht emphasizes.
“When we participate in PMPA events, we bring our application and engineering experience to our customers and peers,” Mr. McNamara says. “Not only do we share our workholding expertise, we also share our milling and turning expertise. That’s really what PMPA members are looking for. They have machining problems, and they’re looking for total package solutions.
“The PMPA events are also a good place for us to learn what’s going on from the customer’s perspective,” he continues. “That’s where we learn what the members need and what changes are occurring in their shops. We have to be sure to accommodate those needs and changes.”
Mr. McNamara points to the value of the technical knowledge available through the PMPA office. “The valuable expertise of Miles Free and others, regarding materials, heat treating and statistical information, is always available to our manufacturing and engineering groups,” he says. “Additionally, the PMPA membership surveys give us a good idea of how businesses in the industry are doing.”
He sums up by saying, “The direction we get from the PMPA, as well as our direct interface with the membership, helps put Hardinge in a better position to satisfy our customers with the products and services they’re looking for.”
Hardinge Inc. is located at One Hardinge Drive, Elmira, N.Y. 14902-1507. Phone: 607-734-2281. Toll free: 800-843-8801. Fax: 607-734-8819. Website: hardinge.com.