Technical Member Profile: Hangsterfer's Laboratories

Hangsterfer’s Laboratories offers an array of metalworking fluids for manufacturers—more than 200 different products.


Hangsterfer’s Laboratories offers an array of metalworking fluids for manufacturers—more than 200 different products. The family-owned-and-operated company was founded by Dr. William Hangsterfer in 1937. Before starting his business, the World War I veteran worked for an engineering company where he conducted chemical analyses on bridges.

In 1932, Dr. Hangsterfer purchased 90 acres in Mantua, N.J. Five years later, he built a factory on the site and established the company that still bears his name. Although the business has expanded through the years, it is still in the same location, just a few miles south of Philadelphia. Today, the company has 42 employees at its 130,000-square-foot facility.

Hangsterfer’s is now owned by the doctor’s daughter, Ann Jones. Three of her children are currently active in the business, including her son Ed Jones, the chief operating officer. “We have always specialized in metalworking fluids,” says Mr. Jones, who has been with the company since 1986. “They say there are 6 million variables in the metalworking process. So, we offer more than 200 products to meet our customers’ many different needs.”

The company’s products are grouped into five main categories: coolant concentrates, cutting oils, metalforming compounds, machine lubricants and dielectric fluids. Rounding out the line are rust inhibitors, aqueous cleaners, specialty additives and custom formulas to meet specific needs.

The ISO 9001-certified company also offers its own line of equipment that includes decantation systems, filters, proportionators and totes. “We offer our customers equipment that allows them to use our fluids in the best way,” explains Mr. Jones.

Approximately 40 percent of Hangsterfer’s business is in international sales, primarily in Europe and Asia. “Over the years, exports have always been helpful during economic downturns,” Mr. Jones says. “During the latest recession, I think industry diversification was probably our biggest savior. We’re equally spread out in automotive, aerospace, electronic, medical and other industries.

Mr. Jones attends many of PMPA’s national conferences, but the Hangsterfer’s staff member who is most involved in the association is Joe Gentile, the company’s technical manager. As a 3-year member of the PMPA Technical Conference Committee, Mr. Gentile conducted the milling presentations at the conferences. At this month’s Technical Conference in Pittsburgh, he will host the panel discussion on exotic materials.

“Because I am a manufacturing engineer, I know how to machine metal,” Mr. Gentile says. He is very active on the PMPA Listserves and often gets calls from members for help on technical issues. “I enjoy volunteering my time to the organization. I have made many lifelong friendships and built strong business relationships through my involvement in PMPA.”

Mr. Gentile stresses that the district PMPA meetings are just as important as the national gatherings. “Those who can’t make the national meetings often attend the district meetings,” he explains. “The district events allow a lot of face time with people you might not otherwise get to see.”

Because he is involved in sales, Mr. Gentile attends several district meetings throughout the United States and Canada. “I belong to a few professional organizations and PMPA is, by far, the best at getting technical information into the hands of its members,” he emphasizes.

“PMPA is one of the best organizations out there because it really focuses on the industry it represents,” Mr. Jones adds. “It is well structured to educate and to exchange information within the screw machine sector. It’s also a very open organization, especially in the sharing of information. It’s pretty impressive in that sense.
“Being involved in PMPA has helped Hangsterfer’s become a recognized voice in the industry,” Mr. Jones continues. “It adds a lot of credibility to what we’re doing, because PMPA has quite a prestigious reputation.

“We appreciate that PMPA recognizes that suppliers can be a benefit to them by allowing companies like ours to become technical members. We’re there to offer members our expertise and not just our products.”