PM News: Hardinge Acquires Bridgeport Machine

Hardinge has acquired the name, trademarks, copyrights, designs, patents, know-how and all other intangibles associated with Bridgeport Machine's machine tool business throughout the world, with the exception of the Bridgeport knee mill business, which Hardinge has the rights to under a previous licensing agreement.

Hardinge Acquires Bridgeport Machine

Hardinge has acquired the name, trademarks, copyrights, designs, patents, know-how and all other intangibles associated with Bridgeport Machine's machine tool business throughout the world, with the exception of the Bridgeport knee mill business, which Hardinge has the rights to under a previous licensing agreement. Hardinge is also acquiring certain operating assets to allow it to carry on Bridgeport's sales, service and support operations in Europe. The total consideration is $7.25 million, which will be paid in cash funded by the company's revolving loan agreement.

In addition, Hardinge has acquired finishing goods (CNC machining centers) worth more than $4.1 million to enable uninterrupted service to the marketplace and to fill existing customer orders.

"We anticipate that this will add sales of at least $30 million in 2005, depending on market conditions. We believe there is upside potential as we begin to more aggressively promote the Bridgeport products in the United States and Asia," says Patrick Ervin, chairman, president and CEO of Hardinge.

Tornos agrees to sell Escomatic screw machines. Tornos Technologies U.S. Corporation has signed an agreement with Esco S.A. (Les Geneveys-sur-Coffrane, Switzerland), to sell and service its line of Escomatic coil-fed screw machines in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The product line was previously imported by Hansco Technologies (Montvale, New Jersey), which has filed for bankruptcy.

The announcement was made by Thomas Dierks, president of Tornos Technologies. "We will support existing Esco customers with process engineering, service, spare parts, and tooling at the same high level to which Tornos and Esco customers are accustomed," Mr. Dierks says. Tornos plans to hire a portion of the Hansco staff, which has expertise in the Esco product line. The company will also prospect for new Esco installations with comprehensive sales and marketing activities. Although both companies manufacture small-diameter screw machines, the two lines are more complementary than competitive, according to Mr. Dierks."Tornos has historically focused on more complex parts, while Esco has specialized in simpler small-diameter, high-volume applications," says Mr. Dierks.

New Steel Melting Facility Starts Construction. Charter Steel (Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio) will be starting construction on a new steel melting facility on the site of its bar and rod rolling mill in Cuyahoga Heights. The $90 million expansion project includes an electric arc furnace, a ladle metallurgical furnace, a vacuum degassing unit and a billet casting facility that is expected to be completed by April 2006 and will employ 140 people.

The facility initially will provide 350,000 tons annually of bar-quality steel melting and direct billet casting capacity to support the company's rolling mill facility. The current facility produces steel for makers of cold-headed fasteners, bearings, specialty springs, cold forgings, cold finished bars and other components for a variety of industries. The new facility will eventually produce up to 700,000 tons.

Herman R. Somma. Herman R. Somma, owner of Somma Tool Co., Inc. (Waterbury, Connecticut), died November 5, 2004 at his home. Mr. Somma was active in the Precision Machined Products Association, serving as chairman of the Technical Members and on the National Technical Committee and Technical Program Development Committee. He served as a Naugatuck Valley district chairman from 1978 to 1981. In 1990, the association was pleased to present him with the Distinguished Technical Members Award.

Contributions in Mr. Somma's name may be made to VNA Health Care, 50 Drive, Waterbury, Connecticut 06708 or to Sacred Heart Church, 13 Wolcott Street, Waterbury, Connecticut 06705.

Business Tax Relief Bill Signed. President Bush has signed the American Jobs Creation Act. The National Association of Manufacturers is making an effort to inform the media about the benefits of the bill. For more information about this legislation, visit the association Web site www.nam.org/americanjobscreationact.