Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in Hardinge FlexC® Quick-Change Collets

November 18, 2021 - Hardinge Blog, Workholding
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Many machine shops now operate both long and short production runs for specialized parts. These varying lot sizes mean machinists must frequently change the workholding setup from one job to the next. Each time an operator must switch out the machine tools, production stalls as the machine sits idle, slowing down output and driving up costs.

Quick Change Collets Save Time and Money

Machine shop managers measure productivity in equipment uptime, so the ability to rapidly tool up a machine from one job to the next is vital. The quick-change tooling system reduces the time needed to retool a machine from minutes or even hours to just seconds. In large-volume machining environments, those small reductions in time can add up to big cost savings.

While these quick-change systems can cost more than standard the measurable increases in productivity and parts’ quality provide a quick return on investment. Quick change workholding systems minimize idling machine time during initial part setup and when replacing worn-out inserts. And the ease of operation enables safe and efficient tool change handling, making the job virtually fool-proof.

The productivity gains and ease of operation have often made quick-change collets the best workholding option, offering several advantages over traditional versions. They are quick and easy to install, and the consistent and accurate positioning of the workpiece can optimize cutting tool performance and increase tool life.

Hardinge FlexC Collets Offer Quality and Availability You Can Count On

The innovative Hardinge FlexC Quick-Change Collet System is ideal for machines undergoing multiple change-overs and stock variations each day. FlexC collets feature a vulcanized rubber one-piece design that resists coolants, won’t become brittle, and provides the elasticity needed for a lifetime of repetitive openings and closings. The collet’s vulcanization comes with a lifetime guarantee, and its durable, sealed heads are changeable in 10 seconds or less for maximum machine uptime. The closed design also prevents chips from entering the system for increased output and lower manufacturing costs.

Hardinge manufactures the world’s longest-wearing collets that maintain concentricities unequaled in the metalworking industry. Featuring Made-in-America product quality, we make FlexC collets with the same exacting quality standards we use to produce all our workholding devices. The standard and most popular sizes of our FlexC quick-change collet systems are currently in stock and available to ship in just 1-2 days!

FlexC collets provide various other benefits not always available in other manufacturers’ versions, including:

  • Better Gripping, Better Accuracy – FlexC collets provide up to 10 times the gripping range of other standard collets. A typical FlexC collet head has a gripping range of 0.020 in. (0.5 mm) above and below its nominal size to allow bar stock variation without changing the collet. This flexibility and rigidity keep the workpiece more stable and lessens the chance for errors, providing a flexible solution for gripping parts in many shapes, sizes, and materials.
  • Industry Leading Range of Styles and Sizes – Our collets are available in various sizes, including 42mm, 65mm, 80mm, and our newest 100mm size. Order holes for these vulcanized collets are available in round, square, and hex, with smooth or serrated textures, emergency, and S-master styles. We have even more new sizes in development, and we’ll be announcing their availability soon.
  • Special Accuracy Capabilities – The FlexC collet system’s “special accuracy” collet classification gives it guaranteed accuracy within 0.0004″ (0.010mm) total indicator runout (TIR) for both collet system styles A (pull-back stationary stop) and D (pull-back thru-hole) and 0.0008″ (0.020mm) TIR for style DL (push-to-close dead-length).
  • Versatility/Flexibility – In addition to supporting special accuracy requirements, the FlexC collet system operates well on a chuck-style lathe or rotary indexer. When equipped with modular Hardinge FlexC Collet Blocks, the FlexC collet system works on 5-axis rotary trunnions. And for the ultimate in quick-change flexibility, companies can switch over to FlexC and still use their existing collets by adding our collet adapters. For example, installing the FlexC 65 & 80 Adapters enable the use of 5C collets, 16C collets, expanding/ID gripping collets, step chucks, and B Pads. Customers can also extend the capacity of their machine setup with our 5C/16C adapter to enable the use of Hardinge’s Step Chucks and Closers that support part sizes of up to 6″. The adaptability of the FlexC collet system means it’s appropriate for a single part or a multiple-part setup.
  • Compatible with All Brands of CNC Lathes – Hardinge FlexC collet systems are interchangeable with other brands on the market and feature spindle mounts compatible with all brands of CNC lathes. The adapters are backward compatible with current and older collets, so they work with what you already have.

The Industry’s Best Quick-Change Collets Have Never Been More Affordable

There’s never been a better time to buy Hardinge’s industry-leading FlexC quick-change collets for CNC Lathes. We’re offering two promotions, including a “buy one, get one free” special and “buy a FlexC Quick Change collet chuck, get five free collets and a wrench.” Learn more about the promotions here.

Hardinge, Inc. is the trusted global provider of high precision, computer-controlled machine tool solutions for critical, hard-to-machine metal parts and advanced workholding accessories. To view the extensive selection of Hardinge collets and other machining accessories, visit shophardinge.com.

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