Hardinge sees growth in Europe and China in its future

Hanover, Germany – Although Europe is now the fastest growing market for his company, J. Patrick Ervin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hardinge Inc., said his company is going to move into China.

“I feel strongly about China, and about developing business there,” Ervin said at a press conference at the EMO 2005 trade show. “If you are not making machine tools in China in four to five years, you will not be able to do business in that market,” he added.

While he did not provide details, he said that he expects his company will have some partnership in China to produce its high-end machines there in the future.

With sales of $232 million in 2004, Hardinge is a worldwide leader in the production of turning, milling and grinding machines, and claims to be the world’s largest provider of work-holding collets.

Ervin said his company is also a leader in developing technology, such as hydrostatic ways and spindles, and hard turning technology that is being used as a replacement for grinding operations, although he also acknowledged that the company’s hydrostatic spindle technology is not being put to use.

Hardinge exhibited a wide range of technologies at the EMO trade show, focusing on its “Hardinge Quest LMC-42,” a milling and turning center designed as a lean manufacturing cell. The cell can be configured with as many as three spindles, two turrets and a 24-tool magazine to produce high-tolerance parts with exacting surface requirements up to about 1.65 inches (42 mm) in diameter or for chucking work for components within a diameter of 4 inches (100 mm).

Additional information on the machines and technology Hardinge displayed at EMO 2005 can be had at the company’s Internet site, www.hardinge.com.

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