Hitting The Target

A major firearms manufacturer was dissatisfied after using its existing workholding system for several years. The vises didn’t have the grip they required. The company was especially frustrated with jaw lift and the tools needed to change jaws, which was very time-consuming. There were lots of wear items. In particular, the jaws and leadscrews wore out much more quickly than the firearms manufacturer thought they should.

As time passed, the company used more replacement parts, causing its maintenance costs to increase. Vise repairs reached a point where they wanted to establish a rebuild program with the workholding supplier, who rejected the request. For a customer of its size, the firearms manufacturer did not feel appreciated by its workholding supplier and decided to see what other systems were available. With IMTS scheduled for later that year, the company decided to send a team of experts to the show to see the latest workholding technology.

The team visited the exhibition halls and saw Mate Precision Technologies promoting its new 52/96 workholding system. The team was impressed with the stated accuracy, repeatability and clamping force. As the team looked closer look at Mate’s DynoGrip™ vises, they were intrigued with the jaws, specifically the anti-lift design and unique uniform bite geometry. They especially liked the quick-change capability of the jaws, which they viewed as a potential major time saver. Another plus: they learned that Mate’s vises were compatible with their existing bases.


Upon returning from the show, the company purchased a few vises to test using some existing processes. They were immediately impressed with the jaws and especially the clamping force. The team found the quick-change, tool-less design to be a major time saver. They purchased additional vises to test with other processes, which yielded the same impressive results. Compared to other workholding systems, the company found the results “eye-opening.”

Impressed with Mate’s engineering prowess, the company changed to Mate’s DynoGrip vise in its production facilities, and all new machines will have Mate vises.

In an industry where maintaining tolerances is critical, the company attains repeatability and consistency levels they did not get with their previous system. Since changing to Mate workholding, the company has not ejected any workpieces, nor have they had any vise failures or need to order replacements. The holding power is impeccable due largely to the uniform bite geometry of Mate’s quick-change jaws that provide superior bite and downward force. The uniform bite geometry allowed them to eliminate a time-consuming workpiece pre-dimpling operation and the associated machine. Changeover time and effort are greatly reduced by eliminating this unnecessary workpiece prep.

The company finds Mate DynoGrip vises easy to maintain. Unlike their previous system, the company likes that replacement parts are available, if needed. Previously, they would need to scrap the entire vise and order a complete replacement.

A final, yet important, advantage the company mentions is Mate’s exceptional customer service levels and responsiveness. Mate’s path to distribution with an in-market representative, F&L Technical, affords them extra protection and expertise. They find that Mate’s customer service team is “tremendous and quick to respond,” which is far superior to anything provided by their previous supplier.