Innovation in Workholding
I am so proud to have had the privilege to work in the metalworking industry with people who have such a high level of skill, craftsmanship, and experience. It’s these very traits that frequently lead to product innovation.
Innovation almost always comes from some unmet need within the industry. It is unlikely that a race car driver would develop a cool piece of software — unless it helped them solve a problem. That’s how I look at innovation in workholding. I think most companies who have been innovators in the workholding space were initially a manufacturer of something else before workholding. Perhaps a contract manufacturer or a job shop with different jobs coming in first adapted other company’s standard workholding in order to accomplish their goals. When that didn’t work, they created something better. That’s the story at Mate.
To meet our needs, we created a modular workholding solution that can be quickly changed as new orders come in. With this innovation in workholding, we are setting out to close another gap in the workholding market — ease of use. As a user of workholding, Mate found that while some manufacturers have a nice product, there are certain things that are really frustrating for the machinist using it. For instance, to reverse the jaws, one competitor has you unthread the jaws off each end of the lead screw. Once reversed, getting each jaw to start on the lead screw at the same time is an excruciatingly long process. Mate saw this as an opportunity for improvement. This is why we designed a quick change/no-tool jaw, taking less than a minute to change or simply reverse the jaw.
Stay tuned for more on this exciting new product line that is designed, developed and manufactured in our Anoka, Minnesota, facility. Sign up now to keep in the know.