Hardinge FlexC™ Collet Systems are flexible, sealed collet heads that interchange in seconds and are available with spindle mounts for all brands of CNC lathes. The FlexC line is manufactured in Elmira, New York and compliments their large selection of collets, step chucks, collet chucks and other workholding products.
Pull-back thru-hole, pull-back stationary stop and push-to-close dead-length® styles are available for main and sub-spindle CNC lathe applications. Purchase one spindle mount and interchange collet heads from job to job. Hardinge FlexC collet heads are fully interchangeable with competitor’s models. Hardinge guarantees accuracy within .0004" (.010mm) TIR for the collet system models A and D, and .0008" (.020mm) TIR for style DL.
The changeover concept is simple using a manual wrench to compress the collet for quick removal or replacement in seconds. A typical FlexC collet head has a gripping range of .020" (.5mm) above and below its nominal size to allow variation in bar stock without having to change the collet. There is no collet shank, therefore, the collet segments remain parallel to the stock even when there are variations in the stock size. Parallel clamping minimizes stock "push back" and requires less draw bar force to achieve the same gripping capability as conventional collets.
Hardinge has invested in the latest vulcanizing machines made by DESMA, a world leader in injection molding technology. The vulcanization process joins the collet segments together as a one-piece unit with a permanent bond. Vulcanized rubber has elasticity for repeated opening and closing over the life of the collet that makes it ideal for a quick-change product. It will not become brittle and is resistant to coolant. Because of the sealed design, it prevents chips from entering the collet system. Hardinge test results, from using repeated cycles of collet actuation, assures long life of the Hardinge vulcanization process.
The hardened chrome-nickel steel collet head is hard-turned in one setup on a Hardinge® RS 65 high-precision turning center. Keyways and slots are milled on a Bridgeport® XR 1000 high-performance vertical machining center. Hardinge guarantees the collet head concentricity of .0002" (.005mm) TIR for round smooth after the segments are joined in the vulcanization process. Turning, milling and vulcanization are all done in a dedicated work cell for optimum efficiency to bring the highest level of quality and throughput for shortened delivery time to the customer.
An Emergency Collet can be kept on hand for just-in-time machining when the proper size hardened collet is not in your tool drawer. The taper and collet seat of an emergency collet are hardened while the ID and the face of the collet head are soft. A face boring ring will hold the collet in nominal position for boring to size. Emergency collets are reusable. Standard collets are stocked in round smooth, round serrated and hex shape. Square sizes are made to order. Special applications including stepped holes, special shapes, off-center, etc. can be custom-made from stock blanks. FlexC Collet Systems will be available for multi-spindle lathes in the near future. For more information contact Hardinge at 800-843-8801.