Q&A with David Jones

Precision Workholding Manager, Emuge Corporation


I’m curious about the company’s name, what is its origin?
The company was founded in Germany about 80 years ago by Richard Glimpel—whose family still owns it—and Otto Moschkau, so the name actually stands for the combination of the founder’s last names, or “eM und Ge,” with a hard “G.” A lot of people have a hard time pronouncing it, especially here in the States, until they understand what the name really means.

You’re in charge of the precision workholding division, but there are others. What are they, and how does it all fit together?
Emuge was originally a tap manufacturing company, so that remains a major focus for us, but we also produce tap holders, end mills, and thread mills—in addition to our precision workholding devices, of course. Our workholding division actually came out of the fact that we needed to hold our taps to be machined, so we designed our own clamping devices. As for the actual engineering and manufacturing, that occurs at our parent company plant in Germany, where we also do our own material testing and conventional heat and vacuum heat treating. Although we’ve had a presence in the U.S. for quite some time, we recently purchased about 10 acres of land here in West Boylston, Massachusetts, and we built a 21,000 square-foot facility that’s known as the Emuge Technology Center. We have plans to double and then triple our square footage at some point in the future—and also to begin conducting some light manufacturing—but right now it’s mainly our North American headquarters and where we perform demonstrations and training for our customers in our machine area and adjoining classroom/auditorium. We have a new Hermle five-axis CNC machining center that we use to show what our products can do, and when we had the grand opening this past May we were probably doing 50 demonstrations per day over three days. We have a number of different materials on hand, from P-20 to aluminum material, and we’ll show customers what our various products are capable of doing for them. We’ll also be disassembling that machine to set up at our IMTS booth in Chicago, and we plan to have it running full-time there, too.

When did you join the company, and how does your division operate?
I’ve been with Emuge for about 10 years now, and my background is in designing electrical substations for a company known as ABB. One of the reasons I joined the company is because workholding was really taking off for us at around that time. A lot of the automotive manufacturers and tier suppliers we work with had purchased machines that were made in Germany, and many of them arrived in the U.S. with our workholding devices already mounted to them. The problem was that there was no one here in the States to provide service, so the company had decided to devote more resources to the precision workholding division, and we now have four people specifically dedicated to that area. As for how we operate, we’ll usually find ourselves working with the process engineers or the OEM who’s building a machine for a specific application, and they contact us to custom design and build the clamping device that suits their customer’s needs. Another relationship might involve an existing machine shop or automotive tier supplier, who would purchase a primary clamping device and one or two backups to keep in stock. But we’ve found that a number of customers we have long-standing relationships with have come to realize that our products rarely fail, so they’ll only keep a single secondary device in inventory, just in case of a machine crash. As an aside, we have five basic systems to call upon when designing a workpiece clamping device for a customer’s specific requirements. As they relate to the gear industry, our workholding products can be used for hobbing, shaping, shaving, grinding, and inspection operations, just to name a few applications.

David Jones at (800) 323-3013, (508) 595-3600, or e-mail david.jones@emuge.com wwww.emuge.com.

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with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Go to {me.eng.ua.edu}.
is with Vista Engineering, Inc. [www.vistaeng.com].
and Y. Kevin Chou are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Go to [me.eng.ua.@edu].