Q&A with Larry McMillan

Great Lakes Regional Sales Manager at Hainbuch America


What do you do in your position at Hainbuch America?

I cover parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, and I promote Hainbuch sales.

What advances in workholding has Hainbuch developed over the last two years?

A couple things that we have brought on board is what we call our MAXXOS mandrels. They used to be strictly special, and now we brought them out where they’re more of a standard item. The difference is, instead of a round taper on the clamping element, which we call a bushing, now we have more of a pyramid shape.

What that does for us is it gives us more rigidity, and — actually — more torque for some applications where we’re putting a lot of load on the OD of the part while we’re machining it. Because of the way the bushing and the taper meet, it actually keeps contaminants out much better than the round, tapered cylinder.

We also came out with the micro mandrel, which goes down to 5.5 millimeters, and it’s still a little bit of a special, but it allows customers to do the smaller clamping diameters with a grinding wheel or with a hob.

We also have the G211. They were just coming around two or three years ago, but I call that our job-shop mandrel. When I say job shop, it is something that is off-the-shelf, and we use standard bushings, and we can cover a range 18 millimeters up to 120, 130 millimeters with off-the-shelf components, For the gear industry, it’s usually fairly special almost in everything, but this allows customers to be able to maybe start with one mandrel and then get another job, and they can get something ready quickly to do another maybe bigger job.

Have your customers’ demands for workholding solutions changed over the last few years?

I would say more people are looking for better solutions, like a little more rigidity. They’re willing to spend a little more money for a good solution instead of just trying to wing it, I guess you would say. There’s a lot of old tooling still out there, but I see more — even with these smaller shops now — customers spending more money to get a better product.

Everyone’s been after change-over, and that’s something that we do very well: being able to give customers the ability to change over quickly from one job to the other, but we also offer special solutions for long running. We also offer that special solution that is geared for maybe one or two parts.

Hainbuch’s G211 is what’s considered a “job-shop mandrel.” (Courtesy: Hainbuch America)

Has the Industrial Internet of Things played a part in the direction that you’ve taken with future products or current products?

The industry always leads you. Our customers always lead us to find better solutions, but yes, I would say that they have led us to that — or we lead them.

How do you help those customers decide what kind of workholding they need?

Hainbuch has over 150 patents in their history, so they’re always looking to develop a better mousetrap. But you always listen to your customers. And they usually ask for something that you think is impossible … until it’s not.

Is Hainbuch exhibiting at Motion + Power Technology Expo this year?

Yes, it’s here in Detroit as a matter of fact.

What should attendees expect at your booth?

You’ll see our full line of gear products and both OD and ID for the gear industry. We’ll be showing our MAXXOS Mandrels, 213s, our G211s, our micro mandrels, and some of our simple stationary workholding for doing shaping and things like that.

I was just at a customer this afternoon, Delta Gear, and they use quite a bit of our stuff, just some really inexpensive workholding that they just love for the quick change-over for some simple jobs that they do.

Anything you’d like to add that Hainbuch’s working on?

Our U.S. operations are growing. We’re adding new people. We’re going to be expanding our machine shop here. I was just told last week that we might even blow the doors out a little bit for a major expansion, so we’re going to be doing more product here in
the U.S.