Hardinge-Bridgeport Sets Out Details of New European Strategy

A major reorganization of the operational strategy of Hardinge Machine Tools Ltd. and Hardinge-Bridgeport will see the UK operations of Hardinge-Bridgeport in Leicester become the hub for coordination of all of the company’s milling machine activities throughout the world. Meanwhile, Hardinge Machine Tools in Exeter will continue to have responsibility for turning and grinding products offered to the UK and Irish markets. The latter entity will also control the activities of Hardinge Machine Tools B.V. in the Netherlands.

Pat Ervin, chairman, president, and CEO of Hardinge Inc., commented: “The highly successful acquisition of Bridgeport Machines in November 2004 and an extremely positive reaction from customers to the way the two businesses were integrated so quickly has led to a resurgence of sales and a current order backlog of almost 130 machines.” Merging European operations through the UK was logical, he said, as it would enable the US headquarters of Hardinge to focus on global manufacture.

Heading European operations is now the joint responsibility of Bob Duxbury, managing director of Hardinge Machine Tools in Exeter, and George Brasseur, the Hardinge Group’s European business development managing director. David Andrew continues as sales director of the UK market but also become responsible for marketing across Europe the group’s turning, milling, and workholding product ranges.

Another highlight of the reorganization is the opening this month of a 1,000-m² Hardinge-Bridgeport showroom and technical centre in Krefeld, Germany. The site is earmarked to be the company’s European Centre of Excellence for hard turning applications.

Ervin expects annual European sales of the group’s machine tools to begin to surpass 1,000 units starting in 2006. The growing success of Viper grinding processes in the aerospace sector and of workholding products globally also strengthens Hardinge’s business position for the long term, he believes.