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Spring Conversion Air Chucks

Our customer develops measurement and control systems, helping manufacturers perform at their best.

Northfield Model-350THS

Above is our standard Model 350THS (thru-hole, stationary) Precision Air Chuck. This model extends the functionality of our 3”, thru hole, stationary chuck by adding a spring-closing feature to it.

It has been converted to a spring-closing mechanism allowing the part to remain clamped even if line pressure is lost.

Air is supplied to one port (steel fitting), while the other (brass fitting) acts to exhaust the other side of the chuck’s piston. The part will stay gripped even if there is a loss of line pressure. Also, the part can be chucked by applying line pressure, temporarily, to open it and then removing all lines to the chuck, allowing it to be gripped by spring force.


Do you have a specific custom job that Northfield can help with?

This design can be mounted on a spindle without a thru-hole, or air cannot be continuously ‘fed’ to the chuck.

Contact Northfield – Northfield


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Electronic Vehicle Components – Ask me Anything Recording Part 1.

Electronic Vehicle Components – Ask me Anything Recording Part 1.


Northfield Precision has been in business since the 1960s and constantly developing ever since.

This summer we introduced our very first ‘Ask me Anything’ webinar. Hosting an open discussion with customers and business partners to develop workholding knowledge together.

This presentation’s theme is on the hot trend of Electric Vehicle component manufacturing.

Due to operating with fewer parts and producing less vibration and noise than their combustion engine counterparts, EVs require parts that are created with higher tolerances concentricity.

This is where Northfield precision can help.

In the first video, CEO Paul de Feo introduces several recent projects demonstrating the high level of accuracy achievable with Northfield Precision’s workholding solutions. including double diaphragm and reverse diaphragm solutions.

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Vertical Workholding - Welding Torque Shells

Our customer welds torque converter shells.


The requirement is for a chuck to hold torque converter hubs while rotating them in a welding machine.

The challenge

is providing a completely sealed chuck to avoid damage from excess material and additionally one that can be vertically mounted whilst maintaining constant grip during the process.

Sealed Northfield Collet Chuck with Custom Top Tooling
Sealed Northfield Collet Chuck with Custom Top Tooling

To solve this

we customized a collet chuck by adding unique top tooling. As the chuck’s inner diameter collet expands, it also acts to pull the part down and onto the outer flange. This additionally serves repeatable locating onto the datum surface.

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Finishing Output Gears

Our customer works mainly in the Automotive and Manufacturing industries. We want to share with you a custom precision solution for output gears we created for them.

Custom Quick Change Jaws - Northfield Sliding Air Chuck
Northfield 650 Sliding Air Chuck – Custom Quick Change Jaws

I discussed this our senior applications engineer Mitchell to get his insights on the project. First of all Mitch please tell us about the brief from the customer?


Our customer manufactures output gears and needs to grip the inner diameter of a family of transmission input/output gears for finish turning.

That sounds like an interesting project and not an easy one to solve. What are the main challenges with this brief?


The first main challenge is working with a variety of part sizes. The loading process also needs to take place quickly without swapping the complete chuck during the process. The additional challenge is including enough clearance from the chuck for cutting the parts internally to the required depth.

That’s a lot to work with, how did you solve this and what did you deliver to the customer?


The idea behind our design is a “quick-change” style. To handle the different sized parts, subjaws are permanently mounted to the chuck’s master jaws. The Quick-Change top jaws are held in place with a single bolt. It passes through a keyhole slot in each jaw pad. Each jaw segment only has one fastening bolt, meaning no locating pins.

A 3-legged universal Axial Locator is also mounted to the face of the chuck. All parts fit to this without changeover, saving time and reducing errors when switching between parts.

Thank you for that great wrap-up Mitch. How can our readers contact you for any challenging workholding projects they may have?

Sure, You can simply head to the Contact Northfield page on our website or give us a call (516) 431-1112.

The team is always happy to help.

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Autonomous Automotive Inspection Workholding

This project is for a longstanding customer who produces: precision machines, tools, and rotary tables. The brief requires gripping the inner diameters of continuously variable transmission (CVT) sheaves for runout inspection.  

The Challenge 

The work holding challenge is to create a chuck for auto-loading in an autonomous machining environment. We are their preferred supplier for custom and high precision projects and therefore need to deliver our trademark accuracy and repeatability. 

Solution: How did we deliver? 

Positioning the part by robotic arm requires every custom feature ensures proper seating before the machining operation begins.

Runout Inspection Chuck Drawing – Northfield Proprietary
Custom Northfield Precision Model 625 Sliding-Jaw Air Chuck (0.0001” TIR) with special top tooling
  1. The custom top-jaws are permanently mounted onto the chuck’s master-jaws. This grips the inner diameter of the sheave’s central bore. 
  2. The 3 air holes in the top surface of each custom jaw are an air-detect Axial Locator.
  3. The jaws are also ground at mid-stroke of the chuck, providing a large part-load clearance.

Finally, analysing all critical surfaces that interface with the part, this work holding chuck delivers the trademark Northfield accuracy of of .0001” TIR and repeatability. 

Our innovation and relationship building is what sets us apart from the competition. Do you have a high precision challenge? Contact us to see how the Northfield team can solve it.