This year marks the 50th anniversary of a revolutionary invention that changed the way today’s manufacturers hold metalworking cutting tools. What has been an industry standard for decades now, the Rego-Fix ER collet is the most widely used clamping system in the world and still produced at the company’s Tenniken, Switzerland, plant.
Prior to the Rego-Fix ER collet, the “E collet” was the technical standard. Unfortunately, though, after machining, the collets were anchored so firmly in their holders that they could scarcely be removed. Shops would use wooden bars and rods to knock collets out through the lower part of the holder with a hammer. This required a lot of force, damaged the rear sides of the collets and shortened their service lives considerably.
In 1972, Fritz Weber and Rego-Fix solved these problems with the creation of the ER collet. Weber added a groove to the outer side of the collet, which was then inserted into the eccentric ring of a newly created clamping nut. With his design, users could quickly and easily pull the collet directly out of the holder after unscrewing the nut. Additionally, Weber’s ER collet design incorporates more slits, facilitating a wider clamping range of 0.5 mm to 1 mm for increased versatility.
“Our father’s vision that the industry would use millions of ER collets was met with skepticism and disbelief by many,” said Stefan Weber, vice president of Rego-Fix and son of founder Fritz Weber. “But today, they are in use in thousands of machining centers worldwide.”
After receiving considerable recognition, the Rego-Fix ER collet was declared the DIN standard 6499 in 1992. And according to Richard Weber, CEO of Rego-Fix and son of Fritz Weber, the ER collet is the foundation upon which the company has built and continues to advance its ER concept as well as other tooling innovations over the past decades.