Ep. 29 – Mark Fordyce, Hydromat Maestro

By Noah & Lloyd Graff

On today’s podcast, we interviewed Mark Fordyce, Team Leader of the Hydromat Parts & Rebuild department at Component Bar Products in St. Louis.

Mark is a Hydromat Maestro. He has been working with rotary transfer machines for over 40 years, first as a self-taught setup man in a job shop, followed by working in the engineering department at Hydromat Inc., and then at Component Bar. He is one of the first people Graff-Pinkert calls when we have a question about a Hydromat, and often the machine we are asking for help on was actually originally set up by him.

In the interview, Mark talks about the beauty of the Hydromat machining process and also where he sees the role of Hydromats in the manufacturing industry going forward.

Question: Is it a better business producing high volumes or low volumes of precision parts?

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4 thoughts on “Ep. 29 – Mark Fordyce, Hydromat Maestro

  1. Curtis

    Setup and ran an HB45 12 with four vertical attachments from 1987 to 1989. I made welding connectors for Tweco products Wichita Ks. The cycle time was 5.5 seconds for most of the six variants. I started at Tweco in 1979 winding cable and transferred into the lathe department in 1982. I learned on Warner& Swasey # 3s and # 5s then moved onto the CNC s when we got them in 1983. I believe we got the hydromat in 85. I got two weeks training and went to third shift to run the Hydromat. I used what I knew to figure out what I didn’t know . I enjoyed running and setting up this machine more than anything I have ever run. Fun is the perfect definition for this machine. I was there for 27 years and moved into management in 1990. We moved to Texas in 2004, I left the company in 2006. I can still hear the $ dollars dropping from this machine every 5.5 sec, what a beautiful sound.

  2. Randy Lusk

    Lloyd & Noah great opportunity to hear from Mark. I wanted to put in a little plug for the upcoming PMPA Tech Conference in Cleveland. We have on the schedule a Rotary Transfer Session. The format is to have a chance to hear from and interact with experts from 6 member companies to expand the knowledge base and expose our members to the capabilities and ways of thinking that make Rotary Transfer machines unique and as Mark mentioned highly profitable and productive. So if you were intrigued by this Pod Cast by all means sign up for “How to Best Utilize Rotary Transfer Technology in Your Shop”. See you in Cleveland – and don’t forget the PMTS show where there will be added opportunity to delve deep into Rotary Transfer.

  3. r in nyc

    I haven’t got time for 3/4 of an hour of droning shop talk.

    This is an easy fallback of just throwing something out there to get people to comment and argue.

    Next time you are at a loss for a column, ask whats better Ford Trucks or Chevy Trucks?

    People will be coming out of the woodwork on that never ending debate.

    The simple answer is what are you good at!

    Ask the prototype guy to make a million parts and ask the rotary transfer guy to set up for TWO samples.

  4. MD

    I love listening to these Swarfcasts and look forward to hearing each new one. I’m a business owner of a Swiss shop and it’s great to have this inside look at the machining world. Whether it’s through the eyes of someone like Mark or a fellow business owner. I enjoy listening to them after work when everybody’s gone and I’m finally getting a chance to unwind and do all the stuff I didn’t get to do during the day. Keep up the good work Noah and Lloyd and don’t listen to the naysayers.


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