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  • Writer's pictureBen Nordman

From Scrap to Rebuild: A Magna-Lock USA Case Study

Updated: May 7

The old saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” applies to many different aspects of life. At Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. we see this scenario play out quite often when it comes to electromagnetic chucks going from scrap to rebuild, and really all of our products.

This is a unique case for us. It involves problem-solving, perfect timing, and a tad bit of sustainability.


  • Electromagnetic chuck and controller issues. The chucks and controller shorted out, meaning they were looking for rebuilds or new of each.

  • The chuck top plates that were in need of rebuild did not match but the customer was attempting to use them in tandem. The top plate designs are made for different applications, so having them match is he suggested way to go.

potted electromagnetic chuck


We first talked the customer through the troubleshooting of their controller. Despite us being able to handle most controller repairs for any and all brands, this is not one we could do. The age of the controller was so outdated that with the natural obsoleting of parts over time, we suggested the customer replace it with a new controller, in which they agreed.

With that problem easily solved, the next issue was their chucks. While Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is the OEM for Magna-Lock USA chucks, we look to provide workholding solutions to our customers, no matter the brand, situation, or any other circumstance, the customers needs come first.

A few weeks prior to this, we had received word from a neighbor of ours that they were looking to offload electromagnetic chucks that were being replaced on their machines.

There were 10 chucks of various brands that they had stacked up and ready to scrap unless we took them in. We happily acquired them and added them to our used inventory.

When we take chucks like these in, we require full rebuilds on them before selling them. Even though a few were Magna-Lock USA chucks, our engineering team has experience with repairing and rebuilding all brands of chucks, so rebuilding them would be no problem.

The timing of the two events was perfect, as two of the chucks that were being offloaded were the perfect size that our customer needed. They were in rough shape but a good repair and clean up and the chucks would be a great match for our customer.

The customer agreed and we turned towards rebuilding the two 20” x 60” chucks.


It took us less than a month to get the new controller done and the two rebuilds completed and shipped. The new controller actually took longer than the chuck rebuilds and without the controller, the job would have shipped approximately two weeks earlier.

Additionally, the lead time was cut way down with a rebuild versus a new chuck. A typical new chuck takes eight weeks to produce, while rebuilds are around two weeks.

Included in this job was a two-year warranty that is included on our products and most services that states that the product will be free from mechanical defects in material and workmanship, and for 90 days in respect to non-mechanical parts.

The customer saved 97% on these chucks compared to the price of a new Magna-Lock USA chuck that is comparable without the price of the rebuild included.

The full before/after picture is below and it is hard to believe these chucks were the same chucks after the rebuild. Paired with the new FluxMaster controller, these chucks will not give the customer issues for many years to come.

In this case, we like to say we are not in the manufacturing industry, we are in the solutions industry. While we do produce new machine tools quite regularly, the main point of what we do is to help our customers find solutions. We work with those customers and connections to find the right combination to find a solution that works for all parties involved.

We still have the rest of the used electromagnetic chucks available for rebuild and sale. Check out our currently used inventory list here.

obsidianmfg logo

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is a Rockford, Ill. manufacturing company and is the OEM for Magna-Lock USA workholding, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and Arter Precision Grinding Machines as well providing surface grinding services. They are located at 5015 28th Ave. in Rockford, Ill. with a phone number of 815-962-8700. Check out more at


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