Abrasives & Allied Products
An abrasives is a hard, tough and wear resistant substance for grinding and polishing operations. Manufactured through a complex and high technology process, these abrasives are used in metal removal, cutting and finishing operations in almost all industries.
These are manufactured by depositing grains over a backing material like cloth, paper or fibre. Depending on the requirement of the customer, the backing material and type of grains will vary. There are various types of grains like sintered aluminium oxide, silicon carbide, zircon, emery and flint. The grains are of varied sizes referred as 'grits' and their sizes also vary from grit 12 to grit 2000. The backing on which these grains are coated will vary depending on the industry and application to which the coated abrasives are supplied.
Initially, the grains are deposited over adhesive rich backing materials and jumbos of coated abrasives (up to 1000 metres) are manufactured. Then, depending on customer order/usage, these jumbos are converted into various shapes like sheets, belts, rolls, discs and flap wheels. The geometry of the product also differs from each other based on application equipment.
Coated abrasives are used in light polishing applications in automobile, auto ancillaries, white goods, hand and power tools, sanitary ware, furniture, fabrication and construction industry.
These are divided into vitrified, resinoid and rubber products and manufactured by mixing grains with bonding material, moulding them to shape and then subjecting the output to firing or baking in high temperature and finishing the same to desired dimensions. The composition of the product depends on the type of grains and type of bonding materials used. Sizes will vary between 10 mm to 1200 mm with thickness ranging from 1 mm to 650 mm. Bonded abrasives are mostly in the form of wheels but also in other shapes such as segments, sticks etc. Bonded abrasives for internal purposes classified as Standard Products (i.e. those products which are made to standard dimensions, grit sizes, shapes and grain / bond composition). These are sold largely through the distribution channel. Non Standard Products are those products which are made to exact requirements of customers. CUMI's product range boasts of over 20,000 varieties of abrasives.
Bonded Abrasives are used in diverse applications like floor polishing, fabrication, polishing, off-hand tool grinding and precision grinding of diverse products like crank shaft, balls and razor blade across a wide spectrum of industries ranging from automobile, construction, fabrication, steel, bearing etc.
Tools for Stones
Diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN) are known as Tools for Stones. Wheels and tools made with these abrasives are used in high end applications. CUMI is present in this segment, through its joint venture Wendt India Ltd., Bangalore, India.
The major user industries for Tools for Stones are automobile, engineering, cutting tools, refractories, ceramics tile, glass and steel.
The characteristics of abrasives industry are as follows:
- Diverse industrial applications
- Perceivably low threats from substitute products
- Adequate raw material availability
- Application engineering support to users
The key success factors are quality, cost, delivery and application engineering.
Key inputs are abrasive grains (a large portion of which is captively procured) electricity, processed cloth, paper and resins.
The global abrasives industry is about USD 13 billion. The major players are Saint Gobain, Tyrolit, Winterthur, Sia Abrasives and 3M. Till last year, CUMI was primarily an Indian player. The acquisition of Volzhsky Abrasive Works, Russia has given CUMI a strong presence in the Russian markets and also a sound base for increasing its global penetration.
In India, CUMI is the market leader. Apart from CUMI, Grindwell Norton Ltd. (part of the Saint Gobain group) is a major player in the domestic industry. 3M specializes in coated abrasives. In addition, John Oakey & Mohan and SAK abrasives, are the other abrasives manufacturers of significance in India. The Indian market is also served by several small players operating in specific product lines and also imports. While high-end imports are certain specialty products from Europe, the low end ones are 'price only' products from China.
Metal Working Fluids
Apart from abrasives, CUMI also manufactures metal working fluids for grinding applications. In the metal working process, the right combination of machine, cutting tool and metalworking fluid is required to produce an acceptable part. Therefore this product line is a logical extension of CUMI's abrasives.
Website: Cim Cool
CUMI recently launched a range of power tools used in metal working, construction, wood working and interior decoration. Abrasives are used as accessories in power tools. The Company's strong brand image and well established marketing network provide good synergies for this product line with abrasives.