The two historic glass sector companies gain important recognition and consolidate their strength in international markets, even during these challenging times, with new products and increased sales. In recent years, the Surfaces Group has established itself as the benchmark for the production of tools, machining and surface finishing treatments.
MADE IN ITALY
The amalgamation of companies Surfaces Technological Abrasives, ADI, RBM Italia, NoCoat, International Chips and Luna Abrasivi, has formed a group of Made in Italy excellence with a turnover of over EUR 130 million, operating in eight different production sites, and present in 70 countries around the world. It brings together the most complete range of consumable abrasive products, capable of responding to the most diversified technological applications, including exclusive tailor-made solutions, across various industrial sectors.
Its robust economic, financial and production base has allowed it to become the most respected and trustworthy partner for the manufacturing industry in general, and particularly for manufacturers of machinery for processing glass, ceramics, stone and marble.
The Group’s broad range of capabilities, and willingness to invest in R&D, as well as the ability to generate synergies across various sectors, has been fundamental in the development of new solutions to increase penetration and consolidate the positioning of its brands in major international markets.
ADI AND RBM
In the sector of glass processing, Surfaces is present through two well-known and highly-esteemed players, ADI and RBM. The resulting interaction has allowed to define and fine-tune innovative, effective and technologically advanced solutions, in terms of increasing quality and greater speed of execution, thus increasing the production performance of its customers.
Over its 40 years in business, ADI has become the brand of choice for the production of grinding wheels, metal-bonded and resin-bonded diamond wheels for CNC machines, straight edging lines, double-edgers and bevelling machines. It also produces routers, cutting discs and tools for the glass, marble, ceramic and optics industries. The Thiene-based company has always stood out for its ability to offer original and innovative technological solutions. It is able to assist companies looking for highly targeted and efficient application solutions which ensure high-quality standards and the optimization of production processes.
RBM, founded in Baldichieri d’Asti in 1963, is unquestionably the leader in the supply of glass polishing wheels. ‘Experience, technology, innovation, high quality and technical support’ is the mantra that characterizes its actions and helps to explain its international success. RBM has become renowned over its 50 years of entrepreneurial history, and the widespread use of its polishing tools consolidates it as one of the main world players in the sector. It offers over 20 formulations for different shapes and grains: grinding wheels in rubber, resin, cerium, foamed polymers and non-woven fabrics.
An RBM polishing wheel is chosen for the absence of defects, its excellent precision, perfect profile retention, high execution speed and longer life – all pluses that reduce waste and processing times, increasing the yields of production plants.
Surfaces brands are characterised by the quality of their products, including grinding wheels with unique bonds, which have an extremely high concentration of diamonds, designed to perfectly meet the needs of the solar and automotive glass industries that require high production speeds.
Aware of the competitive advantage gained by using its tools, ADI is committed to promoting its products as a key to production efficiency. An ADI tool is always the best choice for reducing the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership or Total Cost of Management). The adoption of these parameters as the driver for purchasing the best tool means a winning strategy to ensure increased performance. This is an added value choice, and an advantage to the entire production cycle.
“On the other hand, choosing a wheel based solely on the price parameter can easily lead to additional costs that eliminate the
initial advantage,” says
Lorenza Dal Maso, ADI Glass Division Sales Manager. “The cost of the tool, in fact, has a minimal influence on the total costs, but choosing a poor quality product can lead to higher costs in terms of scraps and repairs, meaning an increase in the relative labour costs, downtime, with the associated costs of non-production,” she says. “We are noticing that our customers, who are increasingly sensitive to the importance of optimising production costs, are paying more attention to this, and in this context ADI wheels and routers have become the reference products.”
“The fact that ADI tools are being chosen, even as we faced the difficult start to 2020, has been an important confirmation for the company.”
“In accordance with the provisions of the D.P.C.M. (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers) for the Covid emergency, we were closed for about a month and then we restarted with all the necessary precautions in place to comply with the stringent regulations. In addition to underlining the great awareness and understanding on the part of all the staff, I must admit that we have not registered significant imbalances: our customers have rewarded us and despite the sharp downturn in important markets such as the Chinese, our sales have been very satisfactory,” continues Ms Dal Maso.
ADI’s One-Shot wheels and GlassRenu system are among the notable products which confirm its position as world-leader in wheels for glass processing.
Paying particular attention to customer needs, ADI developed the One-Shot range to reduce the collateral costs due to re-
profiling. Aimed at the automotive sector which requires a perfect profile retention, “To guarantee the precision of the profile, each wheel can be re-profiled five-six times. It is a necessary process, but it involves time and management costs that impact heavily on production. Furthermore, there are places where it is not easy to find reliable re-profiling centers,” explains Ms Dal Maso.
“ADI’s world-first One-Shot wheel is a ‘disposable’ tool which has a lower diamond thickness, and can work until the end of its life before being thrown away, and can still be re-profiled once. This technology allows to cuts down on all operating costs, and guarantees the same result as a standard wheel, so the operator saves all the time of profiling management. Derived from the automotive sector, UHS® technology is complete with edge grinding wheels and Blue UHS® Cutting Mills, which are l appreciated for their duration and a machining speed 30 per cent higher than a standard wheel, as well as reduction of vibration and possible chippings.”
Green UHS® routers which provide uniform wear, with a softer bond and greater versatility, are also part of this range.
Another undeniable success is the partnership with GlassRenu for the development and exclusive distribution of the Scratch Removal System. Marketed in the US by the IGP brand, it is distributed by ADI throughout the rest of the world. It is an absolutely exclusive patented system that responds to an important market need. The GlassRenu system, designed for the naval, automotive and furniture sectors, allows the removal of scratches without the need to remove the affected glass. It works completely dry, and restores the glass surface in significantly lower times and with lower cost than any other system, since it eliminates the need for disassembly, refurbishing and reassembly of the damaged sheet.
FULL R&D AND SERVICE
ADI has skillfully built its pre-eminence in the market in recent years not only through its strong global distribution, but above all thanks to the constant involvement in research alongside its industrial customers to develop new opportunities for the development of their businesses.
Technological innovations, solutions to optimise production costs and reduce waste, the strong and specific after-sales service all emerge from this collaboration. On CNC machines for example, ADI service guarantees the installation of the tool without holding up the production cycle with long start-up times. The perfect understanding of customer needs, the constant monitoring of processes and the use of certified raw materials and highly specialised personnel means that these are pluses are available to every client.
These distinctive and rewarding characteristics have been strengthened through the interactions between the brands in the Surfaces group, making it possible to share experiences and analysis equipment for new R&D projects.
ADI and RBM have created important synergies working together on double-edgers and straight edgers machines for edge processing, where diamond and polishing tools operate in sequence. Wheels with different bonds and structures have been designed according to the type of processing. These are all tools that ensure high working speeds by adapting to different sheet thicknesses.
For RBM Italia, the opportunities which have come from joining Surfaces have allowed the company to significantly enhance all research, testing and quality control activities both internally and for customer service. An in-depth business strategy has introduced further improvements to traditional references thanks to increasing process control, in-depth quality control on incoming raw materials and outgoing finished products.
The new direction has also seen highly significant progress in the development of new wheels for low-E for High Speed Machines: non-woven, foamed polymer and rubber. “For low-E glass, our main target markets are the United States, where the use of this product is more widespread, and China, which is the largest producer and supplier of insulating glass,” explains Tomaso Zago, RBM Italia Operations Director. “The low-E market is characterised by a complexity that is due to a strong diversification of types of glass and tools. The strength of RBM lies precisely in the completeness of the range, capable of satisfying every need. We have also developed new high-performance wheels for these markets. The tests carried out both in our internal testing departments and at companies confirmed the high efficiency of the UHS wheels in particular for high-speed systems.”
RBM has always been involved alongside customers for the improvement of their production efficiency, and is recognized by international markets for the quality/price ratio of its products. According to Zago: “Now, thanks to growing investments in research, we are expanding the qualitative offer of our wheels and we are developing an increasingly precise service, able to cover all the most diversified niches of our market.”
At the beginning of 2020 RBM launched two new product families, the AR/AA grinding wheels for edge processing for low-E glass. They are available in two hardness versions, and in six different grains non-woven fabric, and are effective at very low pressure. “The lockdown phase both in Italy and in other countries has hindered us from sustaining the penetration of these wheels. Despite this, in the first months of 2020 we recorded a 100 per cent increase in sales compared to the same period of 2019,” says Zago, “which is a brilliant result that testifies to the interest in the distinctive quality of Italian technological solutions.”
“I want to confirm that all our products are strictly Made in Italy, allowing us to closely monitor the production processes of all our companies and guarantee the customer the constant quality of the product we supply, significantly rewarding compared to the competition,” concludes Lorenza Dal Maso.
The ‘eco-friendly’ policy adopted by the Surfaces Group sees ADI and RBM playing a leading role in a new operational deal, oriented towards the eco-compatbility of its most recent applications, a program of constant monitoring of processes and research of more sustainable raw materials, while also paying greater attention to the health and well-being of the workplace.
Indeed, Zago confirms “We are also taking on an important ‘green’ renewal process, flagged to be completed in 2022, across the entire range, aiming at using more sustainable materials.”
Effective and exclusive developments that make ADI and RBM able to meet all the needs of the production process related to glass grinding and polishing operations.