Significant Accomplishments in 2017
Most of our customers had a good year in 2017 and Meister Abrasives USA was out front providing them with the products they needed to achieve superior quality efficiently and economically. As a result, sales grew by more than 20% from 2016 levels and we had one of our best years ever.
While it might have been obvious that we were going all-out to meet our customers immediate needs, there was also a great deal going on – mostly behind the scenes – important achievements that will allow Meister to provide customers with even better products and services in the future.
Here are the highlights:
Up-Dated Toolbox Tools: Many of our subscribers find the Tools in the Toolbox section of this blog to be particularly useful. In 2017 we updated two of our most popular calculation tools – the Total Cost Calculation Tool and the Dressing Calculation Tool. They are available cost-free along with our popular tutorials on Dressing For Success and Top Ten Bore Grinding Problems and How to Solve Them Today. You will also find case histories detailing specific performance improvements customers have obtained by using carefully selected Meister Wheels in combination with best grinding practices. We will continue to expand these useful tools in 2018.
Dresser Product Line Expansion: Well-dressed wheels perform better, last longer and can significantly reduce per part manufacturing costs. So it is not surprising that sales of our dresser products were at an all-time high in 2017. Meister continued to advance its program of developing solution-specific dresser specifications and configurations including micro-precision dressers certified accurate to within 2µm (+/- 0.001 mm) if the application requires. We’ll have a lot more to say about our innovative dressers in future blog posts.
New Anti-Friction Wheel Technology: After an 18-month R&D effort Meister introduced its NEW HPL WHEEL TECHNOLOGY. It relies on premium grade CBN crystals fixed with a durable, porous, friction-inhibiting bonding matrix to allow substantially faster grinding of difficult materials without sacrificing quality due to wheel loading and/or part burning.
Big Wheels Made in America: 2017 was our first full year of producing large diameter (>Ø500mm) wheels using processes, materials and equipment mirroring those used by Meister Abrasives in Switzerland. Our customers’ enthusiasm for these American-made products has been gratifying.
Expanded Team Effort: Early in 2017, the highly regarded European internal grinding abrasives product manufacturer, Alfons Schmeier, was acquired by Abraxos Holding AG, Switzerland, Meister’s parent corporation. Since that time both companies have been working closely to share manufacturing and R&D resources where appropriate and extend the reach of their respective product lines around the globe. For example, a number of Schmeier products have been presented to Meister’s USA customers as solutions to specific grinding problems and are currently undergoing trials.
Semiconductor/Photovoltaic Support: Sales/Applications Engineer Salman Kassir is leading an effort to introduce new and innovative wafer-grinding process solutions pioneered by Meister in Europe into the United States, Canada and Mexico. A number of significant trials are underway.
Looking Ahead: All the initiatives reviewed here will continue to be on our agenda in 2018. We are looking forward to meeting as many of our existing and prospective customers as we can at IMTS 2018 this September.