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Ceramics in the News

July 1, 2009
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A comprehensive rundown of news announcements from the ceramic industry.

Updated Website Launched by Innovative Processing Solutions

Innovative Processing Solutions recently announced an updated website that reportedly features a user-friendly design, is easy to navigate and offers complete information on the company’s custom material handling and crushing systems. Equipment details and specifications are listed for the company’s specialty conveyors, hoppers and chutes, structures, and apron feeders. Innovative also provides crushers through Stedman, its sister company.

Full contact information, literature, case studies and the latest company news are also included on the updated site. For more information, call (877) 926-0040, fax (812) 926-3482, e-mail info@innovative-processing.com or visit the new site at www.innovative-processing.com.

Superior Graphite and Graphite Sales Launch Joint Venture

Graphite Sales, Inc. and Superior Graphite Co. recently announced the launch of Ozark Graphite Specialties, a joint venture for the production, marketing and sales of specialty graphite.

“This is an exciting moment for us,” said Kevin Burmeister, CEO of Graphite Sales. “This joint venture improves our ability to supply the customer a quality product on time. In addition, we are delighted that we have found a business partner the caliber of Superior Graphite to bring these products to market. It is our mission to be a long-term supplier to the many industries utilizing specialty graphite, and this newly established venture casts a firm foundation for further growth.”

Ozark Graphite Specialties can be contacted at (479) 968-1801, rodneychiodo@ozarkgraphite.com or www.ozarkgraphite.com.

H.C. Starck and Comet Network Sign Supply Agreement

H.C. Starck Inc. and Comet Network Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea, recently announced that they have reached a long-term agreement for the supply of refractory metal for sputtering targets used in the production of LCD flat panel display screens. H.C. Starck will supply Comet Network from its production facilities in Euclid, Ohio, where additional investment will be made as necessary to fulfill Comet Network’s requirements.

Visit www.hcstarck.com for more information.

BASF to Commercialize Argonne Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and BASF have signed a worldwide licensing agreement to mass produce and market Argonne’s patented composite cathode materials to manufacturers of advanced lithium-ion batteries. BASF will conduct further lithium-ion battery material application development in its current Beachwood, Ohio, facility.

Contingent upon winning a DOE grant under Recovery Act-Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000026), BASF plans to build one of North America’s largest cathode material production facilities in Elyria, Ohio. For more information, visit www.basf.com/usa or www.anl.gov.

Steuben Glass to Launch Crystal Collectibles for MLB

Steuben Glass and Major League Baseball (MLB) have teamed up to create a selection of crystal baseball collectibles. Highlights include a crystal replica of a MLB bat in life-size, and 18 and 14 in. versions; crystal baseballs; and home plates. Other team collectibles include barware, tabletop decor and ornaments.

“Our partnership with Major League Baseball represents a new era in Steuben’s rich American history,” said Joey Schottenstein, principal of Steuben. “We want to create modern masterpieces that capture the imagination, excitement and passion of the sports enthusiast and discerning collector.”

For additional information, visit www.steuben.com or www.mlb.com.

U.S. Demand for Wall Coverings to Reach $2.4 Billion in 2013

According to “Wall Coverings,” a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., demand for wall coverings is projected to advance 4.2% annually from a weak 2008 base to $2.4 billion in 2013. This represents a considerable improvement over the performance from 2003 to 2008, as the collapse of new housing construction in 2007 and 2008 seriously reduced demand for wall coverings used in new residential markets.

Demand for decorative wall tile is projected to increase 5.0% annually to $920 million in 2013. Consumption of these products will benefit primarily from the recovery of the new housing segment, which will spur construction of more kitchen and bathroom space. Additional details are available at www.freedoniagroup.com.

Alfred and Santanoni Sign Agreement for "Unbreakable" Glassware

Alfred University has signed a royalty agreement with Santanoni Glass and Ceramics, Inc. for proprietary technology related to the strengthening of glass. The process allows Santanoni to produce “unbreakable” glassware, such as wine glasses, canning jars, bottles, tumblers, goblets and mugs, at a cost that allows the products to be competitive with normal, un-strengthened glassware.

William LaCourse, Ph.D., professor of Glass Science at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and president of the company, has researched processes for strengthening glasses for more than 30 years. “No glass is unbreakable, but our process produces the highest-strength glassware available today, and at a price that makes it affordable,” said LaCourse. “It has the potential to save restaurants, catering services and families up to 80%, and perhaps more, on their glassware costs. We have dropped glass bottles from 10 ft high onto a concrete floor, and the glass simply bounces.”

For more information, visit www.alfred.edu or www.santanoni.biz.

SIDEBAR: Riedhammer Announces New North American Strategy

Riedhammer GmbH has appointed a new North American sales team, which includes Jaime Graham, Mac McGinnis and Chris Pilko. “Chris, Mac and Jaime each bring unique skills and relationships that complement our staff in Nuremburg,” said Matthias Uhl, managing director of Riedhammer. “With their help, we will be able to give our American customers the individual attention they deserve.”

McGinnis and Pilko handle the technical ceramics and advanced materials markets from their respective offices in Texas and Pennsylvania, while Graham handles sanitaryware and tableware from his office in Florida. Each will become the primary contact for their customers to facilitate communications with Germany. Spare parts will continue to be supplied from Sacmi USA in Iowa. For more information, visit www.riedhammer.com.

SIDEBAR: Ceradyne to Close ESK Plant in France; Announces Diaphorm Acquisition

Ceradyne, Inc. recently announced that, in accordance with the French legal process, its ESK Ceramics France subsidiary has presented to the local employees’ representatives a plan for closing its manufacturing plant in Bazet, France, effective later this year. As a result, it is anticipated that ESK France will reduce its workforce by approximately 95 employees, primarily composed of manufacturing, production and additional support staff at the plant.

According to the company, this action is being implemented as a cost-cutting measure to eliminate losses that were incurred at the facility due to the recent severe economic contraction. The 88,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is owned by ESK France and has been used to support the production of various industrial ceramic products. Production of these products will be transferred to ESK Ceramics GmbH & Co. KG in Kempten, Germany.

Ceradyne also recently announced that it has acquired substantially all of the business and assets and all technology and intellectual property related to ballistic combat and non-combat helmets of Diaphorm Technologies, LLC, based in Salem, N.H. Ceradyne’s strategy is to combine its track record in body armor programs with the proprietary helmet-forming technologies of Diaphorm to create a world-class manufacturer of enhanced combat helmets (ECHs). Visit www.ceradyne.com for more information.

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