With advances in manufacturing technology and the ever-increasing need for streamlined operations, industrial manufacturers are utilizing near-net-shape processes to develop products under much tighter tolerances that are as close to “finished” as possible. While necessitating less additional machining, these precision parts require precision surface finishing solutions.
To support these operation advancements, Saint-Gobain Abrasives began the second phase of an ongoing investment in its Norton Bear-Tex portfolio of nonwoven products. The global investment strategy includes increased R&D efforts, and improved material and process handling for better manufacturing efficiency.
“With this initiative, Saint-Gobain reaffirms its commitment to the Norton Bear-Tex portfolio of innovative nonwoven surface finishing solutions,” says to Paul Krupa, senior product manager, Saint-Gobain Abrasives. “Phase two represents a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment strategy to meet our customers’ needs and support global growth across key markets.”
Increased R&D efforts have already yielded concrete results, including innovative Clean Bond resin technology that allows for a smear-free finish, and advanced nonwoven web formation for enhanced performance.
As near-net-shape manufacturing becomes the norm, the company says demand for high performance nonwoven finishing products has also driven improvements to Saint-Gobain’s nonwovens manufacturing facility in Reynosa, Mexico. Equipped to manufacture the entire portfolio of Norton Bear-Tex nonwoven surface finishing products, the facility has accelerated its use of automation, resulting in streamlined material and process handling.
“Continuous improvements and world-class manufacturing are standard operating procedure for us,” says Krupa. “Equipment OEMs have made recent upgrades that, combined with our own technological innovations, we can use to bring the best advantages to our customers”