NADINE CRAUWELS President, Sandvik Coromant
“The Speed of Change Will Never Be This Slow Again”
Sandvik Coromant enjoyed great success in 2018, in all parts of the world and across all industrial segments in which we operate. We have been able to grow our core businesses but also push our boundaries further, as we drive to provide even more competitive solutions to our customers.
Our growth has been both organic and by mergers and acquisitions. US DuraMill, Inc., which manufactures precision solid carbide end mills, joined last year. This acquisition further strengthens our position in North America, in the aerospace segment especially; it expands our product range and provides new capabilities for customised end mills.
In the UK, our new facility in Halesowen, West Midlands, will host The Sandvik Coromant Center for Productivity, Application, Customer Training, Machining and Research in Manufacturing, and will be a place where visitors can interact and co-operate in a modern and inspiring environment, enabling physical and digital collaborations. Our R&D centre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, is responsible for research and new product development for solid round tools, drilling and composite machining. These facilities are examples of our commitment to be close to customers and allow more effective interaction with our activities.
Uncertainties and opportunities
Current business and political uncertainties should not obscure the fact that there is much to be positive about. New opportunities are emerging in the broader business environment and in our core business areas, such as:
Digitalisation is effecting a step-change in manufacturing. It is bringing customers and suppliers closer together and is shortening workflow, design and development time. It is helping us to match our products and ancillary equipment and services more closely to customers’ needs, and to do so quickly.
Additive manufacturing allows previously impossible structures to be produced: if you can design it, you can print it, almost literally. Traditionally challenging features, like curved holes, are difficult to mill but much easier to print. It is a disruptive technology that will affect the choice of materials and the role of a wide range of support functions, even as far as metalworking fluids. Among the service that Sandvik’s Additive Manufacturing business now offers are consultation and advice, as well as the widest range of powder alloys, which can even be customised for particular needs. It is an essential element in the future of manufacturing, and we will be at the forefront of it.
Adapting to the changes brought by digitalisation and emerging technologies means that we need broader and deeper skillsets, both at OEM level and in the value chain. There is increasing emphasis on the importance of analytics. Companies that have the hardware, in the form of sensors, but aren’t equipped to analyse the data they produce risk drowning under a tsunami of information. Sandvik Coromant’s strategy is focused on three core elements – a pyramid of ambition. We want to grow our core business while developing the value chain of our customers with solutions and services. This includes widening our offer in solid round tools, as well as CoroPlus, which is at the heart of our digitalisation offer. We will continue to grow, both organically and by mergers and acquisitions.
Our sustainable business focus is about people, as well as operations.
The lessons of history – both ancient and recent – provide the foundation on which Sandvik Coromant is moving forward.