It’s been said that “A good tool improves the way you work. A great tool improves the way you think.” It’s no different in manufacturing. In this industry, successful machining depends on sharp, well-maintained cutting tools that not only ensure precision, but also speed. And the successful sharpening of these cutting tools is dependent upon utilizing the correct grinding wheel, tool set-up and grinding methodology unique to each tool.
Since 1993, Advanced Superabrasives, Inc. (ASI), nestled in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, has been a manufacturing leader of high-end, extreme-precision diamond and CBN grinding wheels.
Their wheels, utilized in multiple applications across a multitude of industries, are used to create tools that require precision—down to the micron—which translates to about 39 millionths of an inch.
What differentiates ASI from their competitors is their ability to customize wheels with different shapes, diamonds, and bonds, allowing them to produce wheels for a variety of industries rather than focusing exclusively on one. ASI takes pride in being a total solution provider rather than solely offering their clients a grinding wheel from a catalog.
They also pride themselves on working with their clients and their clients’ machines, finding solutions for faster and better production. ASI also offers client training, dressing tools, dressing machinery and coolant filtration systems that complement their grinding wheels, helping them last longer and perform better.
Their superior products and maniacal focus on customer satisfaction has enabled ASI to grow exponentially in their 26-year history. Within two years of opening, the company doubled in size and five years later expanded to a 37,000 square foot facility, overlooking the Great Smokey Mountains. In 2018, ASI experienced growing pains again. They needed to expand.
Jonathan Szucs, president and owner of Advanced Superabrasives, said, “Our Company is proud to do business in North Carolina and we wanted to grow here in the state. That’s when we turned to the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership (EDPNC), an NCMEP Partner, for assistance.”
EDPNC helped ASI navigate through the maze of tax incentives and what they might be eligible for; helped them understand what training dollars might be available and counseled them on their global export business. EDPNC also helped them write and apply for a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund to help support the expansion. In receiving the grant, ASI had to meet job creation and capital investment targets to receive payment. ASI’s goal: double their workforce over the next four years and invest $26M in their expansion.
So far, ASI has grown its number of employees by 21%, increased sales by $135K, realized $500K in retained sales and $150K in cost savings as a result of working with EDPNC. They sell in 49 states and export to28 countries around the globe. The furthest away one of its grinding wheels is being used? 140 million miles. One of its grinding wheels is in use on the planet Mars as part of the scientific package aboard the Curiosity Rover.
Szucs said, “EDPNC is a great group of people who go above and beyond in helping companies. Through their efforts, we anticipated spending another $500K in future investments for future growth.”
This success story was written by the NC State IES team for NCMEP.