The recent introduction of our Pramet range in Spain has provided a wealth of new opportunities to meet the needs of existing customers, but also opened doors to new industry sectors.
There was a particular niche market we were keen to enter, but it was not without its challenges, being very closed and strongly resistant to change in terms of tools and new suppliers.
I'm talking about scarfing - a specific metallurgical technique using indexable cutting tools to clean excess weld, both internally and externally, in the tube production process. Welded steel tubes are used in the construction sector for water and gas distribution, as well as in the automotive industry for use as exhaust pipes.
We began by looking to work with a specific customer that would allow us to test our tools to show we are competitive in the market and demonstrate that we have put resources into this type of machining. After all, scarfing might be new to our team in Spain, but Pramet has extensive experience and knowledge in this specialist application process.
In the second half of 2015 we had contact with an established manufacturer of welded tube with extensive knowledge about the industry.
The customer manufactures circular segmental saw blades in HSS and tungsten carbide. It also distributes a wide range of products such as band saw blades, HSS saw blades and of course indexable cutting rings and inserts.
Our management team in Spain, led by Jordi Requeno, formulated an agreement with the customer for them to become an official distributor of our Pramet scarfing range.
Also, we support them with customer visits and close technical advice. A key factor of this success has been the smooth and rapid communication between Czech Republic-based Tomasz Cymorek, our global product manager for scarfing products, and Ernesto Villanueva, our sales area coordinator in Spain.
I can say that this partnership with the manufacturer could not have been better and the results have been spectacular. In addition, our presence in the world of scarfing is becoming stronger and has enabled us to develop a place amongst the most prestigious suppliers of cutting tools for scarfing operations in Spain.
It is an example of how we can support good business operations in a niche machining market and that while it is not easy, it is possible through hard work, building partnerships and demonstrating the quality of our cutting tools.