Saint-Gobain Abrasives has won a major contract to supply small specialty abrasive belts to Darex of Ashland, Oregon, a manufacturer of custom tool sharpening machines.
Darex is using the abrasives in its new “Work Sharp Culinary” machine, a first-of-its-kind knife sharpener targeted at the high-end residential small kitchen appliance market. The new sharpener is scheduled for launch later this year.
“This win for Saint-Gobain was the culmination of more than 12 months of cross functional teamwork between us and Darex,” says Pete Perzan, account manager. “This included R&D and application engineering teams working on belt design, the production team on custom back printing, and the sales team on contract negotiation.”
“We won the business through the dedicated effort of their R&D team and our engineering group,” adds Pat Baliva, area sales director. “Work Sharp Culinary is unique because the belt runs very slow and we had to engineer the joint and sandpaper backing so that the knife edge didn’t catch on it. We created a custom product which fit their application well. The only place consumers can get the replacement belt is from Darex, so we not only lock up the orders for the new machines but all the replenishment tooling as well.”
Saint-Gobain manufactures materials for Darex from sandpaper jumbo rolls made in Watervliet, New York, which are then converted (cut to size) in Tijuana, Mexico.
Darex is a manufacturer of industrial bit sharpeners and in addition to the Darex brand owns Work Sharp Tools, which creates knife and tool sharpeners, and Drill Doctor, which creates hobbyist drill bit sharpeners.