South Korea enjoys the welldeserved reputation of being one of the world’s centres of diamond tool production. The country is teeming with manufacturers that have strong technical knowledge and proven expertise in the business. But even against this highly competitive background, Shinhan Diamond Industrial Co., Ltd. has managed to establish itself as a major player and one of the most trusted names in Korea. Andrei Bushmarin reports. Shinhan Diamond Industrial Co. was started in 1978 by Mr. Shin Kyung Kim who remains President of the corporation. Although Shinhan carved out a sizeable niche in the diamond business, its interests reach far beyond just diamond tools.
A ‘New Korea’ company in more ways than one
“Nothing is impossible for Shinhan and ARIX”
Shinhan headquarters in Incheon.
The future-discerning Shinhan invests 5% of its annual turnover in R&D. The company’s R&D centre performs a number of important tasks, including development of basic theories explaining cutting mechanisms of diamond and CBN superabrasives, investigation of raw materials, enhancement of key performance factors, and many other.
The company, whose name means ‘New Korea’, also develops and supplies solutions for the automotive, Second generation of ARIX tools semi-conductor, glass, LCD and LED industries. Over It was in that R&D centre where, in the early 2000s, the 32 years Shinhan has been in the market, it has shown a process of controlled deposition of diamonds onto a remarkable growth. It began with just 35 employees substrate at pre-determined positions was developed. working on two assembly lines, and has evolved into an The process is now widely known as ARIX. international corporation with a 390-person Dr. Lee, a Senior Researcher with staff in Korea alone, plus another 290 in Shinhan, laid down the basic principles overseas offices and factories. of a manufacturing process of array-type Headquartered in Incheon, Korea’s sintered diamond segments. In 2004, after third largest city and its main transport a few years of trial and error, the process hub, Shinhan also operates a liaison office in was adapted to serial production. With Eschborn (Germany), and three sales subsidevery diamond particle placed in an optimal iaries in Paris, Anaheim (California, USA), three-dimensional position, tools made by and Qingdao (China). Shinhan’s nationwide ARIX technology showed superior persales network includes 52 regional branches formance to regular diamond products in that supply some 2,000 distributors and terms of both cutting speed and life. end-users throughout the country. The pattern of diamond array varies Internationally, Shinhan tends to work Mr. Shin Kyung Kim, depending on the material, machine power through dealers and distributors, with total founder and President and operator preferences of working paramnumber of overseas customers now reaching of Shinhan Diamond. eters. First tried on circular saw blades and 400. In 2009, sales from the head office netcore drills, ARIX technology is now used ted Shinhan U$125 million, and another U$20 million for almost the entire range of Shinhan’s diamond tools, was racked up by its overseas subsidiaries. including diamond wire and concrete grinding segments. The worldwide introduction of ARIX technology in Product-focused approach to production 2005 allowed Shinhan to significantly boost its global Shinhan’s production facilities encompass its main plant sales. In 2010, the manufacturer expects to triple the sales in Korea, where the famous ARIX tools are manufactured, and another two factories in the US and China. While the Chinese plant makes a sweeping range of diamond tools, the Anaheim-based operations focus primarily on laser-welded and silver-brazed products. One of the most distinctive features of Shinhan’s approach to production is a low degree of integration. Every item, be it ARIX products, laser-welded blades, or diamond wire, is made totally independently. This allows the manufacturer to streamline the production of every A summary of ARIX Generation-II’s advantages particular type of diamond tool. compared with the previously used process.
volume of ARIX products in Europe over year ago. Five years after the release of the first ARIX products, Shinhan has come up with its second revolutionary version of the diamond array technology, “ARIX Generation-II.” The follow-up is more advanced technologically than the previous version, with enhanced metallurgy and a better control over diamond positions. The new sleek design of segments is an improvement over the original ARIX products, both aesthetically and functionally. The segments are now available with a wider range of bonds that are exclusively developed for the array-type tools, providing stronger adhesion to diamond particles for a longer life. Another advantage of the upgraded ARIX technology is that it offers a unique and different segment design for each group of diamond products. “ARIX GenerationII” tools will be first unveiled to a worldwide audience at BAUMA, at Shinhan’s stand No 511 in hall A1.
Post-BAUMA plans When Europe’s biggest industrial show is over, Shinhan will continue pursuing its product development program, which consists of three major categories. The first includes new high-end tools for construction jobs— blades for floor and road saws, wall saw blades, drill bits, and diamond wires. Shinhan will also develop diamond products for processing natural and artificial stone, and hard tiles. The third product group includes laser-welded blades for hand-held applications, both conventional and ARIX-based.
A diamond blade manufactured by the ARIX Generation-II process and a close up of a segment.
Issue 2 - 2010 • Bauma Special • April - May •