In the 1967 film
, the future was summed up in one word: "plastics." Today, for an expanding Latrobe firm, the one word is "ceramics."
Aggressive Grinding Services
, which specializes in precision grinding of super-hard materials, is making a commitment to ceramics in the form of a new, dedicated facility, part of a 14,000-plus-square-foot expansion. With new, state-of-the-art equipment and an anticipated 50 added jobs over the next two years, the company anticipates significant growth in ceramics, says Jeffrey Craig, the chief operating officer.
Aggressive grinds carbide, ceramics and other such materials into complex geometries to tolerances within the millionths of an inch for industries including oil and gas, aerospace, mining, construction, nuclear energy, transportation and manufacturing.
With tungsten carbide prices up dramatically, ceramics is emerging as a cleaner, cheaper alternative for some of these sectors. Ceramics is also gaining favor over titanium in artificial joints, so the facility opens lucrative, new prospective markets for Aggressive such as medical devices.
"Ceramics has much broader applicability than carbide does," says Craig.
The $1.2 million expansion, financed in part with a nearly $600,000 low-interest state loan, should be up and running by Memorial Day, Craig says. In addition, Aggressive is investing $2.5 million in new equipment.
Coming off its second best year since its 1988 founding, the company is also looking ahead with a more aggressive approach to training, sales and marketing and research and development. "We're making a commitment to ceramics as a big part of our business mix going forward," says Craig. "And we're confident."
Source: Jeffrey Craig, Aggressive Grinding Services
Writer: Elise Vider