Today, after ten years of service, the HGTC is capable of supporting process research and applications development that includes all types of abrasive products--bonded, coated and superabrasives--and all abrasive finishing processes--grinding, lapping, polishing and Chemo Mechanical Polishing (CMP).
Since it opened in 1993, the 30,000 square foot HGTC facility's goal has been to develop innovative grinding solutions through collaborative alliances with machine tool builders, coolant suppliers and other suppliers to the abrasives industry, together with its own grinding experts and that of the end users who use high performance grinding processes in their production operations.
Together with its sister facility, the Applications Engineering Center at Norderstedt, Germany, the HGTC has expanded into a significant research and system integration facility of Saint-Gobain's High Performance Materials (HPM) group. HPM focuses on plastics, ceramics, and crystals as well as abrasives technologies.
According to Dr. K Subramanian, who has been the center's director since it opened, "The HGTC has been focused on taking grinding from an art form to a science by utilizing the System Approach and through the use of advanced tools for measurement and analysis of grinding systems such as the Field Instrumentation System (FIS), product specification mapping and acoustic emission monitoring."
Working with manufacturers in a diverse range of industries that use ferrous materials such as the steel industry, cutting tools and automotive suppliers to producers of nonferrous electronics, glass, ceramic and wood components, the HGTC has developed advanced grinding process solutions that meet industry's need for greater productivity and superior quality.
Over the past 10 years, stringent requirements have been imposed on the form and functionality of the surfaces of industrial components. Such surface requirements are growing along with the list of advanced materials that are more durable and harder to grind. At the same time, increasingly competitive global economic pressures have motivated manufacturers to achieve higher levels of performance. As a result of meeting these challenges, the HGTC has become a solutions center for manufacturing by conducting feasibility research, prototype development, new product testing, specification analysis and pilot production operations.