Sandvik divests the Saws and Tools business areas and focuses the business on three core areas: Sandvik Tooling (Sandvik Coromant, Sandvik CTT and Sandvik Hard Materials), Sandvik Mining and Construction (Sandvik Tamrock, Driltech Mission, VA-Eimco and Roxon) and Sandvik Specialty Steels (Sandvik Steel, Kanthal and Sandvik Process Systems). The remaining shares in the Polish tool manufacturer Baildonit are acquired. Cemented-carbide tools for the production of aluminum cans are developed. CoroCut, a new system for parting and grooving is launched. Opera- tions in Argentina are concentrated to San Justo. A representative office is opened in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
CoroMill 390, a new milling cutter with indexable inserts, is launched. Sandvik Coromant implements direct distribution to customers via central warehouses in Sweden, the Netherlands, the U.S. and later Singapore. Rationalizations, integrations and divestments are performed in the new business area Sandvik Mining and Construction and the number of employees is reduced by 15%. A new tube mill is taken into production in Sandviken. Acquisitions include the German company Poppe&Potthoff's production of stainless steel precision tube and MRL Industries in the U.S., which manufactures furnace elements for the electronics industry. A joint-venture company in rock-drilling equipment is founded in Korea. Subsidiaries are established in Slovenia, Greece, Rumania, Ukraine, Bolivia and Ghana. Approximately 1,000 IT (information technology) specialists are now employed by Sandvik.
A stock redemption of SEK 4 billion is completed. The Swedish investment company Industrivärden becomes the new major owner of Sandvik. Sandvik becomes the majority shareholder in Kanthal (picture). Sandvik acquires all shares in Tamrock with 5,000 employees, primarily in Finland, Austria, the U.S., Chile and Australia. The company presents the world's largest underground loader, the Toro 2500. Precision Twist Drill, an American manufacturer of high-speed-steel drills, is acquired as well as the steel distributor RGB in the UK. Collection of used cemented-carbide inserts for recycling of cobalt and tungsten is started. A new cold-rolling mill is opened in Sandviken. A new type of indexable inserts for turning, Wiper, is introduced to improve productivity and the surface finish. A new organization with three major business areas from 1998: Sandvik Tooling, Sandvik Mining and Construction, and Sandvik Specialty Steels. The minor business areas: Sandvik Saws and Tools, Sandvik Process Systems, and Sandvik Hard Materials remain independent.
Sandvik acquires 42% of Kanthal and 49% of the Finnish company Tampella, parent company to Tamrock which is already partly owned by Sandvik. The Group becomes principal shareholder of Sandvik Choksi Tube, India, for the extrusion and finishing of seamless tube. Acquisition of the French tube manufacturer Precitube is completed. A new stainless steel, Safurex, is developed for the synthetic fertilizer industry.
The CoroMill product range is developed, which gives rise to an entire family of tool solutions for various milling areas. CoroKey, a new concept for the launch of indexable inserts, is presented. Ultra-fine-grain grades of cemented-carbide powder are developed for blanks to circuit board drills in the cellular phone industry. A representative office is opened in Vietnam.
Clas Åke Hedström president and CEO. Sandvik first in the world to produce diamond-coated carbide cutting inserts on an industrial scale. Russia's largest cemented-carbide plant, MKTC (picture) is acquired. A joint-venture for cutting tools, Sandvik Baildonit, is established in Poland. A plant for cemented-carbide tools is inaugurated in Langfang, China. A Czech plant in Chomutov is acquired for the production of precision tubes.
The Sandvik Tooling business area is formed. Cemented-carbide rotary cutters are introduced in the production of diapers and other sanitary products. A range of ergonomic hand tools is created, primarily adjustable wrenches, screw drivers and pliers as well as a new handsaw with more efficient teeth. The subsidiary Sandvik China is founded in Beijing. A 5:1 share split is performed. A joint venture company in wire drawing is started in Brazil. The Sandvik Nanoflex™ material is developed for eye surgery and electric shaver heads and is later utilized in many new medical and environmental engineering applications.
Sandvik acquires 25% of the Finnish producer of rock-drilling equipment, Tamrock. The manufacturer of high-speed-steel tools, CTT Tools, is acquired from SKF and includes units in Sweden, the UK, France, Italy, Germany and the U.S. A decision is made to build an extrusion press in Scranton, U.S., in joint ownership with Sumitomo of Japan. The Tailor Made concept is launched by Sandvik Coromant for rapid delivery of tailor-made products to customers.
The acquisition is completed of Bahco Verktyg, with production in Sweden, Germany and Argentina. Operations are integrated in the Saws and Tools business area. Sandvik's cemented-carbide mineral tools are utilized in the project for tunneling under the English Channel. A range of stainless steel grades with enhanced machinability is launched under the name Sanmac. Investments are made in Russia. Subsidiaries are founded in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria. A major special tool unit is acquired in Schmalkalden, in Germany.
Introduction of the modular tool system Coromant Capto for turning, milling and drilling. A Spanish cemented-carbide producer in Barcelona is acquired. In Japan, a new head office is inaugurated in Kobe. The subsidiary in Korea fully owned.