Sandvik's order intake and invoicing decrease by 30% during the global recession and the Group records its third ever loss-making year. Consolidation of the number of manufacturing units, reduction of inventory levels, cutbacks in staff numbers and reduced working hours are implemented. A Tooling engineering center is opened in India. Sandvik Mining and Construction notifies of the closure of thirteen units, but inaugurates assembly plants for mining equipment in Jiading, Shanghai, China, and in Vespasiano, near Belo Horisonte in Brazil. The UK tool producer BTA Heller Drilling Systems and the Austrian tungsten producer Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten are acquired. Wolfram becomes a product area within the Sandvik Tooling business area and launches an ultra-fine grain grade of tungsten-carbide powder for micro drills in the electronics industry. The CoroMill 316 exchangeable-top end mill is introduced. A major order is secured for steam generator tubes to China. A subsidiary is founded in the United Arab Emirates. A new unit for pilgering and finishing of stainless steel tube is constructed in Zhenjiang, China (picture), in conjunction with a service center for precision strip.
Gobal financial crisis. Substantial cutbacks are made in staffing, production capacity and costs due to an extremely weak market trend and global overcapacity. The tool CoroThread, with a unique locking system for the insert, is launched for thread turning applications. Finally, after a hundred years of lead-alloyed steel for small watch components, environmentally-friendly lead-free steel has been developed (picture). Material is launched for fuel cells. Sandvik Tooling expands production capacity in Japan. New plants are started in Wuxi, China. A major assembly plant for mining machinery is inaugurated in Santiago, Chile, by the President of Chile.
A research center for advanced alloys is constructed in Pune, India (picture). Acquisitions include the companies Teeness (anti-vibration tools) in Norway, Aubema (crushing equipment) in Germany, Corstor (supplier to the exploration industry) in South Africa and Eurocut (medical technology) in the UK. Office and warehouse are established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Sandvik Calamo tube plant in Sweden is divested. A subsidiary is founded in Algeria.
Cemented-carbide tools with integrated high-pressure cooling are launched. Kanthal develops gas burners for industrial furnaces. Sandvik Coromant's investment in Application centers starts in Stuttgart, Germany. New Insert Generation, a substantial range of newly developed products, is introduced for turning, milling and drilling. Walter opens a new plant for cemented-carbide inserts in Münsingen, Germany. Sandvik Coromant expands special tool workshops in Germany and the U.S. In Barcelona, Spain, Sandvik Hard Materials opens a new plant. Acquisitions are made of companies in the medical technology field in the U.S. and of Doncasters Medical Technologies in the UK. Diamond Innovations, a North American producer of tools using synthetic diamonds and boron nitride is another acquisition. During the year, the hardest form of cubic boron nitride produced thus far is introduced. Acquisitions include Australian companies in the mining and construction sectors as well as UK-based companies, Extec and Fintec, active in the manufacture of mobile crushing and sorting equipment. Divestments include Sandvik Sorting Systems, the French company Sandvik Tobler and holdings in companies producing welded tube. Subsidiaries are founded in Mali and Mongolia.
Australia has now become the third-largest market in the Group. A new generation of jumbo drilling rigs (picture) is introduced, equipped with a computer system for data regarding drilling conditions and diagnosis of the need for service. A new grade of steel is developed for heat-exchanger tubes in high-chloride environments, for example in refineries. Titanium is launched as a part of the Bioline product range for the manufacture of implants. The Finnish powder metallurgy company Metso Powdermet is acquired. A 5:1 share split performed of the Sandvik share. Production of cemented-carbide inserts in the U.S. is concentrated to Westminster, SC, while production in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, is closed. In the UK, two workshops for special tools are closed. Tool production at Sandvik Tooling in Italy, Brazil and China is expanded. In India, a drill plant is built in Pune and a unit for recycling cemented carbide in Chiplun. Four companies are acquired within mineral exploration: Swedish-Japanese company Hagby-Asahi, SDS Corporation and UDR Group in Australia, and the Chilean company Implementos Mineros.
The new GC 4225 cemented-carbide grade becomes the world's best-selling grade. Acquisition of a minority share in a Chinese producer of cemented-carbide powder. China has become Sandvik's tenth-largest market measured in invoiced sales. A new generation of short-hole drills with indexable inserts, CoroDrill 880. Cemented-carbide powder is produced with a grain size under one micrometer. Teflon-coated precision wire has cardio surgery applications and composite wire performs key functions in pacemakers. A stock redemption of SEK 4 billion. Sandvik Smith becomes wholly owned. A review is performed of the Group's nine drawing mills for stainless steel wire with the objective of halving the number. A subsidiary is founded in Serbia.
A program comprising surface technology products is launched: Santronic for the electronics industry and Decorex for consumer goods design purposes. A number of acquisitions are made in the cemented-carbide field, in countries including Germany. A majority shareholding in a Brazilian materials-handling company is acquired. A new distribution center is inaugurated for Sandvik Materials Technology in Venlo, the Netherlands. Technical Tooling in the U.S., a producer of tools for the manufacture of aluminum cans, is also acquired. A plant is started in Tychy, Poland, for the production of coal-mining machinery. Kanthal develops the production of high-temperature alloys via powder metallurgy. Extensive training is initiated in Sandvik's core values (Open Mind, Fair Play, and Team Spirit).
The Sandvik Specialty Steels business area changes name to Sandvik Materials Technology with five product areas: Tube, Strip, Wire, Kanthal and Process Systems. Walter launches Tiger Tec, a new range of cemented-carbide inserts with a two-colored surface treatment as wear indicator. In Shanghai, a plant is started for the manufacture of processing systems and steel press plates and, in India, a plant for the assembly of mobile crushers. Sandvik Tooling inaugurates a new R&D center for materials development in Stockholm. The manufacture of cemented-carbide tools in Westminster, SC, U.S., is expanded while smaller production units are closed. Divestment is made of two units for the production of mining machinery in the U.S. Certification is completed of the first Productivity center unit within Sandvik Coromant.
Clas Åke Hedström is named new chairman after Percy Barnevik, who is appointed honorary chairman. Lars Pettersson becomes new president and CEO. Wire production in Mjölby and manufacture of wear parts in Denmark are shut down. Sandvik Mining and Construction closes units in Nafta and concentrates production to Alachua, FL, U.S., and Burlington, ON, Canada. The acquisition is completed of the North American tool company Valenite. The first acquisition in Japan is made through the purchase of the Toyo brand in the mining and construction industry. Sandvik Tamrock develops drill rigs and loaders for extremely narrow mine drifts for customers mining platinum. A majority shareholding is acquired in the German tool manufacturer Walter AG.
An investment in the mechanical extraction of gold and platinum ore is made using Icutroc, a new method developed by Sandvik. Automation and remote control of mining machinery is tested in mines in Canada and Sweden. The concept is named AutoMine. New grades of steel for wirelines, with wire lengths of several kilometers, are developed for the oil and gas industry. High-alloy tubes with fins on the inside are introduced for the production of ethylene within the plastics industry. A new Asian distribution center for Sandvik Coromant opens in Singapore. A stock redemption program is approved by the AGM. Crushing and sorting operations are acquired from Svedala Industri. Agreement is reached with the U.S. company Smith International to set up a jointly owned company for roller bits. Production of seamless tubes is closed down in the UK but increased in the Czech Republic for the oil and gas industry. A majority shareholding in Brazilian tool manufacturer Hurth Infer is acquired. The holding in the manufacturer of individually-made ceramic dental crowns Procera-Sandvik is sold. The remaining shares in the Indian company Sandvik Choksi are acquired. The shareholding in the Indian subsidiary Sandvik Asia is increased. The Chilean mining service company Bafco Mineria y Servicios is acquired. Sandvik becomes one of five partners in the e-commerce site Endorsia.
Acquisitions include an Austrian drill rig manufacturer, the German steel belt manufacturer Hindrichs-Auffermann and the Australian company Beltreco, active in servicing the mining industry. Production of cemented-carbide powder in Stockholm is relocated to Gimo, where also a new plant for tungsten carbide is built and the manufacturing of solid-carbide tools expanded. The capacity for tool holders in Mebane, NC, U.S., is doubled. A subsidiary is founded in Croatia.