Carborundum Universal Ltd is a largest high alumina ceramic manufacturing company in India. They are an industrial ceramic material-based products and service provider, with operations spread across three business segments namely Abrasives, Ceramics and Electrominerals. They pioneered the manufacture of coated and bonded abrasives in India, besides super refractories, electrominerals, industrial ceramics and ceramic fibres.
The company's major customers include bearing, automobile and auto ancillary, alloy steel, foundry and forging, fabrication and general engineering industries. The company products are manufactured in fourteen locations across various parts of the country in which all their manufacturing units are ISO 9001:2000 certified. The company has their presence in 43 countries and also has 200,000 retail outlets.
Carborundum Universal Ltd was incorporated in the year 1954 as a joint venture between Carborundum company, USA, Universal Grinding Wheel company, UK and Murugappa Group, India. Within ten year, they acquired a coated abrasives facility from Ajax Products Pvt Ltd and set up a bonded abrasive facility at Thiruvottiyur in Chennai and bauxite mining in Bhatia. In the year 1978, the company acquired the Eastern Abrasives Ltd which is a coated abrasives manufacturer in Kolkata.
In the year 1982, the company established MMTCL as a joint venture company with Morgan Group plc for manufacturing ceramic fibres. The company had collaboration with Wendt GmBH of Germany, Morgan Crucible Co, UK, and also a Joint venture in Australia for the supply of wear resistant ceramics to coal washeries. The industrial ceramics division was started in the year 1991 in technical collaboration with Coors Ceramics, USA and the manufacturing plant is located at Hosur in Tamil Nadu.
During the year 1994-95, in order to augment infrastructure facilities, the company commissioned a 2 MW wind farm at Perungudi, Tamilnadu. Cutfast Abrasive Tools Ltd, Eastern Abrasive Ltd, Cutfast Polymers Ltd and Carborundum Universal Investment amalgamated with the company with effect from April 1, 1997. During the year 1999-2000, the company set up a 5 MW natural gas based thermal power plant in Tiruvarur with an outlay of Rs 16 crore. In March 2002, the company commissioned the cloth processing facility at Maraimalainagar in Tamil Nadu.
Sterling Abrasives Ltd, which is engaged in bonded abrasives business, and SEDCO, which operates a 5.5 MW natural gas based thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu became the subsidiary of the company with effect form March 31, 2003.
During the year 2003-04, the company acquired 51% stake in CUMI Australia Pty Ltd. During the year 2004-05, the company established state-of-the art facilities for certain product lines in their Tiruvottiyur and Pallikaranai plants and also they installed new kilns in their Hosur industrial ceramics plant and the Ranipet super refractories plant.
During the year 2005-06, the company set up a 100% subsidiary with the name CUMI Middle East FZE in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE to promote exports in the region and also in February 2006, they set up a 100% subsidiary in Canada, CUMI Canada Inc and acquired the business of a coated abrasive supplier, Abrasive Enterprises Inc at an investment of 2.25 million Canadian Dollars.
In October 2006, the company acquired 48.7% stake in Sanhe Yanjiao Jingri Diamond Industrial Company Ltd, which is engaged in the manufacture of synthetic diamond grits, which serves as a raw material for super abrasives. The coated abrasive plant at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu commenced their production in December 2006.
During the year 2006-07, the company consolidated their coated abrasive back-end operations of cloth processing and polymer manufacturing at Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai. In order to strengthen their position in the monolithic market, the company acquired two industrial units at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, one, which manufactures monolithic refractories and the other high quality refractory cement, which is an input for monolithic refractories. Also they completed the first phase expansion of silicon carbide during the year.
Prodorite Anticorrosives Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company merged with the company with effect from April 1, 2007 which is engaged in the business of acid resisting cements, corrosion resisting products, polymer concrete and fibre reinforced plastics. Also, the company set up a 100% subsidiary in Cyprus, CUMI International Ltd with an investment of nearly Rs 100 crore. CUMI International Ltd acquired 86% stake in Volzhsky Abrasive Works, Russia which is ranked as the world?s second largest silicon carbide manufacturer, with an installed capacity of 65,000 tons per annum. In November 2007, CUMI acquired the engineered ceramic business of IVP Ltd in Aurangabad to strengthen their presence in the high alumina ceramics business.
During the year 2007-08, the company commissioned a modern 2000 tonne facility for resin bonded abrasives and a 1000 tonne vitrified bonded abrasives plant and also they spent Rs 1030 million for the greenfield / brownfield expansions, new product and technology upgradation projects. They set up new automated plant at Hosur for manufacturing wear resistant liner tiles at a cost of Rs 318 million.
The company is in the process of setting up a green field facility in Vellore district in order to strengthen their position in the fired refractories segment. In July 2008, the company entered into an agreement with Foskor (Proprietary) Ltd, South Africa to acquire 51% equity stake in Foskor Zirconia (Proprietary) Ltd, Phalaborwa, South Africa which is engaged in the manufacture of zirconia and fumed silica.