Grindwell Norton Ltd(GNL) is a subsidiary of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (Saint-Gobain), a tansnational Fench Group and is a leading player in High Performance Materials sector. Saint-Gobain holds around 51% stake in the company as on Dec 31, 2002.
GNL Manufactures Bonded Abrasives, Coated Abrasives and Super Abrasives in the Abrasive Segment. The another main business segment Ceramics & Plastics consists the manufacturing of Silicon Carbide and Refractoreis. Bonded Abrasive is manufactured from Nagpur, Mora both in Maharashtra and the Coated Abrasive is manufactured from the plants at Bangalore and Nagpur. The silicon Carbine manufacturing facility is located at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and the Refractory is located at Bangalore.
Originally registered as a private limited company in the early forties, GNL was later converted into a public limited company in 1950, Grindwell Norton is the pioneer in the manufacture of industrial abrasives, by setting up the first grinding-wheel factory. The company has commissioned its first silicon carbide plant in 1972 and the second one in 1979.
In the early 1970s, it started manufacturing coated discs (sander discs). The zircona aluminium oxide discs are sold under the Zircon brand. In 1983, a jumbo coated-abrasive plant was commissioned. To indigenise production, a unit for centralised lubricating systems was set up in 1989-90 with technical assistance from Lincoln, Germany. The company commissioned a small super abrasive resin bond wheel plant at Bangalore in Jan.'95.
For its forays into industrial and engineered ceramics, it has technical collaborations with the Saint-Gobain group, France and SEPR. The fused cast refractory was set up in Mar.'95. A new plant for manufacturing non-woven abrasives was inagurated in Mar.'96 at Bangalore. The expansion of the high performance refractories plant was also completed 1998-99.
The installed capacity of Abrasive Grains & refractories have been reduced due to the restructuring of Ceramics Business and discontinuation of manufacturing operations of Fused Cast Refractories. The company has sold its Fused Cast Refractories business to M/s SEPR Refractories India Ltd for a consideration of Rs.68.83 Million during the year 2002.
The year 2003 was pretty good for the company in respect of refractories business.The volumes and profit were above the projections.This business was certified under ISO 9001:2000,during the year 2003.