Element Six celebrates twenty years of diamond synthesis at Isle of Man plant
28 June 2008
Twenty years of diamond synthesis are being celebrated at Element Six's production plant on the Isle of Man. Opened on 28th June 1988, the plant manufactures synthetic diamond products for use in a range of specialist industrial tooling applications including cutting tools for non-ferrous and non-metallic materials, dressers for wheel dressing, a variety of specialty knives, burnishing tools, wear parts, and wire drawing dies.
As a result of growth in demand for the high quality synthetic diamond range, Element Six has invested in the Isle of Man plant to allow for a doubling of production capacity of its Monocrystal range of synthetic single crystal diamond products. "Sales have been growing at a rate of 20 per cent a year since 2003. Toolmakers have technically challenging applications and our diamond range offers the extreme properties that give their products the required performance," says Carlton Dodge, general manager of the Isle of Man plant.
The Isle of Man plant specialises in the manufacture of large synthetic single crystal diamond using a high-pressure, high-temperature process where all aspects of synthesis are carefully controlled. The products are also subject to high standards of quality control with regard to dimensions and physical characteristics. These products represent some of the most sophisticated produced anywhere within Element Six. Marketed as Element Six's Monocrystal range, it offers a wide choice of geometries, edge lengths and cross-sectional areas to give the diamond tool and die makers the opportunity to manufacture tools for a broad range of applications. Continual product development means that the company has programme a of new product releases planned.
Commitment to improvement
The current investment will allow the Isle of Man team to pursue a new development programme targeting further improvements to single crystal diamond synthesis and processing. "We now have the world’s largest research and development facility for high-pressure, high-temperature synthesis of large single crystal diamond," notes Carlton Dodge.
In addition, the company is developing new diamond products that are more closely tailored to specific applications requirements. This has meant, for example, working more closely with customers at earlier stages in the product development cycles. Key account managers work closely with customers to better understand their applications and offer novel solutions. Sean Kitson, sales manager, explains, "We want our Monocrystal range of products to be our customers’ first choice in our chosen market areas."
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