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Northwest Arkansas will soon be home to the state's only nanomanufacturing facility.
Duralor LLC, a Springdale-based producer of high-performance coatings and coating processes for cutting tools and machine-wear parts, announced that it will open a production and R&D site May 29. The facility, located in the Springdale Technology Park, will also house NanoMech's headquarters and joint research operations. A subsidiary of NanoMech, Duralor competes in the $20 billion global cutting tool market.
Duralor manufactures cubic boron nitride (cBN) coatings for cutting-tool applications currently in use with a global automotive manufacturer and in the heavy-machinery industry under the product name TuffTek®. Diamonds are the only cutting surface harder than cBN, but are unsuitable for hardened steel machining.
"NanoMech and Duralor are prime examples of Arkansas's capacity for translating university-based fundamental science into high-value products and employment," said Jerry Adams, CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance. A recent study commissioned by the Alliance and conducted by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice found Arkansas gaining ground against the national average in university research and development investment.
Duralor's technology supports the global effort to increase manufacturing efficiency while reducing costs, increasing output and saving energy. In a side-by-side comparison for hardened steel machining, TuffTek-coated tools outperformed traditional coatings by 300 percent or more and provided a 50 percent reduction in the time required to cut each shaft, thus reducing labor costs.
"For our economy to thrive, we must have a strong high technology manufacturing base and knowledge-based jobs to complement the large service economy," said Bob Reed, president of Duralor. "Duralor's products strengthen that base by providing Arkansas with high-paying engineering and technology-related jobs, as well as 21st century manufacturing processes."
The ribbon-cutting will be May 29, 2009, at 10 a.m. at the Duralor facility at 2447 Technology Way and is open to the public.
The 8,500-square-foot building will house specialized equipment for producing Duralor's TuffTek composite coating as well as the NanoSpray® nanoparticle coating system, NanoMech's corporate office, and other laboratory facilities to support ongoing research and product development. During the next five years, Duralor could potentially employ more than 100 and NanoMech could add as many as 200.
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Stacey M. Jones, APR
Ariel Strategic Communications
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