Financial success concept

Ceradyne to supply advanced Marine combat helmets

Ceradyne Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of 3M Corp. based in Costa Mesa, Calif., has received an $80 million order to supply 77,000 Enhanced Combat Helmets and associated spare parts to the U.S. Marine Corps. The ECHs provide improved ballistic and fragmentation protection. They weigh the same as current fielded helmets but provide an average 50 percent improved ballistic protection over helmets currently in use. Ceradyne has begun helmet production for delivery beginning this fall, and ECHs will be fielded to deploying Marines in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

Covaron completes seed-stage funding

Covaron Advanced Materials, Ann Arbor, Mich., has announced completion of its seed-stage funding round with an investment of $250,000 from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund administered by Ann Arbor SPARK. Covaron now has a total of $550,000 in funding. CTT covered the company’s proprietary PetraForge thermosetting ceramic technology in a previous post. The materials are said to have high-performance physical properties comparable to traditional advanced ceramics but with simplified processing.

Glaston revises strategy and financial targets

Glaston Corp. has updated its strategic guidelines and financial targets for the period 2013–2016. The company expects the safety glass market, its main field of business, to grow by nearly 7 percent per year up to 2017. In addition, the company is seeking to grow particularly in tools (consumables relating to pre-processing machines) and in services covering the entire lifecycle of products. Glaston’s financial targets through 2016 include annual growth in net sales of more than 8 percent; operating profit margin of more than 6 percent; and return on capital employed of more than 10 percent.

Refratechnik Group acquires Burton GmbH

The Refratechnik Group, Ismaning, Germany, has acquired the facilities of Burton GmbH & Co. KG, Melle, Germany. The company will continue business under the name Refratechnik Ceramics GmbH and jobs of employees in the Melle location will be saved, according to a news release. Refratechnik says the purchase will enable it to become a global supplier of refractory products for industrial furnaces in the ceramics industry. Products will include wall, roof, and car systems as well as kiln furniture. The deal also includes Burton’s kiln furniture manufacturing facility in Hungary, which produces primarily cast refractory materials.

Niagara Ceramics closing, ending 110 jobs

(Buffalo News) Niagara Ceramics, a Buffalo, N.Y., whitewares manufacturer launched after the closing of Buffalo China nine years ago, is shutting down effective immediately. An investment group purchased the Buffalo business for $5.5 million from Oneida Ltd. in 2004 but steadily reduced the workforce as business dwindled. Closure of the facility, one of just two major producers of commercial-quality dinnerware in the US, comes after a May announcement by The Longaberger Co., Newark, Ohio, that it would take over a portion of the Niagara Ceramics plant to manufacture pottery products in Buffalo. Longaberger said it expected to employ 22 people at its pottery-making venture at the plant.