CERATONIA was founded in 1996 and chose the company name to reflect its market focus on diamond. CERATONIA derives from the Latin word carob tree, which is "CERATONIA Siliqua". Its dried seeds were used as the unit of measure for weighing precious stones.
CERATONIA is the leading independent European supplier and service provider of superabrasive materials with the foremost knowledge of this industry. First class quality of ultra-hard superabrasive materials and related customer specific services are reflected in our business card, "quality diamond for brilliant tools". CERATONIA celebrated its twentieth anniversary in June 2016.
It was 1996 when the market price for high-quality synthetic diamond saw grit had fallen from $ 4.20 / ct to an incredible $ 1.50 / ct. "This was not the perfect moment to start a new company in the diamond industry," recalls CERATONIA founder Reiner Dümpert. Today the price for diamond grit is considerably less than in 1996. In 20 years, prices have halved further for nearly all grades and sizes of diamond grits, powders and polycrystalline cutting materials. In China, the production of the raw material with the fascinating name "Diamond" has been continuously increased, since the Chinese adopted western technology and having their exports frequently subsidized. Industrial diamond products have become universally available, forcing even large diamond suppliers in China to reduce their costs in order to respond to market price pressure. Now, however, the world's unbelievable rise in energy prices is forcing many Asian producers to end this trend after 25 years and to raise prices for the first time.
CERATONIA attributes its ongoing success in this very competitive market to two things: First is the unbreakable will of the owner Reiner Dümpert and his motto: "Whoever ceases to be better will not be good anymore." Second, Reiner Dümpert is convinced that the industry needs an independent diamond supplier who can provide diamond cutting materials "Just in Time". Reiner advises: "I also see ourselves as the extended arm of our customers' purchasing departments - the companies are looking for the right superabrasives in the perfect price-performance for their tools and are happy to use our know-how."
Talking about the company founding Reiner Duempert, the tall entrepreneur, tells the story of the mid-nineties when, as a regional sales manager at General Electric, he learned all about the diamond business. Dümpert recalls that back then he saw himself acting as an entrepreneur within GE, striving for success and recognition as well as constant improvement, both professionally and personally. "Even after 22 years of experience in the industry, I still take great satisfaction to inspire people about our products and convince them of our attractive price-performance capabilities."
The entrepreneur studied mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Schweinfurt. After his first working experience in the export department at FAG Kugelfischer (now Schaeffler Group), he was responsible for establishing a new sales department for hydraulics in the USA from 1986 to 1988.
This was actually the first step into self-employment, because Dümpert's position was that of a pure one man show. After three years with FAG, the USA sales department had grown to a subsidiary with four employees. Dümpert sees himself as an advisory engineer, not just as a merchant. "Every customer has their own, often specific and unique requirements. Our focus is to solve the customer’s problems", he mentions emphatically. The CERATONIA team of employees will be happy to advise their customers individually and on the spot about the different cutting materials. As an independent supplier, CERATONIA has the advantage of finding exactly the product(s) the customer needs. This is only one of many advantages of CERATONIA. Dümpert`s vision of a quality supplier is definitely a win-win-situation for both sides.
After another six years with General Electric Germany, he started his own business in the diamond and CBN commodity sector as a supplier for sawing, grinding, dressing and machining tool products. With his prior business experience and established contacts in the market, it was a well-planned step into self-employment. ‘Being a man with rough edges - like a diamond’ - as a former boss commented to him, he was well prepared to prevail against the fierce winds of competition. Over the years new equipment and processes were developed to meet customer needs and expectations. Microscopes and vision systems were employed to provide more sophisticated and accurate measurement capabilities. Laboratory equipment for sorting and screening diamond powder and grits were procured. Lasers were purchased for producing PCD segments of all shapes and sizes. And cleaning processes and equipment were developed to meet ever evolving customer requirements. The facilities were periodically renovated and expanded to accommodate the new equipment and the 20 employees currently serving CERATONIA customers.
CERATONIA’s success is due in large part to the close cooperation of its employees. The individual skills and proficiency of each employee are paramount in serving CERATONIA’s customers. One of the working principles is that always two or more employees are familiar with each process and procedure, so deliveries and service are not interrupted during holiday periods. This security gives CERATONIA the freedom to invest time in developing new products and expanding customer relationships. The long-standing cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin layer (IS) is an integral part of CERATONIA’s business.
In 1998 CERATONIA recognized the potential of the Ceradress CVD thick-film polycrystalline diamond for dressing tools. "We introduced CVD diamond in Europe, made it popular and received the pioneer award from the supplier Norton, now a St. Gobain subsidiary." As demand developed, CERATONIA supplied the polished Ceraton-CVD polycrystalline diamond for cutting tools, which offers a longer life with better surface finishes compared with PCD. The prompt delivery of the Ceradress and Ceraton products according to proprietary drawings is highly appreciated by CERATONIA customers. CERATONIA offers new grit coatings, which offer additional technical advantages. Top priority is to deliver uniform high quality products according to the customer’s specific technical and application requirements.
"As a raw material supplier we are directly involved in our customers workflow and CERATONIA is committed to be reliable, to meet deadlines, to deliver products in the desired quality and quantity. These are the conditions for a successful and long-lasting business relationship", explains Reiner Dümpert, who is already creating visions for the next 20 years.