In the Industry Archives - American Cutting Edge

Made in America!

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Made in America!
American Cutting Edge, a Division of CB Manufacturing has been in the knife industry for almost 50 years. Throughout this time we have grown from a one man operation to an industry leader in cutting solutions. Many of these cutting solutions are manufactured right here in Dayton, Ohio! At our Miamisburg campus, we have a large spacious factory with 40+ skilled workers and counting. Our team of knowledgeable machine operators is made up of many generations of workers, from our veterans to our rookies, everyone in the factory comes together to get each and every job done right. American Cutting Edge is proud of our Made in America products and our ability to develop manufacturing opportunities right here in Ohio.

American Cutting Edge Acquires Industrial Blade Division from Superion

American Cutting Edge, a division of CB Manufacturing & Sales Co., Inc., is pleased to announce the acquisition of the industrial blade product line from Superion, Inc., of Xenia, Ohio.  The purchase includes both the assets used to manufacture blades as well as the intellectual property surrounding the product line.

American Cutting Edge is the leader in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of steel and tungsten carbide industrial blades worldwide.  Superion has been one of the foremost manufacturers of Solid Tungsten Carbide and Ceramic Razor Blades, premium and long-lasting blades used to cut or convert materials such as foil, film, paper, textiles, and other resistant materials, as well as the innovator of the proprietary resharpening process that allows multiple reuses of their blades.

This purchase will allow Superion, Inc. to concentrate on their primary line, which is the manufacture and sell of precision cutting tools for metalworking.  The addition of the Solid Tungsten Carbide and Ceramic Industrial Blades to the American Cutting Edge brand will allow American Cutting Edge to continue to offer their customers the newest and best technology for their material converting needs.

Chuck Biehn, president of American Cutting Edge is positive about the acquisition:  “There is a long history of partnership and synergy between our two companies and we are excited that we have come to an agreement that will allow both companies to do what we love and do the best.  Superion will be able to focus all their skills and talents on providing precision metal cutting tools internationally and American Cutting Edge will expand our global product offering with advanced technology that will benefit our customers with extended blade life and reduced overall costs.”

The purchase was finalized June 27, 2014.

American Cutting Edge’s parent company, CB Manufacturing & Sales Co., Inc. is owned by the Biehn Family and provides industrial machine knives and razor blades worldwide, as well as contract surface and EDM services throughout the Midwest.  They also own Certified Heat Treating Incorporated, whose West Carrollton and Springfield facilities provide metal processing services to customers in a five state region.  CB Manufacturing & Sales was established in 1965 by Charlie Biehn Sr., and will proudly celebrate 50 years of business in 2015.

Edge to Edge Archive

In a past Edge to Edge we featured articles regarding our reshoring efforts as well as our factory and the new machinery we have. We feel both of these directly relate to this newsletter. If you would like to revisit these, or any of our other articles you can find them on our website under news and events.

Announcement - Name Change

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Announcement – Name Change

In 2015, CB Manufacturing will celebrate our Fiftieth year as one of the U.S.’s premier knife manufacturing companies.  We may be marking our golden anniversary, but we continue to live our mission statement: Better * Faster * Leaner * Stronger.  In that spirit, on July 1, 2014, we are proud to introduce to you our new name: American Cutting Edge, a division of CB Manufacturing.  We have chosen to adopt as our new name the title of the razor blade focused branch of our company because it reflects overall what our company is: North America’s number one provider of cutting edges.

Many of our valued customers currently purchase from both CB Manufacturing and American Cutting Edge and the combining of our two divisions—machine knives and razor blades—will eliminate the need to issue two separate purchase orders and maintain two separate accounts when placing orders.  It will also simplify the quoting and ordering process for our customers, as they will have a single service expert who oversees all their orders from start to finish.

Regardless of our name, American Cutting Edge, a division of CB Manufacturing, will continue to focus on the same principles that are allowing us to commemorate fifty successful years: exceptional customer service and the highest standards of quality.  The same principles that Charlie Biehn set in place back in 1965.

During the changeover on July 1, 2014, and afterwards, we will always accept purchase orders issued to either CB Manufacturing or American Cutting Edge as our customers update their systems to reflect our new name.

Please join us in marking our Fiftieth birthday.  And we’d like to thank you, our loyal and valued customers.  Over the past five decades, we have all weathered changes in the economy and technology and emerged stronger and better than ever.  We look forward to celebrating another fifty years in partnership with the customers who are so instrumental to our success.

Visit our new Better * Faster * Leaner * Stronger website: AmericanCuttingEdge.com for more info!

Very Truly Yours,

Chuck Biehn
Chief Executive Officer
American Cutting Edge, a division of CB Manufacturing

Edge To Edge

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IN THIS ISSUE…

Precision Razor Blades
No one does precision like Germany, and no one stocks more German precision blades than American Cutting Edge. We are committed to the lasting performance of your blades and knives for every manufacturing environment. Rely on American Cutting Edge for precise, long lasting blades for all your industrial needs. Call our sales team for more information.

Grinding

Depending on the material to be ground, CB Manufacturing’s experienced operators are able to hold dimensions of flat and parallel to .001 or better and thickness to +/- .0005.  Their operators are truly craftsmen, with years of experience and knowledge that allows them to meet and exceed customers’ specifications.  They are experienced with grinding and machining of all types of materials including carbon steels, tool steels,  abrasive plate, stainless steels, tungsten carbide, ceramics, beryllium copper, aluminum and others.

CB Manufacturing’s Mattison 108 is the largest vertical spindle rotary grinder east of the Mississippi and one of only three in all the United States. This particular machine has size capabilities of 126″ in diameter and 52″ tall, as well as a weight capacity of up to 10 tons!

For more information about CB Manufacturing’s grinding capabilities as well as our other abilities such as machining and sharpening visit our services page on CB Manufacturing’s website. 

Cryogenic Treatment

CB Manufacturing and Certified Heat Treating, Inc. offer Deep Cryogenic Treatment of knives, blades, and other industrial tools, in our in house microprocessor controlled, cryogenic chamber.

During heat treating, steel’s micro-structure transforms from austenite to martensite, which makes the steel much more wear resistant. However, some small pockets of austenite may not transform and this does not allow the knives to perform as well as they can. Deep Cryogenic processing helps change retained austenite to martensite, completing the transformation process.

Our Deep Cryogenic processing is different from conventional cryogenic processing and requires cooling the parts to more than 300° below zero compared to about 120° for conventional cryogenic processing. This process includes cooling the parts at a programmed rate, soaking the parts for up to thirty-six hours, and then an additional tempering operation to relieve any stress that may remain. We combine Deep Cryogenic processing with our state of the art Vacuum Heat Treating capability to offer unmatched metal treating and the best performance possible from your knives and tools. For more information about our Cryogenic Treatment, or any of our other heat treating capabilities visit Certified Heat Treating, Inc’s website

Dayton Manufacturer Makes Acquisition

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Dayton manufacturer makes acquisition
Joe Cogliano ■ DBJ
Chuck Biehn is CEO of CB Manufacturing.

Joe Cogliano
Senior Reporter-
Dayton Business Journal

A local industrial knife maker has purchased the product line of another Dayton-area manufacturer.
American Cutting Edge in Centerville acquired the industrial blade business of Xenia-based Superion Inc. The sale includes Superion’s line of solid tungsten carbide and ceramic razor blades —premium, long-lasting blades used to cut or convert materials such as foil, film, paper and textiles —as well as its proprietary sharpening process that allows the blades to be used multiple times.
Terms of the deal, which includes equipment and intellectual property, were not disclosed. Company officials say the sale will allow Superion Inc. to concentrate on its primary line, the manufacturing of precision cutting tools for metalworking.
American Cutting Edge — a division of West Carrollton-based CB Manufacturing & Sales Co. — designs and produces steel and tungsten carbide industrial blades that are sold globally.
Chuck Biehn, CEO of CB Manufacturing, told me Monday morning the acquisition is a big deal because his company had been importing a majority of the products it just acquired from Superion.
“This allows us to react faster to customer needs and have the ability to offer more American-made products,” Biehn said. “We believe with this new equipment we will be able to compete with the factories overseas where we now get the product.”
American Cutting Edge will pick up two employees from Superion and will need to hire at least two more people. Biehn hopes to eventually expand the newly acquired product line.
CB Manufacturing has about 140 employees, which includes its American Cutting Edge and Certified Heat Treating divisions. The parent company is one of the Top 100 local companies with more than $24 million in revenue last year, according to Dayton Business Journal research.
This is the second acquisition of a local company for CB Manufacturing in less than a year. Last fall, it purchased Heat Treating Inc. in Springfield.

Blade Longevity

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Blade Longevity

Customers often ask what they can do to increase the life of their machine knives and razor blades. While there isn’t a set in stone blanket answer for this question there are a few tips we can offer. It is important to note that not all ideas are appropriate to all applications. Many aspects go into a finished product such as knife material, coatings, environment, cutting substrate, geometry and surface finish of the blade, and the list goes on. If you are interested in getting better blade life, please read through the information below and contact one of our knife experts to discuss your options. 

Materials

One of the factors for blade longevity is the material in which it is made.  Your application and desired price point will likely dictate the best material for you.  Depending on what you are cutting you may need harder steel, or something with higher carbon content. In many cases there are different options for what material you can use. One material may get the job done for an acceptable period of time; however another material may work even better for an extended time frame.  For example CB Manufacturing has recently released a new product, our carbide inlaid densifer knife. This blade, with its carbide inlay could double in life from its non-carbide inlaid counterpart, and should give the user cleaner cuts.  There are many materials available that can be considered for each knife. Carbon Steel, Stainless Steels, High Speed Steels and Tool Steels are all options to discuss with your blade expert. Click here for more information about blade and knife materials.

Coatings

In conjunction with the material of your knife you may be able to choose a coating that will make your blade last even longer. There are a slew of coatings available including Titanium Nitride, Boron Carbide, and Teflon just to name a few.  Each coating has a different use, for example Teflon is generally used to increase the lubricity of the blade surface and can be great for adhesive cutting applications while a Boron Carbide, more commonly known as ceramic coating, is generally used to add extensive wear life to razor blades, making the blade last 20+ times longer. Contact your Product Manager to discuss what options would be best for you and your application. For more information on coatings and how they interact with different steels you can also visit our website.

Hardness Vs Toughness

Another aspect of blade life is the hardness verses the toughness of the blade. Generally as hardness increases, toughness decreases. Toughness is desirable when blades are heavily impacted, hardness when a blade is exposed or abrasive materials. Hardness is a characteristic of a solid material expressing its resistance to permanent deformation. The Rockwell or Vickers hardness scales are most commonly used in the industrial blade industry. Toughness on the other hand is the maximum amount of energy a material can absorb before fracturing, which is different than the amount of force that can be applied. The key with industrial knives is finding that magical blend of hardness and toughness that will give a blade long life and good durability to stresses and impacts depending on the application. If you would like more information about this concept or would like to discuss your blades hardness or toughness please contact our knowledgeable blade staff. You can also visit our website for more information. 

Product Spotlight

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Product Spotlight

Carbide Inlaid Pelletizer

455-E509Inlay is a new pelletizer that American Cutting Edge will be offering. It has a carbide Inlay that will ensure greater blade life and cleaner cuts. This means more run time and less down time due to blade changes. Click here for more information regarding our pelletizer line.

Fish Processing Knife

 

260-0585006Cryo is American Cutting Edge’s 58″ knife used in fish processing.  This knife is manufactured at CB’s Dayton, Ohio facility and has been a top seller in the food processing division for the past 10 years, a true showcase piece. OEM quality at factory direct pricing adds nothing but dollars to your company’s bottom line. For more information about our fish processing line, click here!

Carbon Steel Skinner Blade

 

R-203502MOD is a carbon steel skinner blade offered by American Cutting Edge. Savvy consumers are switching to carbon steel skinning blades. The higher carbon content and higher hardness provide an unrivaled edge that cuts better and lasts longer, and for a lower price! With blades being changed out every 2, 4 or 8 hours at least, concerns about corrosion are irrelevant. Why waste money? Pay less for more blade!  Click here to learn more about our skinner blades.

Tungsten Carbide Medical Blades

 

Tungsten carbide blades! More Medical Device Manufacturers are coming on board with American Cutting Edge to use one of the variety of Tungsten carbide blades carried.  These blades are not only providing increased lifetime for the manufacturing lines but are also giving the precision cut needed for this line of products. Click here to learn more about our medical blades.

Wood Chipper Knives

 

American Cutting Edge offers a comprehensive range of precision ground wood chipper knives made from high quality hardened and tempered stainless and carbon steels. All Knives are made to the most exacting OEM standards. For more information click here to request a quote.

Reshoring Interview

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I sat down and talked to our President, Chuck Biehn, about our reshoring efforts and what he is seeing on a global scale.  Chuck’s father started CB Manufacturing & Sales in 1965 and he has now been working at the family-owned company for 37 years.

“We are real believers in reshoring and have bet a lot of money on the future of manufacturing in the USA” ~ Chuck Biehn

 

Chuck, what is “reshoring”?

Millions of jobs have disappeared over the last couple of decades as American companies found that many of the items they manufacture could be made much less expensively in other countries, especially China.  Today, a combination of higher costs in China and other low cost countries, combined with a desire to reduce delivery time and improve quality is allowing many products to be brought back and be manufactured again in the USA.  This is typically called “reshoring” and is the opposite of “offshoring”.

 

Has CB been a big part of offshoring in the past?

Distribution of machine knives is something we know a lot about as CB Mfg was actually started as a machine knife reseller back in 1965, only getting into manufacturing our own knives in about 1971.  We actually started importing knives in about 1972, before we even had a copier or telex machine, let alone a fax machine; imagine the pace of business when you had to mail letters back and forth—it took many months to complete a transaction!  Although our manufactured products dominated our business, we quickly became experienced importers, setting up partnerships all over the world.  Between myself and our staff, we have probably made over 100 overseas trips since 1981, as we don’t just “buy”, we really investigate our overseas factories and create partnerships that enable us to get our ultimate customers the best quality and value we can.

 

What do you see changing in the machine knife industry regarding reshoring?

Although the economics are such that there will be some quality knives that can best be manufactured overseas, today America is more competitive than ever.  Delivery is a key issue.  Customers have reduced their inventories to a point where they cannot wait months to receive custom made knives and they are willing to pay a bit more to get their knives made in this country.  Many times, this is the best business decision on our customers’ part and we all like to be patriotic and create American jobs when possible

 

What is specifically happening at CB Mfg that is allowing more reshoring of knives?

First, over the last few years we have really worked on Lean Manufacturing, cutting waste throughout our company and setting up cells surrounding the value streams that we offer our customers.  Second, we have made an investment of close to a million dollars in the last year or so, buying 3 major machines and using new technology to make our machine knives better and faster.  These two steps have allowed us to be more competitive making products in-house that we used to import, something we are quite proud of today.

 

Anything else to add about reshoring in America?

We are real believers in reshoring and have bet a lot of money on the future of manufacturing in the USA.  As a major buyer of heat treating services, decades ago we started a heat treating services company on our campus.  This heat treating company not only processes our knives, but also does commercial heat treating in about a 100 mile region.  A few months back, we acquired a competitive heat treating company northeast of Dayton, OH as we believe this industrial sector is going to grow due to reshoring.  This move more than doubled our heat treating capacity as we plan to be in the forefront of the new industrial revolution in our historically metalworking manufacturing region.  The future looks very bright for this new company and all our businesses!

 

New Machinery

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CB Manufacturing’s Factory has recently been upgraded with three new machines.

Reform GrinderThe first addition, a German-Made Reform Vertical Surface Grinder, has a 236” x 19.7” magnetic table and a 120 HP spindle motor. The machine is completely computer controlled using a Marposs system that will make the grinding process extremely automated, greatly reducing the chance for human error and increasing productivity. With the new addition, CB will be capable of holding finishing tolerances of +/- .0005 with much greater output than with conventional grinders.

Chevalier GrinderThe second addition is a Chevalier Grinder. This machine has a 16” X 40” chuck and is accurate to within .0002” across the entire chuck. It has incremental down feed of .00005” and we can set what size to finish and how many spark out passes to take. Its ball bearing ways verse one V and one flat way allow us to hold tighter tolerances. Plus it has a CBN, diamond wheel dresser that will improve productivity. This new grinder gives us even greater grinding and sharpening capabilities. We are very excited to welcome this piece of machinery to our fleet of grinders.

Kitamura HorizontalOur newest machine is a Kitamura Horizontal Machining Center.  This piece will machine parts up to 24″ in length with unbeatable accuracy, repeatability and speed.  This is an extremely reliable and quality made machine.

Certified Heat Treating Inc. Adds A New Location

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CHTI new logoCertified Heat Treating, Inc. of Miamisburg, Ohio and The Biehn Group of Companies are pleased to announce the acquisition of Heat Treating Incorporated in Springfield, Ohio.

Certified Heat Treating and Heat Treating Incorporated have served the metal treating needs of the Tri-State area for many decades and the merger of the two companies is a natural progression of synergies, mutually benefiting the companies, and the customers they serve.

The two companies are known and respected for quality and excellent customer service. They are both ISO 9001:2008 certified, adhere to lean manufacturing principles, and are dedicated to 5-S programs. These proven practices will continue to maintain an industry leading work environment resulting in the attraction and retention of the best associates available. This reinforces both companies’ positions as leaders in the Miami Valley heat treating industry. Dedicated to workplace improvement, Heat Treating Incorporated is a member of the DOL-approved Heat Treating Apprenticeship Program and Certified Heat Treating is currently a finalist in the Dayton Business Journal’s Manufacturing Awards in the category of Workplace Training.

The integration of the two companies will result in the combining of equipment, knowledge and personnel in the production, vacuum, and induction heat treating departments. This enables both Certified Heat Treating and Heat Treating Inc. to continue to provide their customers with unmatched service and quality metal treating. The capacity gained in this acquisition will allow Certified Heat Treating Inc. to treat up to 150,000 additional pounds of material per day.

After the acquisition, the combined company will continue operations under the name Certified Heat Treating Incorporated at both the Miamisburg and Springfield sites. Currently, all operational, accounting and customer service departments will continue to operate independently. Mike Trimble will be in charge of managing CHTI/Springfield and Bob Biehn will continue as manager at CHTI/Miamisburg.

If you would like to find out more about the acquisition and merger or about Certified Heat Treating Incorporated, please contact the president, Joe Biehn, at 937-901-1574 or via email at jbiehn@cbmfg.com, or visit our two web sites, www.certifiedheattreating.com and www.heattreating.com

Certified Heat Treating Inc.
Heat Treating Inc.
4475 Infirmary Road
Miamisburg, Ohio 45432
937-866-0245
www.certifiedheattreating.com
www.heattreating.com

Hardness vs Toughness

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Hardness vs Toughness

 

In the world of industrial knives, hardness is a desired quality. Usually, the higher the hardness, the greater the resistance to friction and abrasion and the longer the life of the blade. How do we define hardness? How does this differ from toughness?

Hardness vs. Toughness: Generally as hardness increases, toughness decreases. Toughness is desirable when blades are heavily impacted, hardness when a blade is exposed to corrosive or abrasive materials.

Hardness is related to the amount of carbon in steel. Often the lower the carbon, the higher the toughness. Also, some steels do not perform at lower hardness as they were designed for use at higher hardness.

Indentation hardness tests are primarily used in engineering and metallurgy fields. The tests work on the basic premise of measuring the critical dimensions of an indentation left by a specifically dimensioned and loaded indenter.

Hardness is a characteristic of a solid material expressing its resistance to permanent deformation. The Rockwell or Vickers hardness scales are most commonly used in the industrial blade industry.

Toughness on the other hand is the maximum amount of energy a material can absorb before fracturing, which is different than the amount of force that can be applied. Toughness tends to be small for brittle materials, because it is elastic and plastic deformations that allow materials to absorb large amounts of energy.

The key with industrial knives is finding that magical blend of hardness and toughness that will give a blade long life and good durability to stresses and impacts depending on the application. Tool steels like D2 have the most ideal properties. However, you can create ideal qualities with different alloys of stainless or carbon steel as well.

Hardness of steels is typically achieved by heat treating processes. The carbon in the steel combines with various elements in the steel like Vanadium, Chromium, Molybdenum, Silicon etc. to form carbides and other crystalline structures. Steel by its nature becomes harder (and more brittle…less tough) when it is heat treated and quenched.

With Steels, putting together the right mix of materials is key, but how you treat or temper the material also plays a role in the toughness and hardness properties.

One great example of extreme hardness but little to no toughness is carbide razor blades sold by our sister company American Cutting Edge. While they have high endurance for cutting, they withstand very little impact or side load pressure.
Even with “exotic materials” like this you can achieve some level of toughness by working with different binders like cobalt or nickel. Each will add toughness as their concentration increases in the material make up. But you sacrifice some hardness for this.

To combat its lack of toughness, carbide is often brazed onto softer steels, allowing the steel to absorb the vibrations and impact while the harder carbide can retain its extreme wear ability with out fracturing.

If you need some help with material selection to ensure that you get the right amount of hardness and toughness for your application don’t hesitate to contact CB Manufacturing. One of our knowledgeable knife salesmen will be more than happy to help make the best selection for your application!