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Concrete Grinding » Blastrac promotes Diamatic in full


Blastrac promotes Diamatic in full

Responsible for developing the first shot blaster for naval ship decks in 1976, Dutch-based Blastrac now supplies grinding, polishing, shot blasting, scrapping and stripping machines to contractors in nearly 90 countries.

A manufacturer of surface preparation equipment, Blastrac has maintained its global presence within various construction sectors through foresight, an acquisition and product expansion.
“Our product and revenue mix has shifted drastically from core products of shot blasting equipment to the new initiatives,” said Blastrac global vice president Stephen Klugherz.

Acquired Diamatic in 2004
One of those initiatives involved Blastrac’s 2004 purchase of the Dutch Diamatic brand. Known for specialized grinding and polishing equipment, the Diamatic brand has become a central part of Blastrac’s product offering. “We’ve probably put together the most complete line of floor grinding, polishing and scrapping equipment in the marketplace,” said Klugherz. “Those are the two market segments that are still growing.”
Currently Blastrac manufactures under the Diamatic brand hand held grinders, single-head and heavy-duty surface grinders, heavy-duty and multi-purpose planetary polishers/grinders and micro polishers.
A series of diamond products, ranging from wings to pads, are also part of the Diamatic brand, along with heavy-duty vacuums.
“We originally let that brand have separate distribution and manufacture equipment for other sales agencies. But we have cancelled those agreements and sell everything direct as the red Diamatic product line, which was introduced in February 2009 at World of Concrete,” says Klugherz.

Full commitment to grinding and polishing through Diamatic
Three years prior, Blastrac noticed that more than 60 companies were portraying themselves as a supplier of grinding or polishing-related equipment at World of Concrete. However a significant amount of those companies were not centrally focused on grinding and polishing, and in the coming years fell to the wayside.
This influenced Blastrac to further commit to its Diamatic product line. “We found that without having a centrally-focused sales team and product offering there was no way to participate in the polishing and grinding market in a large way,” says Klugherz.
By focusing on the Diamatic product line, Blastrac has positioned itself to be a primary manufacturer and supplier of surface preparation equipment moving forward. “The market is going to polish from the traditional floor coatings, and grinding for preparation is more prevalent,” says Klugherz. “We’ve seen the shot blasting market decline dramatically.”

Concrete floor polishing a smart alternative
Polishing, rather than maintaining floor tile or carpet, has become more widespread due to its lower lifecycle cost, and dramatic chemistry improvements associated with densification and stain protection. “Floor polishing is a green, high-demand option for retail and commercial space, and now industrial plants,” says Klugherz.
Blastrac anticipates that government buildings, schools, barracks and military bases, which receive stimulus money for upgrades or new construction, will also choose polished concrete over tile and carpet. The demand for specific scrapping machines that can remove glue, tile and carpet, without damaging a floor’s substrate, is also growing as more building owners request polished concrete when remodelling or upgrading buildings.
“Demolition contractors for a long time would throw grunt at a building’s floors with no consideration for what the substrate would look like when they’re done,” says Klugherz. “But if you scratch or gouge a floor it’s not polishable.”
Instead of using grunt or a Bobcat to tear up the floor, more demolition contractors are using hydraulic ride on and walk behind scrappers, some of which are touch screen controlled. “We sell hundreds of scrappers through the Blastrac brand to companies that do demolition,” says Klugherz.
While the demand for polishing, grinding and scrapping equipment appears on the rise, Klugherz admits that a number of contractors are not going to spend money on new equipment because there is an enormous amount of equipment on the sidelines. “It’s going to take awhile for that equipment to get back to work before we see a lot of small construction or value engineered pieces of equipment bought,” he says.

Aiming for the top segment
In 2009 Blastrac restructured its manufacturing and sales operations, and experienced a decline in overall sales. However, the company expects to recoup the majority of that decline in 2010, in part because of its growing product line. According to Klugherz, Diamatic launched a number of new products or upgrades to existing products during the World of Concrete. New products include a planetary grinder, edger, micro-polisher and vacuum. The company also introduced a new, walk-behind planing machine, which features a gang saw diamond for planing down groves, exposing aggregate, or levelling a floor that has previously been remodelled. A texturing and pavement preservation product line, featuring new maintenance chemicals, densifiers and colours/dyes, also were released in January 2010.
“The whole idea is to position ourselves as one of the top players in the polishing segment and we feel like we’re ready for that now,” says Klugherz.

Text & Photo: Erik Pisor






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