The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: Aug 19, 2011
VIRIAL Launches First Production Line for Nanostructured Ceramic and Cerametallic Goods
(Nanowerk News) Ceremonies were held in St. Petersburg today for the first production line for new high-tech goods of nanostructured ceramic and cerametallic materials. The facilities belong to VIRIAL, a project company created with co-investment from RUSNANO. Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Michael Oseevsky, RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais, Novomet-Perm General Director Oleg Perelman (The company will soon become a consumer of the new products.), and VIRIAL General Director Vladimir Rumyantsev took part in opening the new plant.
The total cost of the new project is 1.7 billion rubles. Investment fund CapMan, a leading fund in direct financing in Scandinavian countries and Russia, and agriculture innovator Siberian Organics have joined RUSNANO as co-investors.
With the commissioning of VIRIAL's new plant, the company will be able to boost output to 1.2 million ready-made items in 2011, an increase of 0.25 million. Greater production and broader product offerings will drive company sales to 720 million rubles this year, 20 percent above earnings in 2010.
VIRIAL has set up the entire production cycle for cutting instruments that are suited to hard-to-process materials and slide bearings able to accommodate extreme working conditions, higher pressure, and hotter temperatures. Items will be manufactured using a unique patented technology.
VIRIAL cutting instruments are already in use at automobile and tractor factories. They are being tested by large energy, mechanical engineering, and aircraft manufacturing enterprises. For more than 10 years, the company has shipped its slide bearings to the largest Russian producers of pumping equipment (Borets and Novomet-Perm). VIRIAL has never ceased improving the materials and construction of its articles.
VIRIAL products have substantial competitive advantages-greater endurance, broad range of working temperatures, and ability to operate under conditions of higher abrasion and in the presence of aggressive chemicals.
The company is already laying plans for the next stages of its business development. Later this year VIRIAL will become a "resident" of a special economic zone in St. Petersburg where it will begin building a new factory. These steps will enable the company to produce 2.5 million items in 2015 and achieve sales of 2.7 billion rubles.
"People typically figure that mineral companies working in traditional markets have no use for innovation. Sometimes that's a fatal business mistake. VIRIAL wholly refutes the theory. Here we have large oil companies who go through producers of oil production equipment to order the latest high-tech solutions. They become the drivers of the innovation process. VIRIAL doesn't sit still either. It is continually expanding its product line, mastering new markets, particularly in die stock for metal-cutting instruments," said RUSNANO Managing Director Dmitry Lisenkov.
"The company recently celebrated its 20th year and it is still moving forward. Commissioning the new plant, which we've outfitted with a complex of high-tech equipment that is unique in Russia, will let us take the business to a new level of production and efficiency. We can begin commercial production of cutting tool inserts and die stock for powered tooling using the latest hard alloys, ceramics, and cubic boron nitride. Our partners are always coming up against tough technical challenges that require continuous improvement in R&D and technological and production processes. They become the base for our innovative development," VIRIAL General Director Vladimir Rumyantsev noted.
RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.
Established in 1991, VIRIAL produces details and fittings from ceramic and cerametallic materials. It has market share of about 40 percent in the Russian market for wear-resistant submersible oil production pump components. Competitors are largely foreign manufacturers. VIRIAL conducts research and development independently and in cooperation with leading domestic and foreign R&D organizations. For more information, please visit www.virial.ruNew Window