WIDIA Products Group Combines World-Leading Brands

(LATROBE, PA) – At EMO Milan 2009, Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT) announced the launch of the WIDIA Products Group.  With WIDIA™, WIDIA-Hanita™, WIDIA-Rubig™, WIDIA-Manchester™, WIDIA-Clapp-DiCo™, WIDIA-GTD™, and WIDIA-Circle™ all branded under the WIDIA name, this announcement culminates the enterprise’s long-term multi-year brand and channel strategy, the aims of which are to improve access to WIDIA metalcutting products and services to customers worldwide, focus the company's engineering and marketing investments, decrease the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs), and build a robust distribution brand.

“This clear brand alignment directs a powerful flow of innovation, products, and services to manufacturers worldwide,” says Kennametal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos M. Cardoso. “Metalcutting customers benefit from a more streamlined organization, making it even easier to do business with us as we provide one of the most innovative bundle of products and services available to meet their needs."

The WIDIA story, well-known in Europe, is a new one for many North American manufacturers. Established in Germany in 1929, WIDIA possesses a rich heritage as one of the first innovators in developing tungsten carbide for use as a cutting-tool material. WIDIA also claims the world’s first patent for coating indexable inserts and developing the world’s first coated grades. The WIDIA name comes from the German phrase ‘hart wie diamant,’ or ‘hard as a diamond’ and is as synonymous in Europe with carbide cutting tools as Ferrari is to high-performance automobiles.

Strong brands with niche applications will become significantly stronger and have global impact being tied to the WIDIA brand in the WIDIA Products Group. For example, Greenfield Tap & Die was founded in the late 1800s and has grown to be one of the world’s most comprehensive line of premium-quality taps. Leveraged with the recognition and resources of WIDIA and known as WIDIA-GTD™, these taps will continue to grow and find new users worldwide. The same can be said for WIDIA-Clapp/DiCo™, the first choice in PCD/CBN custom metalcutting solutions, or WIDIA-Rübig™, for unsurpassed solid-carbide drilling and reaming.

Kennametal Inc.’s channel strategy becomes much stronger as well, according to the company. WIDIA and Kennametal Product Groups will be taken to market separately, with the WIDIA Products Group being sold primarily through distribution and selected direct accounts while the Kennametal brand is positioned primarily as a direct brand also sold through selected value-added resellers.

WIDIA distributors worldwide have greeted the news with enthusiasm, recognizing they now have a powerful WIDIA family that also includes former niche and regional brands available around the world. “With these additions to our products and services,” one distributor says, “we now represent everything from the spindle to the job to improve a company’s bottom line.”

New products will continue to be introduced as well. A new premium performance platform, WIDIA Victory™, covers the newest WIDIA product innovations for higher productivity and lower costs for metalworking manufacturers. WIDIA Victory includes new extensions to the best-in-class WIDIA M1200™ series face-milling cutters and inserts, new TN series turning grades specifically engineered for steel and cast-iron applications, and the new TOP DRILL M1™ modular drilling system.

The WIDIA Victory portfolio defines the standard for productivity-improving products. Best-in-class performance is an essential step toward best-in-class cost-cutting and improved profits for WIDIA customers.

For current WIDIA and Kennametal customers, catalog numbers and tool markings will not change, but new eco-friendly packaging, robust web site, and new product catalogs will be implemented in phases beginning immediately.

Customers of both brands can continue to take advantage of custom solutions programs for specialized applications. WIDIA's supply-chain services, for example, can engineer cost-saving processes for tooling availability, reduced setup times, and product tracking that can further increase production capabilities and lower costs. Exclusive online training programs are also available to help our customers and partners stay on the leading edge of technology.

Contact WIDIA Products Group at 800.446.7738.

WIDIA-brand products and services have defined innovation in the metalcutting industry for more than 80 years — from the world's first patent for carbide indexable inserts to the development of the world's first coated grades. The WIDIA brand offers a complete portfolio of precision-engineered products and custom solution services. With thousands of milling, turning, holemaking, and tooling systems products available through a worldwide network of authorized distributor partners, you'll find everything you need from one single source.