Worldia, founded 2000 in China, is a leading manufacturer of high-quality, superhard cutting tools (PCD, CVDD, PCBN) with 4 manufacturing locations and more than 1100 employees worldwide, thereof 10% in Research and Development, holding over 220 patents. Since 2019, the company is listed on Chinese stock market as one of the first 25 high-tech companies. Innovation, a focus on technology, highest quality standards and consistent customer orientation have enabled Worldia to grow steadily and invest in new product areas and locations. Recent examples are the acquisition of the electronic tooling specialist XinJinQuan and the establishment of Worldia Europe in Germany as first subsidiary outside China.

Interview with Michael Grimm, Chief Strategy Officer of Worldia Group.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Michael Grimm: Worldia’s has 3 main areas of activity: Superhard Materials which are brought to market under our “Supower” brand, Precision Cutting Tools, sold under “Worldia” brand, and Automated Manufacturing Equipment. 

One reason for Worldia’s innovation leadership is that we also develop our own manufacturing technologies and respective manufacturing equipment inhouse, such as CVD diamond reactors, vacuum brazing furnaces, grinding, polishing and laser machines etc. Different from other companies, Worldia has the complete manufacturing process of superhard tools from material development through tool reconditioning inhouse and therefore has full control of the quality of each step. For example, we inspect 100% of the PCD, CVDD and PCBN discs before making cutting tips from them.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

M.G: Our core products are Superhard Cutting Tools: PCD, CVDD and PCBN standard and customized inserts, indexable PCD and PCBN milling cutters, PCD and PCBN monoblock tools and diamond scribing wheels that are used for precise glass cutting. Recently, we have also added solid carbide and ceramic round tools (drills and endmills) and carbide inserts to our precision cutting tool portfolio. Solid carbide and ceramic round tools have specifically been developed to the requirements of Aerospace and Energy industry. We also coat these tools with diamond coating especially for CFRP and GFRP applications.

Under the name “MANANOVA” we deliver a comprehensive portfolio of standard tools from stock to our customers within max. 1 week.

Our Superhard Materials portfolio includes PCD and CVD diamond blanks, monocrystalline blanks, polycrystalline lenses and even lab-grown CVD diamonds for jewelry.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

M.G: Worldia continuously develops new products and upgrades the existing portfolio. This includes basic development of new PCD and PCBN materials and new coatings, but also completely new product programs such as precision-pressed carbide inserts for milling and grooving and tools for the electronic industry. One of Worldia’s strengths is the development of application-specific tooling platforms to reduce manufacturing cost in production of E-Mobility components, CV joints, composite materials etc. We will soon be launching a new product portfolio for Die and Mold industry.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

M.G: Overall, in cutting tool market we see a positive development after recovery from COVID crisis. Since the supply chain in one of our historic main markets – Automotive – is stabilizing, we also see increasing demand from there. The forecast for superhard tooling market growth remains above average growth rate of cutting tools in general.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

M.G: The general market trends of recent years such as near net shape machining, additive layer manufacturing (3D printing), machining of hardened materials, machining of light metal but also of high-temp super alloys, high-speed machining, dry machining etc. are still valid. We expect that environmentally sustainable manufacturing will gain more importance in future. Actually, all of these are favorable for applying Diamond and CBN cutting tools, e.g., the energy balance of a dry finish turning operation with PCBN is by far better than the one of a wet grinding process. Of course, also Battery Electric Vehicles are going to win versus those with combustion engines, but this will rather lead to significant less tool consumption.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

M.G: Actually in each of our products there is a high level of innovation, even though it cannot be seen immediately, e.g. if we talk about innovation in materials and manufacturing processes.

On 2022 AMB exhibition in Stuttgart, our new PCD microdrills found a lot of attention from our visitors, but even here we needed to magnify the innovation through a camera and a screen: Drills with a diameter of 0,1 mm with brazed and ground PCD tip are as thin as a hair and it’s almost unbelievable that they can really drill holes – but of course they can.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

M.G: Well, of course as Worldia Group we have set ourselves ambitious but realistic growth targets. This includes plans to further expand our sales and service network but also our manufacturing capacity. Worldia Europe has just started business mid of last year, but after building the base, we see a very steep ramp-up now. Especially in South-Eastern Europe including Romania we see a lot of growth potential. We are very proud on our very capable and customer-focused local channel partners there. They are key to Worldia’s growth in these areas.

Further, we expect positive impulses from our participation in EMO in Hannover Germany in September 2023.