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American Cutting Edge, A division of CB Manufacturing
Industrial razor blades, machine knives, custom and stock blades
Industrial razor blades, machine knives, custom and stock blades


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Celebrating 50 years of Tradition and Innovation!
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Would you like to work for a company that’s been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Dayton?   We’re hiring!   If you have a great attitude, strong sense of initiative and experience in either sales or factory work (maintenance or machine operations), send your resume to and join our team!  
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American Cutting Edge, A division of CB Manufacturing announced this week that they will be attending Seafood Processing North America, March 16-18, 2014 in Boston, MA, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, booth #1887. The decision was made after several years of increased demand of food processing machine knives.

Visit Erin and Maegen as they feature our #1 fish-processing knife: a 58” long, razor sharp fish slicing knife.  Management says that featuring this knife is an easy choice as it is manufactured at our Dayton, Ohio facility and has been a top seller in the food processing division for the past 10 years.

Exhibiting at the Seafood Show will allow American Cutting Edge to showcase our quality and expertise in the knife industry as well as in the food processing industry.  With record-breaking growth in 2012 and 2013, we will continue to expand our reputation in the food processing industry! 
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Zirconia Ceramic Blades are ideal for high heat applications, decreasing downtime, and for use in clean-rooms. This wear-resistant material can be re-sharpened for extended use. Please contact us to learn more!
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Ceramic Snap Off and Titanium Hybrid Blades

American Cutting Edge is proud to bring the first line of ceramic snap off and titanium hybrid blades to the United States. These blades have a demonstrated blade life up to 85 times longer than their carbon and stainless steel counterparts and offer an unrivaled level of precision cutting. Other extreme performance materials have already made their mark in fixed cutting applications in the packaging and converting industries. Now they are finally available in snap off form, and for hand knife use. 

In addition to their extreme performance, the ceramic blade is chemically inert, non-magnetic, corrosion resistant and can withstand extreme heat without deformation. These blades are also available with all ABS plastic hand knives, with no metal parts, in addition to traditional plastic hand knives with metal guides. These are added benefits to electronics and chemical companies with clean rooms, food and food packaging processesors and others concerned about contamination. 

In CATRA (UK) tests, these new blades have demonstrated dramatic increases in blade life. In independent testing, blades are required to cut through synthetic test card containing 5% quartz, until the blades are determined to be “blunt." This is measured by an inability to cut through 5 mm of the card. While stainless steel cut 0.3 meters and carbon steel cut 1.6 meters during their “useful life," our proprietary titanium hybrid blades cut through an amazing 8.8 meters of material before dulling. Even more impressive, our ceramic blades cut through a whopping 25.4 meters! 

The difference in performance is a function of the extreme hardness of our ceramic and titanium hybrid materials. While traditional steel blades have a hardness of HV640 to HV800 (HRC of 57 to 64), our ceramic blades have a hardness of HV1310 and the metallized ceramic particles in our titanium hybrid blades measure HV2900. In fact, they are too hard to be properly measured on the Rockwell scale.  As hardness increases, the blade will take a better edge and hold it far longer, as evidenced by the test results. 

In business since 1965, American Cutting Edge, Inc., a division of CB Manufacturing, is proud to be the exclusive US distributor for this exciting new line of blades. Please contact a Blade Specialist today, so we can help you find the best cutting solution for your application. 
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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 M2, D2 have these 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! 
 CB Manufacturing | 4475 Infirmary Rd | Miamisburg | OH | 45342 
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SUBSCRIBER CONTENT: Jul 12, 2013, 6:00am EDT
West Carrollton Manufacturer Sharpens Its Efforts
Combined companies post 15% growth

Joe Cogliano ■ DBJ

Joe Cogliano 
Senior Reporter-
Dayton Business Journal
Email  | Twitter  | Google+  | LinkedIn
For years leading into the recession, CB Manufacturing in West Carrollton had been carving itself out a nice slice of the metalworking cutting tool and industrial knife markets.

But as the economy tanked, its revenue dropped more than 20 percent. And to top it off, Charlie Biehn, the company’s founder, passed away in 2009.

That prompted Chuck Biehn — Charlie’s son and the current CEO of CB Manufacturing and its parent, Biehn Co.— to look for the silver living.

“It was our chance to take out a clean sheet of paper and start over,” Biehn said.

So about two years ago he set out to reinvent the 120-person Biehn Co., for which CB Manufacturing is the flagship operation.

For starters, Biehn invested in a more strategic marketing and sales plan that included exiting certain markets — and shedding underperforming business — and going more heavily into others such as companies that cut scrap metal and do slitting work.

Biehn also was inspired to improve operations across the company so he ramped up in-house training, such as lean processes, and pushed execution by putting more emphasis on key performance indicators.

“The company really has a focus right now,” he said.

That mix of changes seems to be the right recipe for success at CB Manufacturing, which posted more than $25 million in revenue last year across all companies combined, up 15 percent compared to the previous year. It also marks the second consecutive year of double-digit increases.

Based in West Carrollton with a Miamisburg mailing address, CB Manufacturing makes industrial knives and blades used in recycling, cutting up scrap plastic and tires and metal; film slitting; and food processing.

For example, its products are used by some plants that cut McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish into individual patties. Other affiliated companies provide razor blades and thin industrial blades; heat treating; industrial hand tools; and sourcing services from low-cost countries.

A major thrust of the new plan was that making metalworking cutting tools wasn’t a good niche for it to be in, so the company sold that business and put more efforts into industrial knives and heat treating. It also quit introducing as many new products in its catalogue division that sells utility knives and similar hand cutting tools.

Biehn felt the risk was low because CB Manufacturing used a variety of analytical tools to determine where it will see increasing sales; its costs and margin per order; return on marketing costs; and other metrics.

“For example, it greatly increased our business in the food cutting sector as we recognized that this was an area we are very competitive in and had not been chasing it as hard as we could be,” he said. “There was some risk in some of these changes but the data doesn’t lie and you have to follow it.”

Ray Attiyah, author and founder of Mason-based business improvement firm Definity Partners, sees an increasing number of manufacturing leaders using more analytical tools in their businesses.

“When used effectively, most leaders are able to confidently make bolder bets while leaders who are busy looking in the rear view mirror are left to make reactive improvements and risk becoming a commodity,” said Attiyah, who also owns more than a dozen companies.

While things are going well now at CB Manufacturing, success didn’t come overnight. Biehn’s biggest challenge was changing the culture, and that started with attitudes.

That meant shedding some negative workers — whom he refers to as people with a “can’t do, loser” mentality — and putting more effort into making sure new hires were a better fit. In addition, performance evaluations were changed so the No. 1 item was attitude and cooperation with others. That’s weighted higher than knowledge or production output.

“I’m constantly talking about compassion for others in the company, how attitude makes the difference in how to approach problems,” he said.

Also, Biehn himself had to come in every day in the right frame of mind to set an example.

Communication was another key to getting workers to buy into his new vision.

Biehn put the company’s financials on display for employees — so they knew “the good, the bad and the ugly” — and began holding regular town hall meetings and sending out bulletins.

He admits his company still has its share of problems — personnel issues, letting down a customer occasionally, machines breaking down — but says that happens everywhere. The key to CB Manufacturing being more successful than most is the new focus and positive attitude.

“You just have to keep doing the right things, and do it over and over again to show people you’re serious about changing the company,” Biehn said. “Today it’s a much happier place to work.”

CB Manufacturing/ Biehn Co.
Contact: Chuck Biehn, CEO
Address: 4455 Infirmary Road, Miamisburg 45342
Phone: (937) 866-5986
Business: Manufacturer of industrial knives and blades; heat treating
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American Cutting Edge would like to welcome the newest member of our team, Dan Brownfield! Dan will be joining ACE as our Supply Chain Manager. He brings with him 25+ years of experience and a wealth of knowledge. He has a proven track record of improving inventory turns, running lean inventory, improving logistics and evaluating new vendors. Dan will have a major impact on our operations and will help us reach our strategic goals related to his field. We are excited to have him on board. Please extend him a warm welcome!
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