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Settlement after 2 ½ years

May 2013 - Dispute between B&J and former steel supplier ended. 


In April 2013 B&J reached an out-of-court settlement in the USA with its former steel provider. The American supplier had delivered several coil rolls to the B&J factory in early 2010, among which a batch that consisted of low-grade steel, but - accompanied by false certificates – was declared as being of a high quality. Based on these certificates the parameters for the production of buffing blades were adjusted as usual, and unknowingly the inferior quality steel was utilised as well. However, after receiving blades made from this steel, customers soon recognized that these did not achieve the long life times they were used to from B&J.

The Quality Assurance of B&J Rocket analysed the faulty blades immediately. However, the occasional complaints at this point in time showed no technically detectable defects during the internally conducted tests, when for instance degree of hardness and geometry were examined. Consequently, all production processes were checked and analysed. Wherever there was a possible influence on the life time of the blades the processes were optimised. Several additional sensors and checking mechanisms were to adjust or check miscellaneous parameters during the manufacturing process more precisely in order to better maintain a consistent quality. However, it soon became apparent that despite these extensive measures the problem could not be eliminated – in fact, it appeared with increasing frequency.

Therefore, further external test were conducted on the buffing blades in question. These very expensive and unconventional tests - during a normal production process - then quickly revealed the actual cause: the steel quality, especially the micro structure of the utilised steel, did not correspond with the usually trustworthy certificates and were distinctly inferior. B&J responded immediately and informed their potentially involved customers of the problem. Since it was not a clearly identifiable batch of faulty steel but a mixture of low grade and high quality steel, the tracking of blades produced with flawed steel turned out to be extremely tedious and difficult. Nevertheless, B&J Rocket managed to withdraw almost 100 percent of defect buffing blades and replace them with faultless ones.

The related damage was negotiated in a 2 ½ year long litigation with the steel supplier which has now ended with an out-of-court settlement. “We are relieved and happy that we can finally close this case!” explains Andreas Müller, Managing Director of B&J Rocket and continues: “Looking back, the whole story also had a positive angle. A complete and intensive recheck was conducted on the entire production plant, resulting in considerable improvements along the line. We now have the most technologically advanced facility for the production of buffing blades and can guarantee an even more consistent and therefore better quality of our blades – all for the benefit of our customers.”

Müller further comments that in these difficult times the great many customers and partners worldwide have maintained their loyalty for B&J. “I wish to express my sincere thanks to our customers for their trust in the excellent quality of our products.”



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