Antwerp Creates FENIX, A Revolutionary Diamond Polishing Process
Antwerp Creates FENIX, A Revolutionary Diamond Polishing Process .A technology that has revolutionised the diamond polishing process by completely automating it is developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Center for Diamonds (WTOCD) of the AWD. The WTOCD is the collective research center of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the apex organization for the Antwerp diamond industry.
The unique aspect of this technology is that it ‘fundamentally transforms’ the traditional polishing process existing since decades.
Back in 1456 Antwerp-based 15th-century jeweler and diamond cutter Lodewijck Van Bercken discovered the possibility of polishing diamonds with diamonds. Diamonds till date continue to be polished by hand, a time-consuming and laborious process existing in Antwerp with declining frequency owing to the comparatively high labor costs.
It took over 10 years of research to develop the technology, FENIX, at WTOCD. With FENIX, the turnaround time for polishing diamonds is 10 to 20 times faster compared to by hand.
Ari Epstein, CEO of the AWDC said, “Today’s wages simply make it too expensive to conduct this labor-intensive job in our country. FENIX puts an end to this, and can therefore be a real game-changer for the Antwerp diamond industry.”
FENIX also offers extreme accurate and a revolutionary polishing method. Yves Kerremans, CEO of the WTOCD elaborated on how FENIX offers a more efficient option. “Each diamond has a specific grain, a crystal orientation that has to be taken into account during the polishing process. This grain is in part the reason that diamond polishing is such a labor-intensive process. FENIX is the first technology that makes grain independent polishing possible, and which furthermore increases the speed of the polishing process by a factor of 10 to 20.”
Currently testing is being conducted for FENIX at companies in Antwerp. The first machines applying the FENIX technology created in Antwerp, are expected to be operation in September.