Manufacturing Essential to Israel’s Place in Global Diamond IndustryMarch 25, 15
(IDEX Online News) – An advanced “one-stop shop” for diamond manufacturing that recently opened near the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) in Ramat Gan, is the first step in a plan by Israeli diamond leaders to return a large part of the offshore diamond polishing business to Israel.
The plan is being supported by the IDE, the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA) and the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI).
The new 400 square meter manufacturing center provides a subsidized work environment for up to 100 polishers, access advanced technological systems, laser cutting and automatic round polishing, with teaching staff on site.
The idea of the new center is to offer IDE members, especially small and medium-sized companies, the ability to polish their rough diamonds in Israel, at prices competitive with or even cheaper than offshore locations.
The establishment of a modern manufacturing facility is being led by IDE Industry Committee chairman Yoram Dvash, with the support of IDE president Shmuel Schnitzer, IsDMA president Jacob Korn and IDI chairman Moti Ganz.
“We want to bring Israel back to being a manufacturing center. This is a first step to expanding manufacturing and to make it younger and smarter,” said Dvash, whose diamond company manufactures solely in Israel.
He said when the facility develops; he will look into expanding it and adding more manufacturing capacity. “We believe that a large percentage Israel’s diamond manufacturing will be done by the center,” he said.
“Due to our technology and the type of rough diamonds we polish, the difference in labor costs between Israel and China as a share of the total manufacturing cost is insignificant. Take into account costs of shipping, insuring and the time it takes to ship diamonds from manufacturing centers to trading centers and the price differential for top quality diamonds is negligible,” he added.
The manufacturing center houses an academy to train new polishers, in order to establish a community of younger diamond polishers. The academy offers several courses a year, training 60 new polishers in the first year. The students receive a stipend during the course and are guaranteed a job upon graduation.
Dvash said that he believes that the steps taken so far will have a ripple effect. “I have received several calls from diamantaires from Israel and abroad who have asked us to help them set up manufacturing facilities in Israel. There’s no doubt that this is upgrading the entire diamond manufacturing industry in Israel,” he said.