BEKAERT EXPANDS U.S. COATING

Sep 17, 2009

Bekaert Diamond-Like Coatings, worldwide leader in performance engine coating technologies, has significantly improved its customer service operation in the US by investing in its office infrastructure at the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in Raleigh-Durham, North-Carolina.

The company has merged its offices and coating facilities into one single building, creating a one-stop coating environment dedicated solely to Bekaert DLC coatings.

The move builds on the company’s investment in machinery last year, when it installed the new Dymon Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating machine in response to increased demand for DLC coatings for high-performance engine components.

Customer service oriented overhaul at RTP environment

The new improved set-up will enable Bekaert to promote the RTP plant as a fully equipped state-of-the-art coating center. By uniting the different aspects of the business at one location, Bekaert will be able to improve lead and response time significantly, delivering more benefits to its customers. Although the address of the plant remains the same, the coating facility will now have its own dedicated 20.000 sq ft building.

Mr. Ludovic Brissaud, Plant Manager RTP, coordinated the entire process: “We wanted to create an environment where we can welcome our customers and offer them the latest DLC solutions. The new space accommodates our complete offering, including production and service teams. Initial responses to our new facilities have been very positive and we are confident that the new set-up will help us strengthen our customer relations even further.”

Recently, the PSA Group (Peugeot Société Anonyme) was inspired to perform tests on Bekaert DLC coatings and estimated that the overall fuel consumption was reduced by 1 to 2 percent in cars where the Bekaert DLC coatings were applied, implying an estimated saving of 2-3g/km of carbon dioxide for a small engine.

In light of recent developments in Europe regarding CO² emission restrictions, the outcome of these results has also sparked interest in the American market for DLC coating solutions for a wider variety of engine components.

The new Dymon coater allows Bekaert to handle all these requirements in terms of high volumes of valve train components (tappets), diesel injection components and piston pins, ensuring customers receive quick turn-around, high-quality, DLC coatings services. In addition to the plant’s capability to coat very large engine components such as crankshafts, the Dymon coater can also handle temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius (400 °F), making it perfect for coating temperature sensitive substrates, such as aluminium. This is a great asset for Bekaert’s racing customers as it allows them to adopt DLC coatings on new applications such as pistons, suspension parts and other applications where the components are made of low-tempered materials.