Press release: Bekaert DLC coatings expands US plant with offices and
Bekaert DLC coatings expands US plant with offices and coating equipment
Offering customers higher service level and new low-tempered coating applications
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 companyâ€™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 2000 sq m (20.000 sq f) building.
Mr. Ludovic Brissaud, Plant Manager RTP, coordinated the entire process: â€œWe 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.â€???
A coating infrastructure for all tailored requirements
According to ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturerâ€™s Association, the automotive industry is a technology leader with an annual investment in Research & Development of $27 billion or â‚¬20 billion (4% of turnover), making it the largest private investor in R&D in the EU. Today, perhaps more than in the past, there is increased pressure on motor manufacturers not only to deliver vehicles more quickly and more efficiently to the market, but also to produce eco-friendly vehicles. It has thus become a necessity for the industry not to simply prop up old technology and facilities, but to invest in innovative â€˜low carbonâ€™ technology to satisfy strict vehicle emission regulations.
Recently, the PSA Group (Peugeot SociÃ©tÃ© 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 COÂ² 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 plantâ€™s capability to coat very large engine components such as crankshafts, the Dymon coater can also handle temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius (400 Â°F), making it perfect for coating temperature sensitive substrates, such as aluminium. This is a great asset for Bekaertâ€™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.
Mark Boghe, Product Market Manager Automotive/Racing, explains: â€œWe have now reached the final stage of turning our RTP plant into a fully independent coating center, focused on engine components for the racing and automotive markets. The whole process was very exciting; it was really important to us to align the new offices with the production facilities so that we could provide the best possible customer experience. We are confident that our customers will benefit greatly from the move, as it now provides our local team with the requisite infrastructure to respond even more quickly and effectively, in accordance with our customerâ€™s requirements.â€???
BDC_RTP_US_1: Production coaters
BDC_RTP_US_2: Bekaert Building (outside view)
Bekaert (www.bekaert.com) is a global technological leader in its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings, and a market leader in drawn wire products and applications. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing 23 000 people worldwide. Serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert pursues sustainable profitable growth in all its activities and generates annual combined sales of â‚¬ 4 billion.
The company supplies the Formula 1, Rally, DTM, Formula 3 and NASCAR business with high quality Bekaert CavidurÂ® coating solutions. The unique composition and structure of Bekaert CavidurÂ® results in the most reliable surface engineered solutions for highly loaded engine components, increasing lifetime of these parts and significantly decreasing friction losses, providing an excellent adhesion under extreme conditions.
Based on this success and Bekaertâ€™s engineering capabilities for high-volume automotive products, Bekaert expanded its range with Bekaert DylynÂ® Plus coatings for high-volume automotive solutions. The most reliable and highest performance surface solution available on the market today, Bekaert DylynÂ® Plus reduces friction losses, resulting in higher engine output and improved fuel consumption.
Bekaert offers its diamond-like coatings via sales and manufacturing offices in Belgium, France, Germany, United States, Singapore and China.
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