Pfäffikon SZ / Balzers, Liechtenstein, July 3, 2013 – Oerlikon Balzers, the global market and technology leader in high-end hard coatings, has opened a new aerospace competence center near Paris. With this new facility, Oerlikon Balzers will augment aerospace customers’ efforts to increase reliability and efficiency of crucial aircraft parts. “The opening of our aerospace competence center is another important step forward in our component business strategy to enlarge the spectrum of markets and applications for PVD coatings”, says Dr. Hans Brändle, CEO of Oerlikon’s Coating Segment.
High-end hard coatings with near diamond-like strength already play a crucial role in applications such as car engines, cutting and forming tools, surgical instruments and watches. Modern diesel injection pumps, for example, could not function without coatings from Oerlikon Balzers. These coatings allow Oerlikon Balzers' customers to increase the productivity of industrial processes, substitute toxic treatments such as chrome plating and design new, higher efficiency products.
Having brought coatings into the mainstream for both the metalworking and automotive industries, Oerlikon Balzers is expanding into Aerospace. “More and more aircraft industry applications are opening up to modern PVD coatings – turbine blades, stabilizer assemblies and landing gear to name just a few. For us, this is an important medium- and long-term growth market with a global market potential for thin film coating solution of several tenths of millions,” Oerlikon Balzers CEO Hans Brändle observed. “The main growth driver for advanced coating technologies is the need for light-weight flight critical components to meet the demands of safety, reliability and long service life. Needless to say, our first aerospace competence centre in France is Nadcap-certified and thus meets all of the aircraft industry's rigorous quality requirements.”
Prominent aerospace industry representatives expressed their enthusiasm for the new plant and affirmed their conviction that Oerlikon Balzers is fit for the future. Francis Monerie-Moulin, Thermal Spray Expert at Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, outlined his vision for the great potential of PVD coating applications in landing gear, brake systems, engines, and other aircraft components: “Innovative PVD coatings will significantly boost the reliability of safety-critical aircraft parts and the energy efficiency of engines,” he stated.