Balzers, Liechtenstein April 9, 2015 – With a fully automated INUBIA system for ePD based coatings from Oerlikon Balzers, German Nanogate, a specialist for high-performance surfaces, has chosen to rely on the sustainable and environmentally friendly know-how from Liechtenstein. The ePD surface technology not only gives plastic parts such as those used in and on automobiles the glossy, metallic appearance of the popular chrome effect, but also meets the highest protection and environmental demands. An agreement to this effect was entered into between Oerlikon Balzers and Nanogate. The system is to be operational within the first half of 2016.
“The technology of plastic metallisation has attracted the attention of designers and important industrial sectors for many years now. High-quality components with glossy, metallic surfaces, such as those used for interior and exterior equipment on automobiles or in consumer electronics presently represent a strong trend and increase the value of the end product. The ePD technology developed by Oerlikon Balzers is a trail-blazing coating procedure for all areas in which high-quality metallic surfaces are required on plastic parts. What’s more, it is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional production methods,” explains Bernd Fischer, Head of Oerlikon Balzers.
In contrast to conventional manufacturing processes, ePD allows plastic parts to be given not only a high-gloss or matte metallic appearance, but also attractive metallic colour variations as well as additional functions, such as configurable light or radio transparency. This allows high-level functional and decorative demands made by industry and consumers to be fulfilled and exceeded in many areas. Oerlikon Balzers employs a combination of metallic PVD thin-film technology and UV paint technology. Additional advantages include very short cycle durations with high output and exceptionally economical production conditions.
Investment in a sustainable future
Nanogate and its subsidiaries are recognized specialists for high-performance surfaces, e.g. the metallisation of plastics. Their customers come from the areas of automobile manufacturing and mechanical engineering as well as electrical and automation engineering, building engineering, the communication field and medical technology. The Nanogate Group has been chosen as the reliable innovation and manufacturing partner by numerous corporations. Based on the ePD technology they are going to develop a variety of innovative and economically efficient applications.
The fully automated INUBIA I6 coating system together with the technology developed by Oerlikon Balzers represents an investment in a sustainable future for Nanogate. Because ePD operates entirely without the use of toxic substances such as chromium derivatives, Nanogates metallisation will comply with the strict European REACH environmental regulations, valid as of the end of 2017. Using the new system, Nanogate will be able to service the automobile market with metallised decorations and panels in large quantities. The potential applications include numerous parts throughout the vehicle, such as rear view mirror housings, console parts, decorative strips and much more.
The coating system for Nanogate has a modular design and allows the company to enter this field of technology on an individualised basis. At the same time, this modular approach provides a great deal of flexibility for the future: Nanogate is able to expand the system at any time with an additional UV paint line to increase productivity.
“With ePD, Oerlikon Balzers has implemented an innovation which once again demonstrates our leading position in surface technologies,” underscores Dr. Roland Herb, CEO of the Surface Solutions Segment of Oerlikon, to which Oerlikon Balzers belongs. “We seek to make new applications possible using sustainable, environmentally sound technologies. The global development of the large industries – with the automobile and plumbing fixtures industries at the forefront – is creating a great demand for our ePD technology. It offers our customers a more versatile, environmentally friendly and healthy alternative to conventional, toxic coatings. Oerlikon Balzers has the technical and business resources to set innovative new trends with ePD and to provide large corporations and technology leaders across a broad spectrum with innovative technology.”