Market Segments

With our innovative products and applications we are represented in a broad range of industries and in all regions around the world:


All three of Oerlikon’s Segments serve the automotive market but mainly by the Surface Solutions and Drive Systems Segments, where automotive market sales represented 24 % and 18 % of the Segment’s sales, respectively. 

Oerlikon Balzer’s BALINIT coatings, used to coat parts and components such as gears, are present today in passenger cars of most leading brands worldwide. Whereas Oerlikon Metco’s SUMEBore®, a thermal spray coating, is used to coat cylinder liners, brake discs and turbochargers. With fine dust reduction being part of the future environmental standard to be phased in from 2020 as part of the EU’s tightened CO2 regulation, the demand for coatings is expected to increase. In 2016, the Surface Solutions Segment launched coatings for friction systems used for hybrid technology cars.

Automotive is a key end market for the Drive Systems Segment, which provides engineered gearing solutions, drive systems and planetary drives used in passenger and premium sports car brands, and in electric and hybrid vehicles. Oerlikon was a major contributor to defining IATF 16949:2016 – the new benchmark for one of the automotive industry’s most widely used international quality management standards. In 2016, the Drive Systems Segment also presented several electric and hybrid drive concepts to meet the increasing demand in this market. Technical textiles used in vehicles, such as tire cords, air bags, seat belts, carpets and interior trim, are produced using technologies from the Manmade Fibers Segment.


The aerospace sector targeted by Oerlikon was CHF 530 million in 2016, with an expected five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3 %. Demand in the commercial aircraft market has remained strong, even after several years of robust growth, as Airbus and Boeing continue to work off multi-year backlogs. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airline profitability remained at record levels amid healthy growth trends in global air traffic and low oil prices. Airlines are actively replacing aging aircraft and upgrading to next-generation models with more efficient engines, achieved also through using lighter and more thermally resistant materials. The next-generation engine fleet is estimated to grow by over 25 % through 2020.

The aviation sector is mainly addressed by the Surface Solutions Segment, and aviation-related sales in 2016 represented 13 % of total Segment sales. Oerlikon coatings allow aviation components such as aircraft turbine blades and vanes to withstand harsh conditions, satisfy safety and environmental regulations and improve efficiency. In addition to engine components, the Group’s products are used in engine pylons, landing gear, hydraulic systems and related tools. The increasing use of additive manufacturing for airframes and engine parts yields attractive opportunities for Oerlikon for its advanced materials and additive manufacturing services.

Oerlikon Metco delivers engine components used in aircrafts to the Leap-X program, and in 2016, it increased the share of its contributions in the program. It also added Safran Helicopter Engines as a customer. To support continued growth, two automated cell concepts were installed in the Oerlikon Metco plant in the Netherlands to serve next generation engine programs: Leap-X and GTF. Oerlikon Metco also continued to develop higher-temperature engine coatings such as coatings for the environmental barrier coatings (EBC) system used to protect ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) at temperatures up to 1 300°C (2 370 °F). Oerlikon Balzers’ BALINIT DIAMOND micro and nano coatings were also upgraded in 2016 to provide extra reliability and longer tool life for machining of materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics for aerospace.

Apparels & industrial textiles equipment

In 2016, the Manmade Fibers Segment strengthened its business in the other apparel and textile areas outside of filaments equipment. It acquired Trützschler’s staple fibers technology portfolio, making it a leader in the global synthetic staple fibers market. It succeeded to expand its business in this market and its order book is well filled for the next few years. For the drawn textured yarn (DTY) market, the Segment launched a highly productive automatic texturing and compact, eAFK HQ®, which saves space while offering a 50 % increase in productivity. For the polycondensation market, the Segment’s joint venture, Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering, signed its first order for a 60 000-tons-per-year polycondensation system in China. Furthermore, new solutions were brought to the market for the production of technical yarns for tire cords (HLMS), seat belts and geotextiles. The Segment also improved its services for customers in this market with new orders to run maintenance workshops at customers’ sites in India and China, and plans to launch new digital-based customer services such as the Intelligent Plant Control 4.0 (IPC 4.0).


Agriculture is the largest market for Oerlikon’s Drive Systems Segment, and contributed 34 % to the Segment’s total sales in 2016. The Segment has a significant market share in solutions for gearboxes, drives, brakes and other systems used in tractors, combines, harvesters and feed mixers.

With its sharpened strategic focus, the Drive Systems Segment recorded a slight increase in sales in 2016 in the agriculture market despite ongoing market weakness, by winning market share and new business in countries such as Turkey and India. The principal global manufacturers of premium tractors utilize Oerlikon Graziano’s Shifting Solutions in dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) and have access to a wide portfolio of products, from synchronizers to power shift clutches. Oerlikon Fairfield’s Torque-Hub planetary drives are recognized as a leading brand in North America, and Oerlikon Fairfield now offers the Champion Series of hydrostatic drives, specifically designed for the requirements of modern, self-propelled spray tractors.

The Surface Solutions Segment also provides coating solutions to the agriculture market. For instance, Oerlikon Balzers’ BALINIT C is a special coating that improves the wear resistance and efficiency of differential housings and bevel sets used in farming machinery. Oerlikon Metco’s surface solutions provide reliable protection against corrosion and wear for the most stressed parts of agricultural machinery like harvester blades and other essential components.

Industrial Solutions

The Surface Solutions Segment generated 23 % and 33 % of its total sales in the general industries and in the tooling market, respectively. The general industries market is served under the Oerlikon Balzers and Oerlikon Metco competence brands. Oerlikon Metco’s thermal spray solutions are applied in industries such as metals processing, heavy machinery, medicine and electronics.

Under the Oerlikon Balzers’ brand, a wide range of coatings for industrial solutions are offered by its BALINIT and BALIQ families. Each solution provides the type of hardness, strength, thickness/ thinness, wear and friction protection, etc., tailored for the exacting specific industrial applications. In 2016, the Segment served over 30 000 customers in automotive and industrial solutions, and won new customers in China and the USA. 
In the tooling industry, the Segment’s coating solutions help increase the productivity of tools, resulting in longer lifetimes and reduced maintenance. Despite the weakness of the tooling market, the Segment managed to outperform peers in 2016 and increase its market share in tooling services. To meet increasing demand for reconditioning of tools, it extended the service capacity at its regrinding centers in Argentina, China and India. The Segment also continued to invest in developing new and improved coating equipment such as INNOVENTA MEGA® – coating system for large production capacities, INGENIA S3p® – coating system for precise, small batch sizes and proprietary coatings with S3p (scalable pulsed power plasma) and BALINIT HARD CARBON – coating for machining of non-ferrous metals.

Additive Manufacturing

Oerlikon is a market leader with deep expertise in advanced materials, post processing surface solutions and engineering competencies. Combined with its global service network and strong customer relations in the above-mentioned industries, Oerlikon is well positioned to drive the industrialization of AM as an integrated service provider. In 2016, Oerlikon acquired citim to complement its additive production capabilities in Europe and the USA. It is also building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Michigan, USA, to produce advanced materials also for AM applications. In addition, Oerlikon is conducting an R&D project for a US energy company using AM technology in solar turbine applications, and has launched a new thermal spray system platform that enables automated powder-fed AM and coating processes. Oerlikon joined America Makes and partnered with the Shanghai Additive Manufacturing Association to advance this technology and make it part of mainstream manufacturing.


The construction sector represented 25 % of the Drive Systems Segment’s total sales in 2016. The Segment serves key market players in this industry such as Caterpillar, one of the world’s largest construction machinery companies. Its strengths include long years of experience in developing driveline solutions and its engineering competencies for hydraulic, mechanical and electric drive applications.

In 2016, the Segment partnered with Ashwoods Electric Motors Ltd. to develop a compact, high efficiency electric drive system, which consists of a planetary drive integrated with an electric motor. The current solutions used in off-highway vehicles commonly utilize large, heavy and inefficient brushed DC or induction motors coupled to a planetary gearbox – and present a number of challenges to vehicle designers, such as limited vehicle range, limited space around the motor/drivetrain and motor durability. The new, integrated system uses an Oerlikon Torque Hub® planetary drive and Ashwoods’ first-to-market Interior Permanent Magnet Motor. These products are integrated and incorporate a brake solution to eliminate redundant components.


In 2016, the energy sector contributed 7 % of sales in the Surface Solutions Segment, and 6 % of sales in the Drive Systems Segment.

Oerlikon’s innovative coatings enable turbines, hydroelectric plants and drilling equipment to withstand extreme temperature, pressure and friction. Oerlikon Balzers’ BALINIT coatings and heat treatment solutions help prevent wear in steam and wind turbine blades. Oerlikon Metco’s surface solutions are essential in turbine blades, and for valves, riser systems and blowout preventers used in oil and gas exploration. Oerlikon Metco is working closely with original equipment manufacturers in the power generation sector on tailored materials and advanced equipment technology (cascaded plasma) to achieve efficiency gains. The Drive Systems Segment technologies are mainly adopted in the oil & gas and mining sectors, such as gears and drives for mud and fracking pumps, marine winches, hoists and jack-up rigs.

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