From our beginnings, we have been committed to developing innovative solutions that improve performance and increase the efficiency and reliability of our customers’ products.


Over 80 years of Sustainable Surface Solutions

Today, as throughout our history, our customers challenge us to provide surface solutions that will help them improve the value and service performance of the components they produce or require for their own operations. We have been dedicated to earn their loyalty since the beginning through commitment, service and innovation that will keep our customers at the forefront of their fields by providing the advantages they need in today’s and in the future's competitive climate. Please have a look at our distinguished history and get to know how Oerlikon Metco has been originated.

2014 Sulzer Metco becomes Oerlikon Metco

Oerlikon Group has successfully completed the acquisition of the Metco division from Sulzer. By this Metco is now an important part of Oerlikon – bringing with us a strong market position and differentiated products and services. Together with Oerlikon Balzers we are about to become the world technology leader in surface solutions. With our combined strengths we will provide even better solutions to our customers’ demands in the future. A wide spectrum of industries will benefit from new possibilities created from the combined product and solution portfolio.

Oerlikon is a leading Swiss high-tech industrial group, specialized in machine and plant engineering. The group, with 12’700 employees and CHF 2.9 billion sales, has a history going back over 100 years.

1995-2012 Growth and Good Prospects

Sulzer Metco continues its expansion strategy and acquires multiple companys to expand its wide range of products and services.



Sulzer Metco acquired the assets of the carbon business of Thermoset Inc. in Mequon, Wisconsin, USA. This acquisition complemented Sulzer Metco’s high-performance carbon friction product line with a well-proven woven carbon friction material. It also strengthened Sulzer Metco’s position in the global truck and passenger car market. Thermoset products benefited from Sulzer’s global market penetration.

Protective Coatings LLC

Sulzer Metco completed the acquisition of Russian company, Protective Coatings LLC, formerly SP Technicord LLC, as of December 18th, 2012. Previously operating as Protective Coatings LLC, this acquisition expanded Sulzer Metco geographical and technology presence in selective Russian industrial markets, thereby having benefited from long-term growth trends.

Cold Spray Technology

Sulzer Metco acquired the cold spray related assets and activities of CGT Cold Gas Technology GmbH and Aircraft Philipp Ampfing GmbH & Co.KG, Ampfing, Germany. With this acquisition, Sulzer Metco established a foundation for participation in and long-term development of the market for cold spray coating solutions.


Sulzer Metco Acquires Diamond-like Carbon Coatings Activities from Bekaert

The acquisition will expand the geographical presence and complement the technology range of Sulzer Metco in the thin-film coatings market.

Bekaert’s diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings business develops and markets thin-film coatings, which combine very low frictional resistance and extreme hardness. The coatings are used to reduce wear and friction in a wide range of industrial applications, such as machine parts, automotive components, and molds for plastics and metals. The transaction will enhance Sulzer Metco’s service network in Europe and the USA. It covers all six production plants in Belgium, France, Germany, and the USA. The DLC business will be integrated into Sulzer Metco’s existing thin-film coating activities, which focus on machining, forming, general automotive, racing, semiconductors and plastic-processing applications.


Sulzer Metco Acquires Automotive Synchronizer Business of BorgWarner

Sulzer Friction Systems strengthens its position in high performance carbon friction materials for synchronizers. Sulzer has agreed to acquire the assets of the BorgWarner facilities in Margam, U.K. and Longview TX, U.S.A. and transfer them to its locations in the United States, Europe and Asia. Sulzer continues supplying products to BorgWarner’s customers. Sulzer Friction Systems also offers synchronizers with the BorgWarner friction material to existing and new synchronizer customers in the future.


Sulzer Metco takes over Wick Specialties Ltd.

Sulzer Metco has purchased Wick Specialties business, based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Wick Specialties will be integrated into the activities of Sulzer Metco (Canada) Inc. For a number of years, Wick Specialties Ltd. has been a close Canadian partner of Sulzer Metco's thermal spray materials business, distributing the Sulzer Metco WOKA carbide materials, particularly in Western Canada. 


Sulzer Metco Acquires OSU Maschinenbau GmbH

The acquisition of OSU Maschienbau GmbH, located in Duisburg, Germany, has enabled Sulzer Metco to increase its arc spray equipment, zinc wire and zinc-alloyed wire product offering and expand market reach, particularly in the corrosion market. The OSU Maschinenbau product portfolio, which had primarily been available only in Europe prior to the acquisition, became available for worldwide distribution through Sulzer Metco's global distribution network.

Sulzer Metco Acquires Ambeon

With the acquisition of the Ambeon Division of Westaim in Canada, Sulzer Metco further expanded the materials business. Now operating as Sulzer Metco (Canada) Inc., the company is a global provider of customized nickel-based materials for the power generation and aero industries. These materials are also used in electronic applications. The acquisition strengthens the Sulzer Metco thermal-spray materials offering and expands the portfolio in the area of honeycomb structures, electronic shielding, and hardfacing materials.

Sulzer Metco Acquires WOKA GmbH

In January 2004, Sulzer Metco acquired WOKA GmbH, a family-owned carbides manufacturer in Germany. This step strengthened the materials business by widening the Sulzer Metco offering of thermal spray coating and welding materials. Renamed to Sulzer Metco WOKA GmbH, the acquisition opened new market opportunities for Sulzer Metco with markets mainly in the paper industry, oil and gas sectors, earthmoving and machine tool industries.


Sulzer Metco Acquires DB Thin Films

In December 2002 Sulzer Metco acquired DB Thin Films LLC, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA. Now operating under the name of Sulzer Metaplas (US) Inc., the company continues to be a provider of customized surface coatings using the PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) technology for both decorative and functional applications. The acquisition will enable Sulzer Metco's Thin Film unit, represented by Metaplas Ionon, to expand its service offerings in the large North American market.

Sulzer Metco Acquires Euroflamm Select, Inc.

In 2002 Sulzer Metco acquired Select Powertrain Technologies, Inc. (now Sulzer Friction Systems (US) Inc.) in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. Euroflamm Select develops, manufacturers and distributes carbon-based friction products used in powertrain applications for the automotive industry such as synchronizer rings, clutch discs and other gearshift components. The acquisition cemented the close and successful joint activities of Euroflamm GmbH in Germany, a Sulzer Metco company and Euroflamm Select, Inc.


Sulzer Metco Acquires Metaplas-Ionon GmbH and EuroFlamm GmbH

Metaplas Ionon GmbH (now Sulzer Metaplas) provides customized system solutions and high-quality surface treatment services, thus expanding the Sulzer Metco portfolio of surface technologies. Sulzer Metaplas Ionon offers three advanced processes: IONIT® plasma nitriding and plasma nitro carburizing for wear protection of metallic components; IONIT OX®, a combination of gas nitriding, gas nitro carburizing, plasma activating and oxidizing for corrosion and wear protection and improved surface properties and MAXIT®, a PVD coating process for high wear resistance and low friction.

The acquisition of EuroFlamm GmbH (now Sulzer Friction Systems) expands Sulzer Metco’s coating service capabilities. Sulzer Friction Systems provides thermal spray coating services for a variety of industries including state-of-the-art coatings and turnkey manufaturing for automotive powertrain components, coverings for paper machinery, thermal and wear coatings for the power generation industry, naval coating applications and wear / anti-frictional coatings for consumer articles.


Sulzer Metco Acquires Eldim and Interturbine Coatings B.V.

Continuing its focus on flight and power turbine applications, Sulzer acquires Eldim and Interturbine Coatings BV, of Lomm, Netherlands. Integrating both companies into Sulzer Metco, Interturbine Coatings BV becomes Sulzer Metco Coatings BV. Eldim’s high-quality seal and honeycomb technologies supplement Sulzer Metco’s existing abradable and braze markets, while the EB/PVD coating capabilities of Sulzer Metco Coatings BV is a logical step in the expansion of Sulzer Metco’s coating services business in Europe. Eldim supplies solely to the aerospace industry and specializes in conventional machining and manufacturing of gas turbine blades, vanes, seals and sheet metal fabrications.


Sulzer Metco Acquires QCoat

Further expanding European market penetration of coating services, Sulzer Metco acquired QCoat, Ltd in Stalybridge UK. Well-situated in Cheshire, QCoat specializes in thermal spray coating services and surface finishing / machining services of pump and compressor components for the oil and gas equipment market, as well as printing machine rolls and embossing rolls for the paper machinery market.


Sulzer Metco Acquires Salzgitter

Located in northern Germany, Sulzer Metco acquired the Salzgitter coating facilities in 1995. Now known as Sulzer Metco Coating Services GmbH, these facilities are well-suited to the handling of heavy and large components such as paper, printing, textile and steel machinery. Sulzer Metco Coating Services GmbH is also capable of processing turbine blades and vanes.


1981-1994 Consolidation

Sulzer acquires Plasma Technik in 1985, AMI in 1986, EPI in 1991 and Metco in 1994. Sulzer Metco is born.


Sulzer Acquires Metco and Sulzer Metco is Born

In September, 1994, Sulzer acquires Metco and integrates all materials and surface technologies companies under the name of Sulzer Metco. The integration results in a strong, globally-positioned company, well-suited to the thermal spray supply and service needs of a wide variety of major industries, including aerospace, automotive, power generation, pulp and paper, printing, medical and textile industries.


EPI is Acquired by Sulzer

The addition of Electro-Plasma Inc., in 1991, reinforces Sulzer as the global leader in low-pressure plasma spray technology. By this time, the Sulzer surface and materials technologies companies hold a strong position at the forefront of plasma spray material and equipment design, development and manufacturing.
Electro-Plasma Inc. (EPI) was founded 1973 In California, U.S.A. By isolating the spray gun and part of the handling equipment in a low pressure chamber, Eric Muehlberger invented a highly practical method of producing high-quality plasma coatings with properties near "as-cast" conditions. Known as LPPS® systems, these chambers produce coatings with optimal adhesion, reduced stress and added durability, ideal for the aerospace and medical implant industries.


AMI Acquired By Sulzer

Continuing its focus on materials and surface technologies, Sulzer acquires AMI. Not only did the acquisition increase Sulzer’s product portfolio to include thermal spray and braze materials, but it gave Sulzer a greater foothold in the U.S.A., as well. In 1988, AMI became known as Sulzer Plasma Technik, with AMDRY® being retained as the product trade name for its gas atomized, gas collected powders.


Sulzer, a Swiss Firm, Acquires Plasma Technik AG

Continuing a consolidation trend in the thermal spray industry, Sulzer takes control of Plasma Technik AG. The purchase of Plasma Technik gave Sulzer four Plasma Technik contract spray facilities in Wohlen, Switzerland, Florida, U.S.A., which opened in 1979, England, which opened in 1984, and Singapore in 1985. For Sulzer, the materials and surface technology business was a good fit and in line with much of its R & D efforts.


1970-1979 Expansion

Plasma Technik AG founded in Wohlen (Switzerland), Metco forms a joint venture and expands worldwide.


Metco Expands into Mexico, the Southern Hemisphere and Japan

Metco begins to look globally forming a joint venture with Daiichi-Jitsugyo in Japan. Sales offices are subsequently set up in Australia, Brazil, Singapore and Mexico. At this point, Metco offers the most complete range of thermal spray equipment and materials of any company.


Plasma Technik AG Founded In Wohlen, Switzerland

The Swiss husband and wife team of Herbert and Marlies Nussbaum, understanding that a higher degree of process control and automation was needed for plasma spray technology, focused on developing sophisticated plasma spray equipment that provided excellent repeatability and coating accuracy. They produced highly efficient systems with throughput capability for high-volume production and low rejection rates.


1960-1969 New Products and Services

Metco expands its product portfolio by developping new thermal spray equipment and systems.


Metco Produces and Markets Electric Arc Wire Spray and the 10E Gun

Successful introduction of the Type RG Electric Arc Spray System compliments Metco’s portfolio in thermal spray manufacturing. This first system had 500 amp maximum power output, and was capable of spraying 11-gauge wire. The 10E Metallizing Gun was first offered withimproved gun hardware life and simpler maintenance requirements.


Metco Becomes Metco Inc., Markets Water-Cooled Plasma Flame Gun

A name change and a 200:1 stock split started Metco’s decade of the 60's with a bang. Metco introduces the Type MB plasma gun and plasma spray system, marking the advent of a commercially viable process to thermal spray ceramics, refractories and other high-temperature materials. Metco’s product portfolio appropriately expands to include a wide variety of powders suitable for the plasma process. In 1964, Metco introduced Metco 404 self-fluxing, exothermic, nickel aluminide powder – first in a family of composite spray materials excellent for use as bond coats and for surface build-up.


1933 - 1959 Metco: The Early Years

Rea Axline founds Metco in 1933 with 5 employes in New Jersey. They develop new and innovative spray guns together with the company's first materials. After these first sucesses, Metco expands into Europe.


Metco Markets the ThermoSpray Powder Gun and Self-fluxing Alloy

The Type-P ThermoSpray®  Powder Gun for spraying refractory ceramics, self-fluxing alloys and tungsten carbides makes its debut. Sprasteel®  LS was also developed in 1956.


Metco Expands Into Europe

Metco establishes its first subsidiary in the UK, followed shortly thereafter by offices in Germany, Austria and Holland. The new Type-L Gun cut compressed air use by 60%, bringing modern metallizing within reach of the smallest shop. Gas flow meters and Sprabond wire – a molybdenum alloy for smooth surfaces – were introduced.


Metco Introduces the Type-E Gun With Improved Wire Spray Rates

Featuring easily adjusted "fast" and "slow" speeds for spraying soft or hard metals without the need for gear changes, the E-gun was rapidly embraced for its economical, high-speed metallizing rates. The E-gun could spray 3.2 mm (1/8 inch) wire — a larger diameter than previously used — with lower air consumption. Also introduced were the company’s first materials, Metcoloy®  1 and Metcoloy®  2, both stainless steel wires that remain popular materials in the Sulzer Metco product portfolio today.


Rea Axline Founds Metallizing Engineering Company (later Metco)

In the midst of the worst economic depression ever in the United States, Rea Axline, a recent California Institute of Technology graduate, founds a small shop in Jersey City, New Jersey to sell wire spray equipment for corrosion control and repair of simple machine elements. The company started with 5 employees and included two of Rea’s talented associates from Cal Tech.


1909 - Schoop invents Thermal Spray

In 1909, Max Ulrich Schoop, of Zurich invents spraying of lead and zinc metals for protective coatings. His second patent incorporated an electric arc as a heat source. Thermal Spraying has been invented.


In 1917, Schoop received the John Scott Award. Created in 1834, the John Scott Award honors "the most deserving" inventors. Schoop received the award for "Schoop's Metal Spraying Process". Recipients have included Mme. Marie Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, the Wright brothers and Thomas Edison. In 1994, Mr. Schoop was inducted into the Thermal Spray Hall of Fame.


In the early 1900s, Max Ulrich Schoop, of Zurich, Switzerland experiments with the spraying of lead and zinc metals for protective coatings. In 1909, Schoop obtained a patent covering the use of a combustion process (oxygen fuel) to melt wire and direct it to a substrate. Schoop’s second patent, in 1911, incorporated an electric arc as a production heat source. Thus, the technology of thermal spraying was begun. During its early application, the metallizing process was used mainly for corrosion protective coatings.


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