Home > Press Releases > 2007 > Kobe Steel begins toll services for PVD coatings in the U.S.

Press Releases

The information on this Web site is presented "as is." Product availability, organization, and other content may differ from the time the information was originally posted. Changes may take place without notice.

  • Email
  • print

Kobe Steel begins toll services for PVD coatings in the U.S.

October 11, 2007

Kobe Steel, Ltd. started PVD coating services in the United States in October through subsidiary KOBELCO Advanced Coating (America), Inc. Also known as KOBAC, the company is based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, where many Japanese affiliates are located. KOBAC provides toll services mainly to cutting tool, mold and automotive-parts manufacturers.

In Japan, Kobe Steel established the Takasago Coating Center in April 2007. Located within the company's Takasago Works in Hyogo Prefecture, the new center offers toll services for PVD coatings to domestic cutting tool, machinery and automotive parts manufacturers.

By 2010, sales from these two coating centers are forecast to grow to US$20 million per year.

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a method of coating a hard film on a workpiece. The coating increases wear resistance and durability of parts, increasing product life by two to ten times in comparison to uncoated products. PVD coatings are typically applied to cutting tools, molds, and sliding parts in machinery and automotive parts.

The toll service field has been growing over 10% per year. The trend in metal machining these days is the use of less lubrication and high-speed cutting. For such requirements, PVD coatings offer an excellent solution to make coatings resistant to oxidation at high temperatures and high-hardness films with good adhesion to the substrate. PVD coatings are especially capturing the attention of the automotive industry as they can increase fuel efficiency.

PVD coatings are also environmentally friendly to manufacturing industries. In comparison to the wet-type plating method used in surface treatment processing, PVD coatings are drawing attention as there is no waste solution to be disposed. The application of PVD coatings is expected to further grow mainly in the automotive field.

Kobe Steel is Japan's largest manufacturer of PVD systems with a supply record of over 300 units. Since 1986, Kobe Steel has been manufacturing arc ion plating (AIP) systems. In 1998, Kobe steel developed an original unbalanced magnetron sputtering (UBMS) system. In addition, the company began toll services in 2000, after developing an original DLC coating.

The Kobe Steel Group provides a comprehensive line-up of PVD products and services, including the development of PVD systems, new coating processes, new coating layers, target material supply, thin-film analysis services, and superlative mold materials for parts processing.

Profile of KOBELCO Advanced Coating (America), Inc.
Location:   Buffalo Grove, Illinois, USA
Start up:   October 1, 2007
Capital:   US$3 million
President:   Kazuki Takahara
Business:   PVD toll service
Major equipment:   AIP systems, cleaning system, inspection equipment

Profile of Takasago Coating Center
Location:   Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture, within Takasago Works
Established:   April 1, 2007
Business:   PVD toll service
Equipment:   AIP systems, UBMS systems, cleaning system, radical nitriding furnace, inspection equipment