SIFCO ASC to launch automated plating system at MACH
SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), the world’s leading supplier of selective plating technology, will be showcasing its new automated plating system at the MACH exhibition in April. The team will be exhibiting its automated system’s ability to improve production efficiency, increase process control and reduce costs in surface finishing operations.
The launch comes hot on the heels of the government’s announcement of continued support for investment in developing manufacturing technologies like automation. As an extension of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), the Chancellor has pledged £200,000 for each company looking to upgrade and introduce new plant and machinery such as SIFCO Process® Automation.
The biennial exhibition will be hosted at the NEC, Birmingham, from 11-15th April and celebrates advances in the manufacturing industry. With automation dominating industry agendas, the event provides SIFCO ASC the ideal platform to profile its innovative automation process.
The SIFCO Process® is the leading method of electroplating localised areas on components without the use of an immersion tank. This provides a wealth of cost and performance benefits; therefore by automating the process, SIFCO ASC has now introduced an ideal alternative for manufacturers looking to enhance the surfaces of higher volume and complex geometry production components.
SIFCO Process® Automation can be tailored to operate seamlessly within any production process, and deliver accurate and controlled deposits with minimal operator involvement. The process also reduces costs by improving production efficiency, flexibility, coating quality and repeatability.
Lee Shelton, Managing Director at SIFCO ASC, said: ‘We are really excited to be unveiling our automated selective plating system at MACH. Automated solutions are playing an increasingly important role in enhancing the competitiveness of UK manufacturing and we are committed to contributing toward this momentum with our automated plating system. From our UK base we are ideally placed to offer technical support and advice to manufacturer’s looking to increase production efficiency, improve performance and deliver cost savings from their surface finishing operations.
As part of the Norman Hay Group, SIFCO ASC will be exhibiting at MACH alongside sister-company Surface Technology who will be showcasing its comprehensive surface treatment knowledge and expertise developed over more than 70 years supplying the UK manufacturing industry.
For further information about SIFCO ASC or Surface Technology, please visit stand 5974 at the MACH or contact us today.
SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts Acquires Liquid Development Company
On July 7, SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) acquired the assets of Liquid Development Company (LDC). Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, LDC has supplied selective (brush) plating chemicals and equipment throughout the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada, China, the Middle East and South America since 1978.
SIFCO ASC’s first priority is uninterrupted access to the products, pricing and service to which LDC customers are familiar. LDC customers can expect “business as usual” following the acquisition, with many of highly knowledgeable LDC team members joining SIFCO ASC to support the continuity of LDC business.
SIFCO ASC has a passion for customer service and assures that customers will experience no disruption to quality or support. SIFCO ASC U.S. General Manager, Chic Allen, believes that the acquisition of LDC aligns with SIFCO ASC’s vision and enhances our ability to deliver value to our customers, partners and employees. The acquisition accelerates SIFCO ASC’s goal to significantly grow the company and widen our industry leadership through superior execution, differentiation and customer satisfaction.
SIFCO ASC and Surface Technology create dynamic force in coatings technology
Norman Hay plc has created a new specialist Coatings Group incorporating SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) and Surface Technology providing a single global access point in surface coating technology.
SIFCO ASC, which was acquired by Norman Hay in 2012, is the world leading supplier of selective plating services, chemical solutions and equipment as well as creator of the renowned SIFCO Process®. Sister company, Surface Technology offers an extensive range of specialist surface treatments for industrial applications and by combining their technical expertise and market knowledge the group creates a new dynamic force in the coating and surface finishing industry.
The new Coatings Group will be headed by Group Managing Director Lee Shelton, who joined Norman Hay in 2000. Lee, a fluent Japanese speaker, started working for Norman Hay in its impregnation business, Ultraseal International, as Director of International Business, based in Japan. Following several years in key business development and leadership roles for Norman Hay in the Asia Pacific region, Lee relocated to the US in December 2012 as MD of SIFCO ASC.
Lee explained: “Since acquiring the SIFCO ASC business in 2012 and bringing the business into the Norman Hay Group, a number of synergies have emerged. The leadership team at Norman Hay feel that now is the right time to formalise this collaboration by bringing some of the best talent in the industry together under one umbrella. In doing so, we will identify new applications and ways of working which will ultimately benefit our customers’ processes.”
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, SIFCO ASC has operations in three further US states, the UK, Sweden and France as well as partners in Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. Surface Technology, headquartered in Coventry, covers the whole of the UK through seven sites and has plants in Australia and China. In addition to helping the two businesses expand into new locations, the creation of the Coatings Group will also ensure the company maximises its reach in existing markets such as oil & gas, automotive, aerospace and power generation.
Well proven for enhancing, repairing or refurbishing critical components, the SIFCO Process® can now be easily adopted into manufacturing production lines thanks to the company’s recent investment in developing workstations to automate the SIFCO Process®. Lee believes that with the support of Surface Technology, a wider scope of opportunities can be established, providing manufacturers across many industries the opportunity to meet their goals of both increasing quality and productivity and consolidating their supplier base.
When asked what differentiates Norman Hay’s Coatings Group from competitors, Lee said: “Our knowledge and expertise are unrivalled. The industries in which we are most prominent are heavily regulated, such as aerospace, automotive and also oil & gas. Customers in these sectors need reassurance that they are dealing with suppliers who are technical experts driven by the most robust standards and processes to meet highly demanding specifications. We now have more engineers and Quality Managers in our group than ever, with a combined service of 243 years.”
Significant investments are being made into recruitment, such as the recent appointment of a new European Sales Manager and a Design Engineer on the robotics side, along with refurbishment of existing facilities and new equipment.
Vic Bellanti, Chief Executive of Norman Hay, concluded: “We already receive requests from customers to offer a wider range of services in order to keep their supplier base to a minimum and now, through our Coatings Group, we offer an enhanced one-stop, multi-coat, capability. The team will now be selling the combined capability of the Group rather than one individual company.”
SIFCO ASC shows portable silver repair capability to POWER-GEN delegates
World-leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions, SIFCO ASC, will be showing engineering and maintenance professionals in the power generation and distribution industry how they can minimise costly downtime and power outages with its silver repair travel kit at this year’s POWER-GEN International Conference.
Creators of the innovative SIFCO Process®, a portable method of electroplating localized areas without the use of immersion tanks, will be on Stand 4970 at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida, from 9-11 December 2014.
The highly-portable SIFCO Process® is ideal for on-site repairs during outages and operations when repair times are critical. Delegates will learn how it can be used to apply adherent, high quality, deposits onto localized areas with minimal disassembly, minimal masking and with the ability to precisely control deposit thickness – which all serve to minimize the total downtime and provide a much faster repair than other plating methods. In addition, it is important that the process of applying deposits poses minimal risk to both the operator and the environment. SIFCO’s Silver Non-Cyanide solution provides a superior quality deposit that can be applied in the shop or anywhere in the field without the hazards associated with traditional cyanide silvers.
SIFCO ASC, part of Norman Hay Plc, works with leading players in the power generation industry, including Alstom, Siemens and Rolls Royce. Typical industry applications for SIFCO ASC include the silver plating of palm assemblies, damper windings, copper wedges and strips, and the coating of shafts and engine components.
POWER-GEN International features five conferences and three exhibitions under one roof. The combined events will feature top international power industry companies from across the conventional and renewable sectors, demonstrating state of the art services and technologies covering every aspect of electrical power generation.
This year there will be four co-located events: Nuclear Power International, Renewable Energy World North America, The POWER-GEN International Financial Forum, and the GenForum.
Lee Shelton, Group Managing Director of SIFCO ASC, comments: “POWER-GEN International is a prestigious event within the industry and we are looking forward to showcasing our unique surface enhancement technologies and services for both OEM components and parts requiring repair and refurbishment. We’re especially excited to showcase our new portable silver repair kits that contain everything a trained technician needs to quickly make repairs on copper bus connections and get power restored.
“With more than 50 years of experience, we can offer our customers world class capabilities and application development support, no matter where they are located, backed by the global expertise of the Norman Hay Group.”
To register for POWER-GEN International, visit www.power-gen.com
SIFCO Process® Repair Gets Crane Mining Again Only Days After Critical Repair
By repairing the pinion gear of a mining crane in-situ with the SIFCO Process®, industrial gearing manufacturer Horsburgh & Scott Co. was able to return the crane to service with minimal downtime and extend the working life of the gear components. This in turn has improved the time between failure rate of the part and saved significant cost compared to alternative repair methods.
Horsburgh & Scott Co. is based in Cleveland, Ohio and designs, manufactures, services and rebuilds industrial gearing and gear drives for industry-specific needs. The company has a long-standing relationship with SIFCO ASC and has been working with them to solve various component repair issues for 20 years.
A Gouging Problem
The pinion gear is an essential part of a gear train assembly. In this application, the pinion gear was part of the boom driveline of a dragline excavator crane used in the surface mining of coal. If not maintained regularly, lubricant in the pinion gear can leak out of the seal and potentially cause the bearing to seize and gall the bearing journal. Removal of the seized bearing often results in additional gouging damage to the bearing journal surface.
When Horsburgh & Scott Co. approached SIFCO ASC with this problem, they worked together to look for a solution that would minimize the downtime as well as the cost of the repair.
A Selective Solution
Using the SIFCO Process®, a portable plating process used to selectively electroplate localized areas, defects are typically repaired with one or more layers of copper, and then covered with a wear resistant deposit.
For this application in which the gouge in the journal was filled with copper, no machining was required and only one layer of nickel was plated to achieve the desired journal dimension. This resulted in a repair that was significantly less expensive that other alternatives requiring pre and post-process machining.
Dave Niederhelman, Chief Metallurgist, Horsburgh & Scott Co. said: “SIFCO ASC is a well-established partner of Horsburgh & Scott and their ability to work on-site is highly attractive. Over the years they have helped us to find the most efficient ways to repair and maintain our customers’ equipment and this has added up to thousands of dollars, hours of downtime, and manpower time saved.
“In this application the SIFCO Process® has extended the working life of the gear and improved the failure rate due to the nature of the nickel coating on the journal. The cost of manufacturing and material to replace the gear would have been expensive in comparison, as well as causing weeks of downtime.”
Lee Shelton, Managing Director of SIFCO ASC concludes: “At SIFCO ASC, we understand the inconvenience caused when critical components fail and need urgent repair. The portability of the SIFCO Process® makes it a versatile solution used for numerous demanding repair and OEM applications. The localized plating process works well in an industrial environment. The plated deposits withstand considerable stress and strain, while maintaining excellent adhesion.”
SIFCO Process® Workstations Make Plating Process 90 Percent Faster for Powell
Powell Electrical Systems Inc., Delta/Unibus Division has reduced the process time taken to selectively plate each side of its copper bus bars by 90 percent, saving approximately $100,000 in labor costs, thanks to a unique semi-automated workstation developed by SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), the world’s leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions.
Copper bus bars play an important role in conducting electricity through distribution networks within the power generation industry and, therefore, need to be manufactured to an exacting standard that permits carrying very high currents across mating bus connections with minimal contact resistance. The industry practice to decrease electrical contact resistance at the mating bus connections is to electroplate them with a suitable material, such as silver or tin, before they are installed in the system.
A typical bus bar has four distinct faces that require silver plating. Prior to installing the semi-automated workstation, this was done manually, one face at a time, requiring an operator to move a hand-held plating tool (anode) back and forth across the surface being plated until the desired silver thickness was achieved. Thickness was often inconsistent because of the manual operation which required the operator to error on the high side tolerance. To complete a bus bar, this operation had to be carried out four times.
Bus bars are a core component in Powell Delta/Unibus’ portfolio; therefore the company is constantly looking for ways to improve its manufacturing process. SIFCO ASC and Powell already had an established relationship with Powell using SIFCO Process® equipment and plating solutions. Initial discussions with SIFCO ASC on process improvements identified the potential savings that could be achieved by adopting a semi-automated workstation. Further detailed discussions to better understand Powell’s production requirements resulted in the development of the Dual Plating Workstation, which was designed and built by SIFCO ASC.
This semi-automated workstation is the first of its kind for this type of application, which enabled Powell to selectively silver plate both sides of the copper bus bars simultaneously and achieve the desired plating thickness uniformly, consistently and efficiently.
The new semi-automated workstation is 90 percent faster at plating a bus bar than the original manual application, reducing the process time from 21minutes to just 2 minutes. These calculations translate into approximately $100,000 worth of labor savings annually when Powell Delta/Unibus is operating at full capacity. The efficiency gains and savings achieved have prompted Powell to purchase a second machine.
Jessica Heuel, Quality Assurance Engineer at Powell explains: “The whole copper bar processing line has multiple potential bottlenecks as do all manufacturing processes. Being able to significantly reduce the plating operation time has helped remove electroplating as a potential bottleneck in our process, which allows the workers to assemble the bus duct much faster.”
Jessica adds: “We are extremely pleased with the results of this project as it has vastly improved our business. The experts at SIFCO ASC are very good at understanding our processes and what we are trying to achieve rather than just being concerned with developing their own business by selling us product. Not only have they devised a solution that saves us time and money, but in fact it has improved the quality of our plating process as well.”
Lee Shelton, Managing Director of SIFCO ASC concludes: “This was a special project for SIFCO ASC that we are extremely proud of. We have worked with a number of companies to develop custom workstations, but these two are the first of their kind. We always endeavour to partner with our customers and create solutions that will be beneficial in the long-term.”
To find out more about SIFCO’s selective plating process you can visit: www.sifcoasc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org US
For more information on Powell Electrical Systems Inc. you can visit: www.powellind.com
SIFCO Process® Showcased at EASA to Extend Service Life of Electrical Generating Equipment
SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), world leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions will be showcasing the versatility of the SIFCO Process® at the Electronic Apparatus Service Association (EASA) Convention and exhibition 2014.
The EASA Convention will take place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts on June 29th – July 1st. It is an annual event which gives professionals from the electric motor repair industry the chance to upskill in their field of expertise covering areas such as repairing motors and pumps, managing business, and finding better ways to serve customers.
Selective plating plays a vital role in the electric motor repair industry due to the significant time and cost savings it can offer in extending maintenance intervals and service life. End bells, which house the bearings that support both ends of a motor shaft, often suffer from fretting corrosion during operation. The SIFCO Process® is used to plate the bores to size with copper, tin, or nickel and can take less time than alternative methods such as sleeving of thermal spray processes.
The SIFCO Process® is also used in many other industrial applications where surfaces need to be protected, repaired or refurbished.
Lee Shelton, Group Managing Director of SIFCO ASC, said: “We are really looking forward to exhibiting at EASA this year and building rapport further-afield as well as educating people on the key benefits of selective plating in the electric motor repair industry.”
You can visit SIFCO ASC at: Stand 1113
SIFCO ASC Completes Expansion at Swedish Site
The world leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions, SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), has completed the expansion of its Swedish facility.
The project commenced in September 2013 and took eight months to complete. The expansion of its existing facility in Rättvik, Sweden, has added 250m² to the facility, bringing the plant’s total area to 680m².
Providing a large amount of selective plating work for the power generation industry, SIFCO ASC Sweden’s customers include Siemens and ABB. The Rättvik plant, which was purchased in 1993, was frequently working at full capacity prior to the expansion due to high customer demand.
Lee Shelton, Group Managing Director at SIFCO ASC, said: “The expansion gives SIFCO ASC Sweden the opportunity to develop its business and shows how SIFCO ASC is continuing to grow with the support of Norman Hay plc. The Rättvik factory is SIFCO ASC’s foothold in the Nordic region and this development should enable us to extend our services, not only across Scandinavia but also to Russia.
“The additional space at our Swedish site will allow further sales growth through increased capacity and manpower, whilst at the same time facilitating site layout improvements that benefit the health and safety of all employees.”
General Manager at the SIFCO ASC Sweden plant, Jan-Olov Olsén added: “It’s great to have completed the expansion. The Swedish plant handles the largest components across SIFCO ASC but previously had the smallest work floor area. The expansion will solve these issues and allow the facility to increase its workload.
“The expansion will be a huge benefit to SIFCO ASC. It will allow an increase in efficiency across the floor and the facility is more economical due to the addition of space. It will allow us to develop new business and new markets, and we can now offer improved service solutions to our customers.”
In addition to the expansion of the site, Rättvik’s municipality has allowed SIFCO ASC Sweden to lease part of the neighbouring plot to create a new access road which will bring improvements to the loading and unloading of goods at the site.
With over 50 years’ experience, SIFCO ASC has been helping customers meet their selective plating requirements. Selective plating is a portable plating method used to enhance, repair, and refurbish localised areas on manufactured components.
SIFCO ASC’s Global Partner Conference Results in New Relationships and Business Development Success
SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), the market leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions, recently hosted a three-day Global Partner Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
The conference, which brought together more than 50 SIFCO ASC members and partners representing 18 countries, provided a platform for the SIFCO ASC family to share their successful, innovative applications of the SIFCO Process® and best plating practices. In addition to building relationships and new contacts, the conference was also a commercial success as two partners have embarked on a new business venture together.
Kristinko Cik, Division Sales and Marketing Manager of SIFCO ASC’s Austrian partner, Lahner KG, said: “After meeting for the first time at the conference, two partners from different countries have won a repair order together. This illustrates the value of the Global Partner Conference and the opportunity for SIFCO ASC’s partners to network with each other.
“For the meeting to be held in Cleveland, the very place where the success of the SIFCO Process® began was very fitting. The presentation of new solutions was compelling and the opportunity to network with new partners exceeded our expectations.”
The Global Partner Conference brought together partners of SIFCO ASC to reconnect, share experiences and build new relationships within the company. Thais Araujo, Coordinator of Research and Development of Super Finishing do Brasil, said: “The conference was well organised and the program content was excellent.
“We were able to learn new processes and techniques during the conference and to network with SIFCO ASC’s global partners. The enthusiasm from the SIFCO ASC team made for a positive, productive and enjoyable event.”
Lee Shelton, Group Managing Director of SIFCO ASC, said: “The goal of the conference was to promote the advances we are making to the SIFCO Process®, and to better understand the needs of our global customer base. We’ve received positive feedback from the conference, which we believe will aid the continued development of our products and services.”
The SIFCO Process® is a portable method of electroplating localized areas without the use of an immersion tank. SIFCO Process® plating can be used to repair damage caused by wear, corrosion or mis-machining or for enhancing surface characteristics and performance for OEM components.
A part of Norman Hay plc, SIFCO ASC has been helping its customers meet their selective plating requirements for over 50 years. The SIFCO Process® is supported in over 18 countries on four continents through our network of distributors and licensed job shop partners.
SIFCO ASC and Bell Helicopter Reveal the Science Behind Pioneering Corrosion Protection at SUR FIN 2014
Scientific research on a less toxic alternative to rotorcraft corrosion protection will be presented by SIFCO ASC and Bell Helicopter experts at the National Association for Surface Finishing’s (NASF) SUR FIN Manufacturing & Technology Tradeshow & Conference 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Zhimin Zhong, research scientist at world-leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions SIFCO ASC, and Peter McCallum, engineer of American rotorcraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter, are the technical experts behind the paper*, and will be speaking about their findings on Tuesday June 10th at 10:00AM at the Cleveland Convention Center.
High strength steel requires corrosion protection when used in rotocraft to prevent failure of flight critical components. Cadmium electrodeposit is traditionally used for these applications due to its excellent corrosion protection, however it is also highly toxic. In order to adhere to new design requirements, Zhimin and Peter evaluated zinc-nickel coatings as a less toxic alternative.
The SUR FIN exhibition runs from June 9th – 14th and is recognized as the global surface finishing industry’s leading conference. It is hosted by professionals from around the world who share their valuable knowledge in solving the industry’s most complex challenges while improving productivity.
Zhimin Zhong said: “By working with Bell Helicopter we have unearthed a viable alternative for corrosion protection in the aerospace industry while minimising toxicity. Peter and I are thrilled to be invited to share our research with delegates of the SUR FIN conference and hope that they go away with a fresh perspective on surface finishing.”
*Characterization of Zn-Ni Coatings as a Replacement for Cadmium Electrodeposit for Rotorcraft Applications by Peter J. McCallum, Bell Helicopter Textron & Zhimin Zhong, SIFCO ASC.