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September 2014

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.”

August 2014

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: or email US

For more information on Powell Electrical Systems Inc. you can visit:

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

July 2014

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.

Sweden_SiteExtensionThe 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.

June 2014

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.”

For more information on SIFCO ASC visit: and to register for the event visit:

*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.

May 2014

SIFCO ASC to showcase selective plating capability at Power-Gen Europe

A range of innovative surface treatments which combat the operational and maintenance challenges faced by the power generation industry will be showcased by the global leader in selective plating technology and solutions, SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) at this year’s POWER-GEN Europe exhibition, 3-5 June 2014.

SIFCO ASC will be sharing stand 6V46 with sister Norman Hay Plc company Surface Technology, a leader in the development and application of high performance surface treatments.

Originator of the renowned SIFCO Process® for electroplating localised areas on components without the use of an immersion tank, SIFCO ASC is approved by many of the world’s leading players in the power generation industry, including Siemens, Alstom, Rolls Royce and Westinghouse.

The company will be showcasing the flexibility and portability of the SIFCO Process® for selective plating and the vital role it can play in the manufacturing industry to improve component performance, minimise downtime and reduce manufacturing costs.
Typical power generation industry applications for the SIFCO Process® include bus bars, gas turbine components, generators, nuclear components and the in-situ repair of windmill bearing journals and slip rings – eliminating the major delays associated with disassembly and offsite repair and significantly reducing downtime.

Now a well-established event in the European and International power diary, POWER-GEN Europe returns to Cologne, Germany for its 22nd staging alongside Renewable Energy World Europe, with the theme of ‘Navigating the Power Transition’.

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.

Mark Smith, European General Manager for SIFCO ASC, comments: “POWER-GEN Europe is a prestigious event within the sector and we are looking forward to showcasing our unique surface enhancement technologies and services for both OEM components and parts requiring refurbishment and repair. 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.”


March 2014

SIFCO ASC Exhibits Selective Plating Solution at INDUSTRIE PARIS 2014

SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), world leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions will be showcasing the versatility of the SIFCO Process® this year at Industrie Paris 2014, the only event in France to bring together nine sectors of the manufacturing industry.

Industrie Paris is a top European exhibition which groups together all solutions in terms of equipment, components, products and services for stages of industrial manufacturing, from design through to production.

The exhibition will take place from March 31 – April 04 at the Paris Nord Villepinte, and will bring together more than 1,000 exhibitors and 25,000 industry professionals. It is located in a region that focuses almost a quarter of new industrial companies in France, more than 134,800 a year.

Selective plating plays a vital role in the manufacturing industry due to the significant time and cost savings it can offer. The SIFCO Process® is used in many industrial applications where surfaces need to be protected, repaired or refurbished.

The SIFCO ASC team will be able to demonstrate the multiple capabilities of selective plating in providing corrosion protection, increasing wear resistance, improving solderability or brazing characteristics, reducing electrical contact resistance, preventing galling and serving as bearing surfaces.

Lee Shelton, Group Managing Director of SIFCO ASC, said: “We are really looking forward to exhibiting at Industrie Paris this year and building rapport further-afield as well as educating people on the key benefits of selective plating in the manufacturing industry.”

You can visit SIFCO ASC at: 5-S2

To register for the event visit:

January 2014

SIFCO ASC Propels Selective Plating Solution at HELI-EXPO

SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) is taking a vertical approach to selective plating this year by exhibiting at the world’s largest trade exhibition dedicated to helicopters, HELI-EXPO.

The exhibition will take place from 25-27 February at the Anaheim Convention Center, and will bring together more than 20,000 industry professionals from across 90 countries.

HELI-EXPO is organized by the Helicopter Association International (HAI), an aviation trade association dedicated to the advancement of the international helicopter community, of which SIFCO ASC is a member, and has 3,600 members.

Selective plating plays a vital part in the aerospace industry due to the necessity of high performance and safe equipment. At the event SIFCO ASC will be demonstrating its capabilities in enabling components to withstand friction, high temperatures and corrosive environments while continuing to operate at optimum performance levels.

Lee Shelton, Group Managing Director of SIFCO ASC, said: “We are really looking forward to exhibiting at HELI-EXPO this year and developing key relationships with the industry as well as educating people on the key benefits of selective plating in the helicopter industry.”

You can visit SIFCO ASC at: Booth # 3829

To register for the event visit:

November 2013

NOV and SIFCO ASC Partner for Successful Completion of Unscheduled Repair

SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC), the world leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions, worked together with the world leader in oilfield products and services, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) to repair critical damage caused by lightning strike on the Ensco 8505 drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico within 24 hours of arrival on site, preventing costly unplanned downtime.

Lightning strikesLightning strike Damage
Significant damage was caused to the crown mounted compensator (CMC) cylinder when lightning struck the rig. The CMC is a device used to apply a constant tension to the drill string and compensate for any rig movement. The impact of the lightning strike caused a substantial gouge, the size of a coin, on the CMC cylinder. Without immediate repairs the damage would cause the cylinder seals to leak, resulting in hydraulic fluid loss and the threat of significant lost production.

Lightning strike DamageThe Ensco 8505 is one of many oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and the sixth of seven rigs in the ENSCO 8500 Series®. In the second quarter of 2011, these rigs had virtually no downtime and achieved 99 percent utilisation as well as being ranked number one in overall customer satisfaction in deep-water drilling by Energy Pointi, an independent survey firm. The company therefore required a speedy solution which would maintain its high operational standards within the industry.

To remove the damaged CMC cylinder from the platform and replace it would be extremely costly, and result in significant downtime, with every hour costing the platform operator thousands of dollars in lost production. NOV and SIFCO ASC came together to solve this problem.

A distinctive solutionSIFCO Process®
The solution was found in SIFCO ASC’s plating process, using SIFCO’s AeroNikl® 7280 for corrosion protection, and Cobalt 2043 to cap the repair for hardness to protect against surface wear. The SIFCO Process® is unique to the company and involves a portable method of electroplating localised areas without the use of an immersion tank. The SIFCO Process® is highly regarded in the oil and gas industry and used on many OEM and repair applications, particularly as components can be plated in-situ and on-site, which ultimately saves time in maintenance, repairs and unplanned downtime.

When undertaking the repair work, two SIFCO ASC technicians were situated near the top of the derrick, 450ft in the air, to perform the repair. It took them a total of 24 hours to complete the work and return the platform to full operation, as opposed to three months to replace the shaft.

Jimmy Clark, structural service manager from NOV said: “When rigs are down it can cost as much as $489K a day in losses, which is why it was important that we sourced a solution that could be completed in as little time as possible, producing outstanding results that would keep the CMC cylinder protected from further damage.”

SIFCO ASC’s experienced, skilled and qualified workforce applies all deposits in strict adherence to the specifications and quality assurance requirements demanded by its customers. They inspect and ensure that their work complies with industry standards as insisted by customers in the oil and gas sector. The SIFCO ASC technicians on this project hold annual certifications to work on oil platforms, which allows for their speedy deployment to site.

Five times the resultrepaired cylinder
The final result was extremely successful. The repaired cylinder was dimensionally accurate to .001” tolerance as compared to the .005” tolerance originally requested by NOV.

This section of the CMC cylinder will be better protected from corrosion and, in offshore oilfields, metal structures and components are under constant attack from a variety of sources. Although corrosion will initially be uniform across the surface area of the metal, in time it will accelerate into any small crevices. Without SIFCO ASC’s AeroNikl® 7280 this could have ultimately progressed into cracks in the metal, which could have been accelerated by tensile stress, resulting in stress corrosion. According to the “United States Cost of Corrosion Study”, produced by NACE International, one of the world’s leading authorities on corrosion engineering and control, corrosion costs the US oil and gas exploration and production industry $1.4 billion a year.

Similar projects include the repair of the Hydraulic Balance Cylinder on the Transocean Development Driller 1. SIFCO ASC is prepared to help the industry mitigate the threat of corrosion and meet the key challenges of extending equipment life while reducing downtime and reducing operating costs.

Lee Shelton, Managing Director, SIFCO ASC said: “When production halts due to the damage of critical components that are not easily repaired, time is of the essence to reduce the shutdown period to a minimum. Our aim was to restore confidence in the performance and reliability of Ensco 8505’s process operations, and I’m delighted the SIFCO Process® has had a positive impact on its operational performance and profitability.”

NOV provides comprehensive drilling solutions that include technically advanced, field-proven equipment integrated into systems that increase drilling efficiency, enhance Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) programs, and maximizes customers’ life cycle economics. It has an ability to design, manufacture, install, commission, and provide aftermarket service for a wide variety of drilling systems and equipment. It has worked with SIFCO ASC since 2009 which has over 50 years’ experience serving the oil and gas market globally, providing a complete range of selective plating solutions combined with industry leading technical support and application advice.


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