May 06, 2021
H2-mobility and fuel cell technology:
5.000.000 BiPs per year PVD-coated
PVT receives order to build an inline vacuum coating system
Sustainability is the buzz-word in mobility (cars, trucks, busses and other means of transport such as aircrafts) to reach the projected climate goals in not too far distant future.
The main emphasis is currently battery-powered E-mobility.
However, a much bigger potential is offered by the hydrogen technology. Specially coated bipolar plates (BiPs) are mounted on top of each other to so-called “stacks”.
In these stacks hydrogen is recombined with oxygen while during it´s recombination electrical energy is created without any emission.
PVT Plasma und Vakuum Technik as a specialist in PVD-coatings received in February this year an order for an inline vacuum coating system which can coat up to 5.000.000 BiPs per year in this continuously working 4-chamber system. The size of the individual BiPs is approx. 480 x 130 mm. The fully automatic coating system will be delivered to the customer this year and will start production early 2022.
The coating process used in this system is based on a proven and mature mass production PVD process for fuel cells and electrolyzer components made from austenitic or duplex steels but also from Titanium based materials.
The coatings are characterized by high conductivity, corrosion protection and cost effectiveness in mass production.
Due to continuous increase in order intake PVT is moving to additional commercial space in the VarioPark, Bensheim.
You will find an overview of PVT´s up-to-date hard coatings here.
Detailled informations you will find here.
March 26, 2020
Hybrid PP – Pulse-plasma-nitriding and PVD hard coating in one process
PVT develops a new hybrid coating process
Highly stressed forming dies and molds are coated for quite some time to fight wear and increase wear resistance. If such tools are plasma.nitrided prior to hard coating, the wear resistsance is increased significantly, while the plasmnitrided zone provides improves support for the deposited hard coating. Such combination of treatment is very time consuming and expensive and it requires a high investment.
As an example, in total 30 hours of treatment in 2 different systems are required, if a massive forming die is nitrided to a depth of 20 µm and a subsequent 3 µm CrN (chromium-nitride) coating is deposited.
The Hybrid PP – process, standing for the combination of pulse-plasma-nitriding with subsequent PVD hard coating and developed by PVT, enables the user of this technology to perform such duplex-treatment in one single system in approximately 12 hours.
As one can see from the GDOES* depth profile above, the Hybrid PP treated sample shows on top an approximately 3 µm thick CrN coating followed by a nitrided zone underneath of 20 – 25 µm. Measurements show a base hardness of the heat treated steel of HV 750, thereafter a hardness of HV 1200 for the nitrided zone and HV 2000 for the CrN-coating.
The Hybrid PP process can be performed in an xPro-L4 Hybrid PP coating system, pictured on the home page. The time for this combination of treatment is significantly reduced, the productivity increase and all this at significantly reduced cost of investment.
* GDOES = Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy
June 17, 2019
The new xPro4R – HiPIMS V+ meets Rotatables
Technology for super-smooth, ultra-dense coatings
The development of super-smooth ultra-dense hard coatings was the goal of the development of the high performance coating system xPro4R. Based on the most advanced and meanwhile widely used HiPIMS V+ technology from N4E* and the use of rotatable magnetron sputtering cathodes (Rotatables) from GENCOA** the xPro4R coating system was designed for the deposition of high performance hard coatings such as AlTiN, AlCrN, AlTiCrSiN and many others.
The HiPIMS V+ (HiPIMS + positive pulsing) technology, currently considered as the most advanced HiPIMS – technology, allows the precise control of the amount and energy of the ions, bombarding the substrate. This is the most important mechanism to deposit coatings which show the optimum concerning crystallinity, density, smoothness and internal stresses for their applications. Furthermore HiPIMS V+ shows much higher deposition rates compared to conventional HiPIMS processes.
The use of Rotatables supports higher deposition rates for improved economics, reduces the target poisoning and shows the longest lifetime of the target material without target changes at extreme target utilization. One of the most important advantages of Rotatables is the constant sputter conditions during the lifetime of the target compared to planar targets which require constant adjustments of the deposition conditions due to the erosion groove.
Furthermore Rotatables can be used at significantly higher energy levels compared to planar magnetrons, thus positively influencing the economics of the process.
PVT combined HiPIMS V+ and Rotatables in the newly developed xPro4R coating system. With a plasma volume of 520 mm diameter and a height of 800 mm an economic environment is created to deposit super-smooth ultra-dense high performance coatings onto a variety of cutting and forming tools, dies and molds, parts and consumer goods.
PVT started the marketing of the xPro4R (technical data sheet) giving different presentations during and exhibiting at international and national exhibitions and conferences, such as at the SVC – TECHCON 2019 in Los Angeles, the ICMCTF 2019 in San Diego, the HiPIMS – Konferenz in Braunschweig and the SAVTI Meeting in Shenzhen.
* N4E Nano4Energy, Madrid, Spain
** GENCOA, Liverpool, Great Britain
April 25, 2018
Launching the xPro4C
First presentation of our latest high performance coating system at the ICMCTF conference.
With an oral presentation “Functional DLC by HiPIMS V+ and pulsed-dc magnetron sputtering in an industrial coating system” delivered April 25, 2018, during the ICMCTF 2018 conference in San Diego, CA, USA, we are launching our newest product, the xPro4C DLC(diamond-like-carbon) coating system (see specification under Downloads).
DLC coatings are widely established for their wear and erosion resistant, corrosion resistant but foremost because of their advantageous tribological properties.
PVT introduces its first DLC-coating system based on the most advanced process technologies. In cooperation with Nano4Energy SL (N4E), Madrid, Spain, the coating system xPro4C was designed and developed using N4E’s HiPIMS V+ (positive pulse) proprietary technology. This magnetron sputtering mode, in combination with the Variable magnetics (VT-ER) provided by Gencoa Ltd., allows an accurate control of both the flux and energy of the ion species bombarding the substrate. And this is the crucial mechanism to produce coatings with optimum properties such as crystallinity, density, smoothness or internal stress.
The system is specifically designed for the deposition of high performance DLC coatings, such as a-C, a-C:H, ta-C and a-C:Me and many others.
Such coatings are deposited in both HiPIMS V+ and DC-pulsed magnetron sputtering mode onto a variety of cutting tools, dies and moulds, components and consumer products for highly advantageous tribological purposes, i.e. extremely low cof (coefficient of friction) and high wear resistance.
Besides the DLC coatings, in the xPro4C system also high performance metallurgical coatings, such as AlCrSiN, AlTiSiN, AlCrN, AlTiN, CrN, TiC,N, TiN and many others can be deposited with extremely smooth surface structures.
The xPro4C coating system is also an excellent research tool due to its extreme flexibility and its economic size.
December 29, 2017
2017 – a year with challenges
Delivery and installation of complete turnkey-coating centers – participation at more than 20 exhibitions and trade fairs.
Delivery and installation of complete turnkey-coating centers. Participation at more than 20 exhibitions and shows in different countries: IMTEX in India, EMO in Hannover and DMC in Shanghai, just to name only a few.
Four events stand out and deserve a closer look:
1. xxl6.5 – The Heavyweight
The biggest coating system ever built by PVT, has been in China now for 12 months and has been in operation ever since without any problems.
Key data – for your information
• total height of the machine: 4.200 mm
• coating chamber for parts up to 3.000mm coating length
• designed for substrates with up to 450 mm in diameter
• designed for substrates with up to 3.000 kg weight
Our client reports satisfaction with the system and due to the in-house coating facilities a significant increase in turnover and a rise in market shares.
PVT will support this business partner strongly in the future.
2. A new location – PVT Qingdao
After PVT Germany took over 100% of the shares of PVT Shandong in Linyi the business was moved to Qingdao. New address is the ‚Sino-German-Eco-Park- Qindao (see photos) , a prospering Industry Park that includes many German businesses in the meantime.
The ‚Sino-German-Eco-Park Qingdao‘ became known due to the commitment of the German soccer club FC Bayern München to establish a soccer training school there.
The consulting board includes authority figures such as Klaus Schlappner, a famous soccer dignitary and well-known former coach of the Chinese national soccer team.
Soon after PVT Qingdao began coating operations the machine park was expanded and now includes a very efficient plasma-nitriding system. The dual chamber system has vacuum chambers of 1.000 mm in diameter and an effective height of 1.700 mm.
The PVD coating capacity will be increased by 200% at the beginning of next year, i.e. after the Chinese New Year Celebrations.
3. CLS Technology
At the beginning of the year PVT got an order to develop a highly productive batch-coating system for the deposition of optically dense and highly reflecting metal coatings (CLS technology).
The client will deposit these coatings on bulky pre-painted automotive components.
The internal dimensions of the coating chamber amount to a diameter of 1.800 mm and a height of 1.200 mm. PVT successfully reduced the cycle times of 12 minutes requested by the customer ( including loading and unloading) minutes by 25 %. Now, every 9 minutes coated substrates leave the coating chamber, much to the delight of the client.
The coating system is currently on its way to China after a successful process simulation.
4. HiPIMS and Sputtering of diamond-like carbon coatings (DLC)
Midyear PVT decided to develop the first own industrial HiPIMS/Magnetron Sputtering system. The solid basis to that were the preceding very successful process validitations .
The introduction of this product will probably take place already in spring 2018.
Thus PVT is worldwide the only company to use large rectangular sources for all its processes: arc evaporation, magnetron sputtering and HiPIMS.
The applications of these are the areas where erosion- and corrosion resistant, wear resistant and tribological (low-friction) high-performance coatings are needed for cutting tools, dies and molds, components and wear parts.
PVT will keep you posted.
Please contact us if you have questions regarding our products and processes.
May 27, 2016
PVT´s global presence
Covering three continents – PVT´s trade fair activities this spring.
„GrindTec” in Augsburg, Germany, “ICMCTF” in San Diego, California, US, “SVC TechCon” in Indianapolis, Indiana, US, “CCMT” in Shanghai, China – it has been a long time tradition for PVT’s team in the first months of the year to travel to a variety of conferences and exhibitions. Although these events target different industries the comprehensive knowhow concerning surface engineering and the optimization of surfaces through high performance PVD coatings makes the mid-size company a much asked for discussion partner at these venues.
It was gratifying to see: the shows and conferences, which have been a fixed and recurring part of Dr.-Ing. Herbert M. Gabriel’s (president of PVT) diary, “…. nevertheless there have been new contacts to professional visitors, who had not known about us and our products before. That alone is motivation enough to continue with the strategy of continuous attendance of these conferences and shows.‘
This strategy also applies to the Asian Market and proved to be valuable at CCMT (China CNC Machine Tool Fair) in Shanghai – shown in the above picture.
In Bensheim the emphasis on regular international presence is not limited to customer aquisition. Continuity and realiability are deciding elements for success in the field of machine manufacturing and coating services. It is important to know that a foreign partner is a reliable participant at a show – thus sustaining and developing confidence in a business relationship – especially ICMTCTF (International Conference on Metallurgical coatings and Thin Films) in the United States – an important meeting place for PVT with many local suppliers.
Until fall the focus will be on the Chinese Market. An outline of upcoming events with PVT participation can be found on our web-page (Trade Shows), with more than 10 upcoming events for the rest of the year. We are looking forward to seeing you!
May 23, 2016
PVT Plasma und Vakuum Technik GmbH has terminated business ties with PVT Coating Changzhou Co., Ltd.
Since May 2016 it is official: PVT Plasma und Vakuum Technik GmbH, Bensheim, Germany, is no longer share holder of PVT Coating Changzhou Co., Ltd. from Xixiashu, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
Despite intense efforts to find a common strategy different conceptions of the former partner concerning the future business development necessitated the termination of business relations. The contract allows the Chinese coating service provider to use the name ‚PVT‘ in its company name until the end of 2016. But there is no longer a legal connection to PVT Plasma and Vakuum Technik Gmbh.
Taking into account the new situation, PVT Plasma und Vakuum Technik GmbH will at the same time develop and explore opportunities opening up in the market of PVD coating technologies in the province of Jiangsu and significantly expand its customer base in Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang provinces.
PVT started the new year 2016 with enthusiasm and energy. First in Bangalore for IMTEX from 21.1.-26.1.2016 as an exhibitor. The decision to participate was made rather on short notice end of 2015. But it proved to be the right decision, over five exhibition days there were numerous new contacts with local suppliers and manufacturers, including technologically challenging discussions and the debate of potential projects.
Not all visitors to the exhibition booth were from India, many well-known guests came by as European competitors wanted to catch up on the international activities of a medium sized company from Bensheim.
The existing impression of India not going to be the No. 1 market for PVD coatings systems proved to be correct. But there was a significantly stronger interest in coating services, which came up in the many discussions. That is reason enough for PVT to consider the start-up of a coating center in the province of Maharastra.
„We are going to investigate this option carefully“ Dr.-Ing. Herbert M. Gabriel, president of PVT, says „we want to collect all necessary data till the end of this year to be able to decide whether a considerable investment like this will fit into our business strategies.“
The political and social environment in India has turned out to enable a change into more positive conditions for an economic commitment in the recent past. The statements of the German Federal Foreign Office confirmed that impression. As a result of the 2014 elected new government in India inflation decreased, a clear acknowledgement of a free market economy, and investment conditions improved. These are encouraging signs, however, the cultural differences and challenges, traditions that influence economic areas and are significantly different from western ways and habits will have to be considered. This means rethinking many development processes and also perseverance.
But these requirements do not intimidate us, six coating centers in China prove that the PVT team not only manages high tech, but also cultural differences.
The next business trip to India has already been scheduled …
November 11, 2015
EMO 2015 in Milan – PVT was on the spot
The Bensheim-based company presenting innovations on the international leading exhibition of metal processing.
This year‘s highlight of the industry is now behind us, EMO (Exposition Mondiale de la Machine Outil)- the international leading exhibition of metal processing. From October 5–10 Milan was the hub of the world of tool manufacturing and attracted the attention of exhibitiors and professional visitors.
PVT could not be absent in this circle and presented its current innovations. Noticeable from a distance: the new corporate identity, new logo, new corporate color concept, new system design and a new exhibition booth outfit caught the interest of the professional clientele.
The technical advances were presented to clients and interested visitors in discussions and negotiations by Dr.-Ing. Herbert M. Gabriel (President of PVT). The focus was on developments to optimize arc-evaporation processes and the resulting advantages for users of PVT’s systems:
- application of the new technologies PDA* and HiParc**
- reduction of deposition time by more than 50%
- increase of productivity of coating systems by 85% (e.g. decrease of cycle time for the deposition of 3 µm AlTiN from 6.5 hours to 3.5 hours)
- increase of target utilisation to up to 70%
The team came with high expectations to Italy—and it was worth it!
A large number of potential customers from countries around the globe requested highly qualified responses. Concrete projects were discussed in various talks and are now being finalized in the exhibition follow-up.
Public traffic did by far not reach the early expectations of the exhibition organizers (something that was confirmed by fellow exhibitors). However, the high quality of the discussions is motivation for us to look forward to EMO 2017, from September 18th to 23rd in Hanover.
For those who can’t wait until then—you will experience PVT live on various events worldwide. Our exhibition calendar gives information about where and when on our website.
We are looking forward to seeing you …
* HiParc = High Power Pulsed Arc
** PDA = Plasma Diffused Arc
October 19, 2015
New Exhibition Design
New exhibition concept passed its test with flying colors at EMO 2015 in Milano.
… clearly a throughout positive response – that was the bottom line comment of Dr. Herbert Gabriel, (President of PVT) – the new exhibition concept passed its test with flying colors at EMO 2015 in Milano. A hugely satisfying result of an intense development process that involved many considerations in the preparations for to the most important tool and machine tool exhibition in the world:
How to present best the new generation of PVT coating systems? Using system elements as a basis for an exhibition booth or better plan a more individual approach? Which approach will best transfer the new corporate design onto an exhibition booth? And most important: how to successfully attract the attention of an international clientele?
The PVT booth in Milano gave the answers: based on the new corporate colors the visitor found an elegant base structure with bright yellow touches, the attractive counter invited to conversations, whereas conference tables in the rear allowed concentrated project discussions. However, the real highlight was a full length presentation area of large sized back-lit photo posters, which displayed the new xPro-series, the hightech coating systems of PVT, catching everybody’s eye and then, in full view and above, the newly designed corporate logo.
‚Elegant and sleek‘ were the comments of the visitors, professionally translated through a competent partner, the booth design and construction company ‚LANIMA LO STUDIO‘ (www.lanima.de), which will continue to present this design and color concept for future exhibition projects. Next chance to see PVT live as an exhibitor in Europe is at the GRINDTEC in Augsburg, (16.-19.03.2016). The PVT team is looking forward to seeing you next spring.
October 02, 2015
A new corporate design for a new product family: PVT presents the xPro-series.
Milano–the design city
Milano–venue of the EXPO 2015, the world exhibition
Milano–venue of EMO 2015, the biggest and most important tool and machine tool exhibiton of the world, the world of manufacturing
Is there a better place to introduce the new look of one of the leading PVD companies?
We don’t think so.
PVT has made excellent progress with the development of PDA* and HiParc** technologies in the past few years in
- the quality of the functional tool coatings
- the increase of the productivity of the coating systems
- the reduction of coating process time
- the better utilisation of targets
These technical improvements called for a new machine design that features these achievements: the combination of technical progress (interior) and new machine design (exterior) in the form of an angular ‚edge design‘ which demonstrates the vitality of the company, even after 30 years experience in PVD technology.
While the technological development is an ongoing process the development of a new exterior had begun right after EMO 2013. When first drafts of the design agency “formsprache” in Darmstadt (www.formsprache-gestaltung.de) got positive feedbacks from our customers we decided to complete this project in time for EMO 2015 in Milano.
At the same time we not only completely reviewed the machine design, we also decided at an early stage to cooperate with “formsprache” to transfer the new design philosophy onto the logo, the web page and the exhibition booth design t to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the company with the aim of giving PVT a completely new look.
The new design of the logo enhances and supports this transformation without leaving the roots of the company behind. A number of style and design elements were adopted and carefully modernized and interpreted. The new color concept- black/blue, blue/grey and yellow stands for the solid vitality of the company.
We are looking forward to seeing you at our booth in Milano, Hall 7, booth # F 20
PDA* = Plasma Diffused Arc
HiParc** = High power Pulsed arc
October 01, 2015
HiParc*–High power Pulsed arc
PVT reduces the deposition time for the most advanced high performance coatings by more than 50%.
Arc evaporation is widely used to deposit hard, wear resistant and erosion resistant coatings onto cutting tools, forming tools, dies & molds and wear parts.
Depending on the size of the arc evaporation source and other parameters currents between 60 and 200 A in constant dc–mode are commonly used to evaporate such target materials as Ti, AlTi, Cr and many others.
Traditionally the arc is magnetically confined to control the motion on the targets to avoid the random migration and thus un-uniform distribution of the coating throughout the vacuum chamber.
In a development program over the last 2 ½ years PVT developed the HiParc*-technology (High power Pulsed arc) where in combination with the PDA**-technology(Plasma Diffused Arc) the arcs are run at significantly higher power while pulsing the current at specific frequencies and pulse durations.
Both technologies in combination lead to a significantly better control of the arcs, particularly considering the different evaporation behavior of complex target materials such as TiSi or AlTiSi or AlCrSi or AlCrTiSi, which are used today in high performance coatings.
The most significant advantages of the HiParc* technology are
- significantly shorter cycle times
- improved target utilization
- smoother coating topographies.
PVT is able to reduce the deposition time for the most advanced high performance coatings by more than 50 %, giving the customer an 85 % higher coating system utilization by HiParc*.
HiParc* and PDA** technolog in combination improved at the same time the target utilization to close to 70% depending on the material composition.
In the meantime PVT has commercialized the HiParc*-technology. Several coating systems were successfully delivered to customers using this technology in-house for their own products as well as customers providing coating service.
* HiParc = High Power Pulsed Arc
** PDA = Plasma Diffused Arc
September 01, 2015
20 µm TiN, monolayer
PVT deposites extremely well adherent 20 µm thick TiN coatings with an outstanding reproducibility of +/- 0.2 µm toleranc
PVD-hard coatings are very well known for their high hardness and wear resistance. Typically such coatings are deposited onto cutting and forming tools as well as wear parts with thicknesses in the range of 0.5 – 6 µm.
To control the internal stresses such coatings are mainly nano-structured multilayers to avoid delamination, which easily occurs in thicker monolayer coatings.
As per requirement of a customer PVT got the task to develop an industrial coating process, by which 20 µm thick TiN as a monolayer could be deposited. Within 6 months of development a PVT S2 hard coating system was manufactured, which fulfilled all customer requirements, particularly due to the PDA*-technology.
Extremely well adherent 20 µm thick TiN coatings are now deposited with an outstanding reproducibility of +/- 0.2 µm tolerance (+/-1% of total coating thickness). In addition the time for the deposition of the 20 µ thick coating could be reduced from 10.5 hours down to 3 hours by a newly designed customized rotary fixture.
*PDA = Plasma Diffused Arc
July 16, 2015
PVT with its 6 coating centers in China is now one of the driving forces in the area of hard coatings.
As of July 16, 2015, PVT has acquired 72 % shares of the joint-venture partner of the coating center in Linyi, Shandong province China. PVT holds now all shares.
The contracts were signed during the EASTPO cutting tool show in Shanghai.
PVT with its 6 coating centers in China is one of the driving forces in the area of hard coatings for cutting tools, dies and molds as well as components. With this take-over PVT puts a strong focus on strengthening its market position and its expansion. Within the next few months PVT will invest into a higher capacity as well as its improved technology to support the further growth in this expanding and highly interesting market.
July 10, 2015
4.2 m tall, and a 3,000 kg payload, a real heavyweight
A few days ago PVT took on an order for the design and manufacture of a PVD hard coating system.
A few days ago PVT took on an order for the design and manufacture of a PVD hard coating system, which will be 4.2 m high in total and can coat pieces up to 3,000kg weight. It will be one of the biggest PVD hard coating systems ever built. PVT will also supply in this contract the cleaning system, the pre- and post treatment systems as well as all the instrumentation for quality control. The start-up of all systems at the customer site is scheduled for mid 2016.
June 20, 2015
PVT celebrates its 30th anniversary
The history of PVD hard coating is just as long lasting as PVT, one of the pioneers of this technology.
The history of PVD hard coating is just as long lasting as PVT, one of the pioneers of this technology. 2015, 30th anniversary, PVT will look back on 30 years success in hard coatings. From the start, PVT’s scope of activities were the design and manufacture of
vacuum coating systems and the development of PVD coating processes and coatings for wear-, erosion- and corrosion-resistant as well as tribological applications.
PVT has been acting very successfully in most different markets, geographically, i.e. from North America to Asia, as well as in different industries, such as the cutting tool industry, dies and molds industry, aircraft and aerospace industry. Coincidentally with its 30th anniversary, PVT is proud to announce the sale of one of the largest hard coating systems for cutting tools. The order for this system, which is capable to coat tools up to 3.000kg, was signed just a few days ago. The system will go into production by mid 2016.
PVT successfully introduced its newly developed PDA* technology. PVT uses the arc – evaporation technology to evaporate refractory metals and alloys for the deposition of hard, wear resistant coatings onto cutting and forming tools as well as components. The PDA* technology enables us to split the magnetically guided arc in many small, extremely fast moving arcs.
The result of this development is, that these arcs are now evaporating the materials, such as Ti, Cr, AlTi, AlCr, TiSi and many others, in a much smoother way, reducing the number and size of the droplets considerably and achieving smoother coatings.
In a number of applications, where extremely smooth coatings are needed for specific requirements, cost intensive post – treatment can even be avoided
* PDA = Plasma Diffused Arc