Benefits of In-House PVD Coating Equipment
VaporTech President Dave Humenik: Speed production, reduce defects, avoid repackaging, reduce shipping costs, and customize your finishes with a compact PVD coating system
Manufacturers have known for decades about the benefits of in-house PVD* coating: time savings, quality control, and customized thin film coatings that differentiate products by improving function and appearance. However, in the past, the capital investment was too high for lower-volume operations, the machines were too large or complex to integrate into existing manufacturing facilities, and industry perception was that these machines required highly trained specialists to operate and maintain.
*Although we (and the industry) refer to these as “PVD Coatings”, PVD (physical vapor deposition) is only one of several processes that are used in thin-film deposition systems. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is another process of applying thin-film coatings, including diamond-like carbon (DLC). All our VaporTech vacuum coating machines deposit nanometers-thick metal or ceramic coatings to a variety of metal or even plastic parts. They are fade-resistant, uniform, and in many applications can outperform other coating technologies.
But before I introduce our new VT-Series products, all compact PVD coating systems, I will provide some background for those who are new to the idea of PVD coatings or applying these coatings in-house.
Why choose PVD coatings?
Manufacturers benefit from thin-film deposition as these coatings can improve the durability, function, and aesthetics of a broad range of metal (and some plastic) parts. Our systems produce extremely thin, hard, durable metallic and diamond-like-carbon coatings. In addition, our decorative hard coatings are available in a broad range of metallic colors. The unique VaporTech® chamber design can also operate at lower temperatures, giving companies the ability to coat temperature-sensitive parts–examples include zinc die-cast components and even some plastics. Industries we serve include:
- Medical device
- Home hardware
- Sports equipment
- Luxury items
- Consumer products
Why bring PVD coating in-house?
The new VaporTech right-sized coating systems are designed to simplify the process of bringing PVD into your manufacturing operation. A smaller footprint, easy loading/unloading of parts, straightforward routine maintenance, and a simple coating-recipe-based interface make the system well matched to a broader range of applications.
If your company is currently shipping products out for coating, bringing the PVD coating process in-house allows your company to speed production, reduce defects, avoid repackaging, reduce shipping costs, and provide the ability to customize a finish to your product specifications rather than use an “off-the-shelf” process.
So what’s different about our new series of coaters?
We’ve been developing PVD coating equipment for decades, and our VT-3000/VT-1500 and newer VT-3000i and Cadence coating systems are installed at manufacturing facilities around the world. Based on feedback from our customers we have now introduced systems that:
- Are right-sized for all operations
- Are affordable
- Have a much smaller footprint
- Are easy to operate
- Provide the same high-quality coatings
Introducing the new VT-i series of right-sized compact PVD coating systems
Let’s start with our smallest new machine, the VT-500i. This PVD coating machine is right-sized and easy to use for smaller operations. It’s the most compact VT-i Series machine for small-batch manufacturing operations. Despite its small footprint and competitive price, it can coat large parts up to 70 cm long and 35 cm wide.
Next size up, our new VT-1000i is a compact, higher-capacity offering for medium-size operations. The VT-1000i has a similar footprint as the VT-500i but with approximately 6 times the capacity. It’s a PVD and DLC system designed for higher volume applications, and more parts per batch mean a lower cost per part and faster return on your investment. This machine coats large parts up to 100 cm long.
For higher volume or quickly growing operations, the VT-1500i may be an excellent fit. This system provides approximately 70% of the throughput of our largest production coating system but in a very compact footprint when manufacturing space is limited. Now with both cathodic arc and optional magnetron sputtering technologies. The VT-1500i has the ability to coat parts up to 100 cm long and 10 high-capacity racks and is positioned as a high-volume, price competitive coating system for medium to large manufacturing operations.
Our VT-3000i coating system, introduced earlier this year, is our highest capacity machine now available in a small footprint for easier integration and savings.
For more information about our new line of PVD coating machines: