Business Case: Notter GmbH „Deep Black“
Following a customer enquiry from the automotive sector, Notter GmbH was confronted with the task of developing two different black shades for PVD coatings. The components to be finished with the two PVD coatings were to be used exclusively in the vehicle interior (decorative area). A "light" black tone had to be developed on one side and a "dark" black tone ("Deep Black") on the other. The "light" black tone corresponded to the colour tone of a-C:H coatings for tool coating and did not pose a major challenge for Notter GmbH. The "Deep Black" shade could not be deposited even after enormous efforts by Notter GmbH using PVD technology.
Not being able to fulfil customer wishes? That's not possible at Notter at all.
That is why Notter GmbH decided to consult an external consultant for decorative PVD coatings. Based on an extensive internet research, especially on social networks, and a first virtual meeting, Notter GmbH decided on Avaluxe as an external consulting company.
Challenge accepted! You can do it, says Avaluxe.
Within half a working day, Avaluxe successfully deposited the colour shade "Deep Black" on different substrate materials (e.g. brass, stainless steel, glass). It is noteworthy that the PVD coating equipment already available at Notter GmbH was used exclusively for the layer deposition.
Do the plant manufacturers know better? Not always, because practice is missing.
Contrary to the system manufacturer's recommendation, it was not necessary to install a PinnaclePlus 2 for substrate bias. The deposition of the PVD layer with the colour shade "Deep Black" was only possible because Avaluxe changed the gas flow regulator for acetylene in order to be able to realise a higher gas flow. This made it possible to ignite a glow discharge plasma via the DC substrate bias voltage, even without PinnaclePlus 2. As a further important component for the "Deep Black" shade, a gas channel already present at the plant was converted for the use of TMS. In addition to the technical implementation of the colour shade "Deep Black" on the PVD coating systems of Notter GmbH, Avaluxe also provided detailed technical knowledge. For example, the correlations between gas flow and pump speed of the vacuum pump and their effects on the coating properties such as hardness were discussed in great detail.
The colour shade desired by the customer achieved, and even at a lower cost.
In summary, it can be said that the cost-benefit ratio for the consultation by Avaluxe is very positive. Notter GmbH is now also able to independently adapt the established prototype process for the colour shade "Deep Black" to a wide variety of substrate materials and geometries.