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5 May, 2006 - 12:48 By Staff Reporter

Keronite set for volume production in China

Keronite International of Cambridge, a leader in innovative surface treatment technology, is preparing to start volume production in China. Keronite International of Cambridge, a leader in innovative surface treatment technology, is preparing to start volume production in China.

Together with strategic business partner, ShanHsin Chemical Co, Keronite chose KunShan in JiangSu province as location for its first Chinese facility for this particular technology.

Keronite has developed a unique form of Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO), a chrome-free process that transforms the surface of light alloys such as aluminium and magnesium into a dense, hard ceramic with outstanding resistance to corrosion and wear.

Working with a growing number of blue chip companies around the world, Keronite exploits its technology in the development of new applications for light alloys where conventional coating techniques have failed to meet customer requirements.

It has been successful across a variety of industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to electronics, oil and gas, textile machinery, tooling and moulding, architecture and consumer products.

Early in 2005, Keronite set up a representative office in Shanghai and soon afterwards, formed a partnership with ShanHsin.

Keronite and ShanHsin began working together to explore the enormous potential for the technology in eastern China.

The partners found rapid success, developing sales in JiangSu, Zojiang and Fuchen provinces, and last Nov-ember, the first Keronite production line was installed.

ShanHsin Chemical was established in 1950 in Taiwan and has over five decades of valuable experience in technical cooperation and general trading with a number of well-known western multinationals.

Today, the company is known not only for the import and distribution of chemicals in China and Taiwan, but also for its wide range of surface treatment services for both metals and plastics.

ShanHsin also has a sales office in Guangdong and already employs around 300 people in the China market.

Commissioning for the KunShan facility was completed in February and a number of professional operators were trained on site by a team of scientists from Cambridge.

Jimmy Chien, manager of ShanHsin’s foreign trade department said: “All is going according to plan and we expect to see the first mass production of Keronite coatings in China very soon.

“Both partners appreciate that it will take time to convert wider sectors of the market to such ground-breaking technology, but we firmly believe that this can be achieved.”

Connie Chenu, general manager of Keronite in China, believes the new facility will provide the impetus for many more companies to make the switch to Keronite’s technology.

“Production in China is essential if we are to deliver our services quickly and cost-effectively.

“Local companies are becoming more and more demanding but the professionalism of our partners at ShanHsin combined with the infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities provided by the KunShan Economic and Technological Development Zone (KETD) give us every confidence that we will consistently satisfy our customers.

“This will quickly give us a world-class reputation upon which we can build a strong future for Keronite in China.”

Keronite already has partners operating its process across western Europe, the US and other parts of east Asia.

To further strengthen its position, Keronite has formed global alliances with companies throughout the light metal supply chain.

These range from global casting companies such as Meridian, Timminco and Thixomat to suppliers of metal finishing processes such as Powdertech in the UK and Gramm Oberflaechentechnik in Germany.

This growing network has real expertise in delivering cost-effective system solutions for high quality, high volume production of light metal components.

Keronite CEO, Lars Olrik, added: “The growth in demand from the domestic market alone is exciting. Add to that the strengthening position of China as a world leader in light alloy production and component manufacturing, and the potential for our unique enabling technology is quite staggering.”

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