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Hardide Coatings - $5 Components Coatings Facility In Houston

Hardide Coatings Limited : 11 October, 2006  (New Product)
Hardide Coatings, Inc. opens first US plant
HOUSTON, October 11, 2006 Hardide Coatings, Inc., the provider of unique surface engineering technology, has opened its first US coatings facility in Northwest Houston, Texas.

The plant, which represents a US$5 million investment over two years, is a purpose-built 17,000 sq. ft. sales and manufacturing center primarily servicing the energy, aerospace and valve sectors. Initially, ten staff will be employed with a further 30 anticipated over the next two years.

The facility houses a state-of-the-art CVD (chemical vapour deposition) furnace together with pre-treatment, inspection, quality assurance and finishing support equipment.

The company has appointed Dan Wilson as US technical sales manager. Wilson has over ten years experience in surface engineering technology sales and production, and joins from ceramic tungsten carbide manufacturer, Cerbide, Inc. where he was Sales Director. He holds a BSc. and Msc. in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Hardide-T is a patented tungsten-based coating with superlative performance characteristics such as enhanced wear, erosion, chemical and impact resistance, and toughness. The coating is proven to extend the life of parts three-fold (drilling tool applications) and reduce the need for part replacement and downtime. Hardide coatings are in use around the world in oil and gas exploration and production (E&P), aerospace, power, chemicals, food manufacturing and high-end valve and pump manufacturing. Oil and gas customers include leading operators, service companies and manufacturers in E&P, drilling, valve and pump manufacture.

Jim Murray-Smith, chief executive of Hardide plc, said: 'The interest in Hardide from the US has been intense and this plant is a logical step to ensure that we provide the same high quality of product and service for which we are renowned in Europe. Houston is the perfect location for servicing our key sectors of oil and gas, and aerospace as well as existing customers in other US States.'

'Hardide's decision to expand in the Houston region is a strong salute to the business-friendly culture of our region,' said Dan Seal, vice president of economic development for the Greater Houston Partnership. 'Their presence here is a further validation of the strong rebound we are seeing in Houston's manufacturing sector. We are very pleased that Hardide's process will support Houston's vibrant energy industry and will also be utilized by a wide array of other industries, leading to further diversification of the regional economic base. Hardide's announcement is one more step in securing Houston's position as a gateway to global markets.'

The unique features of Hardide can be attributed to the novel low temperature chemical vapour deposition process by which the coating is applied. Components are heated in a vacuum chamber furnace to a controlled temperature of up to 600o c, where a mixture of gases is pumped into the chamber stimulating a series of chemical reactions which result in a smooth, binder-free layer of tungsten carbide crystallizing on the surface of the components. This method allows the coating of internal surfaces and complex shapes that open up new possibilities for tool design.

Hardide Coatings, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hardide plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) since April 2005. The company opened a sales office in Houston following the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston in May 2005.
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