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Hardide to Build U.S. Coatings Plant

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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A UK-based manufacturer of an advanced surface coating technology plans to invest $7 million in a new plant in Virginia.

Hardide Coatings has announced that it signed a lease on a 26,000-square-foot facility in Martinsville, VA, which will serve current and new customers in the oil and gas, aerospace, flow control and other advanced engineering markets.

The Bicester, Oxfordshire-based company offers a family of nanostructured tungsten carbide-based coatings that the company calls "highly abrasion-, erosion-, corrosion- and chemical-resistant while also being tough, ductile and impact resistant."

Hardide Coatings

Hardide Coatings will invest $7 million in a 26,000-square-foot facility in Martinsville, VA.

The coatings are applied by low-temperature chemical vapor deposition (CVD), making them appropriate for internal surfaces and complex shapes. According to the company, the technology provides "significant advantages" over other hard-facing coating technologies and is "proven to offer dramatic improvements in component life."

3 Years, 29 Jobs

The new facility is expected to be up and running in the fourth quarter of 2015 and to create up to 29 jobs in the first three years. It will house new and bespoke CVD coating reactors, as well as the latest pre-treatment, inspection, quality assurance and finishing equipment, the company says.

The investment follows Hardide's recent increase in capacity at its Bicester headquarters.

"Demand from customers in North America is developing well, and a local production facility will significantly boost the business available to us," said CEO Philip Kirkham.

"It will provide a strong platform for developing further business as well as the diversification of our customer base."

Work on the building and local recruitment has already started, Hardide said. The new personnel will receive full training in the company's coatings process at the Bicester headquarters before the Virginia facility becomes operational.

Choosing Virginia

The Virginia location is not Hardide's first step onto U.S. soil. According to the company's website, it also has a manufacturing facility in Houston, TX, that is currently in "hibernation" and will be re-opened when it is "economically prudent to do so."

Hardide explains its CVD process in this animated YouTube video.

Kirkham said the Virginia location was chosen after a "long and detailed evaluation" of numerous U.S. locations.

"We chose Virginia as it offers a positive business environment with a central location for the existing and projected customer base and it makes a compelling economic and business case," Kirkham explained.

The new facility will be located in an Enterprise Zone, a designated area that provides grant-based incentives to qualified investors and job creators. Hardide also noted that Virginia is home to more than 230 aerospace companies, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and two Rolls-Royce facilities.

The Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Maurice Jones, called Hardide a "growing global comapny."

"[T]his investment to expand its manufacturing presence to serve worldwide customers is a great testament to the strong workforce and infrastructure in place in Martinsville-Henry County and the Commonwealth as a whole," Jones said.


Tagged categories: Coating Materials; Coatings manufacturers; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Expansion; Finance; North America; Protective Coatings

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