As more Asian companies see the benefits of higher quality products, PLATIT - the world-leading provider of complete turnkey physical vapour deposition (PVD) coating systems - is gaining significant market share in the region. With the support of subsidiary PLATIT Advanced Coating Systems (Shanghai), Asia has become the Swiss company's second-largest market - topped only by Europe.
"We're seeing growth opportunities in Asia," says Peter Hillenbrand, general manager of PLATIT Shanghai, which was established in 2011. "In addition to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, we're focused on the Chinese market, where we see earnest efforts to shift emphasis from high volume to product quality. This will open more markets for quality-driven companies like us."
Supported by service centres in Singapore and South Korea, PLATIT Shanghai plays a key role in promoting niche applications for the company's highly sophisticated PVD coating equipment and coatings. Unlike its much bigger rivals, PLATIT integrates its compact and turnkey coating machines into the in-house mechanical production of its customers.
"We build real partnerships with our customers and transfer knowledge and technology to ensure that their in-house coating operations are successful," Hillenbrand says. "With our lean organisational structure, we're more responsive to client needs."
To date, PLATIT has more than 400 PVD systems installed in Europe, Asia and the Americas, with a customer base comprising mostly small- to medium-sized manufacturers of cutting tools, moulds, dies and components.
Since its founding in 1992, PLATIT has launched a steady stream of breakthrough products and processes. Latest in its pipeline is the p411 compact hard-coating unit equipped with QuadCoatings, its next-generation PVD coating for high-performance cutting applications. Key to these innovations is PLATIT's strong research ties with tool institutes, coaters and universities.
"We're open to more research collaborations as we continually develop new offerings to remain at the forefront of our industry," Hillenbrand says.