SEATTLE — Special Coatings USA LLC has established a Bonita Springs, Fla., facility to apply paint or lacquer to small mass produced parts, said Douglas Treadwell, president and co-owner.
Two plug-in-ready drum-coating machines arrived July 21 for production that started in early August in a leased 4,950-square-foot facility. Space is available for offices and a total of five units.
The operation represents a transfer of the SC-Coater-brand technology from Special Coatings GmbH & Co. KG of Gilching, Germany, near Munich.
SC USA handles the business for North America and South America.
Klaus König founded SC GmbH in 1996 for lacquer coating and, through experimentation, by 2005, perfected the painting system with hot-spray-application and patented infrared and ultraviolet-light drying processes. Specific steps are used with different plastics in order for the technology to achieve desired results.
SC GmbH created the proprietary design for the SC-Coater and handles final assembly in Gilching, where it operates 20 of the machines.
The new operation in Florida is the latest international move for the German company's technology. SC GmbH, with partner Special Coatings Korea Co. Ltd., started operating one machine in the Giheung district of Yongin, South Korea, near Seoul, in 2009 and, through another entity, plans on establishing an operation in Shenzhen, China, with two machines for production beginning in December.
König's wife, Katharina, owns SC GmbH, and Klaus König operates the company. Their son, Maximilian König, is taking the lead in forming Special Coatings Shenzhen Co. Ltd. with the support of Alina Yu, head of sales and marketing.
The SC-Coater applies decorative and functional coatings to small parts of plastic, metal, elastomeric, ceramic and other materials.
An exception is polyoxymethylene.
“Nothing sticks to POM,” Treadwell said in an interview at the Industrial Designers Society of America design gallery Aug. 19-22 in Seattle. POM is also known as acetal, polyacetal and polyformaldehyde.
SC-Coater part batches can range from 200 to 40,000 pieces with corresponding processing times of 20 minutes to two hours at temperatures of 100.4°-104° F.
For small batches, an insert can funnel parts into a small area of the drum and avoid wasted effort.
SC USA employs three including account manager Diego Wanderley and anticipates ramping up to 15 to 20 people at the firm's headquarters and initial production site, said Treadwell, an entrepreneur with previous business successes in real estate and golf course development projects.
In a separate business endeavor starting in 1983, Klaus König established the Gilching-based acrylics distribution and service business König Kunststoffe GmbH. He sold the business in 2013 to Vink Group, a European supplier of semi-finished plastic sheets, rods, tubes and foils. Vink continues the business under the König identity.
Klaus König had expanded the distribution operation to Canada as East-West Plastics in 2001 and sold that entity in 2007 to a Florida-based partnership.