Anochrome Group is the UK’s largest independent specialist surface coatings and metal finishing service provider, employing over 200 people and processing in excess of 3,000 tonnes of products per week.
The Group has four UK manufacturing units, with growing European facilities including sites in the Czech Republic and Poland. Here Mark Jones, divisional general manager for WEP and Anochrome Technologies Ltd, and Kev Walton, general manager at Inlex Locking, talk about the role each of the four UK manufacturing divisions play within the overall group.
Wolverhampton Electroplating (WEP) was established in 1946 and is now the headquarters of Anochrome Group. WEP started as a bulk processing coating company – supplying a multitude of industries and playing a vital role in the automotive industry.
Today, WEP offers barrel processing including zinc, zinc nickel, mechanical zinc with a comprehensive range of passivates, and modifying top coat system, including Macdermid heavy weight trivalent passivates. In response to the market, WEP has invested in a state of the art fully automated robotic, soft handling, tray transported dip spin plant, which has improved capacity, throughput, efficiencies and product quality to customers.
Further investment in its electro plating – zinc and zinc nickel lines with extra stations – has now added to the lines’ increased capacity. WEP is able to supply to numerous specifications, including S437 and S437M – which are automotive approved, and the company also has ISO 9001 and TS16949/IATF 16949 certification.
In the 1970s Anochrome Group acquired Anochrome Ltd, which has developed into a dynamic coatings company – playing a key role in the automotive supply chain. With accreditations to ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016, Anochrome Ltd offers high-levels of satisfaction to all its customers and can provide bulk processing for a wide range of markets. These processes include vat zinc and vat zinc-nickel electroplating lines, with a comprehensive range of passivates and torque modifying top coats, including the latest MacDermid heavy weight trivalent passivates.
The cathodic electrocoat or E-Cote line has also recently been upgraded to improve the performance of both the paint system and the operation. The line is capable of supplying competitive volume racked products to many automotive and industrial specifications.
Further processes available from Anochrome Ltd include zinc barrel and phosphate, all supported by quality, environmental, training and development accreditations – designed to regulate and enhance the company’s performance in pursuit of ever continuous improvement.
This pursuit of continuous improvement has also seen Anochrome Ltd introduce a cultural plan to transform the workplace. 2018 will see the opening of a new warehouse, on the current site, to manage the flow of all goods in and out of the business. The objective is to reduce the waste of transport, increase plant efficiency and further safeguard health and safety. Further changes to factory layout and process flow are planned to further support the company’s objectives in enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction.
In April 2018, Steve Norman also joined Anochrome Ltd as general manager. With a background in business development, Steve has been recruited to drive commercial development, implement cultural change and introduce a Lean style of management.
Inlex Locking Ltd
Driven by its expertise in fastener coatings and applications, the Anochrome Group acquired Inlex Locking Ltd in the 1980s to add pre-applied threadlocking, sealing and value-added services to the Group.
Inlex Locking specialises in providing a wide range of products under licence from multiple manufacturers – providing robust, high-quality and competitive materials to resolve locking and sealing issues for a variety of markets and the most demanding applications.
Products in Inlex Locking’s current portfolio include Eslok® Nylon patches (as a 180° patch for anti-vibrational locking and 360º patch for sealing), micro-encapsulated adhesives including precote® 30, 80 and 85 from OmniTechnik and 3M Scotch-Grip™ 2353 and 2510 for permanent chemical locking. The company can also offer water-based pre-applied thread sealant materials such as Precote 5 and Microseal 204, as well as lubricants such as precote Top 300 and Torque-Tip 28.
Inlex can also offer Rimlex® pre-applied under head sealants that give consistent, reliable and repeatable sealing onto a wide range of fasteners, rivets and flanged plugs – with different versions available depending on the application requirements.
Inlex is an approved European supplier of Nyltite™ products, which are nylon products designed for assembly on production lines to provide sealing and insulation and barriers against bi-metallic corrosion. The company can also offer a range of value-added services including optical sorting of headed components, assembly, as well as packing and boxing to ensure parts are supplied to customers in optimum condition.
The newest product in the Inlex range is omniMASK®, a pre-applied anti-weld spatter and thread masking material designed for use on both internally threaded components and male threaded components and weld studs. Significant investment has been made to provide state of the art bespoke application equipment for internal coatings to ensure high-quality and highly efficient processing.
Anochrome Technologies Ltd
Anochrome Technologies Ltd was formed by the Anochrome Group in the 1990s and now provides a global source of specialised coatings under numerous licencing agreements – covering both small and large batch sizes from large military casings to fishing reel gears; from M100 wind energy fasteners to M3 aerospace fasteners.
The type of coatings supplied can be identified in five main fields:
Anochrome Technologies Ltd offers corrosion protection coatings in a variety of zinc flake systems and full decorative spray coating facilities – with in-house assembly, logo and pad printing abilities covering a large component range.
Additionally, Anochrome Technologies operates an automatic hard anodising/aluminium passivate line, which can handle items from 2.3m in length up to a depth of 1m – compromising of a large range of products from vehicle bumper assemblies, V8 engine blocks, down to small brake callipers and hydraulic piston components.
Anochrome Technologies has the abilities and expertise to assist its clients in many other specialist coatings and processors for the automotive, aerospace, industrial, wind energy, rail and MOD sectors, together with full technical and quality back up and support.
As part of the company’s strategy to meet and exceed the ever increasing market demands, it has invested in the development of a large/complex/universal fully automatic robotic spray coating line that will be commissioned early 2019.
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