PF Blog

$40 million invested: Dürr opens new US campus

13. July 2016


Dürr has opened a modern campus site in Southfield, Michigan for more than 500 employees, combining the activities of the mechanical and plant engineering firm had previously carried out at three different locations in the Detroit area.


Ralf Dieter, CEO of Dürr AG, said the volume of investment amounts to approximately $40 million.


“This investment is a clear commitment to the North American market,” Dieter said. “From Southfield we can support our customers even more effectively and exploit the growing potential of the US market.”


Apart from painting and final assembly technology, Southfield also accommodates facilities for cleaning and exhaust-air purification technology as well as the balancing technology business for the automotive industry. These activities were previously housed in Plymouth, Wixom and Auburn Hills.


The Southfield campus has nearly 100,000 square feet of offices, and it also includes a validation, test and training center which exceeds another 100,000 square feet.


“The campus provides our employees with the ideal communication platform and ensures even more efficient cooperation, for example in engineering, service, sales and project execution,” said Bruno Welsch, head of the U.S. company Dürr Systems Inc. “This is a key factor, especially for large system contracts. Our test and training center comes complete with Dürr’s latest high-tech equipment, offering customers the perfect environment to run training and tests.”


A 1960s office building was used as the basis for the Dürr campus. Within just six months it had been completely gutted and adapted to Dürr's construction requirements. The result is a modern, energy-efficient complex with open-plan architecture and short distances.


In 2015, the Dürr Group's order intake in North America had increased to $820 million. Welsch said this year further growth is expected on the back of the high level of sales and investment in the automotive industry.


Bruce Hettle, Global Vice President Manufacturing and Labor Affairs for Ford Motor Company highlighted the long partnership with Dürr.


“They always think about the future and innovation and the next step to competitiveness,” Hettle said. “The campus will offer opportunities to work on this collaboration and to take both companies to the next level.”


For information, visit

Valence Surface Technologies Expands Capacity And Approvals

11. July 2016

Workers at Valence Tri-Process in Paramount, CA.


Valence Surface Technologies, one of the largest independent special processing company, has expanded capability, capacity and approvals at its locations throughout the United States. Company officials say the expansion takes direct aim at addressing the constrained global supply chain for special processing within the aerospace and defense industries. 


They say the lack of efficient supply for special processing represents a growing challenge that has led to increased lead times, costly logistics inefficiencies, high work in process inventories which is negatively impacting rate readiness for many key platforms.


"The growth of large commercial aerospace and military programs, such as the Airbus A350, Airbus A320NEO, Boeing 737MAX, Boeing 777X, Lockheed Martin F-35 (JSF) and the recently announced Northrop Grumman Long Range Bomber has sparked massive investment and consolidation in the manufacturing sector of the aerospace industry," said Tracy Glende, Valence CEO. "But, this investment had not occurred in the special processing sector, a crucial part of the aerospace supply chain. In fact, the existing scarce capacity within special processing is at a critical level, and outdated systems, business processes and critical operating equipment pose a serious risk to the entire supply chain. Valence recognized the growing demand and evolving needs of the aerospace industry and took action by investing significant capital resources to address these critical supply chain issues."


Over the last and across its facilities throughout the U.S., Valence has invested millions of dollars in the equipment, systems and people to solve the supply chain constraints for the aerospace and defense industry. The company's latest investments include capability, capacity and approval additions:


  • Eastman, Ga. – Valence Dynamic Paint Solutions installed a 22-foot processing line adding titanium clean, etch and sol gel capability; installed a state of the art Phosphoric Acid Anodize (PAA) line for high throughput processing; developed a new process to clean, sol gel and bond titanium rotor blade components up to 22 feet in length for a major defense contractor; added shot peen capability and received Boeing and Nadcap approval; received Sikorsky approval for sol gel; received Nadcap approval for new Magnetic Particle Inspection; and received SpaceX certification for PAA and bond primer.
  • Garden Grove, Calif. – Valence Coastline purchased a new laser etching system for part mark for aerospace parts and SpaceX in particular, and added key SpaceX and Northrop Grumman cleaning and processing approvals.
  • Grove, Okla. – Valence Pride Plating installed a new anodize line adding high throughput boric sulfuric anodize and hard coat anodize capability of parts up to 26 feet and installed new paint booth and ovens, more than doubling prime and topcoat capacity.
  • Los Angeles, Calif. – Valence Coast Plating completed facility expansion including 2 new paint facilities which have tripled capacity and a new 30-foot abrasive blast unit for large parts, and new penetrant booth doubling capacity; and the Carson facility received Lockheed Martin approval including Fracture Critical NDT, expanding capability to process parts up to 27 feet for the JSF, C130, P3 and other programs; and was added as an approved supplier for SpaceX.
  • Everett, Wash. – Valence Blue Streak opened new 12,500 square-foot shot peen facility with brand new pass through machine capable of high throughput peening up to 45 feet long and new peening cabinet and forming capability; installed new 12-foot processing line adding sulfuric anodize and hard coat anodize; and installed new 12-foot titanium clean and etch line.
  • Wichita, Kan. – Valence Wichita opened new 25,000 square-foot building expanding its masking, paint and inventory management capacity by 50%; installed Ti-Cad process which complements current plating, grinding and honing capabilities; and received shot peen and hardness and conductivity approval by Airbus.
  • Paramount, Calif. – Valence Tri Process received AS9100 Rev C accreditation allowing for the addition of new prime approvals such as Airbus; implemented new ERP system providing more efficient scheduling; installed drilling capability for aerospace skins and panels; and added an additional shift to double capacity and reduce standard lead times to 2-3 days.


"Valence offers its customers a competitive advantage," Glende said. "Our continued capital investments across our sites improve process efficiency, enhance quality, lower risk and support our customers' growth programs. This allows customers to focus on their core competencies while partnering with a best-in-class, professional organization to handle their special processing needs. The current network of small, regional special processing businesses lacks the financial resources and professional systems to take such action. As such, Valence has become the one source aerospace and defense companies can rely upon to remedy the constrained supply chain problem."

Ford honors Dürr at Annual World Excellence Awards

7. July 2016
men standing and receiving award

Bruno Welsch, CEO and President of Dürr Systems Inc. (second from left), accepted the award. The Ford executives congratulated him: (from left to right) Raj Nair, Executive Vice President, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Mark Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Hau Thai-Tang, Group Vice President, Global Purchasing



Ford Motor Co. honored Dürr as a top-performing global supplier at its annual World Excellence Awards. Dürr was presented with an award in the “Green brand pillar” category by Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group vice president, global purchasing.


"We are very proud of this award, which underlines the successful partnership Ford and Dürr have developed since 1976", says Bruno Welsch. CEO of Dürr Systems Inc., Dürr's US subsidiary. "We are pleased that our environment-friendly and efficient technologies are contributing to Ford's success."


“Ford’s World Excellence Awards allow us to recognize suppliers who demonstrate a strong commitment to quality, performance and teamwork,” said Thai-Tang. “Dürr has helped Ford deliver a breakthrough year, and we are thankful they are a part of our One Ford team.”


57 awards were presented to suppliers who exceed company expectations and distinguish themselves from their peers by achieving the highest levels of global excellence in eleven categories.


Ford World Excellence Award categories include amongst others: Quality, green, safe and smart categories for suppliers who demonstrate leadership in Ford’s primary brand pillars – among them Dürr.


The Dürr Group is one of the world’s leading mechanical and plant engineering companies. Dürr products, systems and services provide the basis for highly efficient production processes in different industries. Business with automotive OEMs and components suppliers generates roughly 60% of its sales revenues. Other sectors which Dürr addresses include mechanical engineering, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and – following the acquisition of the HOMAG Group in October 2014 – the woodworking industry. Dürr has 92 business locations in 28 countries. With just under 15,000 employees, the Group generated sales revenues of € 3.77 billion in 2015. The Group operates in the market via five divisions:


  • Paint and Final Assembly Systems: paint shops and final assembly systems for the automotive industry
  • Application Technology: robot technologies for the automated application of paint, sealants and adhesives
  • Measuring and Process Systems: balancing and cleaning equipment as well as assembly, testing and filling technology
  • Clean Technology Systems: exhaust-air purification systems and energy efficiency technology
  • Woodworking Machinery and Systems: machinery and equipment for the woodworking industry


For information, visit

Peer Group Reviews JIT Powder Coating

5. July 2016


A peer review group recently visited JIT Powder Coating in Farmington, Minnesota to help the company owners improve efficiencies and operations.


Formerly part of the Star Coater program sponsored by Axalta, the A-Team is now sponsored by Products Finishing.


The concept is simple: several times a year the group of non-competing powder coaters visit to a fellow member’s plant and have them go through the inner workings with a fine-tooth comb, reporting back their observations in a no-holds-barred format designed to improve efficiencies, quality and the bottom line.


JIT Powder Coating started in Fridley, Minnesota, in 1993. Their current Farmington facility was built in 1995 and expanded in 2006 and serves customers in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa. It is a 48,000 sq ft building with 38,000 sq ft of manufacturing area, and 10,000 sq ft of warehouse. The warehouse includes eight loading docks, a ground level loading area, ½ acre paved storage yard, pallet racking and mezzanine.


JIT has multiple pretreatment options, two conveyorized paint systems and a batch area that allows JIT to paint large and small volumes, parts as large as 7 feet high, by 6 feet wide and 50 feet in length, and parts weighing up to 2000 pounds.



Chicago NASF Midwest Chapter Hosting Sustainability Summit

1. July 2016


The Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF is hosting a "Sustainability Summit" Sept. 29-30 at Grand Geneva resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.


The event will include technical sessions and speakers.


For additional information, please click HERE

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