“Some processes are strategically important for our own performance,” Tilmann Röhrborn, Vice President Purchasing at Bosch, explains, “and component coating is one of those processes. The Preferred Supplier Status is only given to a few companies that add significant value to our engine solutions and Ionbond definitely fits that bill.”
Ionbond and Bosch are longstanding partners in the automotive business. Due to the ever stricter European regulations for CO2 emissions and increasing fuel and oil prices, car manufacturers and their suppliers are always looking for sustainable solutions to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Tribological coatings supplied by Ionbond, such as Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coatings, reduce friction and wear inside car engines and contribute significantly to this goal.
For Bosch, Ionbond coats e.g. plungers and polygon roller to reduce friction and wear inside the high pressure fuel pump of common rail injection systems over the last seven years. The specific DLC coating with support layers enables a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of at least 0.5 to 1 percent. Bosch and Ionbond also find each other in research and development according to Röhrborn; he says: “We have our own strong R&D department, but we appreciate very much that Ionbond is willing to share its extensive knowhow in the field of functional coatings with us in order to achieve the best co-engineering.” André Hieke, Ionbond’s Manager of the Automotive Segment within the Ionbond group, adds: “We value that our cooperation with Bosch is very solution-oriented; always looking for quality improvements. Therefore this cooperation brings out the best in both of us.”
“Our advantage is our global footprint,” Gerrit-Jan van der Kolk, Ionbond’s Chief Technical Officer, continues. “For our automotive customers we are able to deliver reproducible coatings on all continents, whether it is Asia, Europe or America. And of course the quality needs to be consistent and measurable, in line with the automotive TS16949 standard.” According to this standard the coatings need to comply with many regulations concerning the uniformity of the coating, reliable delivery and very low reject levels. Due to the quantitative values of compliance, a hundred percent of all coated materials need to be inspected and catalogued. “An important task,” van der Kolk says, “and thanks to our scale of operations we can automate certain procedures to comply with the strict standards. We are very proud that our efforts in this field have been recognised and awarded by Bosch.”