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Metal powder coating system with nano-technology pre-treatment.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PreNANOCOAT (Metal powder coating system with nano-technology pre-treatment.)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-08-31

Stablished in Bologna (Italy), our company ANDERLINI MECCANICA SRL, has been working since 1954 developing our skills and expertise in mechanical subcontracting, manufacturing tubes, sheet metal stamping and CNC turning. We are present in the metal market for tubular motors, automotive and motorcycle sectors .
We have developed preNANOCOAT: a novel metal tubes powder coating system with an innovative nano-technology pre-treatment, a self-designed mechanical gripping system and an IR/UV curing station, which will reduce our energy consumption in 50% and will be 6 times faster. This will allow us to increase our production volume and our turnover in about 100% in a five year period.

In order to confirm the feasibility of our project, we, have carried out a 4-month study focusing our efforts on 3 main areas:

Technically, we have optimized our gripping system, designed the pre-NANOCOAT plant layout, fully tested the nano-pretreatment and analysed the requirements of our customers for the coated tubes. We have also prepared a complete Execution Plan for the development of pre-NANOCOAT project, including planning, organization and risk analysis and budget.
Commercially, we have assessed the existing and new targeted markets, including our competitors, to consolidate our marketing strategy. A technology watch and patent search has been performed to ensure our Freedom-to-Operate and a patent has been registered. Finally, on the economic side, financial forecasts, based on the marketing and price policy, have been drafted to evaluate on a 5-year-projection.
During our 4-month Feasibility Study, and based on the original Work Plan proposed in the Phase 1 proposal, several activities have been carried out.

Firstly, technically, we have designed an automated air supply for our innovative gripping system and patented it in Italy. We have also tested the nano-pretreatment and the powder coating with a new low curing temperature powder with satisfactory results on corrosion resistance and scratch resistance. We have presented these results to our main customer who confirmed the quality of the coated pieces for tubular motor applications. We have designed the general layout of the pre-NANOCOAT plant and performed a risk analysis.

Commercially, we have analysed the global powder coatings market, as well as the global actuators market and the hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders. We have defined the tubular motors niche as our main target, and the general actuators and shock absorbers as new secondary target markets. We have analysed our potential customers in each market and defined a strategy to reach them at the European level. We have also identified our competitors.

We carried out a complete Freedom-to-Operate analysis to search for existing IP rights that could interfere with our gripping system technology. This analysis confirmed the novelty of pre-NANOCOAT gripping system and the absence of existing thread for its exploitation. The results obtained pushed us to file a patent in Italy .

Financially, we have defined our growth strategy for the 2018-2022 period and forecasted our financial projections with highly positive turnover increase. Different sources of funding have been evaluated as well, leading to our decision to present a Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 in September 2015.
We hope to introduce the new products into the market in 2018.

Pre-NANOCOAT technology will provide:
- 50% reduction on the energy consumption during the curing stage,
- 80% time reduction and 50-100% production volume growth, thanks to IR/UV curing stage. Total curing stage will need 10 times less than other technologies and will induce high cost reduction
- 100% absence of phosphates and chromates, using an environmental friendly nano-technology pre-treatment for surface preparation without producing any hazardous waste.
- Improved health and safety working conditions. Thanks to our fully automate process, we will avoid manual handling and healthy risks associated to powder coating.
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