Surfin 2013

TRW and Elsyca present results of optimization project at SUR/FIN June 10–12, 2013 in Rosemont (Chicago)

1. Introduction

TRW Automotive Safety Systems and Elsyca NV presented the results of a collaborative project on a decorative part of a steering wheel at the SUR/FIN conference in Rosemont (Chicago). The visitors could, after the presentation, visit the booth where the steering wheel and some before/after parts were being displayed.

Congress and meeting location: “The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center” in Rosemont/Chicago

Congress and meeting location: “The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center” in Rosemont/Chicago

2. SUR/FIN?

SUR/FIN is THE tradeshow where qualified buyers representing every segment of the surface finishing industry come to meet face to face with suppliers showcasing the newest developments in surface finishing products and services. SUR/FIN is the surface finishing industry’s largest trade show and conference. The opportunity only comes around once a year to interact directly with hundreds of surface finishing industry professionals with buying power in one convenient location.

Conveniently located in the shadows of O’Hare International Airport, in the big broad chest of America is the Heartland … and Rosemont, IL. This popular convention town is home to cutting-edge cuisine, a lively 200,000 square foot entertainment district, and the Rosemont Convention Center, industries “hot spot” for successful (and affordable) conventions. SUR/FIN’s reputation for innovation and excellence keeps attendees and exhibitors coming back each year to learn what’s new, relevant, and critical to building and sustaining their businesses. Each year the Conference provides the most up-to-date information on what’s happening in the surface finishing industry.

From regulatory to nanotechnology, the SUR/FIN conference will deliver!

TRW and Elsyca presented in Session 3: “Best Practices In Surface Finishing”:

  • TRW/Elsyca: Computer Aided Engineering Accelerates Auxiliary Anodes and Racking Design for Decorative Plating of Complex Automotive Components
  • Elsyca: Robotic Plating Simulations Eliminate Defects
  • Integrated Technologies/Elsyca: Where Technique Meets Technology

Elsyca had an additional presentation in Session 11: “Automotive II: Decorative. Virtual Manufacturing Identifies In-Field Corrosion Risk”

3. Topic of the presentation

Computer Aided Engineering Accelerates Auxiliary Anodes and Racking Design for Decorative Plating of Complex Automotive Components

TRW contacted Elsyca to define the optimal plating configuration to chrome plate a steering wheel bezel. This included the definition of the optimal rack load and part orientation, defining the optimal process conditions, rack design and identification of potential suppliers.

This project was very challenging due to the specific geometry of the part, containing recessed areas as well as sharp edges. Furthermore, no design changes where allowed and the project had to be completed in 5–6 weeks.

Fig. 1: Steering wheel with integrated decorative chromed bezel

Fig. 1: Steering wheel with integrated decorative chromed bezel

Fig. 2: Simulation without auxiliary anodes for chromium deposition

Fig. 2: Simulation without auxiliary anodes for chromium deposition

4. Short description

Elsyca started with an ‘as-is’ analysis, clearly identifying the problem areas.

Auxiliary anodes were clearly required to solve the problem. Based on computer simulations, various alternatives were tested and finally the rack was built.

Fig.: 3 a, b, c: Sufficient thickness by simulated anode configuration

Fig.: 3 a, b, c: Sufficient thickness by simulated anode configuration

The entire process from start till the first production – with all parts within specification – only took 5 weeks.

5. Booth

The pictures below show the booth, where the visitors could find more information on this project, including a steering wheel and some before/after samples of the chrome part.  – Gerd Reineck, Robrecht Belis –

Fig. 4: Booth of Elsyca

Fig. 4: Booth of Elsyca

Fig. 5: From left to right (v.l.n.r.): Bart Van den Bossche, Engineering Manager, Elsyca HQ, Robrecht Belis, Manager Surface Finishing and E-Coating, Elsyca HQ, Alan Rose, Manager North America, Elsyca Inc., Gerd Reineck, Project Engineer Surface Technology, TRW Automotive Safety Systems

Fig. 5: From left to right (v.l.n.r.): Bart Van den Bossche, Engineering Manager, Elsyca HQ, Robrecht Belis, Manager Surface Finishing and E-Coating, Elsyca HQ, Alan Rose, Manager North America, Elsyca Inc., Gerd Reineck, Project Engineer Surface Technology, TRW Automotive Safety Systems

Fig.: 6

Fig.: 6

Fig.: 7

Fig.: 7

Fig.: 8

Fig.: 8

Fig.: 9 /// Fig. 6–9: Impressions of SUR/FIN 2013

Fig.: 9 /// Fig. 6–9: Impressions of SUR/FIN 2013



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