Engineering managers of Chrysler's Kenosha engine plant and Dow Corning give credit to Orion Industries Ltd., for achieving, in record time, the transition from tin plating to Molykote D-10 coating on 9,000 to 9,500 piston skirts a day without a delay in the engine plant's just-in-time production system.
Just 17 days after Chrysler made the decision to switch, Orion's rapid-response team found ways to modify Molykote® for spray-gun application. As formulated in Germany, D-10 is a thick paste originally intended for application by silk-screen printers.
In that same period, Orion designed and built a spraying and curing production line, and trained staff to apply a precise 18-micron (0.0007-in.) coating of D-10 to the piston skirts of 9,000 pistons each day. Orion provided just-in-time delivery right to Chrysler's assembly stations.
"There is some use of D-10 in Europe and Asia where they use silk-screen application," said Don Brazen, a market development specialist at Dow Corning's Lubricant Expertise Center in Plymouth, Michigan. "There has also been some use of competitors' PTFE coatings on limited production U.S. engines. But to my knowledge, this is the first time a bonded graphite coating has been used in regular production in this country."
To keep pace with the Chrysler plant's production system, Orion developed a system in which, by the time the last pallet of pistons was removed from the semi-truck, the first pallet that came off was coated, cured, and repacked, ready for the 90-minute trip back Kenosha on the same truck.