Our goal since 2003 - the best solution for you:
fast, economical and cheap
4pvd was founded in 2003 by Dr.-Ing. Stefan Esser as an engineering office for fixture technology. From the previous more than 16 years experience as a PVD system builder, he realized that fixture technology in system engineering is usually an unpopular appendix. Because in contrast to the PVD system produced in series, fixtures usually have to be individually designed to the customers needs.
In the first two years, the design of the fixture technology was mainly offered. In this way, the entire experience was brought in and an international customer base was built up very quickly. Customer-specific models and drawings were sold and produced locally and sometimes very cheaply by customers.
From 2005 the first self-produced product lines Colt, Sphere, Spear and TongS were created. These have a modular structure so that individual fixtures can be assembled from a relatively small pool of components in a short time. As a new concept, Sphere received design and patent protection in 2006.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the market for the coating of machine and engine parts grew. This created an urgent need for gears with forced and continuous rotation. In cooperation with the market leader, a series of new types of gearboxes was developed and patented from 2006. It works completely without gears.
From 2007 the substrate tables were also offered. Substrate tables from 4pvd are flexible and also have a modular structure and are equipped with reliable electrical and thermal insulation. The accessories include installation kits for the vacuum chamber, loading trolleys and charging stations.
In 2008, magnetron sputter sources and shutter apertures were added to the range. Since these are mounted on relatively small ISO-K flanges, they are lighter and cheaper than conventional sources. The distance to the substrates can be adjusted afterwards and the magnet systems can be adjusted during operation. The elastic heat sinks allow high performance.
The components in the vehicle’s “power train” are getting smaller and smaller. With conventional planet gears, small components rotate too quickly and can jump out of the holder. To coat those small parts, 4pvd developed CP2 gearboxes from 2009 onwards. These gearboxes rotate 10 times slower and enable a safe coating of small components.
The online shop will open in 2011. The products Colt, Spear, TongS and Sphere – now in the second, further developed generation – can be selected and ordered around the clock. The shop quickly became popular with customers from other time zones and those who would like to choose a holder during the late or night shift.
Meanwhile the premises are bursting at the seams. Planning for the new building will begin in 2012. February 2014 is the first groundbreaking (thanks again to the building authority in Aachen for 14 months to process the building application) takes place. The move to the new, almost completed building in Roermonder Str. 601 happens at the end of 2014.
In parallel with the construction planning, the company was restructured to the new dimensions. Telephone system, network technology, software, process organization, and so on, were prepared in the old rooms, so that operations in the new rooms could start quite smoothly at the beginning of 2015.
The number of CP2 gearboxes delivered exceeded the mark of 5000 units in 2015. The principle of the combined cycloid gear with a planet gear receives European patent protection. The stable covers, which are produced by forming and are therefore more compact, lighter and have fewer sharp edges, have also proven themselves.
In the following years, some system manufacturers delivered coating systems with larger planets. The substrate drives must therefore also be correspondingly larger. From 2016 gearboxes with Ø178mm up to Ø255mm and CP2 gearboxes up to Ø240mm will be delivered. At the same time, 4pvd receives approval as a certified supplier for the Oerlikon Group in the area of surface solutions.
The table systems are also getting bigger. In 2018 the first table with a diameter of over 1 m will be built. At the same time, this is the first table system that is fully equipped with a rotary feed-through, several thermocouples and a bias current transformer. An intranet platform is introduced that presents production processes in a targeted and transparent manner for all employees.
The CP2 gearboxes will go into the next generation in 2019. They are now approved for higher loads, larger diameters and longer maintenance intervals. As far as possible, sustainable packaging materials are used in the shipping department and all materials are separatable. All permanent employees are provided with e-bikes on request.
The aging website will be completely renewed in 2020. Gearboxes are now also available in the online shop. Gearboxes and Colt plates can be selected using a new multi-dimensional search function. New details on Sphere plates ensure longer maintenance intervals here too.