High Velocity Oxygen Fuelled (or HVOF) applied coatings are used in industry for components that need to perform at extreme temperatures, high wear and corrosive environments. B&B had invested heavily in this new technology but had struggled to find demand. Although HVOF is used in a variety of industries it is not necessarily known throughout engineering and is not a popular choice when compared with other coatings produced from electro-plating.
There were three major challenges with this project:
The first was informing people of the process itself. HVOF falls under a category of “Thermal Spraying” which also has 4 different but similar techniques under its umbrella. As such a lot of education on the different processes and their strengths/weaknesses needed to be done.
To add additional confusion many HVOF coatings are sold under brand names and the same material (for example Tungsten Carbide) might be called several different names.
Last but not least, even where a company might be willing to try a new procedure, getting that approved is a slow procedure and even where people knew/used HVOF it was unlikely they knew about B&B as a provider.
With this project the key was to think long term and build slowly. I put out a large amount of technical data and information online/ targeted mailers which built up familiarity of B&B as a business and explained the process so potential customers would understand which coating suited which scenario. I also chose specific targets to send material to and a co-ordinated email campaign/ cold calling which tied these activities together.
Over the space of about 6 months, B&B moved onto the first page of google for HVOF coatings, as well as top of google for a number of keywords for instance ‘Tungsten Carbide Coating.’ B&B were able to generate over £450,000 of enquiries within 8 months, with people regularly citing blogs and emails as a reason for their enquiry. They even had to start running nights and weekends so as to keep up with demand, and are now looking at doubling their capacity in this field.
Following on from this campaign I also updated and refreshed their website and put together a successful grant application which means B&B have a paid for researcher who will be developing new coatings.