At the ribbon-cutting ceremony (from left): Pablo Nieto; Kuldip Johal; Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols; Chuck Bundy, South Carolina Department of Commerce;  Reinhard Schneider; and Gertj van der Wal.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony (from left): Pablo Nieto; Kuldip Johal; Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols; Chuck Bundy, South Carolina Department of Commerce; Reinhard Schneider; and Gertj van der Wal.
Atotech's plating on plastics line.
Atotech's plating on plastics line.
Atotech's newly expanded TechCenter includes paint support, including pre-paint and paint removal.
Atotech's newly expanded TechCenter includes paint support, including pre-paint and paint removal.
Atotech's recovery system reclaims nickel from rinse water, thereby reducing waste and enabling the reuse of purified water.
Atotech's recovery system reclaims nickel from rinse water, thereby reducing waste and enabling the reuse of purified water.
On-site wastewater treatment equipment includes filter presses.
On-site wastewater treatment equipment includes filter presses.
Material science lab provides everything from chemical composition studies to thickness testing.
Material science lab provides everything from chemical composition studies to thickness testing.
POP line in action.
POP line in action.
Accelerated corrosion testing according to ASTM B117, ASTM B368 as well as custom-tailored methods is possible.
Accelerated corrosion testing according to ASTM B117, ASTM B368 as well as custom-tailored methods is possible.
Application Lab
Application Lab
Demonstration of the Satilume Long Life regeneration system for satin nickel electrolytes. This ensures a very stable plating process with higher productivity and reduced waste.
Demonstration of the Satilume Long Life regeneration system for satin nickel electrolytes. This ensures a very stable plating process with higher productivity and reduced waste.

On April 5, Atotech officially inaugurated the expansion of its North American TechCenter located in Rock Hill, S.C. Equipped with Atotech’s most innovative and environmentally responsible plating technologies, as well as state-of-the-art analytical and material sciences laboratories, the Rock Hill TechCenter is specifically dedicated for use by major local industries such as automotive, appliance and sanitary products manufacturers.

With this expansion, Atotech intends to provide additional and targeted support to the well-established decorative plating business in this region via the following:

  • Customer samplings
  • Production scale qualification runs for OEM specifications
  • External and internal training sessions
  • Environmentally sustainable solutions and processes


“We invite you to bring your parts and engineers to the TechCenter, and use the facility for pilot production and prototyping for your customers,” said Atotech president Reinhard Schneider, who, along with Kuldip Johal, managing director of Atotech USA, personally welcomed nearly 100 customers and business partners to the event. In particular, Schneider cited the 120 X 60 X 25 plating tanks—the largest of any utilized in Atotech’s 15 global technical centers.

Other noteworthy attributes of the Rock Hill TechCenter: a new fully automatic production scale plating line for pretreatment, decorative coatings and plating on plastics; auxiliary equipment, including a trivalent chromium ion exchange unit; organic finishing “paint support” technologies focused on coating stripping and substrate preparation; on-site waste water treatment equipment; and cutting-edge analytical devices designed to provide customers with routine analyses and sophisticated, customized investigations. The latter includes high-tech material science labs offering inspection of coatings on a nano-level for both elemental and compositional analysis as well as standard XRF and FTIR technologies.

“The Rock Hill TechCenter provides services for local customers along with leading green technologies,” said Gertjan van der Wal, Atotech’s vice president, Europe and North America. “More importantly, this facility provides testing without interruption of our customers’ production.”

In the grand scheme of things, the expanded TechCenter reflects Atotech’s support of the surface finishing sector at large. “We are investing in the electroplating business for the future,” said Pablo Nieto, vice president of GMF (general metal finishing) facilities. “It is our intention to maintain this business—in a green way—for the survival of the industry.”

Schneider reiterated those green objectives during his opening remarks to attendees, when he stressed Atotech’s emphasis on leading the change to more environmentally friendly plating technologies. For Atotech, he said, this means taking a methodical approach to ultimately replacing all CMR, toxic, and allergenic substances. Another high priority on the company’s list is more efficient utilization of raw materials, water, energy, and the avoidance of waste in its processes.

For more on Atotech’s Rock Hill TechCenter—or any of the company’s global technical centers—please visit www.atotech.com.