NanoMech of Springdale has used its nanotechnology experience to develop custom industrial lubricant for Fayetteville-based die-casting company Pace Industries. The partnership is among several moves in the works in the last couple of years that NanoMech is now taking public.
The companies kept their two-year partnership in “stealth mode” until now, according to the company. NanoMech CEO and Chairman Jim Phillips said Pace Industries has had a competitive edge through the use of NanoMech’s industrial lubricant within its manufacturing process, and, now, Pace Industries can use its involvement with NanoMech as a selling point.
For NanoMech, the partnership has allowed it to delve into its applications in the die-casting industry “with a recognized leader serving many of the largest and most iconic manufacturers deploying the very best innovations that increase performance and competitiveness,” according to a press release.
Pace is one of the largest aluminum, zinc and magnesium die casting companies in the world, operating 21 facilities across the U.S. and Mexico. It provides prototyping services, tool-making, precision machining and makes metal parts for the manufacturing of a number of industries, including automotive, lighting and electrical and medical devices. Pace makes parts for cars and trucks made by General Motors, Ford and parts for motorcycles made by Harley Davidson.
According to NanoMech, its nano-engineering technology has been used to harden and protect manufacturing tools used within Pace Industries’ production, provided more manufacturing productivity and efficiency. Scott Bull, CEO of Pace Industries, said the use of NanoMech’s products represented “quality breakthrough innovation directly benefitting our customer base.”
Nanotechnology involves manipulating matter on a microscopic scale. Commercially, it is a developing market that can be applied within a vast array of industries, and NanoMech is frequently recognized on a short list of key global leaders in the realm by market researchers. NanoMech’s patented and patent-pending lubricants, coatings, paints and sealants can be used in a wide range of material goods production categories. If you ask Phillips, nanotechnology is “changing the world” because of its implications on machines of all sizes and types.
ON A GROWTH PATH
The company now has offices in Dallas and Houston, and there are plans to open a Silicon Valley office, due to the volume of business NanoMech has in that region, Phillips said. The team regularly works with many in the automobile manufacturing industry in Detroit, he said, but many of the relationships are subject to non-disclosure agreements.
The company now has an annual production capacity of 10 million pounds for its industrial lubricant, said Ajay Malshe, founder and chief technology officer. The production capacity does not include other products being made by NanoMech, including its coatings, paints and sealants.
NanoMech also is working with some of the country’s largest and most innovative companies, including Tesla, SpaceX and General Electric. Tesla is a client with which NanoMech has worked over the last two years. Its nanotechnology is being used in the San Francisco-based electric vehicle company’s Model S and Model X cars, Malshe said.
Also, the company is planning to launch a retail line in big-box stores and other retailers in the near future, Phillips said. More details about the launch will be released later this month, but the products will include the automobile lubricant AtomOil. Phillips said the lubricant was used in the vehicles of the last two Indianapolis 500 race winners, and NanoMech’s products are also used by trucking companies, including J.B. Hunt Transport, and their original equipment manufacturers like Navistar, based in Illinois. Agriculture vehicle maker John Deere, also based in Illinois, is another NanoMech client, Phillips said.
Phillips said the company has stayed quiet on a lot of the work its doing, partly because a lot of its customers, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, have the NanoMech team sign nondisclosure agreements.
“Secrecy is everything in technology,” Malshe said.
There were a couple of times this past year, however, when the company made headlines. In August, NanoMech announced a $10 million investment from the world’s largest oil company, Saudi Arabia-based Saudi Aramco, tied to the technologies applications in the oil and gas realm.
In September, it was announced that NanoMech was contracted to use its patented nGuard technology on textiles, which shields against bacteria and pathogens, in U.S. Army uniforms. NanoMech has developed a wide range of coatings, many of which are waterproof and/or fireproof, for textiles and other materials like electrical equipment.
NanoMech breakthroughs in nanomaterials and manufacturing include the first cubic boron nitride coating for machine tools and advanced nanoengineered lubricants and coatings.
In 2013, NanoMech won the R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine. Its products received Edison Awards in 2016 and 2014.