Gardo®Flex: Expanding our footprint at Renault Trucks

The expectations were high: Renault Trucks was looking for a more sustainable solution for one of its pretreatment lines in France – and at the same time, of course, a modern technology meeting the highest standards in terms of quality and efficiency. What happened? The Surface Treatment business unit of BASF’s Coatings division, operating under the Chemetall brand delivered: At Renault Trucks, our experts realized a smooth switch to our modern Gardo®Flex technology.

It was the birth of a giant: Through the acquisition of Renault’s truck division by the Swedish Volvo Group in 2000, the second largest truck producer worldwide emerged. Now, Renault Trucks and Chemetall started a cooperation for one pretreatment line at Renault’s site in Blainville near Caen, Normandy, France, where Chemetall succeeded by implementing the zinc-phosphate Gardo®Flex technology. Thus, Renault Trucks can save costs for energy and water consumption, as this process runs at lower temperatures and offers a longer bath service life. Additionally, Gardo®Flex reduces the quantity of sludge in the zinc-phosphate bath, leading to savings with regards to sludge treatment.

“Feed-over” – a supreme discipline in surface treatment

Chemetall replaced an existing integrated accelerator product without disposing the zinc-phosphate bath. Experts call this procedure “Feed-over”: The phosphate bath contained one accelerator – when it came to converting it to the Chemetall technology, the old accelerator was consumed, and the new product needed to be dosed in by and by to ensure high-grade phosphate layers. Afterwards the Chemetall experts adjusted the phosphate bath parameters, before coordinating the usage of the Gardo®Flex technology portfolio including cleaners and activators. Furthermore, the Chemetall experts succeeded in meeting the high Volvo standards with regards to coating weight and coverage.

“Through the mother’s ear into the daughter’s heart”

Apart from the technical competence, the excellent feedback and input of the Swedish Volvo Trucks team made this success possible: Due to the “Feed-over”, Volvo had to give the approval for introducing this process. That’s why the satisfaction of Volvo in Sweden with the Gardo®Flex technology and the performance of the Chemetall team was of high importance for this achievement.

The exchange of experiences across the global Chemetall network of surface treatment specialists made a valuable contribution to the significant energy savings that could be realized at Renault Trucks.




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