October 30, 2018

Wolverine Plating Corporation is a well-known and well-respected plating shop in Roseville, Michigan specializing in Zinc and Zinc Nickel alloy barrel plating services. Since 1956, they have been matching exact plating specifications and creating solutions to meet the needs of their customers. They are committed to quality, utilizing a comprehensive control plan program to minimize their customers risks. They are ISO 9001 certified, hold several automotive industry specific accreditations under IATF, and they have been Test Lab approved for 20 years. Their goal is to deliver the highest quality, defect-free finished product, on-time, every time.

Wolverine is certified to provide plating services for a top tier OEM and had been experiencing difficulties meeting salt spray requirements with an existing chemistry supplier. They attempted to work with the chemistry supplier to solve the issue but the results were hit and miss. As a result, the OEM was dissatisfied and had to begin auditing on a regular basis. Wolverine needed to convince the OEM they could come up with a solution in order to maintain the business.

Columbia Chemical Technical Account Manager Chad Murphy suggested COLDIP TRI-V 121 zinc passivate as a solution for the problem. COLDIP TRI-V 121 is a unique, high performance Trivalent blue passivate which is ideal for high corrosion resistance requirements, delivering 120 hours to first white rust (far exceeding the OEM spec they needed to meet). Wolverine was slightly hesitant to change because they knew switching a chemistry within an approved OEM spec is not an easy process; but it was clear their existing supplier’s chemistry was not working and they needed the solution and the support that Columbia was offering.

Through Columbia’s existing relationship and approvals with the OEM and the reputation of the Columbia Approved Resource (CAR) Program which builds in routine testing, reporting and audits; Wolverine had a true partner to help navigate the complex requirements of a process flow change within an approved OEM spec and secure the necessary PPAP approvals. Each part on the line needed approval and Columbia’s Chad Murphy was there through all of it – analyzing bath samples, salt spray testing, running additional tests on the temporary lines, and completing several trials to ensure everything was working correctly to provide the best end result.

Making the switch to incorporate Columbia Chemical’s COLDIP TRI-V 121 into their existing line and OEM spec was the right move for Wolverine. Through this experience, they discovered that COLDIP TRI-V 121 is much easier to control and is superior at passing salt spray requirements. As a result, they have expanded the use of it to all of their lines. The OEM is satisfied. Wolverine tests one job a week for them and the results continue to be good.

V.P. of Quality Ken Wrobel said when it comes to the detailed technical knowledge of all of the different chemistries, Chad Murphy and other members of the Columbia Chemical team always come through for us. In this day and age with such tight requirements and specs that are increasingly challenging/harder to meet – as a trusted plating shop, we must ramp up the quality of our finished products and one way to do that is to purchase and utilize better chemistry to create a superior end result. Columbia Chemical’s line of products and strong technical support help us do just that.”

Columbia Chemical was proud to partner with Wolverine to overcome this challenge and make the necessary changes to maintain and meet the OEM spec and to help continue their solid commitment to quality. Wolverine is currently extremely busy and is moving forward with plans to put a conveyor bake line off the back of their building. They are also seeing continued growth in the Acid Zinc Nickel Market and together with strong business partners like Columbia, they look forward to continuing to meet their company goal of delivering the highest quality, defect-free finished product, on-time, every time.