EFCO Finishing Attends Manufacturing First Expo

As Manufacturing Month continues in Wisconsin, EFCO Finishing has had the opportunity to attend numerous events across the state, re-energizing us as we start the final quarter of the year. “The Evolution of Leadership” was the topic presented by Mark King last Thursday up in Green Bay at the First Business Bank Manufacturing First Expo. Mark was raised in Green Bay and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Upon graduation in 1980, he joined TaylorMade, then a start up, and he was elevated to president in 1999 and CEO in 2003.  Under Mark’s leadership, they became the leading and most profitable company in the world.  In 2014, Mark was appointed President of adidas Group North America where he is in charge of all adidas and Reebok operations in the North American market.

Mark gave a very lively and entertaining talk on leadership.  Some of the highlights were as follows:

  1. If we continue to operate as we did in the past, it is going to be very difficult to be successful in the future.
  2. He asked what we are “aspiring” to be.  If we don’t aspire to be anything better than average, or just cut expenses, it will be difficult to achieve anything great.  You need to try to become the best. Write it down to achieve it, which he did at TaylorMade.  Behaviors have to change, as does mindset to achieve something great
  3. Disruption is part of today’s world, so who is going to disrupt your business? You or your competition?  Many leaders in today’s world are afraid or don’t know how to make decisions.  A great leader creates a positive environment and gets his people thinking about the future.

Some other takeaways include that employers have a responsibility to ask their employees to think, but then the employer has to listen!  Today’s really great employees are passionate, creative, and show initiative.  King also mentioned “speed” wins along with flexibility.  

Mark King & Terry Schultz at Manufacturing First Expo Green Bay


EFCO Metal Finishing Attends Manufacturing Expo Wisconsin

EFCO Finishing Polishes “Coolest Thing Made in WI” Trophy

EFCO Finishing was proud to partner with E. K. Machine Co. and polish the award presented Tuesday October 18 to Harley-Davidson for producing the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin”, a contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, to promote manufacturing in the state during the month of October, a month dedicated to bringing attention to the state’s  manufacturing industry.

E. K. Machine Company, Fall River, WI, one of our customers, produced the award for the inaugural event, and EFCO put the “finishing touches” on the piece, polishing it to a mirror bright finish, and making it a truly desirable piece for any company’s trophy case.

Mirror bright polishing is just one of many finishes applied by EFCO, and is the most time consuming, or labor intensive. It involves using a series of different belts on a lathe, starting with the most coarse, and progressively getting finer, putting the finishing touches on with a buff and color technique.  Other polishing options include matte or satin finishes, brush finishes, sanitary finishes, food grade polishing,  and more.  In addition to hand polishing, EFCO has the ability to apply brush, or directional,  finishes to flat pieces with their three machines manufactured by Timesaver.  These machines range in width from 12” to 52” in width.  A wide variety of different alloys are able to be run through, ranging from steel to aluminum to stainless steel, and more.

Unpacking Coolest Thing Made in Wi trophy which EFCO Finishing polished EFCO Finishing Polishes Made in Wisconsin Trophy EFCO Finishing Polishes Made in Wisconsin Trophy


Manufacturing Month: Women in Manufacturing’s “Tour & Taste”

EFCO Metal Finishing has a busy month ahead, as it’s their favorite of the year: Manufacturing Month! April kicked off the busy month Tuesday with Women in Manufacturing Wisconsin’s “Tour & Taste” Event. The group toured Sussex IM and closed the event with food at Bistro Z. Sussex IM focuses on custom injection plastic molded parts, but their offering and expertise expands beyond that – their manufacturing process was the impressive main event.

Watch for another announcement for another great WIM Wisconsin Event coming soon!

EFCO Metal Finishing Attends Women in Manufacturing WI Event

Pictured left to right: Teresa Schell- Vive, April Schultz –Efco Finishing Corporation, Antonia Stone- Busch Precision, Linda Mallwitz- Vive, and Natalie Walters- Waukesha State Bank

EFCO Talks Shop with the Family Business Legacy Institute

Earlier this year, EFCO Finishing joined the Family Business Legacy Institute (FBLI) to discuss their commitment to family business and to finishing services. Recently, Terry & April Schultz joined the FBLI to talk about the foundation of EFCO, working together as a family business, and what the manufacturing labor shortage has meant for them. A few highlights can be found below, but listen to the short audio segment to get the full scoop on all things EFCO.

What does EFCO really mean? Eldon Finishing company. Originally founded by Elmer & Don Schultz, two brothers who had a vision for the need of metal finishing across multiple industries.

What do we do? Who do we serve? Metal Finishing across manufacturing and residential sectors. , Who do we serve? Manufacturers & residential customers. Clients are mostly located in Southeastern WI, but our projects have ranged across the USA and Canada.

Products we’ve finished? The list is long and varied, but includes suppliers for Harley Davidson, door brackets for the Volkswagen Jetta, Coors Lite beer tap handles, medical, defense, etc.

How is doing business with family? We keep our work areas defined and separate. No talking shop after 5pm (which is often violated, but always attempted).

April joined the business coming from the banking sector – was that a total challenge? Yes and no! Yes, in that the nature of the work was completely different, but thanks to that experience, I had built a strong network that I was able to draw upon now in a sales context. I had patient, compassionate folks cheering me on in the new role. I suppose I’ve excelled, as I now sit on the board of Women in Manufacturing – WI Chapter.  

For more on how they’re handling the manufacturing labor shortage, listen in!

Service Spotlight: Glass Bead Blasting


When looking for a uniform, clean, bright satin metal finish without changing the dimensions of the part, glass bead blasting is a great choice. EFCO Finishing Corporation has a couple different options to achieve this finish, using glass bead media in its blast room and the several blast cabinets on site at our facility in Butler.

Glass beads are made from lead-free, soda lime-type glass, containing no silica, that is made into preformed ball shapes. These beads are known for producing a much brighter and smoother finish than angular formed abrasives. Another advantage is that glass beads can be recycled or reused multiple times.  When used properly, in a controlled setting, glass beads provide an environmentally friendly metal cleaning or surface finishing option.

The environment, and the preservation of it, are huge concerns these days, especially here at EFCO.  Since glass beads do not contain silica, the risk of silicosis, a disease of the lungs, is eliminated.  Also, there are no real disposal concerns or special considerations that need to be made when getting rid of glass beads, and it is also easily collected by our dust collection equipment, which stops it from entering the air we breathe

Glass blasting is used primarily for finishing, removing light burrs, blending, peening, and removing foreign matter, such as rust or corrosion. It is also ideal for delicate parts, with thin walls and thin welds, as it’s capable of achieving the desired result without causing damage. As opposed to steel grit or shot blasting, which is very aggressive, when glass bead blasting, parts are typically handled individually, which avoids part-on-part contact or impingement.  It works equally well on many different alloys, including steel, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and occasionally, even plastics and acrylics.  Several different mesh sizes of glass beads are used by EFCO, ranging from coarse to very fine. Sampling the product is often the best way to determine the media, and free samples are always available.

We serve many different customers and industries with this service.  Examples include lighting, recreational vehicles, automotive, light industrial, motorcycle, food and beverage, electrical, medical,  and several others.  Knowing the cleanliness required in both food and beverage, and the medical fields, this gives you a good indication of how pristine and fine the finish truly is.  Samples are always a good way to determine the process, but we can also quote off of prints and drawings.  Give us a call to see if glass bead blasting is an option for you

Glass Blasting: EFCO metal finishing Milwaukee's glass blast room

A glass bead blast machine is a great option for fragile objects requiring metal finishing,

Efco FInishing WI notes that glass bead cleaning  is an effective medium for blast cleaning.

Glass beads are a common media for blast cleaning and metal finishing.  Efco FInishing WI

Women in Manufacturing WI: Learn, Make, Market & Sell Event

EFCO Finishing’s Business Development Coordinator April Schultz recently attended Women in Manufacturing – Wisconsin’s “Learn, Make, Market & Sell” event which featured four local female powerhouses on each of the four topics. Not only is April the Events Committee Chair, but EFCO was a sponsor of the event, which made it all the more exciting for the company. The event was very well attended, and April noted that the reactions from the ladies were very positive.

A few highlights from the speakers.

  • Learn “To stop complacency. Get out and about. Hear people’s stories and make connections.” Beth Felch, WCTC
  • Make “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it” Mary Isbister, GenMet
  • Marketing “You cannot have enough feet on the street” Mary Scheibel, Trefoil Group
  • Sell  “Make sure what you do matters” Shannon Rantanen, Alro Steel

Speaker panel at Women In Manufacturing WI Event

Last, real leaders find good people, train them, and ultimately delegate in order to make sure the right folks are doing the right tasks!

Additionally, WIM announced a few new changes to their leadership team!

  • Chair – Antonia Stone
  • Vice Chair– Vicki Pinnow
  • Events Committee Chair – April Schultz
  • Membership Committee Chair – Teresa Schell
  • empoWer Committee Chair – Angie Hartline

The mission of WIM-Wisconsin is to elevate and advance the contribution of women to the success of the state’s manufacturing industry.

We are dedicated to:

  • Inspiring and encouraging women to pursue careers in the manufacturing industry.
  • Supporting and promoting women at all levels of the industry in the advancement of their careers.
  • Accelerating engagement among women across the industry and across the state.

We are committed to working in partnership with the Women In Manufacturing national organization to fulfill their mission to support, promote and inspire women who are pursuing or who have chosen a career in manufacturing.

Natalie Walters, Waukesha State Bank; Teresa Schell, Vive; Antonia Stone, Busch Precision; Linda Malwitz, Vive; April Schultz, EFCO Finishing
Natalie Walters, Waukesha State Bank; Teresa Schell, Vive; Antonia Stone, Busch Precision; Linda Mallwitz, Vive; April Schultz, EFCO Finishing


EFCO Mourns Losses of Thomas & Steven Schultz

It is with great sadness that EFCO Finishing Corporation announces the passing of Thomas Schultz, former president, and his brother, Steven Schultz, who served as vice-president.  Both men were both part of the second generation of the company, along with surviving brother Bob Schultz, and each spent 40 plus years working at EFCO, building it into what it is today.

Tom was the oldest son, and the first to arrive at EFCO, helping his father, Donald Schultz, get the company firmly established in the early 1960s.  He was a very “hands on” owner and president of the company, intimately involved in the operations and quoting, and overall management, of the business.  His goal was always to say “Yes” to the customer, and he would always find a way to meet their needs, even if said request was something the company wasn’t really doing at the time, or even offering.  His entrepreneurial spirit built the company into what it is today, and he was well known in the industry, with all of his travels throughout the country, acquiring most of the equipment still in service today.  After battling numerous health issues the past several years, Tom passed away on March 26th.  He was 76 years old.

Steve was the second son to join the business, and as Tom did before him, he did whatever it took to help get the business going.  Over the four decades, this included everything from operating machines on the shop floor to driving the company delivery truck, before finally settling into his position of handling the company’s financial and administrative affairs.  He too was instrumental in building the company into what it is today, guiding it through several peaks and valleys the economy presented the company over the years. Steve’s passing was more sudden, receiving his diagnosis of cancer in early March of 2016.  He passed away on April 5th, at the age of 72.

As the current owners of EFCO Finishing, Terry Schultz and Mike Budgins, along with all EFCO employees, wish to express their sympathy, and offer a sincere thank you to both men, for making our opportunity possible, and for everything they did for the company, shaping it into what it is today.  They will both be greatly missed.    

Tom Schultz
Tom Schultz
Terry & Steven Schultz
Terry & Steven Schultz

EFCO Finishing Attends Kapco’s Grand Slam Charity Jam

Kapco Metal Stamping hosted their annual Grand Slam Charity Jam at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee this past Saturday evening.  As a vendor supplying metal finishing services to Kapco, EFCO Finishing was once again proud to attend, and help benefit the cause, Camp Hometown Heroes.  

Terry Schultz, President of EFCO along with April Schultz, Business Development Manager of EFCO were there, and had a great time.  There were some fabulous silent and live auction items,  great live entertainment, which ended with a performance by the Jacksons, and an excellent meal.  

The event was well attended, and a good time was had by all.  Most importantly, it seemed like a huge success in raising money for Camp Hometown Heroes.  If you have never attended in the past, I would make plans to attend the 2017 event now!!  It is usually held the first Saturday in March.


Entertainers at Kapco's Grand Slam Charity Event - EFCO Finishing


Terry & April Schultz of EFCO Finishing Pose with Jim Kacmarcik of Kapco


Metal Finishing Service Spotlight: Table Blasting

Table blasting is an automated metal finishing process to achieve a blasted finish on parts. As opposed to tumble blasting where the parts tumble on top of each other, in table blasting there is no part-on-part contact, making it ideal for larger parts or circumstances when there are cosmetic requirements of the surface remaining free of any nicks or dings.

This process is used as an abrasive cleaning technique to remove burrs, heat treat scale, rust, corrosion, paint, and other contaminants, and it can also be used to prepare surfaces for the next step in the metal finishing process, such as paint adhesion.

Blast medias available here at EFCO include both steel grit and steel shot, with multiple different machines available offering different capabilities and allowing quick turnarounds of different sized parts. Several machines are available in which multiple parts can be continually fed through the machine. Our largest table blast option is a machine with one large satellite used to run larger parts up to approximately 5 feet, 6 inches in length.

The process works as follows: parts are loaded onto satellites, which rotate around the machine and spin in the process. An elevator moves the steel shot or grit up to a wheel, which propels that media onto the parts at a high pressure or force. This area where the blasting takes place in the machine is enclosed, to contain the blast media. After blasting, the parts return to the starting point where they were loaded and are either flipped for blasting on the opposite side, or if completed, unloaded and repacked into the skid or bin. One pass typically takes a couple of minutes to complete; if necessary, parts may be sent around for a second pass.

As mentioned earlier, EFCO Finishing has multiple machines available to meet your needs and complete your project in a timely manner. We can quote your jobs with a print of the parts, or are happy to run samples for your approval!

Table Blasting - Metal Finishing Service at EFCO

A look at table blasting by EFCO Metal Finishing

EFCO Finishing Service Spotlight on Table Blasting

EFCO Finishing – Manufacturing in 2016

EFCO Finishing is excited for the upcoming year and for the opportunities in front of us as metal finishing service provider and Wisconsin business.  Entering our 71st year of operations, there are uncertainties in the world – both manufacturing, business, and otherwise – but there is also a cautious feeling of optimism.  I have held out on these projections until we could talk to a wide variety of our customer base, and here is what our customers are telling us.

Dealing with as many customers as we do, ranging from metal stampers to die casters to fabricators, tool and die, and too many more to mention, there is not a true consensus.  Many feel a sense of optimism, especially in light of the defense contract awarded Oshkosh Defense.  Yet others are pessimistic, especially if they serve the Agriculture, Oil and Gas, or Mining Industries.  While it is an obvious windfall to have cheap gas at the pump, it is apparent the low cost, and continually plummeting price, of oil is affecting our economy in a negative way.

The quoting activity for many businesses and industries seems to have slowed a bit entering the new year, yet there are some that have stayed very busy.  The Food and Beverage along with Medical industries are good examples of these.

Many factors have business owners and executives on edge, from the uncertainty of the upcoming election to healthcare and taxes, and on a more global front, terrorism.  Any number of factors or events could alter everything, and throw all projections and forecasts to the wind.

At EFCO Finishing, we remain upbeat about 2016, as we hope to build on a more positive second half of 2015.  Dealing with the wide range of customers that we do, we are focused on building relationships with these companies, to be a true partner and resource for them.  What we do best is provide timely services, such as vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, glass bead blasting, steel grit and steel shot blasting, degreasing, polishing, and more, which allow our customers to focus on designing and producing parts, which is what they do best.  

We wish all of our customers and friends the best of luck as 2016 gets rolling.  Please contact us if we can help you in any way!

EFCO Finishing Comments on 2016 Manufacturing Industry