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

 

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!

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

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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.

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

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

 

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

 

EFCO Joins the Tool, Die and Machining Association of Wisconsin!

EFCO Metal Finishing Joins Tool, Die & Manufacturing Association of Wisconsin

Effective at the start of 2016, EFCO Finishing has officially joined the the Tool, Die and Machining Association of Wisconsin (TDMAW). Along with serving as a resource for the organization, EFCO looks forward to the many networking, educational, and customer interaction opportunities. The TDMAW was established in 1937, so it is a well established organization with firm roots in the community, similar to EFCO, which dates back to 1945!

EFCO, a metal finishing company in Butler, is a job shop focused on the deburring of parts, offering vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, steel grit and steel shot blasting, glass bead blasting, blastroom blasting, degreasing, polishing, and many more services.  Different from the typical member who is a tool and die or machine shop owner, the organization amended its bylaws to create a new category of membership focusing on outside services.  This fits well with the EFCO model, which is to be a metal finishing resource for our customers, offering advice and solutions on a wide variety of different needs.

The year started off with a meeting January 5th at Alioto’s in Wauwatosa, with Cathy Stepp, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources Secretary, informing the group of what is happening on both the state and national level regarding regulatory and environmental issues.  Secretary Stepp, with her background in the private sector, was well received by the group with what she emphasized as a common sense approach to doing business.  Both she and Governor Walker continue to challenge the organization on ways to do things more efficiently, and effectively, for the business community and the citizens of Wisconsin, who are the DNR’s customers.

Terry is looking forward to meeting more of the group at future meetings, and participating in other events as they come up.

 

EFCO Metal Finishing Attends Local Manufacturer KAPCO’s Toy Drive

EFCO Metal Finishing is a proud member of the Milwaukee-area community, and it’s important to us not only to join other manufacturers in collaboration, but to support a variety of causes within the community. One of those partners is KAPCO, a local business that manufactures parts for a variety of different customers and industries, specializing in stamping, fabrication, welding and more.  EFCO Finishing is their metal finishing resource partner, providing them a variety of different services, from vibratory finishing to grit blasting to degreasing.

KAPCO held its annual Kids2Kids Christmas toy drive this past Saturday at their facility in Grafton.  Kids are encouraged to collect toys for those less fortunate, and every year, thousands are collected and distributed to those in need.  The KAPCO office is transformed into a mini North Pole, with a huge toy train on display, and one room dedicated to everything Barbie!  Other highlights include real reindeer, live music, cookie decorating, ice sculptures, and hay rides for the kids.

Terry Schultz, president of EFCO, makes it a point to attend this annual event with his children. “There is no better way to get in the Christmas spirit. And it is for a really great purpose, helping to brighten Christmas for local kids.  The great part about KAPCO and Jim Kacmarcik is that they are both really successful, and give back so much to the community.  He is really humble, and always thinking of ways he can help others.  They are a great company, and we value them so much, and like to join them in the events they host whenever we can.” If you have never attended, mark your calendars for 2016.  It is traditionally held the 2nd Saturday in December, with events at other locations as well.

EFCO attends KAPCO's Kids2Kids event

Toys galore at KAPCO's Kids2Kids event

Reindeer Spotting at KAPCO's Kids2Kids event

Ice sculpture at KAPCO's Kids2Kids Event!

EFCO Finishing Attends FABTECH 2015

FABTECH 2015 North America’s largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, Welding, and Finishing Event

Held November 9 – 12, 2015, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

As a metal finishing company, EFCO had the opportunity to attend the largest industry event: FABTECH. FABTECH is a huge show, and a great way to connect with vendors, suppliers and customers alike, all under one roof across the metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industries. The latest and greatest technologies and equipment are on display, for viewing firsthand. Training and classroom experiences are also available on a wide variety of topics, ranging from personnel to technology to general business topics.

This year’s hot topic was 3D printing, and they had many machines, as well as final products, on display.  A 3D-printed kayak is pictured below.

The highlight for me, as an owner of EFCO Finishing, was to see the latest in technology, as it relates to vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, steel grit and shot blasting, blastroom blasting, degreasing, and many more services.  Suppliers such as Almco, Wheelabrator, and Pangborn all had large displays on sight.

  1. Terry Schultz, shown outside the event, held at the McCormick Center, Chicago’s huge exposition center.
    Terry Schultz, shown outside the event, held at the McCormick Center, Chicago’s huge exposition center.
    EFCO Metal Finishing Attends FABTECH 215
    Lobby of Expo Center
    FABTECH featured many 3D printed items - a hot topic across the event
    Picture of the kayak designed and produced by 3D printer
    Large piece of machinery on display at FABTECH
    Large piece of machinery on display at FABTECH

    FABTECH 2016 - Las Vegas
    Marquee promoting event. Next year’s show will be in Las Vegas.

What Is Going on with Steel Prices? EFCO Metal Finishing Weighs In

EFCO Metal Finishing sent President Terry Schultz to an event put on by the AWMI, the Association of Women in the Metals Industry, last week at the Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls. David Miller and Eric Robbins of Worthington Industries in Columbus, OH were the guest presenters, and below were some of the highlights from the presentation.

Steel prices are falling, and a big reason for this is that China continues to overproduce compared to demand.  Other reasons include a slowing economy, an excess supply of iron ore from rapid growth, and the value of the U.S. Dollar, making it easy to import, but tough to export.

Steel mills have filed three separate anti-dumping trade cases against a number of foreign competitors claiming that imports are harming the domestic steel market. Three separate products are involved: hot rolled, cold rolled, and hot dipped galvanizing.  EFCO Finishing’s customer base is greatly affected by this, as they are heavily dependent on these three products in manufacturing their parts.  This trickles down to the finishing side of our business, as less parts produced translates to fewer parts being sent in for vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, steel grit and shot blasting, degreasing and more finishing services.  Outside of these trade cases, there is very little a mill can do besides reducing capacity.

On a brighter note, the outlook for the auto market remains strong, and continues to hold up the domestic steel market. Residential Construction, Forestry, Lawn and Garden and Heavy Transportation are also optimistic for both 2016 and 2017, predicting slow, steady growth.

Globally, the general outlook in the market is that steel demand is expected to stabilize in 2016, but a strong rebound is not expected.  Nobody is really expecting a strong rebound, although all bets are off if mills start reducing capacity, causing localized market constraints.

Overall, a very interesting evening about a topic very pertinent to the manufacturing industry.

Steel Industry affecting EFCO Metal Finishing