2017 – A Year of Hope

A few words on the year ahead from Terry Schultz, President of EFCO Finishing, a metal finishing service provider privately owned and operated in Butler, Wisconsin since 1945.

I have waited to write about 2017 as long as I could.  As a metal finishing service provider in Wisconsin and as a leader of a small family business, I have a unique perspective on the state of manufacturing under the recent changes in our country. We’ve inaugurated Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, the stock market recently closed over 20,000 for the first time ever, and I’ve been listening to numerous numerous “experts” and “prognosticators,” all during the month of January, which is nearly complete.

The overall feeling that I am hearing over and over again, especially among manufacturers and business leaders, is one of optimism. People are truly excited to have some fresh talent in the White House, especially the conservative and experienced cabinet picks President Trump is surrounding himself with. The nominees have all been “around the block”, and what they may lack in government experience they make up for with real world and business successes.

President Trump’s unconventional style has many insiders “nervous”. If the economist at the BizTimes breakfast said he was “concerned” once, he said it 50 times.  The media are not used to being challenged, but I think it is just too early to tell.

Positives that people are talking about and hoping for include scaling back cumbersome regulations, tax cuts, overhauling Obamacare, creating jobs, stimulating the economy, aggressively going after terrorism, immigration reform, and putting “America first” again.  Some concerns include interest rate hikes – the projection being three individual quarter point hikes, if the stock market can maintain the “post election bump” we’ve been enjoying, and the possibility of a trade war.

To conclude, and to all those who are fearful, I would say President Trump deserves a chance to succeed just like those who came before him.  So far he is honoring his campaign promises, and while it is too early to say exactly what the next four years may bring, we need to put the pre-election rhetoric behind us and unite as a country.  We still live in the greatest country in the world, and may need to remind ourselves of that periodically.  Like any solid organization or family, we are stronger when united, and working towards a common goal.  I wish everyone the best of luck for a prosperous year ahead!

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

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 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 & Family Business Legacy Institute

EFCO Metal Finishing joins FBLI

EFCO Finishing recently joined the Family Business Legacy Institute (FBLI) in 2016. In business now for over 70 years, and in its third generation of family ownership, EFCO is continually striving for improvement and growth, and to preserve and enhance its legacy.  Being part of a family business presents unique challenges and opportunities, and the FBLI’s mission is to help navigate these, with its focus being on family, faith, and business.

FBLI provides networking opportunities, educational programs, and access to valuable partners and service providers, one of which is Concordia University in Mequon, combined with fun and unique events.  Consultation opportunities are also available.

Listen to Terry Schultz, president of EFCO, in the following commercial recorded at service partner Milwaukee Radio Group. It will air on WKLH, 96.5 FM, during the month of January, to promote the FBLI.

 

 

EFCO Finishing Service Spotlight: Tumble Blasting

EFCO Metal Finishing uses Tumble blasting as a method of abrasive cleaning or surface preparation commonly used to remove burrs, heat-treat scale, rust, corrosion, paint, and other contaminants, or to prepare the surface of the parts for adhesion. Not meant for all parts, this is a mass finishing process in which the parts tumble on top of each other along with a blast media of either steel grit or steel shot.  Ideal parts for the process are those that have been heat treated or hardened, and durable enough to withstand the part on part contact and continuous tumbling.

The process works as follows: parts are loaded into the chamber of the machine, onto either a rubber or steel belt. The steel belt is optimal for heavier parts and castings, as there is a weight limit for the rubber belts.  The door to the machine is then closed, and the parts are ready to be blasted.  The back of the machine has an elevator, which takes the shot or grit to a wheel, which uses centrifugal force to propel the media onto the parts at high pressure or force as they rotate on the turning belt. The media is recycled, falling through holes in the belt, with any dust fines picked up by the dust collection equipment.  This is considered an airless operation, as no propellant (gas or liquid) is used.  At the conclusion of the desired time cycle, the flow of media is turned off, and the belt continues to rotate, collecting the grit or shot, and in the process cleaning off the parts, which are then unloaded and repacked.

This process can vary considerably depending on the overall size and the number of wheels in the machine.  The first blast wheel was patented by Wheelabrator back in 1932, and EFCO has several different machines manufactured by them on site to provide the tumble blasting process to our customers, using a variety of medias to achieve an array of different results in a timely fashion.

EFCO metal finishing's tumble blast area within the Butler WI facility
Tumble blast area at EFCO
EFCO Metal Finishing offers multiple types of tumble blast machines
A look at the inside chamber and rubber belt of a tumble blast machine
EFCO metal finishing has several types of tumble blast machines
One of several tumble blast machines at EFCO

 

EFCO Finishing’s Bob Schultz Announces Retirement

Bob Schultz, currently serving as Chairman of EFCO Finishing, has announced he will be retiring from the company at the end of August, 2015, after a tenure of almost five decades, dating back to 1966. Including time spent working at the business during high school, the timeframe is well over 50 years, a remarkable accomplishment!

During that time, Bob was a key component in establishing EFCO as one of the leading job shops in the area, which the company established in 1958 to complement the sales side of the business. He worked closely with his father and two brothers to get the company on firm ground.

Early on, Bob’s main responsibility was operation of the shop, overseeing the processing of parts, and insuring customer objectives and requirements were being met.  Eventually, he would move into a management role, and ultimately became EFCO’s president.  Main duties included quoting new work and customer relations.

There have been many, many highs and great experiences for Bob. The list includes building lasting relationships with many quality people at a wide variety of different companies, many of which still depend on EFCO today for metal finishing services.  But what stands out most is that he went to work everyday with family and developed the company into a successful business that has stood the test of time.  Some negatives that he won’t miss include the multiple economic downturns the company had to ride out, successfully, numerous times.

Words he lived by at EFCO include “System…Planning…Organization”, and “Push, Push, Push”, implemented by founder/father Donald Schultz. These remain internal taglines for the company to this day!  Work ethic and being true to your customer are also thoughts he believes in.

Bob hopes his legacy lives on at the company, as his youngest son Jon is active in the business, currently as Production Manager. He hopes to be remembered as a hard worker that cared for and respected his family, employees and customers.

What’s next for Bob?  One thing certain is that he won’t be sitting on the couch watching TV all day. He hopes for more travel and adventure with wife Kathy, more quality time with their grandchildren, perhaps taking a class or two on some of his hobbies, and possibly some volunteer work at a local hospital.

I would personally like to thank Bob for all of his hard work and dedication over the years, and for the opportunity he and the second generation gave me and my business partner Mike Budgins.  On behalf of everyone at EFCO, I wish Bob the best of luck in his retirement and encourage all of his many friends and customers to do the same, as he is with us through August 28th.  I hope it is everything and more that you dreamed it would be.  Enjoy it….you have truly earned it!

Terry Schultz, President, EFCO Finishing CorporationEFCO Metal Finishing's Bob Schulz Announces Retirement

EFCO Metal Finishing's first facilities in Butler, WI
First building in Butler, 5140 N. 125th St.

 

EFCO Metal Finishing - early van used for sales
Early van, used for sales/demonstrations

 

Bob Schultz EFCO finishing early business card
Early business card for Bob

 

 

Women in Manufacturing Summer Breakfast Event

Women in Manufacturing Summer Breakfast EFCO Finishing

As the Business Development Manager at EFCO Finishing, I’m happy to be a member of the Women in Manufacturing (WiM) organization, and excited to attend their upcoming event in Waukesha on Tuesday, June 30th at the Marriott West in Waukesha  It is titled ATTRACT. RETAIN. ADVANCE., and features WiM National President, Allison Grealis, who will be speaking on the future role women will play in manufacturing.  In addition to her leadership position at WiM, Allison is also vice president of membership and association services of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), a full-service trade association representing the metalforming industry.

My involvement in WiM has helped me grow my network, as well as fuel my personal curiosity and passion for the manufacturing industry.  I can’t wait to hear from Allison and report back on my key takeaways from the event!  Hope to see you there!

April Schultz, Business Development Manager

April Schultz EFCO Business Development