Watch Us Grow – Announcing EFCO Finishing’s Expansion

It is no longer a secret that after spending generations in Butler and elapsing a period of greater than 50 years at its current home, EFCO Finishing will be relocating to a newer, larger building in Menomonee Falls later this year. We plan to be up and running at the new location by September 1, 2017, but the high quality metal finishing services you’ve come to expect will see no interruption during the move. 

Last summer, EFCO began the process of trying to find a new building and was very excited to conclude the process in February, after an exhaustive search. Wanting to stay in the same general area, we were thrilled to find the Fall’s property, along with the fact that it met our criteria: great freeway access, a vibrant business park, and a more traditional rectangular facility, allowing us to get everything under one roof with room to grow.

Located on Fountain Boulevard, just north of Main Street in the Falls directly across from Bradley Corporation, EFCO’s new building is just shy of 30,000 square feet.  Add in the efficiencies gained, and EFCO will have a facility to serve our customers and grow with them over the next several years.

It is bittersweet for current owners, Terry Schultz and Mike Budgins, to relocate after so many years in Butler, with all the memories that exist. That said, they are also very excited for the opportunity in front of them and looking forward to putting their stamp on this next chapter of the EFCO legacy.

As mentioned earlier, the plan is to start the move as summer starts.  Having ample time available allows us to organize the property better and plan the move strategically so we are never shut down. This way we can continue meeting all our customers’ needs and deadlines on a continuous basis, even during the transition.  We plan to keep the core group of services in tact, which includes vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, and the wide range of blasting services such as blast cabinet blasting, table and tumble blasting using steel grit and steel shot, and large blast room for larger pieces and projects. Vapor degreasing and our timesaver machines will also be active at the new location.

Continue to follow us for more updates as we progress throughout the year!

Terry Schultz and Mike Budgins stand by the sign on 124th Street, alerting their customers to the changes ahead. Our friend Chris Sherman from Brilliant DPI designed and installed the sign for us.EFCO Metal Finishing Relocated to Menomonee Falls Wisconsin Facility

EFCO Finishing Pickup & Delivery Services

We have highlighted EFCO’s metal finishing services offered in past blog posts, but this post highlights the pickup and delivery services provided by EFCO Finishing.

As we concluded 2016, our company truck finally reached the end of its useful life, and was removed from the EFCO fleet. Wanting to maintain this valuable service to our customers, we had a choice to make: buy a new truck or enter into a full service lease. Partnering with our friends at Airoldi Brothers, we went the leasing route, bringing  a 2017 Hino 20’ box truck onto our staff. This allows us to focus on what we do best – metal finishing and let’s the experts manage the maintenance and well-being of the truck.

Having access to this truck earns EFCO a competitive advantage over other finishing companies. For example, we’re able to pickup and deliver parts more quickly, no longer reliant  on a common carrier. Also, we gain greater flexibility, allowing the EFCO logistics team to manage scheduling, rather than a third party who is not a strategic partner in the interaction. We’re able to adjust routes and schedules throughout the day, often helping our customers out of jams. By getting to know the needs and expectations of our customers, we can do our best to be there when they need us there. It makes us proud to have this ability to delight our customers and hopefully go above their expectations, and certainly above most the competition.

Serving southwest Wisconsin with a smile, our driver Jim is a valuable resource, getting to know all of our customers. Whether picking up the orders for vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, or blast, he hears firsthand what the requirements are, when parts are needed back on-site, and relays this information back to Jon in production. Our efficient, thorough, all-EFCO, start to finish process means a smoother, enhanced experience.  

Contact us today, or to schedule your next pickup, so we can prove to you we are “committed to the finish!”

EFCO Metal Finishing pickup & delivery truck

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!

Service Spotlight: Sandblasting

This month’s featured metal finishing service at EFCO Finishing is sandblasting. This term is somewhat generic, with many different meanings depending on who you are talking to or what the end goal ultimately is. Sandblasting is the process of propelling an abrasive material against a surface using pressure, to either smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, or remove surface contaminants, such as scale or rust. We’re proud to offer high quality sandblast metal finishing in Wisconsin.

EFCO Finishing offers a wide variety of services that would fall under the sandblasting label, including glass bead blasting, blast room blasting, table blasting and tumble blasting, which can range in aggressiveness from being mild to highly abrasive, depending on the media used.

Glass bead blasting uses glass beads to produce a finer finish with more of a sheen or lustre than the other medias.  The beads are produced from a lead-free, soda lime type glass, does not contain silica, and is formed into pre-formed ball shapes. Glass beads produce a much smoother and brighter finish than if using angular abrasives. Also, a clean, bright, satin finish is produced without dimensionally changing the parts.  Typically, beads can be recycled and reused many times, and are environmentally friendly and chemically inert.

Blast room blasting at EFCO is where we blast our larger pieces, or those too big to fit in a cabinet or in one of the automated machines. The room is approximately 20’ wide, and 24’ long, which allows us the capability to blast some really large parts.  Medias used include glass beads, if a finer finish is desired, or a medium grit crushed glass product, which is sharp and very aggressive and replaced the use of silica sand. This product is made from recycled glass.

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.

Tumble blasting as a method of abrasive cleaning or surface preparation is 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 grit or shot, and in the process cleaning off the parts, which are then unloaded and repacked.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.

We look forward to supporting your metal finishing needs across Wisconsin & beyond!

Looking inside tumble blast machine
Looking inside tumble blast machine.
Multiple tumble blast machines available, each using different medias
Multiple tumble blast machines available, each using different medias
Looking inside blast cabinet
Looking inside blast cabinet
Front view, Blast Cabinet
Front view, Blast Cabinet

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Table Blast Machine
Table Blast Machine
Tumble Blast Machine
Tumble Blast Machine

 

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

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