PF Blog

Reliable Plating Works Celebrating 85 Years

24. October 2014



Reliable Plating Works in Milwaukee is celebrating 85 years in business. The company is owned by the Maliszewski family and was started by Julian Maliszewski in 1929.


Company president Jaime Maliszewski recently shared some historical notes about the company:



We want to thank all of our customers, supplier and employees for making this possible.

Here are a few of the history highlights:


  • --The upgraded versions of the Fort Howard paper products which we plated back in 1929 are still being plated currently! Even though the original Fort Howard Company has changed names several times over the past 85 years, they have never changed their Plater.
  • --This can also be said for our work with Broan Mfg. (now Broan Nutone) as they have been incorporated since 1935 and RPW is their ONLY continuous supplier over all those years (plus the years prior when they were building heaters out of an old garage).
  • --Jose Lopez is our longest term (non-family) employee with 35 years of service, Jose started at RPW when he was 17 years old and is now Plant Manager of RPW’s Elite Finishing division.
  • --Tom “Tucker” Gulland is our second longest term (non-family) employee with 32 years of service, he also started at the age of 17 and is now the Asst. Plant Manager of RPW.
  • --Crown Metal Company, Inc. has been making Lead Anodes for RPW since the 30’s and the same family is in ownership now. The grandson of the owner that sold to our Grandfather, Julian, is now selling to Julian's grandchildren. You have to love small family businesses that last this long. Eighty years of two family businesses working together - that’s amazing!
  • --An-Kor Rack Company, Inc. has been making our fixtures since the late 40’s. They changed ownership in the 90’s but several of the workers remained and continue to make our racks to this day. Seventy years of loyalty. Awesome!


Thanks again to all that have allowed RPW/Elite to service our customer for over 85 years!



Bill Wiggins Awarded CA Metal Finishers Lifetime Achievement Award

22. October 2014

MFASC Board President Bryan Leiker; NASF Board President Rick Delawder; Lifetime Achievement Recipient Bill Wiggins and his wife Marilyn Wiggins; Jeff Hannapel, NASF; and NASF Board Vice President Erik Weyls.


The Metal Finishing Associations of Southern California (MFASC) and Northern California (MFANC), chapters of the National Association for Surface Finishers (NASF), honored former Burbank Mayor and owner of Glendale-based Automation Plating Corporation, Bill Wiggins, with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award during their annual Fall Outing on October 11.


Hosted by the MFASC and MFANC, this is the seventh year the two California chapters have held their Annual Fall Outing. Attracting nearly one hundred leaders from state and national surface finishing organizations, the event includes three days of board meetings, valuable networking opportunities and recognition. This year’s outing was held at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.


During their annual awards banquet on Saturday evening, the MFASC presented the coveted Lifetime Achievement award to Bill Wiggins, owner of Automation Plating Corporation and former mayor of Burbank, California. A respected leader throughout the surface finishing industry, the Lifetime Achievement award commemorates Mr. Wiggins’ generous service, valuable assistance and outstanding contributions to the status and advancement of the surface and metal finishing industries.


“Regardless of how much time was spent or sacrifices were made in contribution to the association,” Mr. Wiggins said, “it has all been more than worthwhile. I have received 5 times that back in friendship, education and fellowship, for which I am truly grateful.”


Throughout his career, Mr. Wiggins actively served as an MFASC board member for forty years in addition to taking a leadership role at the national level for NASF. As the organizations move toward significant expansion of their programs over the next several years, Mr. Wiggin’s positive impact on their development is proving truly invaluable.

NASF West Coast Bright Design Kicks Off With Tour

20. October 2014



The NASF West Coach Bright Design class has started, and 15 students from the Art Center of Design in Pasadena have toured K&L Anodizing and General/Brite Plating to get a look at what it takes to anodize and plate metal components.


Students from the college are asked to think beyond traditional design theory and bring out there very best creative spirit in developing "next generation" creative and engineering solutions incorporating various types of surface finishing coatings. About $15,000 in scholarships are awarded each year to students who present the best product using surface finishing techniques.


Sponsors of the West Coast Bright Design Challenge include the NASF West Coast Chapters -- the Metal Finishers of Southern, Northern and San Diego, California -- as well as the Art Center of Design in Pasadena.


The students are very involved and have spent several hours at these shops learning about surface finishing. Bryan Leiker, president of K&L Anodizing and president of the MFASC, said a very special thank you to Alan Olick for the time he puts in to make this class possible.

Haviland 80th Anniversary Underscored With National Recognition As One Of Best For Employee Financial Security

15. October 2014



Haviland Enterprises received national recognition this week as the company celebrated its 80th anniversary as one of the largest employee-owned chemical distribution companies in the United States.  Haviland was named as one of the 2014 winners of The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security. 


The Principal honors growing companies (5-1,000 employees) for their commitment to their employees’ financial security.  An independent panel of employee benefit experts selected Haviland for this distinction based on the company’s pledge to the financial and physical wellness of its employees through outstanding benefits. 


Haviland, an ESOP company with 220 employees and over 600,000 square feet of manufacturing space, is also featured in the October issue of Inc. Magazine for this achievement.  The Principal also makes a donation to a charity selected by each winning company; Haviland chose Healing The Children to receive the $2,500 donation. 


“We are proud to have been named to The Principal 10 Best list,” said Haviland CEO Bernie Haviland. “We are committed to investing in our employees and appreciate the opportunity to share our best practices with other growing businesses.”


Haviland Enterprises, Inc. and subsidiary Haviland Products Company formulates, manufactures and distributes decorative, functional and specialty coatings for Fortune 500 companies worldwide.  J. Bernard Haviland, a chemical engineer founded a small laboratory and chemical supply company in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1934. Over time, Haviland became one of the largest employee-owned chemical distribution companies in the United States.


For more information on Haviland Enterprises, please call 800-456-1134, or visit

Graco Sells Liquid Finishing Business Assets

13. October 2014



Graco Inc. announced Oct. 10 that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell the liquid finishing business assets that were purchased as part of Graco’s acquisition of the Finishing Brands business from Illinois Tool Works in 2012.


The $590 million cash transaction with Carlisle Companies Incorporated is anticipated to close no later than the first quarter of 2015 and is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.


Carlisle Companies Incorporated is a global diversified company that designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of products that serve a broad range of niche markets including commercial roofing, energy, agriculture, mining, construction, aerospace and defense electronics, foodservice, healthcare and sanitary maintenance.


The divestiture is expected to be in compliance with the final Decision and Order that the United States Federal Trade Commission approved on Monday, October 6, 2014, which requires the Company to complete a sale of the Liquid Finishing business assets within 180 days of the Decision and Order.


The liquid finishing business assets included in the sale to Carlisle are those involved in the development, manufacture and sale of Binks spray finishing equipment, DeVilbiss spray guns and accessories, Ransburg electrostatic equipment and accessories, and BGK curing technology, all of which Graco is required to divest under the Decision and Order. The 2012 acquisition of Finishing Brands from ITW also included Gema, a global leader in powder coating technology, which passed review by the FTC and is now part of Graco. No other Graco businesses or assets are included in the transaction with Carlisle.


“The Gema business is a strong performer and an outstanding strategic addition to our portfolio,” said Patrick J. McHale, Graco’s President and CEO. “We are happy to have Gema as part of Graco and are looking forward to continuing to build upon its strengths.”


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