PF Blog

Florida Finishers Group Seeks Industry History, Films

9. June 2014

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The Florida Finishers Corp., a chapter of the NASF, is seeking historical documents about the plating industry that can be presented at their January 2015 conference, "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow."


Dave Roach is asking anyone with historical information and photos about the metal finishing industry in Florida to contact him as he prepares a possible binder to share with conference attendees.


"Most all of us have heard stories, fact or fiction, over our years in this interesting industry," Roach said. "We all have stories about people, companies, events, discoveries, changes, etc., that we would like everyone to share. These can be in the form of written or printed documents, films, slides or simply voice recordings if someone just wants to 'tell us the story' rather than having to put it into writing."


Specifically, Roach is seeking a copy of a film that was possibly made in the 1970s called “History of Electroplating,” a presentation that was made by Al Weisberg, then president of Technic.  He traveled, visited and documented people and places in Europe complete with photos of great historical significance to our industry. Al’s humorous delivery made this a wonderful and memorable talk given to AES/AESF branches from Florida in 1974 and to many other regions.


Anyone who has any information, please contact: Dave Roach via email at, or by mobile phone 407-234-9059, or at his work 407-291-1023.


For more information on the conference, please click HERE




Sifco and Bell Helicopters Present at Sur/Fin

5. June 2014


Scientific research on a less toxic alternative to rotorcraft corrosion protection will be presented by SIFCO ASC and Bell Helicopter experts at the National Association for Surface Finishing’s SUR/FIN Manufacuring & Technology Tradeshow & Conference 2014 in Cleveland.


Zhimin Zhong, research scientist at world-leading supplier of selective plating technology and solutions SIFCO ASC, and Peter McCallum, engineer of American rotorcraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter, are the technical experts behind the paper, and will be speaking about their findings on Tuesday June 10 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cleveland Convention Center.


High strength steel requires corrosion protection when used in rotocraft to prevent failure of flight critical components. Cadmium electrodeposit is traditionally used for these applications due to its excellent corrosion protection, however it is also highly toxic. In order to adhere to new design requirements, Zhimin and Peter evaluated zinc-nickel coatings as a less toxic alternative.


“By working with Bell Helicopter we have unearthed a viable alternative for corrosion protection in the aerospace industry while minimising toxicity,” Zhimin Zhong said. “Peter and I are thrilled to be invited to share our research with delegates of the SUR FIN conference and hope that they go away with a  fresh perspective on surface finishing.”


For more information on SIFCO ASC visit and to register for the event visit


For further information on SIFCO ASC, visit:

Plating Q&A: Gold Pitting Problem

3. June 2014



A Products Finishing reader writes to Art Kushner:


Q. How can we solve problems with pitting and haze on our hard gold deposit?—J.R.


A. Pitting can be caused by a number of different factors. Hydrogen gassing, particulate matter suspended in the plating solution and inadequate cleaning of the base material are three common causes. 


Hydrogen gas formed during the plating process can stick to the surface of the parts being plated. If the bubbles that stick to the surface do not slide off rapidly, the plate will form pits. Typically, a pit due to hydrogen has a “small” tail. In most plating baths, this problem can be minimized by adding wetting agents/surfactants. The problem also can be minimized by increasing the agitation of the bath. Depending on the type of agitation, different wetting agents may be required.


To see Art's complete answer, please click HERE


Also, to see all of Art Kushner's answers to reader questions, please visit our Plating Zone by clicking HERE


DECC Company Celebrates 50 Years

29. May 2014


The DECC Company, a coating applicator based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is celebrating their 50-year anniversary in 2014. DECC is poised to post the highest earnings in their company’s history this year, as well.   


“Knowing that it is an accomplishment for a small business to make it even a decade these days, I couldn’t be more proud of reaching this milestone as a company,” says Fred Mellema, DECC’s President and second generation owner of the family run operation.


Helped by Michigan’s manufacturing resurgence, DECC is poised to top the $9 million mark for the first time this year. As a result, DECC has been able to add over 30 jobs during the past three years.


Mellema credits three things for DECC’s success: company culture, an investment in systems, and valuing relationships. A culture of empowerment and independence has allowed DECC to grow from within, with many higher level positions currently being held by employees who have climbed the ranks. Also, when most companies were looking to cut costs in 2008, Mellema invested in a $400,000 software system that has allowed DECC to be first in class – many of their largest customers have been acquired from competitors who could not meet the delivery or quality standards that DECC could.  Lastly, DECC operates by not trying to be everything to everyone – if a customer could save money by utilizing a different application option, DECC will point them in that direction. “A relationship is more valuable when a current or potential customer trusts you as a resource, not solely as a supplier,” says Mellema.


The most notable relationship for Mellema is the one between DECC and Hope Network - a local non-profit that provides employment for adults with developmental disorders, disabilities, or other disadvantages – that began over 40 years ago.  DECC staffs a large group of Hope participants daily to rack parts prior to coating. “The Hope participants love earning a paycheck, we love providing the opportunity, and their work is always top notch,” says Mellema. “It is definitely a win-win for everyone.” While some companies would shy away from such a program, DECC’s founders embraced it.


However, bucking the trend is what’s contributed to DECC’s long term success, so Mellema has continued in that vein. DECC has recently instituted a $10 an hour starting wage and the benefits they provide are exceptional – DECC covers all deductibles and coinsurance, leaving little if any out of pocket medical expenses for employees other than co-pays. Paying up to $3000 a year for secondary education is a perk for any DECC employee, as well. DECC will also be volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in June – any employee willing to participate will receive a full day’s salary.


While their first 40 years were good, DECC’s last ten have been great. Over the past decade, which happens to be when Mellema claimed ownership, DECC has received numerous manufacturing related awards and made the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies on three separate occasions, the most recent being last year. “Our vision is to be the most sought after coating company in North America and you don’t get there by being like everyone else,” says Mellema. With their best year in front of them, DECC is positioned well for another half century of success.


Contact DECC through their web site,, or call 616-588-2850.





Mankiewicz Coatings Expand In Charleston, SC

27. May 2014


The South Carolina Department of Commerce, Berkeley County and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance announced that Mankiewicz Coatings, a subsidiary of German-based Mankiewicz Gebr. & Co., which manufactures high-quality coating systems, will locate its new facility in Berkeley County near Charleston. The $2 million investment is expected to generate 25 new jobs over the next five years.


“We have had a presence in Simpsonville, S.C. for nearly 15 years and are excited to be able to expand our U.S. operations in this region. By expanding in Berkley County, we will strengthen our North American market presence and operate in a strong and business-friendly environment,” said Michael Grau, President and CEO of Mankiewicz Coatings LLC.


The company manufactures specialized high-quality coatings and coating systems and will locate the new facility in Berkeley County. Mankiewicz Coatings LLC serves a variety of industries, including: automotive, aviation, rail and yachting.  The company also manufactures antimicrobial coatings utilized in the medical industry. 


“Mankiewicz has more than 100 years of experience in the production of paints and is a leading producer of coating systems serving a variety of industries. The company has been a part of the South Carolina’s business community for several years and we are pleased to see them grow their presence in our state. This announcement is a positive indication that our state’s business-friendly climate and strong workforce continue to attract new jobs and investment and help existing businesses grow. We wish Mankiewicz continued success in their endeavors and appreciate their decision to invest in Berkeley County,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.


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