PF Blog

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.


Uyemura USA Becomes Certified Supplier Of eSurface

26. May 2014


Ontario, California-based Uyemura USA has been named a certified supplier of eSurface Technologies manufacturing process for printed circuit boards.


“This is an opportunity to integrate our industry-leading technology into the eSurface process and be a vital part of the where the PCB industry is headed,” said Don Walsh, Director of Operations for Uyemura USA.


He said that Uyemura’s Thru-Cup electroless copper with its proven build rate of a mil or more in under eight hours will be a game-changer for the PCB industry.


“Its unprecedented speed, along with high tensile strength and the ability to adhere directly onto epoxy laminate, will prove to be a substantial advantage for eSurface customers,” said Walsh, whose company provides exceptional, problem-solving, finishing technology solutions, including PCB finishes, ENIG, ENEPIG, ENEG, ENAG, and much more.


Dave Benson, president of eSurface Technologies, said having Uyemura on board as a certified supplier is a natural fit.


“Uyemura’s superiority in the areas of surface coatings and finishes streamlines the eSurface process for our licensees, extends the ‘greening’ of our process and also opens the door for eSurface with existing and future Uyemura customers,” Benson said.


Under the terms of the multi-year certified supplier agreement, eSurface and Uyemura will co-market the respective company’s products and services to existing and future customers and provide existing customers and licensees with products and services, as appropriate.


For more information, please visit and


Graymills Celebrates 75 years

23. May 2014


Graymills, which manufactures industrial pumping systems and parts washers, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.


In 1939, "Gray-Mills" was established in Chicago, Illinois, as a metalworking pump company supplying pumps to the war effort.  Soon after the war the company saw opportunity in the parts washing industry.  These parts washers meet the growing needs of a burgeoning auto industry.  In the 1960's Graymills expanded from its machine tool, general manufacturing and industrial cleaning base into the printing industry by developing  market specific products, such as inking systems and filters for flexographic and gravure printers.  Now a global company recognized as a quality brand, Graymills continues to exemplify the best in US manufacturing.


Graymills officials say the success and longevity of the company would not have been possible without three key groups:  our customers, our knowledgeable field representatives and our employees.  Their loyalty and support has been the key to Graymills strength and ability to  prosper throughout the years, despite economic downturns and technological challenges.


Graymills says this will not only be a year of celebrating, but also a time to look forward to new opportunities and another 75 years of manufacturing in America.


To learn more about Graymills, call 773-477-4100, email, or visit


Mass. Platers Can Get $30,000 Incentive Grant

21. May 2014


The University of Massachusetts' Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) is offering an incentive grant of up to $30,000 to help offset the cost for a manufacturer to switch from an nPB industrial parts cleaning process to aqueous cleaning. This grant is available to any interested Massachusetts company. Companies that have worked with the TURI Cleaning Lab to identify feasible aqueous cleaning solutions will be given special consideration.


As of 2010, Massachusetts’ facilities in sectors regulated by the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) with ten or more employees are subject to reporting, planning and fee requirements if they use 10,000 pounds or more of nPB annually.


N‐propyl bromide (nPB) is a solvent used in vapor degreasing and metal parts cleaning. Use of nPB has increased as an alternative for solvents like methylene chloride, perchloroethylene (perc), and trichloroethylene (TCE) that have become more strictly regulated.


This trend is of concern as evidence emerges linking nPB to a range of significant human health hazards. In addition, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies nPB as a volatile organic compound (VOC).


Guidelines for grant application include:


  • --The aqueous system must be purchased and in use within the grant period (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015)
  • --Businesses receiving the grant must gather data for use in developing a TURI case study
  • --The grantee must be willing to conduct on‐site demonstrations of the new process and share information about aspects of the conversion that contributed to its success


Businesses can apply for the grant by submitting a short letter of intent. Letters of intent to apply for this incentive grant are due by June 30, 2014. Letters of intent and/or questions about this grant opportunity, or other grants available to Massachusetts businesses from TURI, can be directed to:


Pam Eliason, Industry Research Program Manager
Toxics Use Reduction Institute
University of Massachusetts Lowell
600 Suffolk Street, Suite 501
Lowell, MA 01854
T: 978‐934‐3142


To learn about past industry incentive grants, go to

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