Chicago Comb, Triton Metal Finishing Strike Gold

By: Tim Pennington 7. August 2013

Chicago Combs and Triton Industries manufacture this $40 comb.


One of the hottest items to hit the consumer market when it comes to men's grooming is centered around a metal finishing shop in Chicago, where Brent Wortell, owner of Triton Industries at 1020 N. Kolmar, is part of a boom manufacturing high-end men's combs.


Chicago Comb Co., a Chicago-based grooming accessory company, began selling last October its first product, Model No. 1, a $40 luxury men’s comb crafted from high performance stainless steel.  The product was the culmination of years of thinking about art, manufacturing, and sustainable production by its co-founders, John Litwinski and Tedd Strom, who met at O’Neill Junior High School in Downer's Grove many years ago.


Since that launch last year, the comb has garnered world-wode attention. Among its many attributes:


ABC News featured them in an article on Made in America Gift Ideas!


Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a full-length story about Chicago Comb

Details men's magazine gave it the 2013 DETAILS Grooming Awards

It was nominated to receive the 2013 Chicago Innovation Award.

The City of Chicago produced a video showing the making of a Chicago Comb, part of the City's series on "Made in Chicago" products.


The Fifty for including Chicago Comb in their list of the top American-made hair products.

Sweden's Cafe Magazine, the leading men's magazine in Sweden, similar to Esquire or GQ had an article about Chicago Comb


The Sun-Times articles relates the story of how Triton became involved. Litwinski and  Strom were promoting the combs at the 2011 Great Shave Event held by Merz Apothecary when one of the barbers at that event, Joe Wortell, began admiring the comb and heard the two owners say they were looking for a place to manufacture it in Chicago.


Joe told them that his parents own a metal finishing plant in Chicago, Triton Industries.


The rest -- someone, somewhere said -- is history, as Chicago Comb sold 200 in 2011 and plan to sell over 5,000 in 2013.


Here's the video from the City of Chicago:



Wagner Showcases New Liquid, Powder Equipment

By: Tim Pennington 31. July 2013


Wagner Industrial Solutions in Elgin, Illinois recently hosted a media day to show off their latest liquid paint and powder coating equipment to representatives from surface finishing, fabrication and woodworking trade publications.


Products Finishing magazine was on hand when Matthias Koehler, president and general manager, joined with operations manager Jeff Porters and business development sales manager Janet James to provide a plant tour and to showcase the liquid lab and the new powder lab.


Koehler introduced the SuperCube quick color change booth with the new ProfiTech M control system and the ColorSelect quick-change system in the powder coating product line.


The SuperCube quick color change booth with the new ProfiTech M control system unit fully automates the industrial coating plant, making it easier to work with and reducing the complexity of the machine.


The ColorSelect system is designed for quick color change with the least potential for cross-contamination and powder loss, Koehler said. The operator control panel includes a dial and quick-connect ports for up to 10 colors.


On the liquid paint side, Wagner demonstrated the double diaphragm Cobra pump and its AirCoat automatic guns, as well as its new plural component systems, the TwinControl and the FlexControl.


For more information on Wagner Industrial Solutions, please visit, or call 800-473-2524.


Below is a video of the events of the day:


Kirchner's "Scoreboard" Finds Its Way On Shop Walls

By: Tim Pennington 13. June 2013


Those of you who attended the Electrocoat 2012 show in Orlando may have heard Products Finishing columnist Matt Kirchner speak about efficiencies in finishing operations. Once finisher in the audience was so intrigued by Matt's know-how that he "borrowed" a piece of advice for his own plant.


Chuck Gault from Max Coatings recently opened a new electrocoating facility in Atlanta to assist his first plant in Birmingham. While Products Finishing was touring the Atlanta plant recently, Chuck showed us the sign he has in his "Scoreboard" area of the shop floor that is used to review efficiencies and operations with the staff each morning.


"I came back from hearing Matt and we decided to put these up in our plants," says Gault. "I really learn a lot from Matt's column each month."


The "scoresheet" tracks the employee performannces, including safety, part rejects, etc.


To read more from Matt Kirchner, please click HERE


NASF, MFASC Award West Coast Bright Design Scholarships

By: Tim Pennington 12. February 2013

Three students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., received $5,000 scholarships in December through the NASF’s West Coast Bright Design Challenge competition, which was co-sponsored by the Metal Finishing Association of Southern California (MFASC).
Students from the school’s product design, environmental design, fine art and graduate industrial design programs spent the fall term learning about surface finishing technologies and applications. They worked with several NASF member companies to enhance their understanding of processes, including Alan Olick’s Brite/General Plating shop in Los Angeles.
At the end of the class, students presented finished 3D prototypes to a panel of faculty and MFASC judges. The top concept as judged by the panel was a system designed by Wen Han that enables consumers to design and order jewelry online, choosing final finishes such as gold, silver or copper. Second place was awarded to Bruce Ocampo, and Bryce Johnson won third place. Victoria Lin received an honorable mention.

CCAI SoCal Chapter Partners with Marines on 'Toys for Tots' Event

By: Tim Pennington 8. February 2013



The CCAI Southern California Chapter held a ‘Toys for Tots’ golf tournament in December, collecting almost 190 new toys for disadvantaged kids in the area.
The event was held at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, CA, and included 18 holes of golf, lunch, dinner, team prizes, long drive contests, closest to the pin contests, hole-in-one contests, putting contest and a large post-tournament raffle.
Coral Chemical's Ron Lum, the CCAI Southern California Chapter president and CCAI National Board of Directors treasurer, spearheaded the event, which partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps and their national ‘Toys for Tots” campaign.
Any company who would like to partner with CCAI and sponsor the event next year can contact Ron Lumat 951-775-8785 or by email


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