Road Trip! ... to SUR/FIN Las Vegas!

As the NASF SUR/FIN show gets ready to open in a few weeks in Las Vegas, Products Finishing magazine decided to take a ‘Virtual Road Trip’ across the U.S. to surveys job shops and platers to get a 'State of Finishing' status. It seems business is good.
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As the plating and metal finishing industry begins to gather in Las Vegas for the National Association for Surface Finishing’s SUR/FIN, we at Products Finishing magazine thought it would be a perfect time to take a survey of job shops to get a feel for how 2011 treated the industry, and how the year ahead looks.
In a nutshell: things are looking up to a lot of plating shops, as many reported a soft rebound in 2011 and are optimistic about 2012.
In Kansas, Kevin Cline of C&R Plating says 2011 was one for the record books.
“In 2011, we set a record in dollars and pounds plated—about a 30 percent increase over 2010,” says Cline, whose shop is in Minneapolis, Kan. “2012 is projecting after the first quarter to be a 20-25 percent increase over 2011.”
In Indiana, Electro-Spec president Jeff Smith says his business is up 70 percent in two years.
“We are actually in extreme-growth mode right now,” he says. “We did $6 million in sales in 2010, and this past year we hit $10 million. This growth has necessitated us to actually move into a larger facility in Franklin, and we are in the process of moving right now.”
  • In St. Louis, Commercial Plating Co.’s John Piel is cautiously optimistic.
“2011 was a good year for us, and we added some part-time employees,” he says. “We’ve seen an increase in overall production in the last two years, and we truly hope that business will remain consistent.”
In Texas, Tony Facciolo of Schumacher Co. says the oil and gas business has been a boom for his finishing shop.
“Business was very good for us in 2011,” he says. “In 2012, we are expanding operations to accommodate customer requests. The next two to three years look very good for us.”