Top Shops: New Finishing Technology Pushes Parker Trutec

Expansion and new equipment lead this Ohio coater’s growth.


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Parker Trutec’s jobbing plant in central Ohio has been a very busy place over the last few years.

General Manager Geoff Smith and a strong staff have been upgrading and expanding the company’s coatings operations in nearly every area, a step that earned Parker Trutec a Products Finishing Top Shop honor for its technology achievements.

In just the past three years, the company has:

  • Improved its internal quality laboratory testing capabilities by adding a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) for substrate analysis.
  • Installed two new state-of-the-art Bonderlube, zinc and manganese phosphate lines that make use of the latest automated technology to support customer growth.
  • Installed a $1.5 million upgrade to its existing waste-treatment system that includes improved treatment technology designed to reduce its waste stream.

And what is the Parker Trutec team currently doing?

  • Adding a 57,000-square-foot building that will house a new, large electrocoat line to complement its two existing ecoat lines.
  • Planning to add a neutral descale processing tank to an existing ecoat line to meet industry-specific standards for cleaning of heavily welded metal parts.
  • Adding two new solid-lubricant paint machines (chain-on-edge and conveyor) to replace dated equipment with limited capacity, in order to support continued customer volumes and growth.

“We are always seeking continuous improvement in our operations via technology and equipment improvements,” Smith says.

Parent company Nihon Parkerizing Co. established the coating plant in Urbana, Ohio, in 1988 and then built a second, heat-treatment plant in nearby Springfield in 1990. The company offers ecoating, zinc phosphate, manganese phosphate, iron phosphate, Bonderlube, solid-lubricant paints, paint stripping and black oxide at the coatings facility, and numerous types of heat-treatment and value-added services at the Springfield plant.

The company employs more than 250 full-time associates, and its annual revenue is approximately $50 million. It mainly serves the automotive, construction, agriculture, marine, military, appliance and fitness industries.

“As a true job shop providing multiple coatings services and value-added services, we must provide superior customer service and meet daily expectation of our customers, as well as provide the highest quality of product in the industry,” says Wes Russell, assistant plant manager.

The company’s directors believe Parker Trutec has been able to grow for four significant reasons: It has built up an excellent customer base over many years; it has highly dedicated associates on the plant floor; it benefits from a team of faithful and competent suppliers; and it is fortunate to be a part of a Nihon Parkerizing, which has a vast footprint globally for providing and developing advancements in surface treatment.

“The level of trust and respect among the associates and managers is strong,” says Smith, who is also a company director.

He says being named a Products Finishing Top Shop is the climax of a successful run of years that began with the previous plant manager and vice president, Mike Kleiber, during which the parent company invested heavily in Parker Trutec’s infrastructure and equipment.

“We are greatly honored and humbled to be named and recognized by an industry-leading source like Products Finishing,” Smith says. “As our business continues to develop and change to the market, we feel being associated with the Top Shops program will assist with continued growth.”  

Parker Trutec

Urbana, Ohio