Top Shops: The Lindgren Group’s Twin Shops in the Twin Cities

Investments in quality systems and in all areas of operation help company run at 80 percent capacity.
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The Lindgren Group President Pete Waldo has a simple goal for his staff at the company’s two metal plating facilities in the Minneapolis area. “Serve our customers better than anyone else can,” says Waldo, echoing the first line of the company’s mission statement.

The mission has been a cornerstone for The Lindgren Group, which owns Avtec Finishing Systems in New Hope, Minnesota, and Nico Products in Minneapolis. The goal of developing and maintaining customer loyalty earned the company recognition in the business strategies category in this year’s Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey.

“We recognize the importance of excellent quality in the market,” Waldo says. “I believe providing outstanding quality is the single most critical thing we do as an organization.”

The company—which was founded in 1971—has made significant investments in its quality systems and has continued to invest in all areas of its operations, including equipment and testing. Both facilities are ISO- and Nadcap-accredited, ITAR-registered and offer RoHS-compliant finishes. New waste treatment systems, the addition of new processing lines and equipment and its new precious metal plating operation are only a few recent examples of the group’s commitment to its customer base.

The strategy has helped grow both of its operating facilities, which have more than 200 employees and run at about 80-percent capacity.

Avtec Finishing Systems offers numerous finishes, combining mechanical and chemical finishes that Waldo says makes it a one-stop shop for manufacturers. It operates 24 hours per day in a 75,000-square-foot production facility in New Hope, with its own tooling fabrication department.

Avtec offers anodizing and hard coat, electroless nickel, co-deposited Teflon electroless nickel, nickel boron, black oxide, electropolish, chromate on aluminum and zinc die cast and passivation. In addition, Avtec offers blasting, dry film and a full masking department.

Nico Products in Minneapolis, an 80,000-square-foot facility that also operates 24-hours per day during the week, offers the following plating services: copper, nickel, duplex nickel and nickel chrome, tin, zinc and zinc phosphate, manganese phosphate and vapor degreasing. Nico has also invested in a new fully contained precious metal plating operation, adding gold and silver plating to its offerings.

Waldo says he and his staff stress The Lindgren Group’s commitment to providing the highest quality plating services and corresponding documentation.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is a Nadcap prime or a large commercial OEM. There is a growing trend toward increased value in providing true quality assurance,” he says. “If a customer receives a certification from us, they can count on the finish and testing to meet every detail of the specification. With the onset of overseas pressures in business, the need to stand out has never been more important.”

The Lindgren Group also markets its outstanding performance, including a 92-percent on-time delivery rate and a 99-percent first-pass quality yield. The group continually markets through brochures, customer tours of the shop and a sharp online presence through its website.

That all adds up to a 96-percent retention rate for its more than 400 customers in the Twin Cities and Midwest region, most of whom are in the aerospace, defense, agriculture and manufacturing industry.

“Our customers and employees are the reason we exist,” Waldo says. “If we continue to take care of customers, we will enjoy success for a long, long time.”

For more information, visit thelindgrengroup.com.


Originally published in the April 2016 issue.