Techmetals Succeeds Via Education
Ask Techmetals’ President Phil Brockman which area of his expansive plating operation is his most productive and he will lead you down the hall and into an empty classroom that can hold about 100 employees at any given time.
“This is where our success begins,” says Brockman, whose company earned recognition in the training/human resources category in this year’s Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey.
The Dayton, Ohio-based company has 19 Certified Electroplater-Finishers (CEF) on staff, more than any other electroplating shop in the U.S., according to the National Association for Surface Finishing, which teaches and administers tests for the course.
Lincoln Industries in Nebraska has 14 CEFs on staff, followed by Indianapolis-based Sumco with 12 and Chicago’s Arlington Plating with 10, accounting for the only shops with double-digit CEFs.
“It’s important to us to have our staff trained at the highest level we can,” Brockman says. “It’s an incentive for our people because we pay them more if they get certified. To us, it is a commitment to our people and our customers.”
The 22-lesson course is, in no way, an easy chore. The topics focus on the fundamentals of electroplating, methods of preparing parts for surface finishing and understanding the wide variety of electroplating and additional finishing processes.
President Phillip Brockman
Brockman says having the CEFs on staff is helpful as Techmetals expands its operations and takes on challenging problems from its current and prospective clients, which include some of the biggest names in aerospace, defense, medical, automotive, oil and gas, tool and die, power generation and nuclear.
Techmetals has achieved numerous accreditations, including: Nadcap, ISO 9001, AS 9100, ISO-13485, and ITAR, ITAR-FFL-ATF, FAA Repair Station, CFR 50 Appendix B and ISO 10993-1.
Its main processes are extensive: electroless nickel, hard chrome, aluminum anodize Type II and III, titanium anodize, zinc, zinc-nickel, electro-polish, passivation, tin, tin-bismuth, tungsten-nickel, electroless nickel boron, cobalt plating alloys, sulfamate nickel, silver, gold, Diamonize, copper, electroless nickel Teflon, diamond nickel, PVD, titanium nitride, diamond-like carbon, alumium titanium nitride, chromium nitride, chem-film, conversion coatings, black nickel and many others.
Mechanically, the company has capacities up to 20 tons and a 55-foot vertical lift. Techmetals’ average tank sizes are 10 to 16 feet long and its average plating tank is 3,000 gallons.
Even with all the capabilities, Brockman says what sets Techmetals apart is what happens in the training room each day, several times a week—and it isn’t just training on metal finishing.
“We offer many classes ranging from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits to hard skills on blue print reading and plating,” he says. “There is no substitute for training and experience.”