April 6, 2018

In business since 1904, The Finishing Company located in Addison, Illinois, provides custom nickel and nickel chrome plating to its customers which span a variety of sectors including furniture, food service equipment and retail point of purchase. Fully automated via “dipsy” conveyorized lines which range from 1300-1500 feet in length, The Finishing Company prides itself on efficiency and throughput with total production time ranging from 60-90 minutes.

Because of their focus on operational efficiency, The Finishing Company struggled with the lack of timely service and support provided by their previous chemistry supplier. Their bright nickel baths were not offering the quality and output they needed and leveling was an issue. As a result, their scrap numbers were climbing. Purchasing Manager Joe Smith said process control was a key focus and they needed a partner who could analyze the problem and act immediately.

Columbia Chemical was there to offer the consistency, support and solutions needed. With weekly visits from account specialist Jenn Scott and bi-monthly visits from Technical Account Manager Chad Murphy, as well as visits from national technical specialists, Columbia made suggestions and recommendations on next generation chemistries that would improve productivity and lower overall costs.

The Finishing Company made the switch to Columbia’s NiCOL decorative nickel process and quickly realized the benefit of both the chemistry and the partnership. As published in the January issue of Products Finishing magazine, the R&D lab at Columbia Chemical experienced a recent breakthrough in nickel leveling measurement through the use of precision-scratched Hull cell panels and a hand-held profilometer. Columbia Chemical’s team was able to utilize this groundbreaking test method to capture reliable measurement of the leveling performance of The Finishing Company’s semi-bright and bright nickel baths. Through this bath analysis and nickel leveling measurement, they were able to improve the leveling and distribution as well as ductility.

Purchasing Manager Joe Smith said they appreciate the full benefits of Columbia Chemical’s Finisher’s Advantage program, sharing that Columbia also spent a considerable amount of time helping The Finishing Company improve how they operate their pollution control system and made suggestions as to how to reduce water consumption and automate their processes. Smith said the experience with Columbia Chemical has been excellent, especially with account specialist Jenn Scott: “She has become an essential part of the team at The Finishing Company. Columbia has changed the way we view customer/vendor relationships.”

Thanks to Columbia, The Finishing Company now experiences quicker lead time, better productivity and a saw an immediate 10% reduction in scrap rate. The proficiency with process control that comes from Columbia Chemical’s high level of technical expertise and dedicated support has allowed The Finishing Company to deliver the operational efficiency they are known for and provide the high-quality output and end result that continues to exceeds their customer’s expectations. The Finishing Company’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing Bob Butler now reports “more business is being sourced domestically. We envision adding additional capacity to meet customer demands. Larger volume programs are again the new normal and we need Columbia’s support for line builds and their maintenance. We highly recommend Columbia to anyone experiencing problems or looking for a chemical supply partner.”