Products Finishing

OCT 2013

Products Finishing magazine is the No. 1 industrial finishing publication in the world. We keep our readers informed about the latest news and trends in plating, painting, powder coating, anodizing, electrocoating, parts cleaning, and pretreatment.

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MAXIMIZING OPPORTUNITIes us hard. I would just sit there and think about making it through that day and nothing else." Max Coatings offers electrocoating, powder coating, blasting and even light assembly. The Birmingham plant was 55,000 sq ft, and Gault was asked to bid on taking over a shuttered e-coat and powder coat line in a 75,000-sq-ft plant in Atlanta—one that he indirectly had some ties to. After starting Max Coating in 2003, Gault purchased an e-coat line from an Atlanta coater that had gone out of business. This plant on Selig Drive that he was asked to bid on was also once owned by that same coater. Several other companies had tried and failed to make a go of it at this location, and the plant had been sitting idle for some time. No Interest in Expansion "I had no interest whatsoever in expanding when the broker called me in 2011 and asked me to come look at the e-coat line," Gault recalls. "We had been putting all our emphasis and revenues into getting new customers and business, and it just didn't make sense to me to expand." Still, Gault made a courtesy visit to the Atlanta plant to see the line, if only to satisfy the persistent broker and to quench his own curiosity about what it had to offer. The line was idle, having been through three different owners in five years, all of whom had tweaked the mechanisms, added their own tastes as to how a line should run and then left it standing like a horse put out to pasture. When Gault came back to Birmingham, he was ready to dive back into increasing his customer base in the automotiveheavy Alabama region where manufacturing plants for Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz had popped up, and Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Thyssen Krupp had added facilities. A new Airbus manufacturing plant also was set to open soon. Something strange happened when Gault met with his staff Max Coating partners Chuck Gault, Jack Phillips and Barry Bridges opened the Atlanta facility in 2012. to discuss routine plant operations, however. Many of the same employees who had helped Gault scrape by just three short years earlier were now asking serious questions about the possibility of expansion. They peppered Gault with questions, prodded him for data and expressed optimism that it could be done. "I sat there and realized that these people were actually in favor of us looking to expand," Gault says. "It was a surprise. The more we talked, the more they convinced me that we all could pull this off together. I saw a risk, and yet they saw an opportunity to grow and expand the business." Online Video Watch video of the refurbished electrocoat line at Max Coating's new Atlanta facility. Scan the QR code or visit short. pfonline.com/maxcoating The electrocoat and powder coat lines are in a 75,000-sq-ft plant in Atlanta. PRODUCTS FINISHING — pfonline.com 29

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