3 MIN. READ
Industrial plating and polishing are essential processes for enhancing the appearance and performance of metal products. Explore the top 10 U.S. manufacturers of these services and their specialties, as well as some key trends and statistics on the industry.
Metal plating and polishing make your world shinier. The plating process applies a thin coat of metal to a surface. Industrial plating companies accomplish this through electricity and chemicals or, in some cases, with chemicals alone.
Plating is not merely decorative. It adds strength and protection to vulnerable objects and components. Machine and automotive parts are often plated for this purpose. Plating also reduces friction and improves the ability of parts to accept solder.
Polishing uses an abrasive to smooth out a surface. Aside from improving the cosmetics of a metal product, polishing removes oxides. This process reduces the tendency for a metal surface to corrode.
Metal plating and treating revenues have fallen for five years, including a drop of 2.4% in 2023 due to rising interest rates and decreased demand in construction and manufacturing. However, as these industries begin to pick up, the need for metal plating and polishing should pick up with them. Job growth in metal plating and polishing is one good omen.
According to MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial data that powers IndustrySelect, over the past year, there are currently 1,984 companies in the plating and polishing industry, employing 48,476. MNI report jobs in the industry have increased by 1.8% in the past year. Of these businesses, 2% are women-owned, the same percentage as U.S. manufacturing. Minority ownership also matches the countrywide rate of 1%. Plating and polishing import only 5% of raw materials, contrasted with 11% for all manufacturing. International distribution is also lower at 14% versus 29%. Only 2% of plating and polishing companies are publicly owned, a considerably lower percentage than the 5% for all U.S. manufacturers.
Many plating and polishing companies in the South and Midwest, with 227 and 127 facilities, respectively. This clustering may be due to the logistics of transporting parts to and from automotive plants. The Northeast houses 63 companies and the West 84. Seven out of the top 10 companies find homes in the Midwest.
|Company||City||State||Number of Employees|
|Lincoln Industries, Inc.||Lincoln||NE||600|
|Embee Processing||Santa Ana||CA||400|
|Seneca Companies||Des Moines||IA||350|
|Hi-Tech Metal Finishing, Inc.||Denton||TX||300|
|Lacks Trim Systems, LLC||Kentwood||MI||300|
|SRG Global Coatings, Inc.||Ripley||TN||300|
|Allied Finishing, Inc.||Grand Rapids||MI||250|
|International Hardcoat, LLC||Detroit||MI||250|
1. Lincoln Industries, Inc.
Lincoln Industries in Lincoln, Nebraska, employs a workforce of 600. The company is the largest privately held metal finisher in the U.S. It serves the automotive, agriculture, appliance, oil and gas, powersports, and tools industries. The company is highly focused on profitability but mindful of community and environmental issues.
Linetec provides 600 jobs in Wausau, Wisconsin. The company specializes in architectural finishing. Linetec has a strong interest in green buildings. It provides many services outside of the plant and operates a fleet of trucks. In addition to its metal finishing work, Linetec is a contract hauler. You may find opportunities there relating to that service.
3. Embee Processing
The Embee Processing Facility in Santa Ana, California, employs 400 workers. The company, part of Noble Aerospace, sees itself as a one-stop metal finishing facility. In addition to performing plating services, it carries out testing. The company uses a large variety of chemicals and supplies, many of which would be considered hazardous. Embee claims strong adherence to environmental regulations and promotes the safety of its employees.
4. Seneca Companies
Seneca Companies has 350 employees at its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Among Seneca’s specialties are fuel systems, lighting, and automotive equipment. Plating and polishing could be used on any or all of these. The company also provides waste solutions services.
5. A-Brite, LLC
A-Brite, LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, is part of the Plasman Group. The 320 employees do custom chrome plating. They use both hexavalent and trivalent chrome. Hexavalent chrome plating is considered quite hazardous. Workers need protection from both skin contact and mist inhalation. This company would be a strong prospect for personal protective equipment (PPE) sales.
6. Hi-Tech Metal Finishing, Inc.
The 300 employees of Hi-Tech Metal Finishing in Denton, Texas, provide services to the aerospace industry. The company performs many types of metal finishing. The most notable among them is cadmium plating. The company would be a good target for sales of PPE, monitoring equipment, and spill abatement supplies and services.
7. Lacks Trim Systems, LLC
The staff of 300 at Lacks Trim Systems in Kentwood, Michigan, works with the automotive industry. The company provides a variety of finishes for the interior and exterior of vehicles. Lacks Trim Systems sees itself as an automotive partner and innovator.
8. SRG Global Coatings, Inc.
The SRG Global Coatings plant in Ripley, Tennessee, has a 300-person workforce. The company specializes in plating plastics. It produces high-grade automotive parts. SRG has multiple facilities in the U.S. and in 70 countries. It is a subsidiary of Guardian Industries, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, and is entirely privately held.
9. Allied Finishing, Inc.
The 250 workers at Allied Finishing, Inc., in Grand Rapids, Michigan, perform decorative metal plating. This company serves customers with uniquely designed components. Allied performs rack plating and may be interested in rack vendors and chemical suppliers.
10. International Hardcoat, LLC.
While not by the strictest definition a plater or polisher, International Hardcoat applies protective finishes to aluminum in the form of anodizes and conversion coatings. An anodize hardcoat, in particular, is highly protective to aluminum. The process requires careful temperature control and could present a market for monitors and chillers. The company has 250 employees. Their services include applying graphics to anodized finishes.
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