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Founded in 1983, American Finishing Resources (AFR) pioneered the coatings removal industry at a time when powder coating technology was in its very early stages. In a small building in the east-central Wisconsin city of Chilton, the AFR story began.
As the powder coating industry grew, so did AFR. The Chilton, Wisconsin facility expanded several times. AFR added facilities in Eldridge, Iowa and Shelbyville, Indiana, ensuring that capacity is always available to customers, and providing an automatic business resumption plan in the event that capacity at any single plant is curtailed for any reason.
AFR's coatings removal capacity has grown to 18 burn-off ovens, 4 Thermal Clean™ ovens, 6 post-bake ash removal systems, 4 chemical strip systems, and 3 parts washers. Relying on the its proprietary cleaning processes, the company is able to return customers' hooks, hangers, fixtures and production parts completely ash-free.
Over a decade ago, and in response to a need of the coatings market, AFR added engineered paint line rack and tooling fabrication, as well as computer-aided design capabilities to its list of services.
To ensure on-time delivery of customers' products, AFR founded its own transportation company, AFR Transportation, LLC, which has grown to include 6 tractors, 16 trailers and 4 straight trucks.
Since 2006, AFR has been owned by management and private investors. Led by CEO Matt Kirchner, Operations Vice President David Pozorski, Controller Doug Pietrowski, and a talented management team, AFR has focused on adding sophistication and repeatability to its business model. In addition, AFR offers ISO 9001:2008-registered quality through its Coatings Removal, Fabrication and Transportation divisions.
Today, AFR continues to build its business model and reputation through relationships with a long list of world class OEMs, custom coaters, and contract manufacturers, many of which are Fortune 1000 companies. AFR services virtually all premier U.S. manufacturers in the transportation, agricultural, consumer products, appliance, telecommunications, lawn and garden, contract manufacturing and surface finishing industries.
Through its Fabrication division, the company participates in or helps lead paint line "Continuous Improvement" or Kaizen events for OEMs and coaters nationwide. By focusing on improving paint line density, transfer efficiency and first pass yield, AFR assists its customers in improving throughput by significant amounts; sometimes up to 40%.
AFR demonstrates unwavering support to the Coatings Industry. Its management team includes a former National President of the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the CCAI, and a National Board member of the CCAI. CEO Matt Kirchner is a past Milwaukee Branch President of the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF), a National Management Committee member of the NASF, and a member of the Board of Managers of the Milwaukee Branch of the NASF.
Kirchner also authors "Never Finished," a management column published monthly in Products Finishing magazine, and speaks regularly to coatings trade organizations and related groups on topics of interest to American manufacturers.
Environmental excellence is also of upmost importance to AFR. Through three modern waste treatment systems, rigorous regulatory compliance and uncompromising commitment to environmentally friendly business practices and procedures, AFR's customers have confidence that their ethical and regulatory obligations to the environment are fulfilled. To that end, AFR has also committed itself to achieving ISO 14001 registration.
Standardized quality and process control. Full-service coatings removal. Tooling design and fabrication. A sophisticated business model that has stood the test of time. An unparalleled commitment to its customers, to the future growth of the coatings industry, and to environmental protection. That is the AFR story.