Suffield MetFin Positioned for Growth

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Metal Finish Equipment & Supply Co., Inc.’s plant is where MetFin Shotblast Systems are designed and built.

Suffield’s Mach One Industrial Park welcomed its first tenant in 1996, and today, Metal Finish Equipment & Supply Co., Inc. is thriving. The company designs and manufactures MetFin Shotblast Systems® blast cleaning equipment, which finishes steel components, and peening systems, which improve steel surfaces. Both processes are based on propelling steel abrasive onto steel products and parts to clean or strengthen their surfaces. Systems are available for every shape or size of steel parts.

Decades of steady growth

Launched in Windsor Locks in 1984 to service and rebuild shot blast machines for other manufacturers, MetFin moved to East Granby in 1989 and built its current building in 1996, which it doubled in size in 2012. In 1997, the company built its first custom machine, and by 2004, all work was custom. The MetFin brand was introduced in 2005.

Today, MetFin primarily serves North American-based customers in the steel, foundry, forge, pipe and coatings industries. Among its most unique projects is a system for a Massachusetts manufacturer of musical cymbals to finish 1,500 cymbals per day.

Servicing long term customers—including its largest, a submarine shipyard—is key to the service and parts side of the business. In addition to selling new blast equipment, since 2004 MetFin has been selling parts for and servicing all brands of blast equipment at their facilities.

Herbert Jenkins and Dylan O’Shea run the precision machining milling equipment.

Listening to customers’ needs

Rob Wimpfheimer, Director of New Equipment Sales, says, “I don’t sell out of a catalog. I go in with a blank sheet of paper and listen to the customer’s needs.”

Business Manager Nancy Austermann adds, “It’s all about listening to our customers and designing from the ground up. It’s a real point of difference from our competitors.” A prime example of MetFin’s custom work is a system built for an Amish powder coater in Pennsylvania, who required its electronic touch screen operator interface be replaced with manual push buttons.

MetFin’s location, minutes from Bradley International Airport, is a huge advantage. “Our proximity to the airport makes it a breeze for our service and installation staff to travel to our customers,” says Wimpfheimer. “We’ve had customers fly in and out on the same day.”

Dwarfed by recently completed ten-foot-table shotblast machine are Director of New Equipment Sales Rob Wimpfheimer, Plant Manager Shawn Marquis, Vice-President & General Manager John Mulhane and Business Manager Nancy Austermann.

A culture of improvement

Most of the company’s 32 employees work in the shop, with the rest handling sales, engineering, service and management. Many of the shop employees are hired from local trade schools.

Plant Manager Shawn Marquis says, “We want our employees to grow and become more versatile, to learn one skill, then move on to the next. To remain competitive on both speed and price, we aim for conscious continuous improvement – trying to learn and fine-tune our processes and make improvements to increase our production rate.” For example, faced with pandemic slowdowns in 2020, MetFin purchased its own milling equipment, increasing both turnaround and accuracy.

MetFin’s long-term goal is to maintain its steady, controlled growth while expanding service operations—and it is well positioned to do just that, thanks to its culture of always seeking ways, both large and small, to make its processes and products better.

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