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Two Wis. companies to add coating lines

Keywords: Tags  Super Steel, E-Coat paint line, E-Coat, locomotives, SS Coaters, Dirk Smith, Hartford Finishing, Steel Craft paint line

CHICAGO — Super Steel LLC, a manufacturer of locomotives and freight rail equipment, will start up a contract painting division called SS Coaters.

Milwaukee-based Super Steel now does its painting in-house, but it recognized the need to expand into the contract paint market by revitalizing its E-Coat line, the company said. The E-Coat paint line has significant open capacity and large parts capabilities, with a seven-stage iron phosphate wash system.

E-Coat simplifies manufacturing and finishing while offering greater corrosion protection, improved appearance and better economic value, the company said.

SS Coaters will have topcoat capabilities as well, with both powder and liquid application.

"The revitalization of the E-Coat line (will take advantage of) a significant opportunity for contracting painting in southeastern Wisconsin," Super Steel president and chief operating officer Dirk Smith said, adding that SS Coaters ultimately plans to create 30 jobs and reach $10 million in annual sales.

Separately, sibling companies Hartford Finishing Inc. and Steel Craft Corp., both of Hartford, Wis., will build a new paint line at Steel Craft, which makes heavy-duty, steel-intensive parts and components for customers like Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc., Hartford Finishing president Gary Wendorff told AMM.

The new line will require a 70,000-square-foot facility expansion, and Wendorff expects to spend $7 million on the plant and equipment. The facility should open in early September.

The new line will replace two of Hartford’s less efficient paint lines. The relocation of capacity to Steel Craft will also free up internal capacity for additional paint lines at Hartford, which expects to hire up to 50 people over the next two years, primarily in production jobs.

Steel Craft operates out of a 265,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Hartford and employs 300 people.

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