Winona Powder Coating Logo1-1

PRODUCTS Finishing Reveals 2023 Qualifying Top Shops

Appears in Print as: 'And The Awards Go To...'

Each year PF conducts its Top Shops Benchmarking Survey, offering shops a tool to better understand their overall performance in the industry. The program also recognizes shops that meet a set of criteria to qualify as Top Shops. 


This year’s Top Shops in the electroplating and anodizing category were recognized in a special awards presentation at SUR/FIN 2023.

Photo Credit: All photos by Products Finishing

It’s the time of year again when we share the results of our annual Top Shops benchmarking study. While it may seem impossible to benchmark the wide variety of shops across the country because of their differences in size, specialties, and even technology, our team of data scientists and researchers devise the questionnaire in a way that these factors are accounted for as much as possible. For instance, to accommodate for size, the questions try to take facility size out of the equation and calculate answers by dividing numbers such as sales revenue per employee or machines, etc., according to Jan Schafer, director of market research for Gardner Intelligence.

When reviewing this year’s data, Schafer said that consistency was a key factor across the Top Shops this year, including consistent growth, operations and costs. Line usage tends to average 18 hours for the Top Shops compared to 14 hours for other shops. And Top Shops tend to use more automation in their operations and to implement continuous improvement, benchmarking, customer satisfaction and other measure to stay ahead of their competition when working with their customers.

Liquid and Powder Coating

This year’s first place ranking Top Shop for the liquid and powder coating category is a return winner, JIT Powder Coating of Farmington, Minn., in the Twin Cities region. Specializing in architectural coatings, owner Tim Milner says that while the company suffered the same slowdowns from COVID initially, the shop didn’t suffer as drastically as some. In fact, Milner was able to maintain his entire staff at full wages throughout the downturn. “When the economy picked up, as a result, we found customers who were still struggling with labor and supply chain in their own businesses and couldn’t turn things around came to us to help take on jobs they would have done in-house,” Milner says. “Our sales grew rapidly last year (due to this), and we didn’t have to hire and train new people



Photo Credit: Products Finishing 

JIT Powder Coating

Milner’s philosophy since buying JIT has been to focus on fewer but deeper customer relationships, to build true partnerships with customers. It has enabled him to offer a competitive entry-level wage and pass the costs along to customers. “We have good quality and good turnaround and our customers are willing to pay for it,” he says. “They accept our prices because they know we perform.”

He says one change they’ve made that has been very beneficial and helped them with customer satisfaction is by shifting their own supply chain base. Previously they had much of their paint supply coming from larger, national and international companies. During the height of the pandemic when paint wasn’t readily available, they diversified their supplier base and turned to regional suppliers. “We were too small to be the key customers for the national suppliers, so we switched to more mid-market suppliers and may have paid a bit more but we found ourselves with a constant state of supply.”

The final key to JIT’s success, according to Milner, is that while they fit the definition of a job shop, he says they really are different from their competitors. “In a given year, we service probably between 65 and 85 customers, compared to hundreds others may have,” he says. “We have customers call and preschedule production time for large jobs that drives our scheduling and helps us with better turnaround. The supply chain and logistics management between us and our customers takes a dedicated staff and we probably have more administrative roles to do this work than many of our competitors.”

Electroplating and Anodizing

With more than 200 years of combined plating experience across four generations, Triplex Plating is the winner of Top Shops for the  electroplating/anodizing category this year. Located in Michigan City, Indiana, the shop specializes in zinc plating services with the ability to barrel and rack plate steel parts up to 10 feet.


Triplex Plating CEO Jamie Baldwin and COO Jesse Baldwin received the 2023 Top Shops award at SUR/FIN 2023.

In addition to being a Top Shop, Triplex chief operating officer, Jesse Baldwin, was also named a Products Finishing 40 Under 40 professional this year. His prior experience as a management consultant has enabled him to move into the family plating business, bringing concepts such as lean six sigma methodologies to the company, as well as acquiring new production equipment to allow the company to offer its first new product in 25 years.

When we asked Jesse what he thinks sets Triplex apart from the competition he replied: “Capitalizing on data-driven decision making has amplified our economies of scale, resulting in considerable favorability on our key performance indicators as our volumes have increased. As fourth-generation leaders of our family enterprise, my sister and I are committed to the success of daily operations, enabling decisions to be strategic and always customer-centric. At the heart of it all, we remain committed to what we've always excelled at — delivering quality plating at a cost-effective price, all while staying within the customer’s timeline. What’s changed is that we're continually improving our understanding of how to do it better.”

On The Line Podcast

After its 2022 Top Shops win, Jesse appeared on Products Finishing podcast On The Line to discuss the importance of benchmarking and the company’s formula for success (episode 20).

Qualifying Top Shops for Liquid & Powder Coating

A&A Powder Coatings, Hunt Valley, Md.

  • Ace Anodizing and Impregnating, Inc., Hillside, Ill.
  • All-Color Powder Coating, Inc., Oregon, Wis.
  • Associated Finishing Inc., Mankato, Minn.
  • Axis Peinture, Brossard, QC, Canada
  • Colourfast Corp., Concord, ON, Canada
  • Freedom Finishing, Inc., Benton Harbor, Mich.
  • Georgia Powder Coating, Gainesville, Ga.
  • JIT Powder Coating Company, Farmington, Minn.
  • Keystone Koating LLC, Lititz, Penn.
  • Lonestar Corrosion Services, Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Mettler Toledo LLC, Columbus, Ohio
  • Micron Metal Finishing, Bridgeview, Ill.
  • Militex Coatings Inc., London, ON, Canada
  • Perfection Industrial Finishing, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Performance Powder Coating, LLC, Longwood, Fla.
  • Professional Plating Inc., Brillion, Wis.
  • Progressive Coating, Chicago, Ill.
  • Pro-Kote, LLC, Jackson, Tenn.
  • Recubrimientos Metalicos de Mexico, S.A. DE C.V., Mexico City, Mexico
  • Reliable Powder Coating, San Leandro, Calif.
  • Roy Metal Finishing Company, Piedmont, S.C.
  • Safeway Services of Rockford Inc., Rockford, Ill.
  • Surgical Coatings, Sedalia, Colo.
  • Westside Finishing Co., Inc., Holyoke, Mass.
  • Winona Powder Coating, Inc., Etna Green, Ind.

Qualifying Top Shops for Plating & Anodizing

  • Ace Anodizing and Impregnating, Inc., Hillside, Ill.
  • AeroDynamics, Inc., Seabrook, N.H.
  • American Metal Coatings, Mentor, Oh.
  • American Tinning & Galvanizing Company, Erie, Pa.
  • Avtec Finishing Systems Inc., New Hope, Minn.
  • ChromeTech of Wisconsin, Inc., Franklin, Ind.
  • Electroplating & Surface Engineering SA DE CV, Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Electro-Spec Inc., Franklin, Ind.
  • Great Lakes Metal Finishing, Inc., Erie, Penn.
  • Hohman Plating, LLC, Dayton, Oh.
  • Incertec, Fridley, Minn.
  • Luke Engineering, Wadsworth, Oh.
  • Lustrous Metal Coatings, Inc., Canton, Oh.
  • Makplate Inc., Gilroy, Calif.
  • Microfinish, Saint Louis, Mo.
  • Miller Plating, LLC, Medina, Oh.
  • Miramar Metal Processing, Inc, San Diego, Calif.
  • Perfection Industrial Finishing, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Plateco Inc., Reedsburg, Wis.
  • Plating Technology, Dayton, Oh.
  • Professional Plating Inc., Brillion, Wis.
  • Recubrimientos Metalicos de Mexico, S.A. DE C.V., Mexico City, Mexico
  • Reliable Plating Works, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Roy Metal Finishing Company, Piedmont, S.C.
  • Surface Technology, Inc., Ewing, N.J.
  • Surtronics, Inc., Raleigh, N.C.
  • Temecula Quality Plating, Inc., Temecula, Calif.
  • The Electrolizing Corporation of Ohio, Cleveland, Oh.
  • Theta Plate, Inc., Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Triplex Plating, Michigan City, Ind.
  • Twin City Plating, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • UniMetal Surface Finishing, Thomaston, Colo.
  • Varland Plating, Cincinnati, Oh.
  • Landscape Source: Products Finishing

Khloee 2

Khloee Henson Promoted to Customer Service Team

JD Springs 2

Sustainability at Winona Powder Coating

Winona Powder Coating is the powder coating ...

Read More
Grede Castings E-Mail

Powder Coating Pretreatment

Quality powder coating starts with better pretreatment.

Read More

The Power of Powder

Powder coating and e-coating both provide hard-wearing, long-lasting protection against ...

Read More