Coatings company expands with new plant

Eutectic Corp., a provider of coatings and other industrial applications, recently opened a new 22,000-square-foot technology center, technical service and production facility on Milwaukee’s far northwest side at 12300 W. Carmen Ave.

The new facility was opened to help the firm enter the service market, and could benefit many of the other manufacturing companies in the metro area, according to company executives.

Eutectic is a division of Messer World, a German firm with companies in the wear protection, cutting tool, industrial gas and precision medical instrument markets.

Eutectic’s main Milwaukee-area operations are based in a 65,000-square-foot Menomonee Falls factory where it makes welding consumables, said John Kirkwood, chief executive officer of Eutectic USA. Messer World also operates Messer Cutting in Menomonee Falls, where it makes industrial cutting machines.

The company serves customers in the mining, concrete, pulp and paper, steel, oil and gas and related markets. Its composite coatings are used on wear plates, pipes, rock boxes and other tools that are exposed to high wear and high temperature.

The service center, an approximate $2 million investment, includes high-tech machinery and systems that the company hopes will help it gain a foothold in the service market, said Carlos Esteves, the company’s director of sales and marketing.

“We have the latest plasma welding, wear plate and tube manufacturing,” he said. “We used to have several customers where we used to sell equipment for them. Now we can sell the whole package. We are making, repairing or coating parts for them and delivering that part already done, where we used to just sell them the wear plate or consumable.”

Kirkwood said the company’s entry into the service market is a significant change from most if its more than 100 year history.

“This is a global initiative to take the technology we’ve developed over the past 100 years and fill an important gap,” he said. “We’re a turn-key service now, creating a part and providing it to our customers.”

The company also is using the new facility as a research and development center, where it can test out new coatings and materials. The new coatings developed there will be placed on components used in heavy industry, then sent to customers in the field, Kirkwood said.

“We’ve got manufacturing capabilities that are fairly standard. The thing that is constantly changing is the development of new products and services as we discover new elements that we can add to surfacing technology,” he said. “That’s why the technology center is so important. We need to stay ahead of the market. More and more of our customers are demanding to have their equipment last longer, and that’s what we want to give them.”

To serve its customers who want a completed part or system, Eutectic is not investing heavily in CNC machines, metal fabrication equipment and other systems. Instead, the company is forming partnerships with existing companies in metro Milwaukee that specialize in those services.

“We have quite big plans to take these products to market,” Kirkwood said. “And we need companies with the capabilities that we don’t have. It doesn’t make sense for us to spend money on equipment we won’t use all the time. There is an opportunity to use this (economic) downturn in heavy industry and to make use of the skills in the various industries in Milwaukee.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display