Powder coating does more than give parts a clean, finished look, according to Inland Powder Coating CEO David Flatten. He says it also serves to protect those parts against corrosion and other external dangers. “Powder coating looks like paint but acts like armor,” Flatten says.
Inland Powder Coating utilizes automated conveyor lines and batch systems, as well as heavy-duty overhead multiple I-beam batch lines. It applies powder coating for industrial and commercial parts. Its operations include blasting, washing, powder coating and curing.
The company is now in its 31st year of business. The job shop was founded by Flatten’s father-in-law in 1983, with Flatten assuming control in 1984. The company’s executives all have more than 20 years of experience and operate with honesty and integrity, Flatten says. One explanation for the company’s success is that it began operating at the onset of the powder coating industry and rode the coattails of the sector’s growth.
“We got in at the beginning of the commercially viable powder coating industry,” Flatten explains. “By doing so, it gave us a big advantage to grow with the growth of powder coating. There was double-digit growth in the ’80s and ’90s, and we established ourselves very well in the Southern California region with few competitors.”
In April 2013, Inland Powder acquired a peer company, adding liquid paint and two more facilities to its operations. Its headquarters are at an 81,550-square-foot facility in Southern California.
Its inventory control and quality assurance departments ensure customer specifications are met. The company also has a shipping and receiving department with 24-foot and 48-foot trucks for deliveries, as well as an off-line packaging department for post coating, assembly and packaging needs. It recently began operating a new computerizing ordering system to better meet delivery requirements as orders increase. The system organizes data and schedules, improving systems and allowing for more business.
Inland Powder Coating has achieved significant growth. Flatten’s goal is to increase its success and double sales revenues. The company is currently planning for its new pre-treatment washer system. Its I-Beam batch line is one of the largest in the nation. It can powder-coat large beams as big as 8 feet by 10 feet by 40 feet.
Inland Powder Coating stocks more than 300 powders, including high-, semi- and flat-gloss powders. This includes wrinkles, textures, hammer tones, fluorescents, translucents, veins, special effects, clear and custom-made powder coatings. “We have developed all of our operations to handle just about anything from very small to very large,” Flatten says.
Powder-coated items include parts for the electronics industry, computers, cabinets, electrical enclosures, electrical switch gears, building panels, recreation equipment, sports equipment, aftermarket auto parts, aerospace and military parts, architectural facades, hand-railings, door framing, door trim and doors. Other items for powder coating include light fixtures, functional coating, gas tubes, gas equipment for the natural gas industry, trailer frames used for transporting heavy equipment, glass front store-fronts, component parts for retrofit natural gas systems, ATV component parts, motorcycle component parts, patio furniture, car parts, hand rails, fencing, grill parts and point-of-sale racking for stores.
Working with so many different products in a job shop, it keeps things interesting. It also helps strengthen the company finances with diversified revenues. “When one industry is down, another is up, so we are busy all year long,” Flatten says.
Power coating was first introduced 40 years ago and has become a popular finish for a variety of items. Utilizing high-tech spray guns, washers and ovens, powder coating differs from conventional painting as a free-floating dry powder is applied that doesn’t require a solvent. It is cured under heat, forming a hard skin that is tougher than paint.
Inland Powder offers additional services such as paint and coating removal. It does this with chemicals, sandblasting or thermal stripping. With thermal stripping, burn-off ovens are used to remove minor imperfections from the surface of parts. With sandblasting, rust, scales or other surface blemishes are cleared to allow for a clean surface.
The company motto is “Stronger. Greener. Better. Powder Coated Tough.” It is certified PCI 3000. This audit program “evaluates the business practices, process elements, equipment capabilities, employee competencies and quality-control capabilities of coaters to produce a high-quality powder-coated product with a high degree of customer satisfaction,” the Powder Coating Institute says.
Active In Community
Inland Powder Coating has been active in its local community for decades. It sponsors the local Lions Club as well as a community center working with teens. The plant is located in an industrial area with a depressed economy and low-income housing is in the vicinity. As such, Inland Powder donates hundreds of Christmas baskets, Flatten says..
“It’s a great program,” he adds. “It’s something we can be really proud of. My people donate time. Partnering with the community is a great way to gain satisfaction from helping people out and doing good. People then see this is a good company.”