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Pioneer Series: Michael Stechschulte, Endura Coatings
Our series continues with another spotlight on a long-standing, devoted Teflon™ coater and his accomplishments in the industrial coatings field. All pioneers in the Teflon coatings industry are early adopters of the coatings and have helped shape the way Teflon has grown and evolved as a reputable industrial fluoropolymer. With the pioneers' vision and ingenuity, Teflon™ coatings continue to be regarded as the elite fluoropolymer of choice. This interview spotlights Michael Stechschulte of Endura® Coatings. Endura® is committed to providing the most innovative, technologically advanced, environmentally conscience, and highest qualified coating services available today. Endura Coatings has been a leader in coating application services since 1970. With over 750 engineered coating solutions spanning 11 technology platforms, they offer the most comprehensive array of coating expertise and services available today.
Q: When was your company founded?
A: Endura was founded in 1970 outside Detroit, MI.
Q: Who founded the company and why?
A: Dan Crowley, Art Coleman, and Bill Vicere. With the help of DuPont, Endura was one of the original LIA’s pioneering the use and proliferation of nickel Teflon. Endura helped identify industrial applications and uses for Teflon industrial fluoropolymer division.
Q: What was the first significant piece of equipment you purchased?
A: A curing oven in 1970 for high temperature bakes.
Q: How would you describe the changes in the company now from when it was first started?
A: What makes Endura different today is our ability to be “consultative engineers.” We are committed to understanding our customers' needs using our KBER (Knowledge Based Engineering Repositories). In doing so, we are able to identify horizontals and verticals, industries and applications, all while documenting what coatings work and in what situations. We are also positioned to advise our customers on the latest raw materials, manufacturing processes, and specifications. We pride ourselves in our ability to modify coatings to meet the customers' needs. Whether it’s through working with Chemours or modifying the resins ourselves using certain reinforcements and formulations, we strive to give our customers exactly what they need.
Q: What would you consider significant milestones in your company?
A: We made a significant shift in our business in 2001. It happened to be after 9/11 when many industries were going through financial turmoil. Given everything happening in the U.S., we took a larger, global view of how we were doing business and how we were going to be less reliant on the Detroit industry, specifically automotive. The decision was made to become a more multi-faceted organization. We made significant investments into medical, pharmaceutical, surgical/disposables, food packaging, and many other specialty niche applications where we could be written into the specification. When one of our coatings is specified in a drawing, we would have long-term commitments. We tweaked the other part of the business, which was the value-added coating business. Our focus shifted to providing products and product solutions.
Q: How has the coating industry itself changed over time?
A: Clearly government regulation comes to mind as well as the reduction of the PFOAs. Reformulations of our resins have forced us to reevaluate our coating chemistries, formulations, and customer use applications. We continually grow, learn, and understand the reach and depth of these changes as they occur.
Q: When did you get your LIA license?
A: 1970/1971. Unfortunately, the official recognition plaque has been lost over the years.
Q: How has being an LIA affected your company?
A: It shows that our company has been a long-term customer of Chemours. We have become a steward of growth for the organization. It is clearly an opportunity for us to do cross branding and cross e-marketing. We would like to do more to leverage the LIA program and Teflon brand.
Q: What is your favorite Teflon coating?
A: Our favorite Teflon coating system would have to be the Tefzel system. This coating system possesses an exceptional range of performance characteristics which make its use extremely versatile across a wide range of applications and industry niches. Its combination of non-stick, mechanical toughness, and chemical inertness make it a great candidate for use in food processing, food packaging, and chemical processing use environments.
Q: What excites you about the future of the coating industry?
A: The future entails continually increasing customer satisfaction by creating widely specified products using Teflon finishes. System integration is the future for the coating industry; being able to provide not only value but product solutions for customers is what I’m most excited for!
For questions and inquiries for Endura coatings, please or call 586-739-0101. Visit the website for more information at www.enduracoatings.com.