LP&C News 

LP&C Parent Selected as National 'Top Shop'

Houston Plating & Coatings, parent company of LP&C, has been selected as a “Top Shop” by Products Finishing magazine in BOTH the plating and coatings categories in its annual survey of the nation’s plating shops. CEO Bill Howard accepted the "Top Shop" award. HP&C is only one of three in Texas selected for the recognition, and only one of four in the nation to win in both categories. The Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey included more than 40 questions with the top 50 shops being recognized nationally as tops in the electroplating or coatings categories.  




About the Top Shops Benchmarking Survey

The annual Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey was launched this year to aid electroplating shops in comparing their key operating metrics with others in the industry. The results from the several hundred shops that took part in the survey between November and December of 2014 was an exhaustive compilation of statistics, best practices and operational strategies that clearly defined what would be considered a “Top Shop” and what would be considered the “rest of the field.”

According to William Howard, CEO of HP&C, "We are pleased to have participated in the survey and proud to have been selected by Products Finishing magazine as a Top Shop. The fact that we were honored in both plating and spray categories is recognition of the hard work put in by our production and QC teams."

The survey was designed so that finishing businesses could identify their optimal shop floor practices, as well as help them improve their operational and business approaches that define what would be considered a “world-class” finishing operation. The results from the several hundred shops that took part in the survey between November and December of 2014 was an incredible compilation of statistics, best practices and operational strategies that clearly defined what would be considered a “Top Shop” and what would be considered the “rest of the field.”

The results of the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey were broken into four distinct categories:

Finishing Technology: What certifications the finishing shop held and what approvals they had received, plus which types of finishing operations the shop offers. In addition, we asked about the type of testing and lab work the shop performs for customers.

Finishing Practices and Performances: Which practices and improvement methodologies a shop used, and how they ranked in order of lead times, scrap/rework percentages and other customer- oriented operations.

Business Strategies and Performances: About current supply chain practices the shop uses and their annual sales growth rate.

Human Resources: The HR practices and programs the shop uses, as well as the formal training each full-time employee receives annually. 


HP&C Adds Phosphate Capability to Tyler Plant
September 15, 2014

HP&C’s Tyler plant has added phosphating to its services capabilities. Originally built to serve HVAC coil manufacturers as a licensee to apply the corrosion preventing Heresite coating, the Tyler plant can now serve oil field service companies in North Texas that require phosphating as a corrosion prevention coating for their tools.

HP&C Again Expands Humble Plant
April 12, 2014

To meet increasing demand for its phosphating services for larger parts, Houston Plating has again expanded its capabilities at its Humble plant. With the new, larger phosphating tanks in place, the Humble plant can now handle parts as long as 14 feet. The phosphating services are one of the full range of services offered by Houston Plating & Coatings that include Electroless Nickel and Salt Bath Nitriding, and a range of spray coatings. 


Managing a Coating & Plating Supply Chain
WILLIAM HOWARDCEO Louisiana Plating & Coatings, Scott Louisiana and CEO Houston Plating & Coatings, LLC, Houston, Texas

Re-engineering supply chains can reduce costs, cut delivery times, provide a significant competitive advantage, and enhance customer relationships. Supply chain concepts can be applied to the finishing phase (coating or plating) of production to further cut costs and delivery times.

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Managing a Coating & Plating Supply Chain
WILLIAM HOWARD—Houston Plating & Coatings, LLC, Houston, Texas

Re-engineering supply chains can reduce costs, cut delivery times, provide a significant competitive advantage,
and enhance customer relationships. Supply chain concepts can be applied to the finishing phase (coating or plating)
of production to further cut costs and delivery times.

For a coating supply chain program to be effective, the coating company and the original equipment
manufacturer (OEM) must collaborate to devise a unique program based on the OEM’s core
processes and procedures.

The finishing process is often typically the final, and often times a bottleneck, step, before shipment to the
customer; proper application of supply chain principles to in this phase can helps ensure that
the order is processed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some or all of the following techniques are
used by OEMs to reduce the delays time between completion of the production and finishing processes.
A key component of an effective coating supply chain program is a full-service coating/plating company.
A finishing company that provides a full range of corrosion protection services, such as electroless nickel,
phosphate, and various spray coatings, can significantly reduce transportation and administrative costs.
To develop a coatings supply chain program, an OEM should first study the steps involved from the time of
the part is completed until it is returned from the finishing company. For instance, one OEM discovered
that it took up to four days from the date the part was completed in their plant until it was shipped to the
coating company. Administrative tasks can create a sizeable bottleneck, but can be significantly reduced. A
supply chain program that turns transportation, with limited exceptions, over to the coating partner can
eliminate virtually all administrative delays from the completion schedule.

Scheduled daily pick-up and delivery not only helps ensure that the parts are returned as quickly as possible
after processing — it also eliminates a major administrative burden. Expedited service should be available
from the coating partner for orders having special requirements.

Many purchasers also require inspection of the coating application by independent inspectors. A finishing
company that employs NACE-certified inspectors for quality control will help to ensure that the process is
completed as smoothly and efficiently as possible, thereby cutting days from the completion schedule.
For OEMs that use standard costing, or for parts that are processed for inventory, it makes little sense to
prepare a separate PO & invoice for each order. In an effective supply chain coating program, the finishing
process becomes just another step on the original work order (converting it from an outside to an inside
process), thereby eliminating the need to produce a separate purchase order and invoice for each order. A
record of the parts processed can be entered in the OEM’s system to maintain traceability and a single
invoice for all of the parts processed can be prepared monthly. Many OEM’s estimate that the costs
associated with a PO & invoice can exceed $1,000 per order and an effective supply chain program can
eliminate thousands of orders annually.

The coating partner should have a dedicated team for the OEM to utilize to coordinate orders and process
the parts. The experience and expertise developed by the team from working on the same parts with the
same specifications enables the highest levels of accuracy and shortest processing time. A dedicated
coordinator or expeditor can also make sure that any changes to the processing or delivery schedule are
appropriately addressed and monitored.

For OEMs with very high volumes, it may be appropriate to create a satellite coating plant within an
OEM’s production facility. Using all of the methods discussed above, an on-site satellite coating
plant can produce maximum efficiency and flexibility for the fastest completion times possible. A recent
study by the Texas A&M Supply Chain Systems Lab estimates that the value of a satellite plant far exceeds
the total that an OEM spends on coating – it can be the equivalent of getting coating for free.
Oftentimes, all or a part of an assembly is prepared for the OEM by independent machine shops. Under
the direction of the OEM, a supply chain program can be implemented in coordination with the machine
shops, as well.

A coatings supply chain program transfers the burdens associated with the corrosion protection phase of the
production cycle to the OEM’s coating supply chain partner, enabling the OEM to focus on its core
manufacturing processes. An effective coatings supply chain program can help an OEM streamline the
completion process and produce an overall decrease in coatings lead time. This, in turn, will lead to a
greater number of completed orders per quarter and a better on-time delivery record and measurable cost

Texas A&M University Supply Chain Systems Laboratory, Vendor Managed Services study currently under way (2006).
WILLIAM HOWARD is chairman and chief executive officer of Houston Plating & Coatings, LLC (HP&C),
1311 Georgia, Houston, TX 77587. He has been with the company for the past four years, during which it has
grown to become the largest full-service company of its type in the Southwest. HP&C primarily serves oilfield
equipment manufacturers. Prior to joining the company, he was a partner at a multinational accounting firm
for more than 20 years.




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