Tom Lynde doesn’t want to be just anyone’s custom coater. The owner of Safeway Services Painting and Powder Coating in Rockford, Illinois wants to be more than just a hired hand.
“We quote projects for companies from all over the Midwest, but we prefer customers who are looking for a relationship with their suppliers,” says Lynde, whose family-owned business was started in 1989 and this year finished as the No. 1 shop in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey for liquid and powder coatings.
Safeway runs two Wagner automated powder lines, an electrostatic wet line and a fluidized bed line, but also does much more than that for its customers. They can coat, label, package and ship products directly to its customer’s customers, and also has warehouse and light assembly available when needed.
The shop specializes in military specification wet coatings, urethane and polyurethane coatings, epoxy enamel and alkyd enamel water based coatings, as well as powder coatings.
Lynde says his staff works very quickly to fulfill bid requests, but he is careful to make sure he is working with a partner who is seeking quality coatings and recognizes the value of it.
“We strive to be the best at what we do, from beginning to end,” he says. “We pride ourselves that RFQ’s are normally responded to within 3 hours, our lead times average 3.5 days, and we have emergency services available for a fee.”
Safeway has a qualified staff of 33 that has helped them earn the No. 1 status in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey. Jamie Hanson is the Customer Service Manager, Heriberto Ibarra the Quality Manager, Miguel Sosa the Plant Manager, and Bobby Parham the Shipping Manager.
“Everyone in our organization is charged with providing the best coatings we can for our customers at a competitive price,” he says. “Our customers find us to be extremely responsive to their needs.”
Lynde and his team know that a quality durable coating starts with a proper cleaning and treatment phase of the project. Safeway has a 5-stage nanotechnology wash and treatment for most production parts, and their wash system can handle items to 3′ x 3′ x 6′. They also offer a complete steam cleaning using steam that Lynde says is not limited by size.
“This is not a hot water pressure washer that people call steam; this is 100 percent steam,” he says. “We also offer a phosphate coating for surface preparation to provide excellent adhesion and to minimize corrosion.”
With under four-day turnaround time, Safeway turned in a 99 percent on-time delivery rate in 2016, and its finished product first-pass quality yield in 2016 — the percentage of product that passed final inspection on first attempt; no re-work required — was 96 percent.
With about 85 active customers, Lynde knows that meeting high demands coupled with quality coatings is a must. It is one of the big reasons why the Safeway staff is thrilled to be a Products Finishing Top Shop, let alone the No. 1 shop in the survey.
“We are excited to named a Top Shop,” he says. “Everyone here has been working for years to make Safeway Services the leader in our area when it comes to coatings.”