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Coated Coil
Thursday | 13 July, 2017 | 1:03 pm

Finishing force

By Colin Linneweber

Above: Vorteq Coil Finishing’s expanded capabilities include heavier gauge coil coating, precision slitting and leveling.

Coil coater expands and diversifies yet remains focused on tailor-made solutions

July 2017 - “Change is the law of life,” said President John F. Kennedy. “And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

A practitioner of that philosophy, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin-based Wismarq Industries LLC, opted for a course change that included a new name and product launch. The 35-year-old-company provided coil coating services for steel and aluminum products since its establishment in 1982. In April, Wismarq was renamed Vorteq Coil Finishers LLC.

CEO Jim Dockey, who remains in place, discusses the decision to rebrand and lays out the company’s direction. “Vorteq was born this past April,” he says, noting its etymology derives from combining the words vortex and tech. “It’s the new force in coil coating.”

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Vorteq serves architectural roofers, truck trailers, RVs, traders, service centers, original equipment manufacturers and countless other industries and applications.

The vision for Vorteq began in mid-2015. “Our company, which has recruited the industries’ best talent and built a deep and experienced team, is no longer a small, family-owned coil coating business focused on gutters and downspouts,” Dockey explains.

Vorteq intends to be an industry leader in coil coating by expanding its scale and geographical reach while maintaining its intimate connection to customers. This development gained speed after Wismarq acquired Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Prior Coated Metals Inc. last October. The acquisition gave Vorteq expanded capabilities, including heavier gauge coil coating, precision slitting and leveling. It also gave the company a greater geographical reach and diversified the customers base.

“With the support of our investment partners, Vorteq has made significant capital investments into the business,” including the acquisition of Prior Coated Metals. “The disciplined growth strategy is to continue expansion, both organically and through acquisition, while carving out a niche that is focused on differentiated and customized service to our customers,” Dockey says.

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Jim Dockey (above) says Vorteq has broadened its geographical reach and diversified its customer base.

Vorteq today operates six coil coating lines in five facilities that are strategically located near Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Memphis. With its array of coating lines and greater capacity, Vorteq serves architectural roofing, truck trailers, recreational vehicles, traders, service centers, original equipment manufacturers and countless other industries and applications.

“Our diverse range of coil coating widths extend from 10 inches narrow up to 56 inches wide,” says Dockey. Vorteq offers coil coating, embossing, slitting and will soon be able to provide cut-to-length sheets.

“Slitting and embossing across each location allows us to provide the exact finish that customers in all segments of the prepainted aluminum and prepainted steel markets need for their unique applications.”

Vorteq’s core competency, he says, is rooted in a commitment to offer a tailored-made service model. Combined with its new web-based customer service portal, Quest, this promotes efficiency and coordination. “[Quest] provides a direct link to anything they need at any of our plants, regardless of product,” says Dockey.

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Vorteq operates six coil coating lines in five facilities that are strategically located near Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Memphis.

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The Quest portal helps Vorteq team members to schedule blocked line hours, improve the process of paint stocking and customer inventory management. “Our customers are also able to monitor our secondary processes like slitting and embossing,” Dockey notes. “They have direct access to all levels of management and we share a truly transparent and intimate relationship at all levels of the organization.”

The company’s growth and capabilities are already benefiting customers like Drexel Metals Corp., a distributor of painted metal for the roofing, architectural sheet metal, military and crop storage industries.

“The new team at Vorteq has provided a great basis for Drexel to expand our supply chain,” says President Brian Partyka.  

“Vorteq’s multiple locations and wide to narrow capabilities has allowed Drexel to look at inventory management differently,” Partyka says. “Whether painting wider widths in Jackson, Tennessee, narrow widths in Pittsburgh, or even single-coat applications for our East Coast sign customer, our partnership with Vorteq has brought a lot of new flexibility to Drexel’s supply chain model.”

While focusing on the present, Vorteq and Drexel Metals are also preparing for the future. MM

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