Providence Metallizing Company, founded in 1951 by Nathaniel Sugerman, had but one simple goal:
To provide innovation of finishing to customers’ parts resulting in value added to their products.
Located in Pawtucket, RI, just over the Providence line, the company’s engineers created and adapted equipment to produce fine Jewelry finishes to the growing costume jewelry industry in the area. Vacuum Metallizing provided new opportunities to the jewelry industry that could not be replicated with standard polishing and plating. Finishes such as “Quartz” and “Aurora Borealis” were just a few of the many decorative options offered at that time.
Shortly thereafter, the company expanded its customer base to include the trophy and novelty business. Whereas the jewelry manufacturers made their parts out of stamped brass or steel as well as cast metal known as “white metal”; the trophy industry first used die cast zinc and soon transitioned into plastics such as ABS and Polypropylene. These more difficult substrates led to even more equipment innovations designed to easily create consistent finishing in higher volumes with flawless adhesion properties.
As more customers opted for finishes provided by Providence Metallizing, the need to design and build custom tooling increased. A separate company was created to do just this thereby adding capacity and efficiency to the process. In so doing, the company built a reputation for being amazingly responsive, able to move parts from sampling to production in half the normal lead times.
Next, the lamp and lighting industry came calling. These parts were larger and more complicated than others being processed at the time. With over 200,000 sq.ft. of working space, Providence Metallizing Company was able to handle trailer loads of material every day and expanded its working hours to 24-5. With hundreds of new customers relying on its process, Providence Metallizing Company became known for fast turnaround, the highest quality, and excellence in customer service.
The 80’s was the era of hi-tech. Thermal evaporation which was the metallizing method of choice gave way to magnetron sputtering and other PVD methods such as reactive arc deposition and RF finishing techniques. Providence Metallizing Company took the lead by offering highly durable finishes such as Titanium Nitride (TiN), Zirconium Nitride (ZrN), and Titanium Carbo Nitride (TICN). Also, sputtered metals such as copper, stainless steel, and aluminum were used for EMI-RFI (Electro-Magnetic Interference/Radio Frequency Interference) applications on molded engineered plastic substrates such as Ultem, Polycarbonate, Nylon, and LCP.
As good as the metallized finishes were for many applications, some customers demanded finishes that only electroplating could provide. By perfecting finishes such as Electroless Nickel, Acid Copper, Decorative Chrome, and more, PMC engineers developed innovative plating systems that far outperform standard processes for quality, consistency, and speed. From precious metal plating of gold and silver to architectural finishes such as Antique Brass, Oil Rub Bronze, Brushed Nickel, and more, PMC has developed a reputation for the highest quality in a world class environment.
But we didn’t stop there. With the company’s extensive experience working on plastic substrates, PMC developed the most consistent and flexible plating-on-plastic line in the industry today. With its capability of producing over 30 different finishes such as Brushed Stainless, Hematite, Satin Nickel and White Bronze, any finish that can be produced on metal can be produced on plastic as well. And in addition to standard plastic substrates such as ABS and PC/ABS, the company has capability on most engineering grades of plastic such as Ultem, Nylon, LCP and more. This opened the door to such industries as electronic, medical, plumbing, and hardware where the ability to match finishes on metal and plastic components was critical.
PMC engineers then moved their focus from inorganic finishing to organic with the introduction of their first UV (ultraviolet) coating line. This super hard and chemically resistant coating was tailor made for cosmetic parts such as caps, closures, and collars. The instantaneous cure and high quality metallized and spray finishes resulting from this system could match the cosmetic industry’s requirement of flawless finish at super high speed. PMC was then able to secure approved supplier status with such global players as Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, Avon, Elizabeth Arden, and more. Cosmetic packages using PMC finish include Clinique Compact Latch, Victoria Secret Dream Angel and Beauty Rush Caps, L’Oreal Youth Code Collar, Tommy Prep Cap, Coach Gold and Silver Ball Caps, and many more too numerous to mention. Over the span of 20 years, PMC has established itself as the only reputable domestic source for the cosmetic industry.
The metallizing of small plastic parts has been going on for decades in the cosmetic marketplace. But recently, a new trend has emerged – metallizing and coating on glass bottles. This is actually not brand new for PMC as it has had this capability for years. What is new is the innovation of finishing techniques that can be applied to the glass surface. Because the bottles are usually much larger than the caps, they allow PMC engineers to dream up more interesting and varied looks to match designer’s visions. The results can be incredible as is the case with our 2011 finish of the year – The Viva La Juicy Bottle for Elizabeth Arden. With several other packages in development for the cosmetic industry, can the liquor and beverage industry be far behind?
Richard Sugerman, 2nd generation owner and finishing expert carries on the mission from his father before him. By combining art and science in a high volume environment, PMC forges a path not taken by any other finishing company. While the others imitate, PMC will innovate. Offering the smartest solutions to the smartest companies.
Be Wize – Providence Metallize.