Click here to read about Preferred Powder Coating’s ground breaking in Elk River.
by Joni Astrup
“We don’t manufacture anything. We just powder coat.”
That’s how Lloyd Peterson describes the work of Preferred Powder Coating, which will be the first company to locate in Elk River’s new Nature’s Edge Business Center. Peterson is PPC’s president, general counsel and co-owner.
The company powder coats everything from chairs to fences to athletic equipment.
“Anything that has a durable finish is literally what we can powder coat,” Peterson explained during a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday.
The company powder coated all of the National Hockey League’s hockey goals. It also powder coated the displays used in the rollout of the Apple iPhone 5.
PPC even has an antimicrobial powder that is used on X-ray equipment and emergency room equipment.
Peterson explained that there are only two ways to paint: wet paint or powder coating.
“We are a powder coater, which means that we are a green company,” he said. The facility doesn’t emit any chemical smells or smoke, he said, and does not contaminate the ground water.
Here’s how powder coating works.
PPC gets a product from a manufacturer. It runs it through a wash cycle, gives it a negative charge, and then sends it through a computerized spray booth. The powder in the spray booth has a positive charge.
“So when you spray it, positive goes to negative, and it coats it and then it goes into the oven,” Peterson said.
The oven is about 100 feet long. As the product proceeds through it, the oven slowly brings the temperature up to between 385 and 400 degrees. At around 400 degrees the powder liquefies, forms a glossy finish and goes through a curing process.
Peterson co-owns the company with Dan Bosshart.
Bosshart is a Minnesota native who retired from the military after a 20-year career. He was a lieutenant colonel and facilities manager at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.
Bosshart and Peterson partnered to form Preferred Powdered Coating. PPC acquired the assets of Profile Companies in 2009.
“The former company that we own today went into bankruptcy. There were 17 employees and their families that looked like they were going to be turned out into the street,” Peterson said.
With help from First National Bank of Elk River, Peterson said they were able to purchase the company’s assets. Today, almost five years later, Preferred Powder Coating has 29 employees.
The company is currently located in a 70,000 square feet of space in Rogers, which isn’t enough space for their growing business, Peterson said. The new facility in Elk River will be 100,000 square feet in size.