Problem Solved — Manufacturer Becomes Turnkey Supplier for Creative Customers with New Powder Coating Equipment

With 20 years of sheet metal manufacturing experience under his belt, Tim Herlihy founded Creative Manufacturing Solutions (CMS) in 2006, with only one employee — himself. Fast forward 13 years, and Tim has grown the company to 85 employees and 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Morgan Hill, California.

Designing and building a wide array of custom products for customers such as Facebook and Tesla, CMS provides precision sheet metal fabrication services to some of the largest companies in the Silicon Valley. A look into their processes and queue, CMS currently has 86 unique jobs lined up over the next three months that require anything from design services, CNC punching, laser cutting, forming, welding, powder coating and assembly.

The manufacturing company’s powder coating capabilities came into play about two years ago with the addition of a new facility and the purchase of industrial finishing equipment from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS). CMS’ new Sanding Booth, Sanding & Grinding Booth, Batch Process Oven, Open Face Paint Booth and two Powder Recovery Booths allowed them to bring powder coating services in-house. By moving these capabilities in-house, as opposed to outsourcing the work, CMS is able to better control the quality of their powder coating finishes and reduce lead time for projects, improving their overall customer experience.

“The equipment has made us a bigger, turnkey supplier. We are now a complete vendor for our customers,” said Herlihy.



GFS distributor Phillip C. Audet, P.E. of AnA Engineering, Inc. sold them on the GFS powder coating and dust collection system.

“Phil is very well-renowned in the industry, and he highly recommended GFS equipment. I trusted his recommendation and the equipment fit in my timeframe.”

Working on a range of products — from laser eye surgery equipment and 3D printers to frames and IT server racks — Creative Manufacturing Solutions knew they needed a finishing equipment solution that would provide them the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of projects. The open front design of their booths allow equipment to be moved easily in and out for sanding and painting purposes, and the crossdraft airflow works with products of all sizes.


Precision engineered for excellent lighting, airflow and filtration, CMS’ new finishing equipment from GFS helps them achieve high-quality finishes. Brands such as Johnson & Johnson and Jabil, Inc. continue to come back to CMS for high-end manufacturing services that produce top-notch products designed specifically to meet their needs.

“The equipment is working out really well. Metal fabrication is a dirty trade, and it has done an excellent job at mitigating dust, keeping everything neater, and the oven holds temperature better. Our paint manager, Bob McDowell, has been in the industry for the last 47 years and said it’s the best equipment he’s ever seen. We have better equipment than any shop he’s ever worked at.”

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