Throughout the month of October, manufacturers across Wisconsin are opening their doors to showcase their companies and highlight the rewarding careers available to those interested in manufacturing.
At Global Finishing Solutions (GFS), we invited a talented group of high school students for a tour of our headquarters in Osseo, Wisconsin. As a vertical manufacturer, raw materials are transformed at our facility into paint booths and finishing equipment for the automotive, industrial and aerospace industries, among others.
How are they made? Let’s start from the beginning:
Preparing Beams & Sheet Steel
When you head through the main lobby at GFS, beyond the front desk is an entrance to the original 40,000-square-foot manufacturing area that was built in 1989. Today, it houses our structural steel components, high-definition plasma table, press brake, three-spindle CNC drill line, welding tables and shot blaster. This equipment is used to prepare beams and sheet steel for forming and assembly.
The majority of the products GFS makes must be assembled at the customer site. Our miscellaneous hardware department is responsible for providing the nuts, bolts, caulk, etc. required for the assembly and installation of our equipment. We also track the inventory of replacement parts for current equipment, as well as older equipment, in our small parts shipping area.
Continuing the tour, the next department you encounter is maintenance. However, it is unlikely that you will see maintenance workers there, as they are often busy making sure that GFS’ lawn is mowed, parking lots are maintained and buildings are well taken care of. In addition, they are responsible for repairing and maintaining the equipment in our facilities so it operates correctly and efficiently.
Receiving is also located here. This group is responsible for receiving and processing shipments of components that are incorporated into GFS’ manufacturing line.
GFS also manufactures many of the fans used in our paint booths and equipment, as well as our intake and exhaust ductwork onsite.
Turret & Press Brake
A large building houses a turret press, which is used to punch holes in sheet steel to create openings for lights, ductwork and more, as well as press brakes. The press brakes are used to bend pieces of sheet steel into the desired shape. The panels for both refinish and industrial products are also built in this building.
Farther down the line, the lighting cell constructs the housing of the light fixtures from the formed steel and adds in electronic components and lamps. Air heaters are also assembled here.
Electrical & Control Panels
GFS builds and tests all of our electrical and control panels in-house. Our talented team builds and tests standard control panels, as well as specialized control panels for custom pieces of equipment.
Our oven line creates aluminized steel panels for heat resistance, as well as heater boxes, and an oven roll former. We also build all of our own crates in-house, constructed specifically for the parts we ship.
Center for Excellence
The Center for Excellence training facility opened in July 2016. A total of 80,000 square feet, it is comprised of an R&D area, warehouse, shipping office and training center, complete with a fully functional body shop environment and classroom setting.
The R&D area is used to test and validate our paint booths and equipment. 60,000 square feet of warehouse space allows us to stage large projects and ship from the building. The roof on this building slopes from the back wall to the front wall, designed so we can mirror image the building if we need more space.
The GFS shipping office is conveniently located in the Center for Excellence, where 12 to 20 semi-trucks arrive and depart each day. The large building allows semis to load and park inside the building, rather than outside, which is especially helpful in the harsh Wisconsin winters.
The Center for Excellence training facility showcases our latest, advanced paint booth technologies. Distributors and customers are able to see firsthand how our products dramatically improve body shop repair efficiency and quality.
End to end, our products flow through engineering and manufacturing, where they are brought to life and made ready to ship to their final destination. Fighter jets, luxury yachts and custom cars, among others get their final finish in a GFS paint booth, none of which would be possible without the 180 skilled manufacturing employees at our Osseo, Wisconsin, facility.