“The GFS oven is going to fully cure thick steel, no matter how much I stack in there”

Looking for equipment for his new powder coating shop, Justin Trepper wanted an oven larger than those of his nearest competitors and one that could cure even the thickest steel. A 26-foot-long Batch Powder Oven — and equally sized Powder Recovery Booth — from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) have helped JC Powder Coating capitalize on steady revenue from increased commercial work.

Please introduce your business and tell us your story.

“I started the business in 2017 in the barn on my family farm. I used to be in software sales but got tired of the ups and downs and the traveling. I wanted something where I could work at home and make a decent living. I noticed there weren’t a lot of powder coaters around where I live and felt like there was an opportunity for me to make at least a side hustle.

In the beginning, I had a 6-foot-long electric oven, and quickly realized that it wasn’t going to get the job done. I eventually got a 10-foot-long oven and ran the business for years with that, but I got tired of turning big jobs down because they still wouldn’t fit. The other challenge was that the barn had multiple divides, which prevented me from loading projects onto racks.

When the opportunity arose, my wife and I built a 10,000-square-foot shop off our farm. Several surrounding shops had ovens that were 20 feet long or smaller and did not have the space to expand to larger ovens. I wanted to have the largest oven in my area, so I knew I needed something bigger than a 20-footer. Moving off our farm and into a larger facility has been the best thing I’ve ever done.”

What kind of jobs do you usually perform?

“We’ve changed our focus to be more commercially focused. Some of our accounts deliver on a near-daily basis. The profit margins on the commercial side are a lot higher than the personal and residential sides. There’s a lot more work to be done, but it’s night and day different from the stress and energy of non-commercial projects. And commercial jobs pay the bills.”

How has GFS equipment changed your processes and impacted your business?

“Our GFS oven is really reliable. Our old oven required me to constantly measure the temperature on everything because it wasn’t consistent. If you put thicker, heavier parts in the old oven, it would bog down, and the times weren’t consistent through different weights of steel. The GFS oven is going to fully cure thick steel, no matter how much I stack in there. I’ve had 9,000 pounds of steel in the oven and it turned out great. I’ve been able to make a cheat sheet on the products we’re doing on a weekly basis, so we know what batches of parts take how much time to cure at what temperature. We set it and forget it. Also, the GFS oven makes a huge difference with gloss black. The ramp-up time really helps lay that gloss black super smooth.”

What is the plan for the future of your business? 

“For now, our goal is to grow our commercial business and maintain personal projects, such as wheels. We want to be in front as the industry continues to grow, so no money is left on the table, and we can help as many businesses and people as we can along the way.”

Table of Contents

Related Posts

New Posts

Project Profiles

Showcase Your Business

One of the best ways to highlight your business is through a story that you can share across your online platforms. It humanizes your business and shows that your business can make a meaningful impact. Your testimonial would be used as a project profile on the GFS Booth Blog and can be shared on your website and/or social media channels.

Complete this form and we’ll be in touch to showcase your company.

Buy Online for Fast & FREE Shipping

GFS Store Hero image showing BUY NOW items

Shop a variety of GFS aftermarket products, including booth protection products and mobile accelerated curing units. And enjoy the convenience of fast and free ground shipping throughout the contiguous United States.

Center for Excellence facility photo

Located at GFS’ headquarters in Osseo, Wisconsin, the Center for Excellence is an innovative facility featuring an automotive refinish training center, as well as a separate space dedicated to technical product training.

Careers at GFS

Working at GFS Banner image

GFS is continuously searching for talented, ambitious individuals to join our team. We aim to provide our employees with every opportunity to make an impact on the company and find their niche along the way — weather in a production, field services or an office position. 

Sign Up for Our Newsletter