Paint Firm Recovers from Disaster
Ten months after a fire halted production for a Texas industrial coatings manufacturer, the company reports it is back up to full production on site following a recovery process that enabled it to build a stronger and safer business.
Century Industrial Coatings, based in Jacksonville, TX, suffered a catastrophic fire that leveled their production facility on Aug. 12 shortly after midnight. The cause of the fire is still unknown, a spokesperson told PaintSquare News.
Because the blaze occurred after working hours, no employees were on site and no injuries were reported. However, because the production facility itself was destroyed, all production came to an immediate stop.
Back to Work
Getting production back on track was a priority, Century reported.
“An event like this is often unrecoverable, which affects employees, families, community, and customers,” the company said in a statement. “Century’s leadership worked to find a strategy that avoided those problems.”
The company was prepared with a back-up manufacturing plan in case of emergency.
In less than one week after the incident, the company began production at a back-up production facility in Grand Prairie, TX. As a result, within 10 days of the fire, the first paint order left Texas on a truck headed to New York.
“The key to this turnaround was having a back-up facility for production, a production team that was willing and capable of producing in a new location on such short notice, and a very organized administrative staff,” Century said.
Cleanup and Construction
As production resumed off-site, the company tackled cleanup of the Jacksonville property. Century worked closely with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) during this process to ensure the cleanup was properly executed.
By April, fewer than eight months after the devastating fire, Century received the “no further remedial action” notice from the TCEQ.
The agency closed its environmental incident file and noted its appreciation for Century’s assistance and cooperation in the matter, as well as its compliance efforts to ensure protection of the state’s environment, Century reported.
At the same time, as the Century team approached its rebuild, the company took advantage of the opportunity to plan a production facility that would be even safer and more efficient than the last. Plans included an open floor plan and enclosed bulk raw material storage.
Back in Business
By January, just five months after the fire, production resumed in Jacksonville.
“Wow! What an event,” said Dean Harvey, company president. “In my 35 years in the industry, I have never experienced such a challenge. We wanted to do right by our company, employees, community, and customers.
“I am most proud of our employees and the work they accomplished in such a difficult time,” he added. “Not once did they lose sight of our highest priority—our customers and community.”
Century reported that it was able to maintain virtually all of its existing customers after the event, and even boasted a record first quarter for 2016.
In addition to increased sales, Century has been expanding by hiring for new and existing positions, the company added.
“I would not want to go through this again, but I can say that Century has learned a lot from it,” Harvey said.
“We have never been stronger,” he added. “This year we are celebrating many victories—a record year so far and 50 years in business!”
Century Industrial Coatings was founded in 1966 and has grown “from a regional manufacturer to a global leader in coatings technology,” according to its website.
As a custom paint manufacturer that focuses on corrosion protection and beautification in many industries nationally and internationally, Century describes itself as an industry leader in waterborne, low VOC coatings, as well as solvent-based high-performance coatings.
Century received the Texas Environmental Excellence Award in 2012 for its water-based joist primer, but also makes coatings for coiling, millwork, rail/transportation, steel door, storage tank, structural steel, wood and OEM.