ERIE, PA – The family-owned Advanced Finishing USA (AFUSA) is marking 50 years in business this month. Then Penn State engineer and Erie native, Walter J. Yahn, founded the company in 1970. Yahn foresaw the growth of the powder coatings industry and its potential contribution to manufacturing in the region. He established Advanced Finishing U.S.A. to develop a full array of powder coating technologies and capabilities. In 1970, AFUSA became an official business in the Erie community — originally as Plastic Coating and Molding — with just a used pizza oven and a used powder coating gun. From these humble beginnings, AFUSA started doing business for local companies, with a few friends and high school students as employees.
Yahn was an early student of Deming and the other pioneers of the Total Quality Management movement. He understood the importance of customer focus, quality and service. With these principles firmly rooted, Yahn built his company into a leading powder coating specialty business, creating a reputation for quick response, customer focus and attention to quality. Today, the 80,000-square-foot facility has served customers such as General Electric, Alstom, Mitsubishi, Komatsu, Westinghouse, Kawasaki, Disney, Bombardier and the U.S. Military.
The company is a full-service custom powder coating and finishing company. It coordinates all aspects of production from cleaning, pre-treating, and finishing to assembly, packaging, and drop shipping. The company’s purpose-designed 80,000-square-foot plant located in Fairview, Pennsylvania, is equipped to efficiently handle applications of almost any weight, size, configuration or quantity.
Throughout its history, the company has put the community’s interests first. Yahn’s son, Greg Yahn, the current President of Sales at Advanced Finishing USA, said, “You have to support your community. Places like Fairview High School, Penn State Behrend, Presque Isle State Park, the Erie Zoo, and Hamot Hospital are local jewels. These are the important places that make the community worthwhile to live in, and they deserve our support. We were supported by the Erie community from the start, and we return that support to the community today. We support them by writing checks, providing services, working with the schools and students in the community to provide a better future, and supporting the environment we live in. The company would not be what it is today without the support and dedication from our community, and it is an honor to give back to that community.”