Industrial Chrome, Incorporated was established in 1954 by Kenny Paul and operated out of a couple of rented rooms in the back of an 1880's 3-story brick building, which was owned and occupied by another company at the time. Industrial Chrome started with one service, hard chrome plating (primarily hydraulic piston shafts), a single plating tank and a few other pieces of equipment to prepare the shafts for plating.
The company first expanded in the 1970's when it purchased the land to the south of the old 3-story building and built a new building with a full plating line. Not long after, another small building was built and equipment was acquired to begin manufacturing various size piston shafts from raw bars. This equipment included engine lathes, large bar-cutting saws, and an induction heat treating machine. Industrial Chrome had transformed from just plating piston shafts to producing piston shafts, from start to finish. Company ownership also changed during the 1970's. Kenny Paul retired in the early 70's, and Don Johnson and Ellis Needham, two of the companies first employees, became co-owners of the business.
Expansion Under New Leadership
In 1990, after the death of Don Johnson, and with 30 years in the business, Ellis Needham acquired all the remaining shares in the business. As CEO, Ellis Needham has led the business with growth and expansion -- adding new product and service capabilities and leading the business into new markets. Ellis Needham remains the current President/CEO and is still active in the business today, having been with the company now for nearly 55 years.
Today, ICI Mfg. has nearly 100,000 SF, produces thousands of individual part numbers each year for large and small OEM's, shipping to plants all over the world. ICI Mfg. has a full compliment of horizontal and vertical machining centers, a full compliment of fabrication equipment, a quality and metrology lab, a powder coating facility and, yes, still has multiple hard chrome and zinc plating lines.