FULL PLATE: Engineer Jim Crowshaw sits at a scanning electron microscope at Tanury Industries. The business began in 1946 plating jewelry and has expanded its capabilities to include gold-plating interiors of corporate jets and creating unique, durable finishes for eyeglass frames. Standing is company Chairman Tom Tanury.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
By Rhonda J. Miller PBN Staff Writer
Riding the waves of change from electroplating for the jewelry industry, through strategic diversification and unrelenting commitment to quality, Tanury Industries continues to advance into new territory.
The Lincoln-based company has a 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and is breaking ground this summer on a 1,200-square-foot expansion to its laboratory to support research and development.
“We’ve tacked on 30 jobs in the last three years and about 15 of those are high-paying, highly skilled jobs,” said Tanury Industries Chairman Tom Tanury. “What’s interesting is that if you look at it historically, we started in the plating industry and today we have chemists, engineers [and] attorneys.”
From plating jewelry, the company has expanded its capabilities to gold-plating interiors of corporate jets for heads of state in the Middle East and creating unique colors with durable finishes for plating items such as eyeglass frames or 6,000 to 8,000 Zippo lighters a day in Tanury’s Physical Vapor Deposition, or PVD, vacuum chamber.
“The PVD chamber is pretty unique in the U.S.,” said Tanury. “Only a handful of companies in the country do that. We got involved in PVD in the mid-80s and we developed quite a unique process.”
PVD coating applies a thin film of metal to a variety of materials. By using a dry-vacuum process, the parts are coated with materials such as ultra-hard zirconium or titanium nitrides.
“You won’t get the same color in wet chemistry or the wearability of these durable coatings,” said Tanury.
The products Tanury works on range from small pieces for jewelry to large sections of airplane interiors.
“I can ship aluminum handrails that are about 15-feet long. We have to gold plate them for a 747 for a head of state,” said Tanury.
“Typically, whether it’s a new plane or a plane being refurbished, there’s a completion center in Europe or the U.S.,” said Tanury. “They take the plane apart, take the aluminum pieces like seatbelts, buckles, doorframes or a sink, put it in a crate and we finish it in our factory.”
Working with airplane parts come with regulations. Tanury Industries is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration for interior metal finishing. Tanury’s client list includes Gulfstream jets.
“We started doing trade shows in Europe. Now we have a representative in Europe and a representative in Dubai,” said Tanury.
“Most of our growth has come from our ability to perform research and development and provide new services to our existing customers in the U.S.,” said Michael Akkoui, Tanury Industries president and CEO. “We made a significant investment in additional capacity last year and this year we’re investing heavily in our internal lab.”
Over a three-year period, the company has grown from 135 to 165 employees.
“During that period, we’ve also seen about 30-35 percent growth overall in business,” said Akkoui.
“We’ve had a multipronged approach to stabilizing and growing the business,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of effort into research and development. We’ve had market diversification. We service 30 different industries.”
The push to new markets is always on the company’s agenda.
“Right now we’re evaluating where our products fit into the medical-devices market. It’s an emerging market for us,” said Akkoui. “There are many applications for coatings for surgical instruments. Right now we’re doing the R&D associated with that.”
Tanury Industries approaches new markets with care and research.
“Our approach is that before we go into that market, we understand the requirements and processes,” said Akkoui.
Along with research and development and technology, the company’s attention to quality and consistency are part of its nature.
“We are perfectionists, hand polishing each item both before and after it is plated,” Tanury said on its website.
Dedicated and well-trained employees are at the root of the company’s growth and expansion, said Tom Tanury.
“We believe in educating our workforce and we believe in putting the right people in the right job,” he said.
The other thing that continues to keep the company connected to its roots is its large segment of business in the jewelry industry, which appears to be showing signs of revival in the state. Jewelry is just one of many segments of Tanury Industries, but still a substantial part of the company.
“Jewelry is about 35 percent of my business,” said Tanury. “We deal with the highest level of jewelry manufacturers in the country.” •
OWNER: Tom Tanury, chairman; Michael Akkoui, president and CEO
TYPE OF BUSINESS: Precious-metals electroplating and specialty finishing