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Classic Sheet Metal: Serving the Industry for 50 Years

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Classic Sheet Metal
1065 Sesame St.
Franklin Park, IL, 60131

Press release date: December 26, 2013

“The House that Quality Built”

In these difficult economic times, longevity in business is hard to come by. However, Classic Sheet Metal, which was established in March of 1962, celebrated 50 years of success this past year. Classic Sheet Metal was established on the premise that Quality and Customer Service are the cornerstones of Excellence. Current President Jim Lococo made this comment in respect to the premise, “Have the right people. Use productive equipment. Produce quality parts at a competitive price.” Short and simple, but highlight the keys to successfully serving the industry for 50 years. With these factors, Classic Sheet Metal has transformed itself into a modern, 3rd generation, manufacturing operation, who is a vital part of worldwide supply chains for several well-known companies. One factor resulting in success for Classic Sheet metal is the facilities and equipment used along the way.

Classic Sheet Metal was originally operated by a single employee in a small facility in Chicago, Illinois. It was only 1,800 sq. ft., which was barely enough space for the employee. The technology was minimal. Kick presses were used to punch one hole at a time, in an assembly line format. From there, Classic moved to a 7,500 sq. ft. facility, and added two more employees. Then, Classic Sheet Metal moved to a larger, 15,000 sq. ft. building to allow for more floor space. As business continued to flourish, Classic Sheet Metal relocated yet again, to a 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Schiller Park, Illinois and continued to establish itself as a leader in the metal fabricating industry. This became Classic’s home for the next 30 years. In the year 2000, Classic relocated to their current building at 1065 Sesame St., Franklin Park, IL. The new facility features over 90,000 sq. ft. of sheet metal manufacturing, assembly, and warehouse space. With the added space came the addition of new equipment such as the 4000KW CNC laser and four new 220 ton punch presses. These machines enabled Classic Sheet Metal to handle increased production volumes and customer production requirements, which drove Classic Sheet Metal to new manufacturing heights. Having the right facility is important for long term success, but becomes obsolete without the right people to utilize it.

There is no shortage when it comes to having the right people at Classic Sheet Metal, starting from the beginning. Like mentioned in the previous paragraph, Classic Sheet Metal began with only one person. That person is Jack Lococo. Jack took care of the entire operation until he moved to a larger building. He was then able to bring in his partner, Rocky Muti, to handle the external operations. Jack founded Classic Sheet Metal back 50 years ago, and he and Rocky are still present in the company today. Every morning, they make the drive to the office, which speaks to the level of their appreciation for the business. Classic has a similar look today as it did in the past Classic Sheet Metal: Serving the Industry for 50 years “The House that Quality Built” because it’s a family owned business and the majority of employees have been around for 20 years or more. The employees seem like a part of the family because everyone has worked together for so long, which creates a familiarity and confidence in each other to get the job done. With the right facility, equipment and employees Classic Sheet Metal was able to do what it did best, manufacture fabricated sheet metal parts.

Classic Sheet Metal established itself as a leader in short/long run production and prototype development, and it would not be long before Classic realized quality control was the key to customer satisfaction. Always seeking new advancements to efficiently produce consistent parts and eager to stay on the cutting edge of sheet metal fabrication, Classic was involved in Beta testing of the very first numerical control (NC) machines. These machines allowed for automation of the machine tools. These technical advances helped Classic Sheet Metal secure involvement with governmental projects culminating in NASA’s Apollo 11 spacecraft, resulting in quality procedures and advances in documentation before international standardizing ever existed. These procedures and advancements led Classic Sheet Metal to the development of an advanced Quality Management System (QMS). With the QMS in place, ensuring employee training and customer satisfaction, Classic Sheet Metal was awarded (and is still today) ISO 9001: 2008 certification. The certification proves that Classic has systems in place to offer traceability and accountability to the components that make up the products. The management and employees at Classic Sheet Metal assure customers the metal production processes, metal inspection procedures, and management adhere to a system in order to reach the goal of total customer satisfaction. Through the implementation of these quality procedures and the acquisition of decades of data, Classic became one of the pioneers in the application of Statistical Process Control (SPC). Other notable quality improvements Classic Sheet Metal implemented along the way are: Productions Parts Acceptance Program (PPAP), Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), RoHS Compliance, Just-In-Time delivery, and Six Sigma capabilities. Not only did these improvements help Classic as a business, but they built customer satisfaction into the quality system.

Another systematic customer satisfaction method was the Early Supplier Involvement (ESI) program. The purpose was to get the expertise of these suppliers involved during the development stages of new projects; thinking it would speed up the process of prototype development and eventually product release. ESI provided more benefits than originally expected. These benefits include access to samples showing various construction methods, which allowed for a more robust design. The other benefits of ESI are the years of manufacturing experience behind suppliers, knowledge of the process capabilities of the manufacturing techniques used, and the establishment of “process criticals” thereby calling for less inspection, in order to save time and money. Also, the fact that samples can be made before prints are finalized and soft tooling/laser cutting can be used for prototypes, costly and time consuming retooling charges can be avoided, which is essential to the nature of today’s business. Also, the transfer to a production run eases with the benefit of the acquired experience from the prototype run. ESI programs are a dying art in today’s economy, but Classic Sheet Metal is a strong supporter of ESI and continues to implement and promote it today. Even though ESI is not as prevalent as it was, Classic Sheet Metal is confident in their ability to produce a quality product and continue to achieve customer satisfaction.

With the appropriate factors to successfully serve the industry for so long, new opportunities surfaced for Classic Sheet Metal. For example, Classic has generated traction in new geographical locations and is excited to penetrate these markets in the future. No matter the outcome of the future though, Classic Sheet Metal will continue to rely on the factors that have proven successful over the past 50 years. Such as: maintaining the facility, staying on top of equipment innovations, employing hardworking/ reliable people, remaining focused on quality control improvements and keeping customer satisfaction a top priority. Staying true to these core success factors and understanding the changing industry will be vital to the future of Classic Sheet Metal. If the past is any precursor to the future, then “The House that Quality Built” is pointed in the right direction.

For more information, please contact Classic Sheet Metal, Inc.:
1065 Sesame Street, Franklin Park, Illinois 60131 • Phone: 866-918-0995 • Fax: 630-694-1990
Email: • Web:
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