Anoplate Celebrates Its Diamond Anniversary

Anoplate and it’s 216 employees recently celebrated 6 decades of customer service, quality excellence, expanding process offerings and continuous growth.

In 1960 Milt Stevenson, Sr. purchased a small two-man shop called Noxon Plating Works and founded Anoplate. Milt used to joke that customers would refer to him as “Coffee Can Plating Works” as small jobs would be delivered to him in cans or they’d be processed in cans.  Early customers included Nixon Gear, Allen Tool and Haloid (the forerunner of what became Xerox).

By the 1970’s the fledging company was gaining momentum with expanded trucking service to nearby Rochester, as well as the addition of hardcoat anodize and black chromium plating. Black chrome plating led to some early notoriety as sun glint shields for the Sidewinder missile were done for Ford Aeroneutronics of Newport Beach, California, and RayBan sunglasses for Bausch & Lomb in Rochester.

Increasing demands for military specification plating, particularly from local radar/sonar manufacturer GE, led to the firm’s first quality manual in 1976. With a formalized quality system in place, the 80’s brought increased business from IBM and an introduction to aerospace processing highlighted by Schweizer Aircraft purchasing the Model 300 Hughes Helicopter line. Also, during the 80’s Anoplate licensed a process for co-depositing PTFE with e (Niflor) from England and added vacuum impregnation services to help seal the porosity of castings. 

The 90’s saw continued growth with steady work from IBM and a twice weekly run to the Hudson Valley and eastern Massachusetts in support of Big Blue. This decade also saw Anoplate develop and launch AnoBlack EC, an inorganic fade-resistant black anodize for space hardware. Anoblack EC would go on to be used by NASA on the Mars Rover. With continued growth came the need for greater space so in 1998 Anoplate purchased 40,000 additional square feet across the street at 400 Pulaski St.

The turn of the century marked 40 years of business for the firm but there was still a lot to accomplish. In December of 2000 Anoplate became both ISO 9001 and 14001 registered, marking formalized and encultured quality and environmental management systems. Similarly, in 2004 Anoplate became Nadcap accredited for chemical processing as well as for aerospace quality. Turning to environmental sustainability we began to offer hexavalent-free chemical film for aluminum and boric-sulfuric anodize as an alternative to chromic anodize.

Over the last decade, we’ve added zinc-nickel processing as an alternative to cadmium, becoming only the second job shop plater in the US approved by Boeing for this process! And, in 2018 we made our biggest investment to date with a multi-million-dollar upgrade in our anodizing technology at our building 400 facility.

It’s been an incredible run over the last six decades, and we’re not done yet!



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