(Submitted by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)
Schmelzer Industries, Inc. in Somerset, Ohio, was founded in 1984 to manufacture quality fiberglass surfacing veils and light-weight reinforcement mats in the composites industry and began shipping products in 1986. Schmelzer Industries is a family-owned business. Tim Schmelzer said, “My Dad was the first-generation owner and operator. He is retired now, but mom still provides assistance. My siblings and I are involved with various family businesses, and I have taken the lead at Schmelzer Industries, and my sister, Monica, is our site manager.”
Schmelzer Industries serves customers across the country and around the world; proudly continuing their tradition of quality products and excellent service. The company supplies products for composite processes—a surfacing veil or light-weight fiberglass reinforcement used in plastic resin mold parts used to retain surfaces.
• Continuous Lamination
• Electrical Flat Sheet
• Filament Winding
• Fiberglass Reinforced Gypsum
• Compressed Molding
• Resin Transfer / Vacuum Infusion
Some product use include surfacing for: boats, helmets, lunch trays, pultrusion for windows, cars, airplanes, costume shields and masks, and anything that needs a light, strong surface material.
Tim shares, “Dad kept the business very small, very specialized. In this second generation, we are working on taking our product a little more global. We have done some business around the globe, but we recognize the worldwide industry is growing, and we need to grow with it. We began our effort by seeking input from the International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC) to expand our global reach. We spoke to Melissa Carter and Tom Bainbridge from ITAC to assist us in expanding our market in Germany and Brazil. ITAC shared names of industry contacts as well as an assessment of each country’s culture.”
Tim continues, “ITAC went through the Ohio State European Office in London to get contacts in Germany for potential industry clientele. They found a list of distributors for our product. We have whittled the list down to three and are actively working with one of the three. We received the contact report in March, and we are working on building a business relationship. We are talking about price lists, supply, packaging and shipping, but it all takes time. The contact in Germany is also willing to work on marketing in the Czech Republic and Denmark.”
“The second proposed expansion location was Brazil. We have the report from Brazil and have selected two distributors of which to pursue a relationship. We have also connected with the other two potential distributors as well. One helpful piece of information was the information provided by ITAC regarding Brazil’s composites market value.” Tim said, “It gave us some idea of the GDP of the country. We understand the U.S. market because we live here, but when we go to Brazil, we are at a disadvantage.”
Tim describes, “Another part of the Schmelzer Industries plan is to get into different product lines. Only a few companies throughout the world do veil surfacing composite work. Composites are challenging because we are trying to fit other’s products, but we have the expertise to manage that challenge. Our composite can make other products better, and we are marketing it as a solution to companies that may not even now be aware of the benefit.”
To find out more about their products, go to Schmelzer Industries.