75th Anniversary 1946-2021

75 Year Anniversary of Metal Milestones

In 2021 SAF celebrates our 75th Anniversary, recounting our growth from a post WWII anodizing pioneer to a full service aluminum finisher, extrusion and sheet distributor & metal fabricator with a line of architectural panels, column covers and building perimeter systems. We look forward to serving you, and continuing to meet your evolving metal product and service requirements. And we always enjoy hearing from you!

SAF-75th-Anniversary-in- metals

1946 Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. opens for business 1946 – One of the first two anodizing lines to open in the US, Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. is founded by Marvin McClatchey to meet post WWII building boom in ATL and throughout the SE. A new process at the time, anodizing proves to be a tough, durable, attractive coating option for aluminum. SAF today offers all of the preferred anodizing applications, including: Mechanical, Chemical (cleaned, etched), Protective/Decorative, Architectural Class I, II Anodic Anodized Finish options for customer-supplied aluminum sheets, extrusions, parts.
1950s Becomes aluminum sheet & extrusion distributor 1950 – The Korean war created an aluminum shortage and SAF was invited to accumulate scrap aluminum for Alcoa in return for a valuable flat sheet allocation.  Customers include industrial glazing contractors with projects that include commercial building store fronts and curtain walls.
Tragedy – SAF plant destroyed by fire 1954 – Workers enlisted to help rebuild. No jobs lost. Fully operational again in 6 weeks.
Fabrication Capabilities Added 1956 – Cutting, shearing, brake metal fabrication services enable SAF to become a One-Stop-Shop for aluminum, fabricating & anodizing – the result from SAF purchase of an aluminum awning manufacturer with fading product demand (air conditioning).
2nd generation Family involvement 1957 – Marvin’s oldest son & first second generation family member employee, Reynolds McClatchey, begins work as Assistant Chemist in 1961, retires decades later as VP Engineering and Inventory. Over the next two decades John, James, Penn join the family business, employ their unique talents in chemical engineering, philosophy, business education and computer science to build the business to top C-level executive positions.
1960s Begins applying PVDF coatings 1968 – In the back of a building housing the SAF aluminum anodizing line SAF begins applying PVDF coatings to customer aluminum, including PPG’s Duranar®.
1st SAF Aluminum Extrusion & Sheet Catalog Published 1969 – SAF Catalog becomes an instant customer hit. Used as a go-to resource for customer information and easy ordering. The catalog is augmented in 1995 by a popular, free SAF Aluminum Extrusion & Sheet Poster for an even easier industry reference hung on a wall.
1970s Purchases  out-of-state anodizing line 1972 – Charlotte, NC plant receives numerous awards for waste treatment and environmentally friendly processing.
Inaugural Fluoropolymer Aluminum Paint Line 1978 – Commissions 20,000 sq ft, state of the art facility for PVDF coatings applications. Establishes SAF among the first architectural fabricators in the US with an in-house aluminum paint line.
1990s Pioneers computerized anodized finishing color matching  1990 – SAF pioneers the application of portable color matching instruments for architectural anodizing, where color is critical. Opens doors to new commercial construction customers & projects.
Forms Perimeter Systems Div. with innovative commercial metal roof edge products, gutter & cornice systems. 1990 – Introduces metal commercial roof edge products: Designer Series Commercial Gutter Systems, Cornice Mouldings, and the first truly adjustable plastic coping, EP Coping.
Acquires Aluminum Coil Processing Plant 1994 – Enables SAF to produce both toll coated and anodized aluminum coil products. Offers SAF sheet customers substantial cost-savings on quantity aluminum sheet purchases. SAF is one of 5 continuous coil anodizers in North America.
Inaugurates SAF.com website and On Line Customer Extrusions & Sheet Ordering  1995 – SAF is an early adopter of Internet technology for improving customer information and service. Online customer services continue to evolve to include online ordering and order tracking by the year 2000.
Governor declares Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. day 1996 – GA Governor Zell Miller declares Nov. 1, 1996 Southern Aluminum Finishing  Day at SAF Atlanta plant to honor SAF role in contributing to the commercial growth of Atlanta, Georgia and the region.
GA Dept of Natural Resources  Awards SAF Pollution Prevention Award 1998 – Awarded to SAF for its significant reductions in air emissions, waste water, hazardous & solid waste. Affirms SAF commitment to pollution prevention in a traditionally “dirty” industry.
2000s Anodizing pioneer & SAF Founder Passes 2002 – Chemical Engineer and anodizing innovator Marvin McClatchey (b. 1916 – d. 2002) and founder of SAF, one of only two anodizing lines in the country in 1946. Son, John McClatchey, continues as SAF CEO.
Acquires a 78,000 sqft facility to house SAF Metal Fabrication & SAF Perimeter Systems Divisions 2003 – 78,000 square foot facility houses state-of-the-art metal fabricating with CNC equipment, in addition to SAF Perimeter Systems commercial gutter, cornice, coping and related systems manufacturing.
 1 Day out, 3 Day Out turnaround times offered for qualified anodizing, paint finishing services. 2003 – A first in the industry, customers are quick to respond to SAF’s unique turnaround services. To cement customer loyalty and win market share, SAF inaugurates a series of Fast turnaround services from 1 day to 3 days, and includes select Fabricating, Painting, Anodizing services, in addition to aluminum sheet & extrusions from stock. Free shipping on all orders over 100 lbs also boosts sales and establishes SAF as a cost-saving and efficient resource. Positions SAF as a fast, reliable resource for aluminum and finishing. Pre-recession 2008 SAF reports record sales of $32MM.
 Adds architectural column cover systems 2004 – SAF engineered (fabricated metal) product line expands with introduction of custom Column Covers in square, elliptical, and conical shapes, and choice of extruded aluminum attachment options.
New conveyor run paint line 2006 – To boost aluminum finishing speed & quality SAF installs a 20,000+ square feet conveyor run paint line. Under one roof SAF can send newly made parts directly to the paint line, lowering costs, improving customer order turn-around time while eliminating packing costs & freight damage.
Inaugurates SAF-West plant, Redding, CA 2007 – Initially opens as a western US base for aluminum extrusion & sheet distribution center with limited fabrication. Expands to become a full mirror capability of SAF GA distribution, aluminum finishing, and fabrication facility by 2013.
Introduces innovative architectural panel systems 2007 – SAF offers engineered products for the commercial building market beginning with the SAF RainScreen panel system, an affordable, dry joint, rain-screen system for effectively handling exterior moisture. Panel choices include ACM (Aluminum Composite Material), Painted or Anodized Aluminum. SAF begins a program to add at least one new panel product per year to become a leading panel manufacturer, fuels a new era of SAF innovation. Select RainScreen panel products meet High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) requirements in 2015.
SAF Fabrication adds BIM 2009 – SAF CAD Design Dept. adds BIM objects to integrate architectural project specification details for panels and column covers.
2010s US Glass Preferred Metal Supplier Award 2010 – National poll of metal buyers by industry-leading trade publication leads to U S Glass bestowing SAF its Preferred Metal Supplier Award.
Adds anodized brushed aluminum finishing 2011 – Offers directional sanding, also called ‘brushed’ aluminum finishing option. Proves popular for a host of architectural and engineered product applications.
SAF Perimeter Systems introduces unique, extruded Cornice Mouldings; Pediments, Entablatures & Columns; Arch & Radius building trim systems 2011 – Designer Series extruded aluminum Cornice Mouldings provide decorative, precision joints, exceptionally crisp lines, and more refined detail than formed versions. Designer Series Pediment, Entablature and Column System is the first to feature mix-and-match extruded aluminum components in a variety of finishes. Designer Series products feature easy installation, unique concealed gussets & wall plates. In an industry first, in 2014 SAF Perimeter Systems adds custom extruded aluminum arches and radius corners to complete the SAF Perimeter Systems Designer line, eliminating a major obstacle for builders.
Adds Panel System Extrusions, offers Panel Installation Training 2012 – Offers a full line of extruded aluminum panel extrusions commonly used to hang, join and secure rain-screen panels for curtainwall applications. For use with SAF or other panel materials. Supports customers with contractor architectural panel fabrication and installation training classes.
Opens SAF-West anodizing line In December of 2012 SAF ships their first anodized aluminum out of the SAF West, Redding, CA anodizing line. Gives SAF West functional parity with the east providing the same robust fabrication, finishing & distribution capabilities, and coast-to-coast customer service advantages.
Succession planning completed 2012 – Jim and Penn McClatchey adopt a co-CEO model to replace John McClatchey who retires as CEO.
SAF Perimeter Systems Gravel Stop & Coping meet Wind Design standards. 2014 – SAF Press-Loc® Aluminum Gravel Stop & Coping system passes ANSI/SPRI ES-1 Wind Design standard test, ensures highest performance in commercial grade low-slope roof edge system.
US Glass Readers Choice Award 2014 – Award acknowledges fluorocarbon powder coatings from SAF paint line that features a zero-discharge pretreatment system. SAF’s AAMA 2605 Duranar® powder coatings have the same performance as liquid Kynar.
Oregon branch opens  2015 – SAF opens Salem, Oregon branch office to support NW business development. SAF employment nationwide reaches 300.
Introduces “QUIET” for acoustical dampening of panels, columns 2015 – Acoustical grade thermoplastic application on SAF Column Covers and Panels can dampen acoustic and mechanical resonance noise up to 75% in buildings.
SAF Perimeter Systems Gutters meet new standards for durability 2015 – SAF SMACNA Series Gutters become available with heavy gage aluminum, making them ideal for commercial, industrial & high end residential building projects. Select Designer & Industrial Series Gutter Systems tested to ANSI/SPRI GD-1 Standard for Low-Slope Roofs.
Cut-to-length line commissioned in California 2016 – SAF West commissions an aluminum cut-to-length (CTL) Aluminum Coil line that includes a state of the art Herr Voss 6-high corrective leveler for high tolerance applications.
SAF chosen 2016 Export Challenge Semi-Finalist  2016 – Receives Grant to Grow Exports from Atlanta Metro Export Plan for its pro-active international efforts to expand distribution of anodized aluminum sheet, aluminum extrusions, fabricated painted, and anodized aluminum cladding for the commercial construction industry.
Introduces Insulated Spandrel Pans  2016 – SAF Insulated Spandrel Pans for LEED Certified building cladding systems designed to be an energy saving component used in opaque glazing areas of the exterior envelope of the building.
SAF is  2015 Chamber Business of the Year  2016 – SAF wins the Redding, CA Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business of the Year Award.
SAF Opens Indianapolis Branch 2017 – SAF opens a fifth branch in Indianapolis distributing anodized sheet and extrusion and fabricating brake metal, column covers, and metal wall panel systems.
SAF Offers Pick-Up and Delivery Service 2019 – SAF West offers Pickup and Delivery service for its customers in Sacramento and the Bay Area as well as the Greater Atlanta Area.
SAF Begins CNC Extrusion Fabrication 2020 – SAF introduces 4-axis CNC extrusion fabrication capabilities increasing the ability to both fabricate and finish aluminum.
SAF Recognized as a Stand-Out Company To Work For 2020 – SAF named a Stand-Out Company During the Pandemic by USGlass Magazine.