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!
1946 – Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. opens for business.
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.
1950 – Becomes aluminum sheet & extrusion distributor.
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.
1954 – Tragedy – SAF plant destroyed by fire.
Workers enlisted to help rebuild. No jobs lost. Fully operational again in 6 weeks.
1956 – Fabrication Capabilities Added.
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).
1957 – 2nd generation Family involvement.
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.
1968 – Begins applying PVDF coatings.
In the back of a building housing the SAF aluminum anodizing line SAF begins applying PVDF coatings to customer aluminum, including PPG’s Duranar®.
1969 – 1st SAF Aluminum Extrusion & Sheet Catalog Published.
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.
1972 – Purchases out-of-state anodizing line.
Charlotte, NC plant receives numerous awards for waste treatment and environmentally friendly processing.
1978 – Inaugural Fluoropolymer Aluminum Paint Line.
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.
1990 – Pioneers computerized anodized finishing color matching.
SAF pioneers the application of portable color matching instruments for architectural anodizing, where color is critical. Opens doors to new commercial construction customers & projects.
1990 – Forms Perimeter Systems Div. with innovative commercial metal roof edge products, gutter & cornice systems.
Introduces metal commercial roof edge products: Designer Series Commercial Gutter Systems, Cornice Mouldings, and the first truly adjustable plastic coping, EP Coping.
1994 – Acquires Aluminum Coil Processing Plant.
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.
1995 – Inaugurates SAF.com website and On Line Customer Extrusions & Sheet Ordering.
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.
1996 – Governor declares Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. day.
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.
1998 – GA Dept of Natural Resources Awards SAF Pollution Prevention Award.
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.
2002 – Anodizing pioneer & SAF Founder Passes.
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.
2003 – Acquires a 78,000 sqft facility to house SAF Metal Fabrication & SAF Perimeter Systems Divisions.
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.
2003 – 1 Day out, 3 Day Out turnaround times offered for qualified anodizing, paint finishing services.
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.
2004 – Adds architectural column cover systems.
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.
2006 – New conveyor run paint line.
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.
2007 – Inaugurates SAF-West plant, Redding, CA.
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.
2007 – Introduces innovative architectural panel systems.
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.
2009 – SAF Fabrication adds BIM.
SAF CAD Design Dept. adds BIM objects to integrate architectural project specification details for panels and column covers.
2010 – US Glass Preferred Metal Supplier Award.
National poll of metal buyers by industry-leading trade publication leads to U S Glass bestowing SAF its Preferred Metal Supplier Award.
2011 – Adds anodized brushed aluminum finishing.
Offers directional sanding, also called ‘brushed’ aluminum finishing option. Proves popular for a host of architectural and engineered product applications.
2011 – SAF Perimeter Systems introduces unique, extruded Cornice Mouldings; Pediments, Entablatures & Columns; Arch & Radius building trim systems.
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.
2012 – Adds Panel System Extrusions, offers Panel Installation Training.
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.
2012 – 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.
2014 – SAF Perimeter Systems Gravel Stop & Coping meet Wind Design standards.
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.
2014 – US Glass Readers Choice Award.
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.
2015 – Succession planning completed.
Jim and Penn McClatchey adopt a co-CEO model to replace John McClatchey who retires as CEO.
2015 – Oregon branch opens.
SAF opens Salem, Oregon branch office to support NW business development. SAF employment nationwide reaches 300.
2015 – Introduces “QUIET” for acoustical dampening of panels, columns.
Acoustical grade thermoplastic application on SAF Column Covers and Panels can dampen acoustic and mechanical resonance noise up to 75% in buildings.
2015 – SAF Perimeter Systems Gutters meet new standards for durability.
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.
2016 – Cut-to-length line commissioned in California.
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.
2016 – SAF chosen 2016 Export Challenge Semi-Finalist.
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.
2016 – Introduces Insulated Spandrel Pans.
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.
2016 – SAF is 2015 Chamber Business of the Year.
SAF wins the Redding, CA Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business of the Year Award.
2017 – SAF Opens Indianapolis Branch.
SAF opens a fifth branch in Indianapolis distributing anodized sheet and extrusion and fabricating brake metal, column covers, and metal wall panel systems.
2019 – SAF Offers Pick-Up and Delivery Service.
SAF West offers Pickup and Delivery service for its customers in Sacramento and the Bay Area as well as the Greater Atlanta Area.
2020 – SAF Begins CNC Extrusion Fabrication.
SAF introduces 4-axis CNC extrusion fabrication capabilities increasing the ability to both fabricate and finish aluminum.
2020 – SAF Recognized as a Stand-Out Company To Work For.
SAF named a Stand-Out Company During the Pandemic by USGlass Magazine.
2021 – SAF Texas Opens
In July of 2021, SAF opened a new distribution and fabrication facility in Temple Texas to serve customers in the lower Midwest. By opening in Temple, SAF becomes better suited to serve the large Texas marketplace as well as the surrounding states with sheets and extrusion distribution as well as the state of the art fabrication capabilities SAF has become known for. The SAF Texas branch is supported by finishing lines in Georgia and California.