Local company's satellite branch set to open in Ga.

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

A new Caterpillar plant in Athens, Ga., is being credited for helping one local company expand. 

Sanford-based Industrial Finishing Specialists, which now works with the local Caterpillar plant, is set to open its first satellite branch in Watkinsville, Ga., to service the new Georgia plant by stripping the paint and cleaning Caterpillar products.  

The year-old company moved to Sanford, in part, to conduct business with Caterpillar, said IFS Office Administrator Jennifer Winter. 

"We saw an opportunity in Sanford," she said. "And we wanted to do something similar down there. We work with the local Sanford Caterpillar branch and do the same job."

One IFS owner has worked with Caterpillar, while the other originally worked for the company, Winter said. The two saw an opportunity to open a new company and fill a need for the manufacturer, she said.

The Sanford IFS plant cleans the metal parts with a high-heat process to remove organic materials from metal, while air-blown sand strips off paint without using chemicals that are harmful to the environment, she said. 

Winter said the company aims to have the satellite branch open by mid-year.