STRONG FINISH: Incorporated in 1991 in Providence, DiFruscia Industries was initially a part-time venture before growing into its current state. Above, company president President Frank A. DeFruscio, left, works with Line Supervisor Milton Paz.
The Great Recession cut business in half at DiFruscia Industries Inc. – a blow from which it was difficult – but not impossible – to recover.
President Frank A. DeFruscio used three strategies to counteract that economic impact – strategies used to this day at the industrial plant in Johnston where powder-coated and anodized metal finishes and electro-plating are applied to everything from medical tools to lighting fixtures.
Two of those strategies are diversification and acquisition of the assets of competitors when they fold – common enough approaches in today’s competitive business climate. The third, however, helped DeFruscio hire two key managers and keep them, while building his market across New England.
The president features an employment application on the company website “so people in this industry have an opportunity to reach out to me,” he said. “I might reach out to them, even, without a position available, [because] it’s very difficult to find experienced people in this business.”
Finding experienced employees via the website, particularly when DeFruscio was not actually looking, has helped the company stabilize and grow, said DeFruscio. In addition, it has purchased equipment and assets at auction from as many as 20 different companies over the years, “and that’s how we’ve built the company,” he said.
Incorporated in 1991 in Providence, DiFruscia Industries was initially a part-time venture DeFruscio started while managing Quaker Precision Coatings Inc. in Johnston. Quaker Precision Coatings went out of business in 2003, but by 2001, DeFruscio had added powder coating to the metal finishing he was doing on various products at DiFruscia Industries, he said.
The firm became a full-fledged company operating in Johnston by 2001.
Metal or powder finishing are undertaken to prevent corrosion of metallic products, while electroplating promotes connections while preventing corrosion for electronics, he said.
Powder coating is a dry, organic form of coating that is environmentally friendly, and is used on such products as surface buoys and underwater supporting hardware.
Anodized coatings are used to treat aluminum and can be built to certain thicknesses to produce nonconductive insulation properties. After-market auto parts are an example of the type of product that could be made using anodized coatings to withstand abrasions.