Star Metal Fluids LLC was established in 1992 and is a full service supplier of industrial metalworking lubricants, compounds and cleaners serving Arizona, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Northern Texas, Southern California, Nevada, and Northern Mexico. From the beginning, Star Metal Fluids LLC has been dedicated to providing the metalworking industry with superior products to meet the demanding challenges and constant changes of today's technology. Star Metal Fluids LLC is strongly committed to customer service, timely delivery and technical expertise. Our strong customer relationships, combined with fresh ideas, have been the key to the company's growth and success.
Russ Kurzawski, founder and owner of Star Metal Fluids, is not a degreed chemist. You wouldn’t know it though. Russ learned about metalworking fluids, compounds and cleaners through extensive reading, on-the-job learning, and vendor sponsored in-depth training. Russ learned metalworking fluids and chemicals so well that he is a guest lecturer for a masters class at Arizona State University, and he has taught classes at the Phoenix Regional vocational school and Gateway Community College, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Russ learned the application of metalworking fluids and abrasives during his years working for Garrett Industrial Supply, a division of Garrett/Allied Signal. He progressed quickly from the warehouse into sales, and then into sales management positions in his tenure from 1979 to 1992. Over time, though, the company’s philosophy and Russ’ way of doing business diverged. Russ said, “I was losing touch with my customers, and everything I had learned over the years. I wanted to be the author of my own destiny”.
And so Star Metal Fluids was born. Russ founded Star Metal Fluids LLC in 1992 and today the company is a full service supplier of industrial metalworking fluids, lubricants, compounds and cleaners serving the Aerospace, Military, Commercial, Medical, Automotive, Semi-Conductor and Private sectors. Star Metal Fluids serves customers in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Mexico (with many staff members bilingual in English and Spanish). Military, DoD and Aerospace Specifications Star Metal Fluids is heavily focused on the Aerospace industry. For this reason, they carry products that have gone through the Military and Aerospace Approval Specifications. “Our manufacturers pay thousands of dollars to get these approvals, and it is essential that the lines we carry meet those approvals”, Russ said. The Best Products Star Metals attributes some of its success to the extensive product research they do to take on the best products available in the marketplace. “We continue to be approached by manufacturers on a weekly basis asking us to carry their product lines. We only select the very best”, Russ said. “Our front runner”, Russ elaborated, is the QualiChem line of metalworking fluids. We added the QualiChem line a couple of years ago and we’ve had great success with it. QualiChem is, without doubt, number one in the industry. Their technology is superior, and their superior chemists continue to innovate. QualiChem products fin acceptance easily into the industry, offering improved part size, tolerance and finish while increasing tool life. With these benefits many second operations can be eliminated and cycle times reduced, which increases productivity for our customers. Star Metal Fluids also offers the Watts reverse osmosis water system. Reverse osmosis separation technology is used to remove dissolved impurities from water through the use of a semi-permeable membrane. It involves the reversal of flow through a membrane from a high salinity, or concentrated solution to the high purity, or “permeate”, stream on the opposite side of the membrane. Pressure is used as the driving force for the separation. Russ says, “Water is such an integral component to many of the fluids we sell; anytime you can use pure water to mix any water soluble products, you maintain product integrity”. Customers who install a reverse osmosis water system typically see a 20-25% reduction in their water-miscible metalworking fluid costs. While this impacts Star Metal Fluids core business (metalworking fluids), it’s all about doing the right thing for their customers. One customer says that he reduced his metalworking fluid budget by 50% with the reverse osmosis water treatment system. Just weeks ago, they added the Petroferm line of cleaning products to their portfolio of offerings. Star Metal Fluids is the first and only distributor for this product in the United States, as previously the company sold direct. The Petroferm cleaning technologies and surface treatments were all developed to meet the performance, compatibility and environment requirements for aerospace, defense, precision metal manufacturing and medical industries. Star Metal Fluid employees recently completed a week long training session on these products. Focused Russ says, “We are not a rope, soap and dope company. We don’t carry everything, rather we are specialized in industrial metalworking fluids, compounds, lubricants and cleaners. We know these products, and we know the industries we serve intimately. Employees at Star Metal Fluids spend a significant amount of time in training, learning their products so that they are experts. This expertise is available to customers to help them solve problems and increase productivity”. Investment in Growth Star Metal Fluids is impacted by the economic downturn, just as all of us are. But they are not allowing this to prevent them from continuing to innovate. Russ says, “I learned this from my boss at Garrett Industrial Supply, Frank Jordan. He instilled in me that you need to continually invest in your business, even in a downturn”. Just this past year, they completed a re-vamp of their website to offer customers all over the United States the ability to order products from Star Metal Fluids online. They are in the process of installing an improved business support system to even better their customer service.
With increased business in Utah they now have a distribution center in North Salt Lake to service their customers. Russ Kurzawski runs Star Metal Fluids aggressively, with a strategy of continuous improvement. Why? Maybe because he is a cancer survivor, or maybe because he wants to continue to build a business that can be carried down in the family (today son Aaron is sales manager for the business, pictured on the previous page with Russ). Or maybe it’s just because Russ is dedicated to serving his customers to the best of his ability. For whatever reason, it is working. To find out more about Star Metal Fluids, go to www.metalfluids.com or call them on their toll-free number 800-367-9966.
A2Z METALWORKER • 39 • July/Aug 2009