We chat with Kettle Moraine Coatings's former owner John Heyer from Jackson, Wisconsin, who spent more than 50 years in the powder coating industry.

"It's a career I look back on with very fond memories," says Heyer, who is now retired from Kettle Moraine Coatings. "My business in the finishing industry is what provided the income for our family and put food on the table for over 40 years. Beyond that, it has been a great experience getting to know and interact with all the wonderful people in our industry."

John Heer owned Kettle Moraine Coatings for several decades, and is now in the Powder Coating Institute's Hall of Fame. Heyer began in the powder coating industry when it was basically still in its infancy in 1972. To say the least, the equipment and processes back then were nothing like the technology that is present today.

The equipment required color changes to take at least an hour, he says, and the minimum order for a special color for most powder companies was 2,500 pounds. Heyer says most powder companies had color charts and stocked those materials, but beyond that, you needed to be able to order the minimum if you wanted a different color.

"There was no such thing as metallics or other special effects," he says. "The first major inroad into special effects was hammertones. These were dry-blended products where the exact effect depended on the guns you used and varied all over the map if reclaim was introduced."

Read more about John in an intervirew we did with him for the Legends series: http://finishingandcoating.com/index.php/powder-coat/1144-legends-john-heyer-kettle-moraine-coatings-ret