Product and Company Evolution

A Winning Finish Since 1965REM 55th logo

REM Surface Engineering is the pioneer and undisputed leader in the field of surface engineering.  While other companies use abrasive machining to lap, grind, and hone individual parts, REM’s revolutionary Isotropic Superfinish Process (ISF®) employs non-abrasive automated mass finishing, which results in more efficient, uniform parts that outperform the competition.  The road to this superior finish began decades ago with a metal industry expert responding to a marketplace need.

Robert Michaud REM Surface Engineering

In the 1960s, the metals industry was thriving in the Northeastern U.S.  There was a large demand for high-quality specialty cleaning and plating products in the silverware industry.  Bob and Florence Michaud founded REM Chemicals in 1965 to help meet that need. The Michauds rented a 2,000 square foot building in Southington, CT, and established a specialty business developing and selling metal finishing cleaners. They provided cleaner products to an initial customer base that included cutlery, plumbing hardware, aircraft engine, and hand tool businesses. REM later built a 5,000 sq. ft. facility in 1977, to serve all of New England with decorative finishing products.

By the early 1980s, the metal cleaning industry had largely moved away from the Northeastern United States.  REM reacted accordingly.  It expanded its business focus to include products and services to the vibratory finishing industry, first throughout the USA and in 1987, in Europe. Along the way, REM changed its name to REM Surface Engineering to better reflect its purpose. After putting their expertise to use developing several new finishing methods, REM patented the “chemical accelerated vibratory finishing” (CAVF) process, also known as the REM® Process, in 1985.  Industry demand for the REM Process led to sales expansion across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Europe in the 1980s with clients in Asia and Australia added by the early 1990s. In 2002, REM officially trademarked the ISF® Process.

REM Connecticut

One challenge that developed out of REM’s rapid growth was managing the demands that came with escalating popularity among large, high profile clients in the aerospace and automotive industries. REM worked diligently to supply and service a list of veritable industry giants, and subsequently gained credibility and trust in these and many other markets where results and performance count.  In the mid-2000s, REM Surface Engineering developed the Rapid® ISF Process to provide the just-in-time automotive market with a superior superfinishing solution.   More recently, REM developed the Extreme ISF® Process to address the surface finishing needs of the additive and 3D printed component materials markets.

REM Surface Engineering Facility Growth and Development

As REM’s reputation grew, so did the company’s need for more production space. In 1987, the REM Europe facility was established and by 2005 had tripled in size; with engineering staff recently added to Italy and the Netherlands.  The original Connecticut facility was expanded in 1991 and again in 2008.  In addition, in 1994, REM opened an additional facility in Brenham, Texas, and expanded the facility in 2017. In 2018, REM opened its third US facility servicing the Midwest region in Merriville, IN. In 2023, REM opened its fifth facility servicing the European region in Krefeld, Germany. All five REM facilities produce the highest quality surface finishing results in their operating space.

Working in that space are employees with an impressive, combined record of accomplishment in the field of engineered finishes.  REM Surface Engineering employees come from a broad base of industries and backgrounds.  Above all else, REM employees focus on providing superior results in surface finishing.