BryCoat Company History

BryCoat was started by Robert A. Smith and his son Michael D. Smith as a research project in 1989, in Safety Harbor, Florida.

At the time, the two men were working at Brysen Optical Corporation in Safety Harbor, Florida. Brysen was founded by R. Smith’s father-in-law, and M. Smith’s grandfather, William P. Strickland in 1971 along with his son, William B. Strickland.

Brysen manufactured high-technology optics and optical coatings. The Smith’s developed the BryCoat process for Titanium Nitride coating. BryCoat then was spun off from the Optical Corp. and incorporated in March of 1990.

Mr. Strickland had been involved in vacuum coating technology since the 1930’s. At the time that he began, there were only two groups working on vacuum deposition of optical coatings, Dr. Monks Group in Chicago and Dr. Strong’s group in California. Mr. Strickland worked with Dr. Monk at the University of Chicago. He then joined the Simpson Optical Company in Chicago, working on the development of the Norden Bomb Site. He opened the Simpson facility in Santa Barbara, CA, which later changed names to Infrared Industries Inc. There, he worked on development of programs such as the Redeye Missile. Later, Mr.Strickland worked for Textron Corporation before founding Brysen Coating Laboratories, later Brysen Optical Corp.

Robert Smith is an Industrial Engineering graduate of the University of Illinois. He spent 25 years in the Aluminum Industry working for Ekco Products, ultimately as Vice President. In the 1980’s, he left Ekco to manage Brysen. He co-founded BryCoat and remains CEO today. He brings years of successful professional management experience.

Michael Smith started as an Optical Engineer with degrees from the University of Rochester and the University of Arizona. After working for the DuPont Company, Hughes Aircraft Company and Bell & Howell Company, he joined Brysen. He co-founded BryCoat after developing the PVD coating technology that is used by the company.

As BryCoat grew, we continued to grow a team of dedicated professional employees. Our management and engineering team has extensive experience working in both large and small businesses. We have worked hard to build a talented and effective team with a customer first attitude.

BryCoat soon outgrew the corner of the Brysen facility that it occupied on Main Street in Safety Harbor. By 1993, the company moved a few blocks to 4th Street North. BryCoat initially occupied a third of that building, then two thirds of the building and, by 1999, all of the building on 4th Street. Expansion of that facility was impossible. In 2003, it was decided to move to a larger, more modern facility. The company spent 18 months transferring operations to the new facility on Vollmer Avenue in Oldsmar, Florida, just a few miles away.

BryCoat’s modern facility in Oldsmar is more than double the size of the previous Safety Harbor location, and offers high bay production areas ideal for the specialized equipment that the company operates. The facility accommodates all of BryCoat’s operations and has room to grow for future needs.

In 2003, several customers approached BryCoat with a request to operate a coating facility and technology that was developed by CSEM, Switzerland to coat precision bearing balls uniformly with CVD-applied TiC Coatings. BryCoat made arrangements to purchase the technology and equipment and moved the facility from Neuchâtel, Switzerland to Oldsmar, Florida.

Shortly after acquiring the TiC-coated bearing ball business, BryCoat had an opportunity to expand the coating services that it offers to it’s customer base by adding Thermal Spray Coatings capabilities. BryCoat hired experienced Thermal Spray experts, acquired equipment and developed technology. In 2005, BryCoat began Thermal Spray operations in Oldsmar.

Today, BryCoat offers a number of PVD coatings, featuring TiN, WS2 Dry Film Lubricant coatings, Thermal Spray Coatings and CVD TiC-Coated Bearing Balls. We serve customers across North America and throughout the World. We are approved by many major OEM customers. And we have recognized quality systems in place.

Please give us a call. We are large enough to handle your needs, yet still small enough to provide superior service.