Announcing the New National Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center Just Launched

March 28, 2017 – The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF), and the AESF Foundation announce the launch of the Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center (STERC), previously known as the National Metal Finishing Resource Center (NMFRC).  STERC is the result of a new partnership among these organizations and continued grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and provides a wealth of useful environmental compliance information to the surface finishing and surface treatment industry.  The new site can be accessed at

STERC is an outgrowth of the popular NMFRC established over 20 years ago, by NCMS under a program jointly funded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NMFRC was the first of 18 industry-specific Compliance Assistance Centers providing environmental regulatory content and tools to assist industry to meet their compliance requirements at both the State and Federal level.

STERC, like its predecessor NMFRC, is a valuable one-stop resource for the latest compliance information and best practices for reducing pollution for the surface finishing industry.  NASF and the AESF Foundation have pledged to support STERC to ensure its sustainability for the benefit of the public and the surface finishing industry.  STERC will continue to include easy-to-follow regulatory overviews, tips on how to comply, best practice solutions that can help the environment while saving companies money, and links to other useful resources.

STERC also offers a fresh new look with new menu options that include an expanded technical library, combined training and education products from NCMS and the AESF Foundation, an enhanced “Ask the Experts” section (coming soon), highlights of pending new rules and compliance deadlines, and links to upcoming NASF and AESF Foundation events and educational offerings among other planned features. The STERC Library is now home to thousands of searchable technical articles and papers from Plating and Surface Finishing (P&SF) magazine, SUR/FIN conference papers, as well as articles and papers from many other sources. Under the new partnership, the content of the library is free to NASF members and available for a nominal fee to non-members.

NCMS President and CEO, Mr. Rick Jarman commented that “having industry partnerships like this with NASF to develop STERC is a perfect example of how NCMS collaborative partnerships foster environmentally sustainable manufacturing in North America, which is our mission in life.”  Mr. Christian Richter, NASF Executive Vice President summarized the launch of the new STERC as “a most important step for our members to have a very complete resource and guide to the latest compliance information and best practices for reducing pollution.  STERC more than meets that need.”

This STERC website was developed and is maintained by NCMS and NASF through funding provided by EPA under the National Compliance Assistance Centers program, the AESF Foundation, and NASF.

About NCMS

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the largest cross industry collaborative research & development consortium in North America, is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, robotics and environmentally sustainable manufacturing. Celebrating its 31th anniversary, NCMS’ vast experience in the formation and management of complex, multi-partner collaborative programs, is backed by corporate members representing virtually every manufacturing sector.


The National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF)  is a non-profit organization that represents the business, management, technical and educational programs as well as the regulatory and legislative advocacy interests of the surface finishing industry to promote the advancement of the North American surface finishing industry globally.  The surface finishing industry plays a vital role in the lives of consumers and in the nation’s economic future.  Surface finishing ensures that the products people use every day last longer, work better, and look better.

The AESF Foundation is the educational arm of the NASF.  Through its three core areas of education, research and scholarship, the AESF Foundation supports, promotes, and advances the technical and scientific needs of the surface finishing industry.