Cowboys – ‘critical’ challenges for coating industry
The Australasian Institute of Surface Finishing (AISF) says the powder coating industry is facing critical challenges of quality caused by poor process control, and a lack of industry knowledge.
“By taking shortcuts in the pre-treatment processes, these ‘cowboys’ are creating doubts about the capabilities of powder coating as a viable protective coating,” says the institute.
“Most failures often result in expensive litigious outcomes and a reliance on warranties that may not necessarily cover the full cost of rectification.”
The organization says that many high quality applicators in Australia have been inadvertently impacted by the powder coating industry’s existing self-regulatory approach.
“Good operators complain that their reputation is also tarnished by the poor performers, whose work in the field displays a deterioration of workmanship, quality and performance that can be directly attributed to a lack of consistent and monitored compliance measures,” it claims.
AISF’s Federal president Peter Mallios says there are more than 1000 powder coaters in Australia with only a few having pretreatment systems suitable for aluminium. Most of the powder coaters, he says, simply coat over all types of metal without any real knowledge of the correct processes, “ruining the reputation of the industry”.
He says: “While powder coating is commonly perceived as an easy task, any professional coater would know that it takes a lot more than just pulling a trigger on a spray gun to produce good quality finished parts consistently and efficiently, which also meet performance criteria and exposure class specifications.”