Coatings manufacturers that use a number of production facilities often need to meet contract specifications with products made at more than one facility. In situations where brands are made under license, details of manufacture or the quality of raw materials are not always ensured. The results can be “catastrophic for the customer and give the coatings industry a bad name,” said Jim Kavanagh, marketing manager for International Paint, the protective coatings group of Akzo Nobel.
IPC’s answer is independent random infra-red “fingerprinting” of its global product range. “It’s common knowledge in the coatings industry that it’s possible to mislead the client as to the content of a paint formulation, thereby appearing more competitive,” said Mr. Kavanagh. “But it isn’t always just a backdoor way of improving profitability. For many companies, the globalization of the coatings business has inadvertently caused problems of consistency and supply of goods, particularly in the more remote geographical areas.”
IPC has been using this system for more than two years. “All specifiers need do is to write into the specification the requirement that suppliers of coatings will be subjected to random, independent infra-red testing,” Mr. Kavanagh said. “We actively encourage our customers to request this. We are the first, and the only, coatings business to offer this guarantee, right around the world.”