Most people that buy a can of paint at a home improvement store lack an appreciation and understanding of what is actually involved in not just the ongoing manufacture of the paint, but the initial development of it as well. Paint companies large and small invest significant time and capital into creating great products for a wide variety of uses. Companies like BYK invest similar amounts of time and resources into making products that help everyone from manufacturers to paint professionals reach their professional goals. So how can you, the modern paint professional, take advantage of these developments?
Many professionals don’t think much of airbrushing when it comes to industrial painting. Sure, some professional painters use sprayers to apply paint quickly to large areas, but most impressions of air brushing revolve around delicate and detailed artwork. Airbrushing is utilized to paint art pieces on motorcycle gas tanks and at tanning salons, and is typically perceived to be as much art as science. In fact, the word “airbrushing” has become synonymous in many cases with digitally retouched photographs, where software and not an actual airbrush is responsible for making a person’s skin appear smoother or teeth appear whiter. But the robotics integrated with some new airbrushing machines are beginning to blur the line between what is reliant on human skill and what can be replicated by a machine.
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how to prepare for an upcoming paint job. From making sure the color is correct to calculating the right quantity of paint needed, there are a number of important steps to perform before starting a paint job. One thing we have not yet covered is the importance of making sure environmental conditions are optimal for proceeding with your work. And though it might seem obvious that excess humidity might keep a paint from curing while an excessively dry environment might lead to paint cracking after drying too quickly, there are a staggering number of painters that don’t objectively measure all conditions and properly prepare all aspects of the upcoming job.
Jerry was anxious to get the job finished. He had spent three days on a project that was originally supposed to only take two. Now he ran the risk of running late for the next client and creating scheduling conflicts that would last well into the next week. Despite trying to stretch the last gallon of paint to finish the last wall, he had come up short and was going to need another gallon of paint. Jerry raced to the industrial paint supply store across town and placed his order. Already stressed over the predicament and anxious to get back to the job site and finish, Jerry asked the man behind the counter to please hurry with the paint.
“I’m sorry, Jerry,” he replied, “I’m doing the best I can but I can’t rush this process. I have to do it right.”
Did you know that water doesn’t conduct electricity? Really, pure water does not conduct electricity. Rather, the elements and imperfections within the water (such as salt content) break up into positively and negatively charged ions that work to form the closed circuit necessary for conductivity. Paint is the same: in and of itself, it is not conductive.
Furthermore, did you know that color is a the result of what part of the spectrum is reflected off of a surface? So a red car isn’t the color red at all – it’s every color EXCEPT red, since that’s the color that reflects off of it. In this installment of the Chemistry Corner we will be examining some new advancements in color changing paint that rely on electrical conductivity and viewing angle, the applications of these types of paints, and the products available for professional painters to test, measure, and evaluate them.
You’ve opened a bank account and chosen a name for your painting company. You have the materials and instruments needed to do a great job. Now, all you need is customers. Uh oh…maybe you should have thought of that first?
The most important part of any business is actually having customers. That seems obvious, but a startling number of people who start companies worry over relatively unimportant details (the color of their logo, whether to use Quickbooks or Peachtree for bookkeeping, etc.) while ignoring the most important aspect of future success: Having customers in the first place.
Can a robot paint a car? Absolutely.
Can a robot replicate painting a masterpiece? You bet.
Would you trust a robot to give you a manicure on your wedding day?
You had to stop and think about it, didn’t you? Despite knowing that robots are masters of precision and capable of levels of detail that evade even the most delicate human touch, it is hard to imagine trusting a robot to perform a task like painting a person’s nails.
Last week, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board announced that it had concluded a fatal explosion at an Illinois manufacturing facility in 2009 was ultimately caused by unnoticed cracking due to corrosion at the facility. A high temperature tank exploded, killing one nearby technician. An employee standing over 200 yards away was struck by a flying piece of steel and severely injured as well. An investigation after the accident found that the tank had been slowly cracking over time due to improper protection inside the vessel. The company that owned the plant thought the material inside the tank would create a protective layer and did not perform inspections to confirm that no corrosion was taking place.
One of the challenges for small and midsize paint companies is the perception that others have of your business in the marketplace. It’s a catch 22 in many service businesses: you want your company to appear small enough to provide excellent service and care to the client, but large enough to handle any job request that is made.
The benefits of appearing larger than you are can be great. Having a company that is perceived as “large” offers credibility and validity that is hard to establish if the entire company is just you and a friend. The perception that one or two people are handling all the tasks from the painting to the bookkeeping and everything in between can give the customer the impression that there is too much potential for something to go wrong in the job. They might be asking, “How can one or two people handle all of this?”
When most people think of choosing a paint, the first thing that comes to mind is choosing the color. Should the bedroom be beige or ivory? Should the trim be green or burgundy? Once the color is selected, the next order of business is deciding how much is needed (a quart, a gallon, etc.) and what gloss is appropriate. Flat, eggshell, satin… Most anyone who has ever painted a room has had the exact same conversation with the attendant at the paint counter about the differences between glosses.