Another good turn out for the associations first meeting of 2019 with a good cross section of powder manufacturers, pretreatment systems suppliers, architectural powder coaters and aluminium systems companies own powder coating plants present at their meeting.
Membership remains strong with proposed new coating plants being installed in the UK and Ireland to meet the QUALICOAT Standard and early requests for licence applications, several of which plan to be licensed in early 2020. On the specification front, coating members now regularly see the QUALICOAT Standard quoted on many architectural projects. Ensuring that the latest technology and methodologies are adopted by QUALICOAT members, a new, 16th Edition of the Associations standard will be released in Autumn this year.
An update on health and safety and the compounds used in finishing explained that REACH are set to limit the use of Cobalt and Titanium Dioxide. This should have limited effect on powder manufacture as formulations have been changing due to the change in classification of these compounds over the last few years. The chrome pre-treatment process has seen a temporary stay of execution and as no future date has been set for a ban in architectural coatings, it is expected that a further four year consultation period will be set. The majority of powder coaters in the UK already use chrome free technology and across the globe 70% of all QUALICOAT licence plants are chrome free.
QUALICOAT UK & Ireland’s independent inspection body, IFO, have undertaken most of the first unannounced licence Plant visits for 2019, initial feedback suggests that all will be in compliance with the current QUALICOAT standard. The unannounced visits by IFO rely heavily on the work completed in the coaters laboratory, which constantly monitors production. The mandatory Lab Technician training course was confirmed to take place in October this year located at AluK in Chepstow.
BS EN 12206 is currently under review from its 2004 heritage, QUALICOAT members are present on the working group and it will be likely that the standard will be updated to reflect some of the current methodologies in the QUALICOAT Standard.
Copies of the current fifteenth edition of the QUALICOAT Standard, complete with amendments and updates, is freely available through the UK Association website, www.qualicoatuki.org together with an up-to-date list of Powder Suppliers, Pretreatment Suppliers and Applicators.