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National Coil Coating Association

Switching to “Prepainted Metals” Saves Time and Money While Increasing Productivity

(Cleveland, OH) As a manufacturer, have you exhausted your search for supply chain savings? From point of origin to point of consumption, many supply chain managers feel they’ve tightened down every possible variable and process. However, there is one area that SCMs often overlook—converting their operation from post-painted parts to prepaint. According to the National Coil Coating Association (NCCA), the increased productivity, product benefits and overall cost savings of prepainted metals are significant. 


Continuing to post-paint products in-house just isn’t economical. When you post-paint, you have to purchase, properly store and inventory paint. This often results in excess or wasted paint materials. Plus, because of stringent EPA regulations, storing paints can be a huge hassle. When manufacturers outsource their painting operations, they also outsource the pain and misery of environmental compliance issues. 

The EPA isn’t only concerned with the safe storage of paint materials. Everything associated with their clean up, fumes and waste removal is closely monitored. Do this improperly and you can be subject to fines. Plus the manpower being used here means less time on the actual production line. And there’s another major cost to consider—insurance. Housing potentially hazardous materials such as paint increases your insurance premiums. 


It’s not just the EPA getting into the act. OSHA also has a litany of rules designed to protect workers from being exposed to potentially hazardous materials including paint. It’s easy to understand why nearly a third of all manufacturing maintenance budgets and capital expenditures today go to environmental compliance. Removing wastes, emissions and fumes also adds to your monthly energy bill. 


In-house painting is also the source of major manufacturing bottlenecks. Waiting for painted parts to be cleaned, painted and cured creates huge log jams. Paint systems have to regularly be cleaned, maintained and changed out. This equals manufacturing down time. These delays keep raw materials in the warehouse, run up labor costs and keep finished products from being delivered on time. 


Perhaps the most important benefit of switching to prepainted metal is the impressive number of new innovative coatings now available. In addition to flawless top coats, specialized coatings including antimicrobial, non-skid, fingerprint-resistant, reflective, anti-graffiti and anti-static (to name just a few) are now available. 


If you’ve been wondering if it’s really worth the effort to convert your operation from post-painted parts to prepaint, the benefits to manufacturers are clear. Prepainted metal saves cost, time and hassles. As a SCM, it’s something you need to consider. For more information and ideas on how prepainted metal can benefit your company, please be sure to visit 


Leslie Schraff


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