Aexcel Coatings Blog

Why a Custom Coating Formulation Is Better than “Good Enough”

Written by Chris Hren | Jul 10, 2017 8:15:26 PM

The coating on an industrial end product might seem like an afterthought, but it’s far from it. Choosing a coating affects the aesthetic, durability and usability of any product. If you’re involved in the manufacturing process of industrial products, you also know that every material you use affects your process and your bottom line.

Many manufacturers stick with off-the-shelf coating solutions because they’re familiar, easy, and “good enough.” But do they solve your coating constraints? Do they help or handicap your manufacturing process? And how do they perform on the product itself? Most importantly, have you weighed off-the-shelf solutions against creating a custom coating formulation tailored to your product?

In over 50 years of working with industrial customers, we’ve learned a valuable thing or two about how products are coated. One of the most important things we’ve learned is that having a custom formulation often makes for better, stronger, longer-lasting coatings. Equally important, it can improve your bottom line and dramatically speed up your manufacturing.

If you’re weighing whether a custom coating would exceed the performance and lower the cost over your existing off-the-shelf solution, there are a few factors to evaluate:

  • Appearance and behavior — Properties such as color, gloss, and flexibility are all important with a coating and are typically how people initially evaluate an off-the-shelf coating. With a custom coating formulation, you gain explicit control over these factors because the raw materials used to formulate them can be precisely manipulated.
  • Failure rate — Just as important as how a finished coating looks is what it looks like in a month, a year, or ten years. Off-the-shelf coatings sometimes fail because they are not well-suited to the application process you’re using in your manufacturing or the end-use environment. A custom coating formulation can be optimized for both, with less risk of failure.
  • Environmental standards — If you have environmental standards you either must meet in your industry or aspire to as a company, a custom coating formulation can be designed with that in mind. For instance, you can formulate a coating that adheres to your environmental goals, lowers energy consumption, or improves efficiency by increasing throughput on your coating line.
  • The impact on manufacturing — Custom coating formulations can be designed to “drop in” to your manufacturing process with little impact on the labor or equipment. Often, they improve your manufacturing process because they’re designed within rigorous parameters you provide.
  • The cost — Cost is not just about the price tag on a bucket of paint. You also have to consider how the coating you use impacts the cost of your manufacturing process and labor. Custom formulations optimized for efficiency can ultimately bring that price down.
  • Customer support — When you buy an off-the-shelf coating product, the customer support is generic. But when you commission custom formulation services, you often get a direct line to the manufacturer in the event you have questions or critical issues. Here at Aexcel, you’ll often find yourself on the phone with the chemist who formulated your coating!

When you invest in custom formulations, you don’t just get paint. You also get the expertise of coating experts and long-term customer support. Aexcel has brought more than 500 custom coating formulations to market so far across many different types of industries, from agriculture to electronics to flooring. We can formulate primers, topcoats, and 2-component systems to your specific parameters.