Traditionally, shops tended to perform one type of finishing operation - plating, painting, mechanical finishing, etc. But, through various surveys we have conducted and information gathered from you, the reader, we see more and more shops performing a variety of finishing operations-plating and powder coating or painting and vacuum deposition.
Why is this important now? Well, October marks the second installment of the Coating show. Sponsored by 11 finishing associations, Coating '01 presents information on a variety of coatings during its technical program.
With so many associations presenting technical programs in one location, Coating '01 is a perfect opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of alternative coatings.
The technical program also is an excellent opportunity for those of you that are still performing only one type of finishing to begin integrating new technologies. Some of the more avid readers of PF, may recall an article we wrote on the importance of horizontal and vertical integration.
Horizontal integration, which is the type of integration employed by most finishers, is the addition of a competing technology. For example, a plater might add a powder coating line or vice versa. While the technologies compete with another, if the conditions are right, the addition of the competing or horizontal technology can add significantly to the bottom line.
Vertical integration is the introduction of new technologies that are compatible with your current process. These vertical processes allow the finisher to play a larger role in the manufacturing of a product. For instance, a plater may add a chemical polishing/deburring line to be used before the plating line. The new, vertical technology might help the plater attract additional business that it might not have obtained before because of the combination of the two technologies. (You can learn more about integration by reading "Growth and Diversification through Vertical Integration" at www.pfonline.com.)
With the economy as tight as it is, horizontally or vertically integrating new technologies into your shop is an excellent way to retain old customers and attract new ones. The technical program at Coating'01 presents you one of the best opportunities to discover technologies that could be integrated into your shop. The opportunity awaits.