Please don't ask me why, but there are times when I sit and think about all the ways finishing is involved in life. (Maybe it's because the fish aren't biting.) Of course there are the obvious ways: car, appliances, computer, fishing lures. But there are other not-so-obvious ways that finishing makes my life easier that I would never be aware of unless I was a part of the industry.
Coating 2001 in Orlando, FL, October 15-17, is an event for users of industrial coating processes. But perhaps we should also stress to attendees that they need to make the general population aware of just how important finishing is. The Powder Coating Institute works to do so with its Powder Coated Tough Mark and advertisements in different publications. I've even seen the grande dame of household protocol, Martha Stewart, touting the durability of her powder coated outdoor furniture line.
Other industry associations need to do the same. Granted, it takes money. Lots of money to do the job effectively. And many associations spend their dollars fighting unfair and potentially catastrophic environmental regulations. However, unless public perception about finishing is changed or people are made to see the value of it in their everyday lives, its value will continue to be challenged.
My parents recently built a home. Mom chose plumbing and lighting fixtures to match the décor. I, naturally, checked out the finish. She doesn't know how an antique finish is applied or why a protective vacuum coating over the finish helps the faucet last longer. No one had ever told her.
And what about that Gillette Mach3 razor in the bathroom? That has a plated plastic handle. Even the hair dryer, curling iron and decorative candleholder have necessary finished parts. Little things, all over the place, have finishing as part of them.
Move on to Dad's realm, the garage. Although my dad has never been known as Mr. Fix It, he likes to tinker around. His wrenches and sockets are chromium plated. He is unaware that there are parts to his lawn mower, circular saw and garage door opener where the finish is absolutely necessary. They won't work without it. And most people are unaware of this, because we haven't let them know.