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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

November, 2004

Testing Costs

Q. I already made my Testing Cost report. I found nobody in EU systematically investigated structure and amount of Testing costs, e.g if one SME has to change conventional paint technology to more environmental friendly due to VOC - laws (obligation due to VOC directive and national law in each country). Because I am from industrial company which owns testing laboratory performing Salt Spray Test, Water Humidity Chamber Test and other about 100 hundred tests (customers are mostly from pretreatment and painting technologies, sometimes temporairy corrosionprotection). I see that no one wants make testing except of deliverer for automotive industry. I was very surprised that my project partner from one big paint producer said there is any differences if you change technology, any additional costs are needed.

In my report I claimed that if anyone has conventional technology: solvent cleaning + VOC paint application and is changing the technology to: waterbased cleaning + phosphating + passivation + paint application (powder or high VOC or waterbased), they have to implementing additional test methods, to requalified personal, they have to make accelerated testing, etc. It means there are additional cost needed. Basicaly the problem could belongs to Life Cycle Costing or LCA inventory, but the environmentalists do not understand the term Testing.

I think to solve this issue "High Additional Testing Costs due to new environmental laws, directives and regulation" could be a very good topic for R&D calls (networking, projects,...) especially concerning SMEs.

What do you mean? What about similary situation in USA? Are you tha same opinion?

Thanks for your answer and best regards

I agree with you that there are testing costs when changing from one coating technology to another. Some companies in the US do perform additional accelerated tests, but most do not. They simply assume that the paint manufacturer who is selling paints to them has already performed the tests. I also agree with you that the large automotive assembly plants always perform extensive tests before making any changes to their coatings. The military (army, air force and navy and their contractors) also perform a large number of tests before making changes, but most of the smaller companies do not do so.

Thanks for your insights.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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