Today more than ever, the viability and economic health of any surfacing-related business has a lot to do with the resources management applied within its organization. It is no longer enough to use good materials and perform quality work.
The increase in costs and the continuous economic instability that plagues the world’s economies force any company to carry out a detailed control of everything that is directly or indirectly related to its economic results. Therefore, calculating the real performance of a coating in a simple way allows to know the real cost of this item without falling into inaccurate superficial valuations that can be misleading.
So, if you are interested in how to calculate the real performance of a coating, don’t miss what we are going to tell you next!
Why is it important to calculate the performance of a coating?
The importance of calculating the performance of a coating comes from the need to know its real capacity to effectively cover a given surface. With this, there is greater control over the valuation of materials that is performed, increasing the economic benefit for the company, reducing subjective estimates and unexpected final cost overruns for the customer. In addition, and indirectly, it improves the work environment by eliminating any type of startle for this reason, and enhances the company’s image of professionalism by improving the image perceived by the customer in the absence of unforeseen events of this type.
What happens when the performance of a coating is not calculated correctly?
When the actual performance of a coating is not correctly calculated , the entire work process is disrupted, both from an organizational and technical point of view. In this regard, the following negative consequences occur:
- Increase in the cost of materials, something that must be passed on to the final price of the job. If an initial valuation is made above the real needs, the price of the work is increased above the market value, which leads to a loss of competitiveness and customers. On the other hand, if once the work has started, more material needs to be purchased, it will be necessary to increase the price of the work being carried out to that initially valued, which leads to the possible dissatisfaction of the customer due to the change in conditions that occurs.
- The normal development of the production process is slowed down, since the need to acquire material once the work has begun delays the execution times, can paralyze the activity, and reduces the prestige of the company as perceived by the customer. Reputational loss of the company as a result of the image projected when any of the circumstances mentioned in the previous points occur.
- Increase of surplus stock of materials, with the resulting damage to the economic benefit of the company and the storage difficulties that this may entail.
How can accurate calculation of coating performance help avoid material waste?
Accurate calculation of the actual performance of a coating is postulated as the most reliable way to reduce material waste and avoid increased costs. This calculation is mainly based on the data provided by the manufacturer regarding its capacity to cover a certain surface area. Without this information, the assessment made will be excessively subjective, leading to the appearance of errors with the aforementioned negative consequences. Coating manufacturers should disclose the theoretical performance in the product data sheet so that an accurate initial assessment can be made.
To what extent can coating performance affect production and maintenance costs?
As we have indicated throughout the article, the actual performance of a coating has a direct and proportional effect on production and maintenance costs. In this sense, its influence can be positive, as long as it is supported by a detailed material calculation that matches the product performance data provided by the manufacturer, or negative, when the calculation is made without taking into account the necessary data and information. Whether one or the other situation arises depends on the company’s awareness of the need to know the real performance of a coating.
What are the benefits of knowing the long-term performance of a coating for project planning?
Having information on the performance of a coating is beneficial as soon as this information is available. Nevertheless, the maximum benefit is usually achieved in the long term when the people who handle it are familiar with its practical application. At this point it is when perfectly accurate evaluations are obtained, since variables that were initially unknown are taken into account, such as product losses derived from the application system used, product behavior when applied on rough surfaces, etc.
What tools or methods are used to calculate the performance of a coating accurately and efficiently?
To achieve an accurate and efficient calculation of the actual performance of a coating, two fundamental aspects are essential. On one hand, obtaining comprehensive data concerning the coating’s performance characteristics is imperative. On the other hand, conducting precise calculations utilizing this data necessitates meticulous consideration of various influential variables affecting the coating process, which can potentially result in material losses. These variables encompass the roughness of the substrate and the consumption of application-related products, such as spraying, overloads, and profile painting, among others.
Regarding the first aspect mentioned above, the solution is to obtain a paint manufacturer that includes in its product data sheets the theoretical performance of the paint or, failing that, the data necessary to make the relevant calculation: the percentage of solids in the paint and the thickness of the dry film obtained. In the latter case, the data is entered into the following formula to find the theoretical coating performance:
Whichever calculation method is chosen, it is important to bear in mind that, as its name indicates, it is a theoretical value that would only be met if the application is carried out on a completely smooth surface, in a perfectly precise and uniform manner without any type of loss, which is not usually the case, especially when applying the first two coats of product that are responsible for covering the surface roughness of the substrate.
Due to this drawback, it is necessary to add a certain value to the theoretical value obtained to compensate for this type of variable. The way to do it depends on the characteristics of the substrate to be coated, so there are two options:
- Substrates without surface roughness. Add 20-30% of this value to the theoretical value obtained in order to compensate for the loss of product caused by spraying, overloading, etc.
- Substrates with a certain objectively measured roughness. Apply a correction factor, called “dead volume”, which depends on the roughness of the surface to be coated. This factor is divided by the percentage in solids of the paint resulting in the extra material to be counted in order not to fall short, taking into account that the result obtained refers to liters needed more per 100 square meters. The following table shows some examples of the factors associated with each roughness:
Finally, between 20-30% more product is added to compensate for the losses produced by the application of the paint.
Because productivity no longer depends solely on field work
As we have seen throughout this article, the need for accurate calculation of coating performance is vital to increase the economic performance of any coating-related job, as well as to improve the company’s perception and avoid interruption of the production process. The calculation method is simple initially and can be refined in the long term when the use of paint marks that provide the necessary information becomes established. So, in times where profit margins are very tight, the way to increase profit is to optimize each phase of a job so that they contribute positively to the bottom line.