You need only look around as you walk through the city to know that modern architecture involves more colors than ever before – a trend that shows no sign of diminishing anytime soon.
Often, these are customized corporate colors to immediately identify the occupant (John Deere Green, Coke Red, or Pepsi Blue anyone?). More and more, architects are constructing these buildings from pre-coated steel and aluminum coil as a means of achieving these strict color requirements.
Very Specific Demands
When a brand is associated with a specific color (like John Deere) or multiple unique colors (like McDonald’s), the accuracy of color becomes a subject of great importance. Imagine getting the wrong red for Coca-Cola…
Moreover, often the demands are not limited to just color. Consistency of gloss and surface finish are also essential.
Inspection is Essential
Producing coil stock for single building construction demands short runs from a coater – often just a portion of a coil for a specific color and substrate. The strict requirements of these short orders also require extensive inspection to assure that the coil will be acceptable when it reaches the job site. As short orders with high quality demands increase, the demands on your inspection department also increase.
Beyond Color and Gloss
Architectural applications also place high demands on coil stock from a quality and longevity perspective. Buildings are intended to last a long time, and therefore, these applications demand long warranty periods for their roofing, siding, and trim – often exceeding 30 years.
This places even higher quality demands on the coater to assure they can safely make these guarantees with minimal future risk. In addition to color, gloss, and other surface finish parameters, a uniform film build and good adhesion are essential to achieve the required corrosion inhibition properties. Moreover, many customers want to see a certification showing that the product was tested to meet these demands, again placing a greater load on your inspection department.
Setups are Important
In order to meet these strict requirements at a competitive margin, a coater must be able to quickly set up these short runs with a high degree of confidence that they can meet the specifications with a minimum of “test shots”. At 20-30 minutes each, waiting for QC to approve your setup to run a 20 minute order quickly becomes cost prohibitive.
And still, every one of these factors must be checked and insured at runtime on every architectural run, with absolutely no room for error because – while taking time to get the job set up correctly is costly – it is still cheaper than running scrap!
A Perfect Match
Often, an architectural project requires multiple materials, gauges, widths, and colors – all in small quantities – yet all have to be a perfect color and finish match with perfect quality – a tall order for any manufacturing operation. Stable and predictable setups are the key to assuring the necessary batch-to-batch match that assures this diverse selection of materials will all match when placed on the building in the blazing sun – a completely unforgiving application.
No Room for Error
In short, with custom architectural products, there is simply no room for error. These invariably drive greater setup times and require multiple QC “test shots” to assure the quality of the run prior to starting the order.
Is your organization up to the challenge?
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