By Ben Rowland, Induron Sales Representative
Over the years, standards have progressed along with burgeoning technologies. Coatings once thought to be superior at the time of development have been supplanted by newer products for various reasons: some were discovered to contain what are now known to be hazardous materials; some were found to have hazardous emissions during application; while some were simply inferior products to the current ones available.
With the new products, we as specifiers have the ability to lend our expertise to our customers on how to expand the life cycle of their coatings projects. While this has always been one of our main goals, now more than ever, advancements in the industry have literally given us the ability to “double down” on what we all can and should expect from a coatings systems.
Here’s the catch though – these technologies don’t always come cheap. Some of the added cost comes from the actual resins used to manufacture these products. Some come from the means and methods necessary to apply them. If you’re getting hung up on not wanting to stray from the conventional systems of the past, you run the risk of becoming short sighted and oblivious to the big picture. I would equate this to someone believing they could be just as productive with dial-up internet service. While, given, paying less for it seems better for the bottom line, productivity is such that this cost savings is almost immediately cancelled out. (Note: If anyone has actually had the “privilege” of a dial-up connection recently, how BAD was it?) In this case, the “premium” is so well understood by most these days that the alternative is not even considered.
Just so this isn’t received as the “paint salesman” trying to sell the expensive stuff, here’s a quick example: $100K water tank project with $10K worth of material, done properly can yield the owner 10-15 years of adequate service life. Conversely, the same project done for $110K with $20K worth of material can yield a service life of 20-25 years. Without adjusting for inflation, that is potentially $400K extra in overall projects vs. $40K premium in materials over a 100 year period! (Steel water tanks are continuing to exceed this century mark when maintained properly.) Your money will never have as much power/value as it does today!
This all seems common sense, but too many times I’ve seen owners/engineers opt for the least expensive option when planning for a project. The truth is, it’s a waste of our time and money to use obsolete technology. As with older systems that have fallen to the wayside, our current technologies will eventually become obsolete. That is why it’s so important for us all to welcome the opportunity to take advantage of the best of what is currently offered.