So, some of you may know I used to work for a paint manufacturer and one of my main roles was to make sure that all the users was getting on well with the paints and addressed any issues should they happen.
It's a hard task, going out to a bodyshop that had a paint issue like really hard! From my end all I wanted to do was help the bodyshop regardless of whether its the paint fault or theirs. Probably because I am painter myself and never been a salesman so to speak. Well when you have an issue sometimes the bodyshop can be irritated which is to be expected. They're losing money at the end of the day. But just how far do these "warranties" go and do the paint companies ever pay out?
I've come across just one issue that has been a manufacturing issue and yes they paid out. It was a single error which resulted in an issue which was minor, some didn't even know the issue unless it was reported to us but it was dealt with. So firstly, manufacturers DO pay out if there is an issue on their end. Usually it's through free stock to a certain amount that keeps everyone happy. But many painters in the industry have this impression that paint companies don't or won't pay out and that they find every little issue under the sun before hand.
Developing paint is takes a painstakingly amount of time, effort and money. I've been very lucky enough to be at all sides, development, sale and end user which is what I hope has given me some good experience in this.
When paint is manufactured it's made to work as a system. We start from bare metal and develop a primer to this. This could be etch primer, epoxy primer or a DTM primer which ever is chosen when the next product in that stage is developed such as a 2K primer it is developed on top of the below substrate in this instance, etch primer. So we now have a compatible 2K to go over our etch. At each stage multiple testing is carried out and this isn't a quick 5 minute job.
I won't babble on to much, I'm sure you get the idea. Everything in a system is designed to work with each other. On top of this, TDS sheets must be followed. Even down to the environmental conditions. When I visit a shop I'm looking for simple issues. Humidity/water in airlines for example could cause blistering with a paint layer. At first people might think it's a rubbish primer because it's blistering and so on...
Using a full paint system doesn't give you the painter a full right to instantly claim should something happen.(sorry to bare the bad news) but what it does do is help the paint manufacturer massively in dealing with the case. If you are genuinely using the full system and have an issue it gets the issue sorted in a fraction of the time as (1) they will have batch samples of the paint you have so they can check that too. (2) If it's not the paints fault they can usually find out or tell what could be causing a certain issue. Is it baked too long/too quick? Over application? Is this fault happening on every job with the same tin of paint?
I think one of the main things that would help and what I would advise if you get an issue is the below check list to make every bodies life easier.
1. Batch numbers - this is the first thing to keep note of. In some cases I would recommend the painter keeps a notepad and writes the batch number down for each tin that is used that week. (It takes 2 seconds so no complaining) haha! This helps with long term issues should anything come back a few months down the line.
2. If you've had an issue on a job and suspect it could be a paint fault, drag an old panel out from the back and do the same process on the old panel. If the issue happens again then this is your evidence that something is not right. This also helps as you could give that panel to the paint company to take away for further inspection. If not an old panel, spray out cards will be a good alternative.
3. Look at your environment, is there anything that can stand out? Anything that is against what the TDS advises? Sometimes it's the simplest things that become unnoticed.
4. If possible write a full process of what you did (a bit like a job card from college) to include EVERYTHING even down to degreaser used to prepare the panel. Do this while it's fresh in your head as this can help everyone out we all forget things from time to time.
5. Keep samples or the product in question to one side! For your piece of mind you may want to keep a sample before you go giving all the paint to the supplier.
6. Work with the paint supplier and not against them after all, non of us want these issues. I've seen bodyshops threaten factors with legal action and forced the factor to pay out themselves or they take their business elsewhere. Now I'm not saying every factor won't help in the first instance but every factor I've worked with are always helpful and don't try to brush issues under the carpet. I've solved issues within a day sometimes with helpful bodyshops that have done the above things and I've also had a rough few weeks dealing with issues with the bodyshop giving me a hard time.
I think the main thing I'm wanting to say in this blog is lets all try and work together with issues. If you have the unfortunate event of an issue try and work with others to help solve it and it can be sorted very quickly. I'm not saying all factors and suppliers would but if you work with them and it's not the paints fault as a good will gesture they may give you discount on some paint to fix the issue. It helps everyone out