While planning and purchasing a new painting or a powder coating plant most of the customers try to create standard specifications for the plant in order to evaluate all suppliers and offers on an apple to apple basis .Such procedures will ensure a fair comparison and avoid biased opinion.
However in such procedures customers may to be able to access innovative designs and the latest trends. Normally most of the customers use their own in house project team to create their standard specification for their
plant. The result is obtain a plant specification for their plant specification which is based on the team members past experience which is more often is an outdated technology.
Very Often customers focus on very minor issues such as thickness of the material, brands of burners/pumps/blowers and do not focus on the conceptual design aspects which can drastically alter the return on investment by changing the figures like investment, running cost and production capacity.
Hence it is advisable to visit and consult experienced team members of the suppliers and motivate them to offer the most innovative plant design that can be customized to suit customers products, his expected ROI and meet the expectations of your end customers.
Sometimes it is advisable to carry out trials prior to creating the plant specifications. In their words focus should be more on hanging/jigging, paint process optimization, running cost of optimizing the space, evaluating investment options for different capacities flexibility etc.
Very often we find there is a huge gap that exist between expectations of the owners/Directors from the paint/powder coating plants compared to the plant actually purchased and installed. There are several reasons for the same. Few common reasons are mentioned below:-
1) No proper specification / RFQ for the plant was prepared in the first place.
Or the RFQ is prepared by the team with little or no experience in the similar plants for the same products with similar capacity. Very often experience of senior managers in one painting plant is assumed to be adequate for conceiving plants for different products.
2) Comparisons are made between various suppliers on several parameters which are irrelevant like thickness of the metal, type of burner, brand of bought out items etc. But not on parameters that influences the performance parameters, ease of maintenance, operating cost, productivity, ROI etc. It is a typical case of catching the tail and leaving the head.
3) The decision makers/team don’t visit the design, Q.0 and manufacturing facilities of the suppliers and evaluate their ability to supply such plants. And understand the difference between various low cost design, manufacturing methods and the disadvantages of these low cost options. Life of the plant is another issue often compromised.
4) Similarly the team do not visit the plants supplied by various suppliers and understand the experience of the erection/project team ability to commission the plant on time, ability to quickly sort out teething issues, after sales service, aesthetics of the plant, reliability of the plant to run trouble free etc.
5) In this industry customers very often go by hearsay about suppliers and their decision is based on those hearsay information obtained by associates in this business. This could be misleading and biased. It is advisable to depend on hearsay as long as it is obtained directly from customers.
6) Not all painting/powder plant suppliers have core competence and relevant experience to design and supply plants to all products, all production capacity, all types of painting process. It is impossible for one company to have such an expertise and experience. Hence it is advisable to figure out the suppliers with relevant expertise and experience.
7) For commercial reasons customers try to buy painting/powder coating equipment, shot blasting facility, sometimes even conveyor etc from different sources directly depending on their project team or on a consultant. A turnkey plant supplier will be able to add huge value to the operating cost, productivity etc by using latest technologies. The moment customers show such preferences to source various equipment separately, every supplier is only motivated to offer a low cost plant option and nobody is even willing to think about ROI, capex vis-a-vis Opex. It is advisable to select plant supplier capable of supplying and running the plant on turnkey basis proving all plant parameters responsible for the ROI.
8) Both in India and in emerging markets the type of equipment, technology used are either copy and paste from Europe/USA/Japan or based on last 30 years of experience seen around in similar industries. Deviating from this tradition seem to be a big challenge. This obviously means you are not going to try out new relevant technologies because your opinions are already biased.
9) Very often customers don’t judge the expectations of their customers from the painting /powder plants. With the result when their customers visit the plant after it is installed he makes few adverse remarks and do not carry enough conviction that the plant will deliver quality consistently.
10) Last but not the least the in house team that conceives, manage the project, select the supplier and deliver right results should be credited for their work. Similarly there should be adequate penalty to the team so that they perform every time selecting the right type of plant and suppliers. In other words accountability to deliver results should be with the team and excuses blaming suppliers should not be encouraged. We often find the team blaming various suppliers selected by them in the first place, to cover up their mistakes.