Facilities Manager’s Guide To Selecting An Industrial Painting Contractor

January 1, 2009

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A critical part of a facility manager’s job is to hire the most qualified industrial painting contractors, whenever the need for coating and painting work arises. Unfortunately, bids are often evaluated based only on superficial criteria such as which company did the last coating job or what company bid the lowest. Facility managers can be driven by cost, not quality, in contractor selection. Such a strategy leads to the entry of unqualified firms that can bid unrealistically and cut out more suitable contractors. 

To avoid having to go through drawn-out work schedules, below-par workmanship, and worse, coating system failure, facility managers should be really careful in the selection of an industrialpainting contractor, to save money in a job done right the first time. In choosing contractors, facility managers should use the following criteria:

1. License to operate – determines if the contractor has the appropriate license to work in the area or state where the job is to take place, to avoid any legal hassles. 

2. Contractor’s organizational structure – determines the key management and technical people that the contractor can provide for the project. 

3. Contractor’s resources – assess the contractor’s resources (manpower, equipment, time) to deliver the job within the project life cycle. 

4. Experience – determines if the contractor has the experience in the particular coating system required by the project. 

5. Previous client’s testimonials – a satisfactory feedback from previous clients of the contractor could help the project immensely. The contractor should be willing to provide references. 

6. Quality control system – determines if the contractor has a functioning quality control system, request documents of test results and calibration activities. 

7. Insurance, safety, health, and environmental compliance determine if the contractor can provide these requirements to the project. 

Once the selection list has been narrowed down based on the above criteria, facility managers need to look deeper on the technical process of this particular building maintenance project. Discuss with the contractor the type of painting services that best suits the project need. Below are some painting services that contractors typically offer for protective and decorative painting projects: 

Coil or roll coating is a high-speed process for metal coating 

Dip or immersion coating where parts are submerged in a tank filled with paint 

Dry lubricants are painted over surfaces of machine parts to reduce corrosion 

Powder coating is used for finishing by applying electrostatically-charged dry paint particles to surfaces 

Web coating applies a layer of paint on surfaces of continuous sheets. 

Some industrial painting contractors specialize in new components coating, damaged surface re-coating, general-purpose painting, or architectural/restoration painting. Contractors also conduct post-painting activities such as thermal cleaning, immersion washing, degreasing, stripping or coating removal, spray washing, and ultrasonic cleaning. 

Many industrial painting contractors have presence in the Internet. Feel free to browse through their sites to study their various service packages. Draw up a comparison chart if necessary. Communicate to their representatives and discuss clearly the requirements. The time spent in doing this is most assuredly worth the effort.

Questions or comments?

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