NCCA develops educational tools to attract and educate newcomers to the industry

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Above: Performance of coatings is paramount in building applications, where the material has to withstand extremes.

April 2023- NCCA develops educational tools to attract and educate newcomers to the industry

Founded over 60 years ago, the National Coil Coating Association comprises coaters and suppliers to the coil coating process. The industry and its technologies have evolved exponentially since 1962. NCCA Technical Director David Cocuzzi and Derek Deakins, who chairs NCCA’s Marketing Committee, talked with Modern Metals about outreach and support. “I have been in the industry about 50 years, always in a technical role, developing technology or managing laboratories. Since 2015, I have served as technical director for NCCA,” says Cocuzzi. Deakins joined the industry 11 years ago. “I started as an intern during college and worked in CRM and business development. I was a plant manager and a general manager for Vorteq Coil Finishers in Wisconsin, and now I am back to managing customer service.” A major concern for coil coating companies is human resources. “The NCCA recognizes that industry experts are retiring and new blood is entering the industry. Therefore NCCA focuses on education and developing a variety of tools to be used by new entrants to get them up to speed as soon as possible,” Cocuzzi says. Deakins says, “Vorteq could use more people at all our plants. It’s tough to retain people. That impacts day-to-day operations. The shop floor staff is so important for our companies.” Regarding finding the right people to run coating lines, “You cannot show up on Day One and run that machine. A lot of training is required. There is a lag time between hiring and gaining competency,” he says.

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      “You cannot show up on Day One and run the machine. A lot of training is required,” says Derek Deakins

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      NCCA developed a video that shows a coil coating line in process, starting with incoming raw coils being cleaned and pretreated

DEDICATED TO EDUCATION

NCCA has developed educational and advisory materials it calls toolkits. “We have almost 40 toolkits covering a variety of topics,” Cocuzzi says. “What is gratifying for those of us creating them is that people are using them. NCCA can take quick action to develop a new toolkit when an NCCA member expresses a need for a new toolkit on a topic that could be used to help educate individuals in their organization, or perhaps explain in simple terms a complex topic to a customer.”

Deakins concurs. “My forte is using the toolkits for onboard training for those who are new to the industry. Many of the concepts could be very foreign to a newcomer. The toolkits are technical and cover pertinent topics such as quality, shipping, applications, environmental regulations and safety,” he says. NCCA’s website features the toolkits among many other resources, including videos that help the broader market understand and gain knowledge about coil coating. “Everyone wants to go to YouTube to learn things,” Cocuzzi says. “What we’re doing is creating videos on the test procedures used to evaluate the performance of coatings’ physical properties that are posted on the NCCA website.” He adds, “One of the industries in which we are involved in is building and construction. We discuss coatings used on metal buildings and roofs that last 30 years, 50 years, or even longer, so performance is paramount. For some, they have no idea what a coil coating process looks like, and we have developed a five-minute video to show the coil line in process, starting with incoming raw coils being cleaned and pretreated, followed by the coating process, curing the paint, and finally rewinding the strip and packaging it for shipping.”

DIGITAL PRINTING

“We have now seen engineering technology that allows a coil to be digitally printed,” Cocuzzi notes. Any pattern may be replicated. “Imagine a coil being run through an inkjet printer. Although there are not many examples of commercial lines being built, this nascent technology could be a game changer for certain applications.” Deakins agrees. “NCCA has released a document on these printed finishes and applications. As this technology grows and people learn how to run the application, they may use it in a variety of ways. The printed coil might look like shingle slate or shake roof rather than a metal roof, for example. We see more uses and applications. I think it has potential for the future as we learn more. The technology is improving. “You can get a garage door that looks like wood grain, but the coil coater can guarantee that the metal door lasts longer than the wooden door,” Deakins adds.

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       Metal garage doors can fool the eye when they are printed with a wood grain. The metal door will hold up a lot longer than real wood

ALWAYS READY

Business cycles place demands on any business. The recent supply chain shortages are a good example of weakening demand, followed by a strong surge in demand. “In terms of U.S. coil coating capacity, and across the supply chain, there is plenty of capacity to support demand,” according to Deakins. “Infrastructure spending will stimulate growth,” Cocuzzi says. “Metal roofing for residential applications is also helping. The market share of metal residential roofing went from 3 percent 20 years ago, to about 17 percent now,” he says. “And we have the ability to produce more.”

ECO-FRIENDLY

A highly automated coil coating process offers many environmental advantages over other systems, according to Cocuzzi. Any volatile organic compound is captured and oxidized at nearly 100 percent efficiency, and the heat generated in the process is sent back into the plant and reused. “Of course, new regulations are routinely implemented at the state or federal level, and the industry tackles each issue in a timely manner with the involvement of the various NCCA committees,” he says. MM

 

National Coil Coating Association, 216/241-7333, http://coilcoating.org/

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