Posted in: Custom Coating

PCI 3000 Certification Documents Process Criteria for Custom Coaters

Posted on Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Powder Coating Institute began certifying custom coaters in 2009. The PCI 3000 certification process uses a comprehensive audit to differentiate the capability to produce quality work from one job shop to the next. PCI® is re-launching this process at the end of the first quarter of 2014. The program is designed to:

  • Help differentiate a certified custom coater from all other custom coaters.
  • Use the PCI world renowned logo and benefit from the high standards this image brings to elevate the marketability of the custom coater.
  • Create a methodology to improve and enhance a custom coater’s process and results.
  • Help build the business of certified coaters through aggressive marketing to OEMs who require a certified coater.
  • Ultimately elevate the overall performance of powder coating in the industry.

In a nutshell, certification is the auditing process that evaluates the business practices, process elements, equipment capabilities, employee competencies and quality control capabilities of a coater to produce a high quality powder coated product with a high degree of customer satisfaction.

Like other certifications, including ISO 9000, it does not determine the quality of the powder coated product that will be produced. It certifies that the coater has the capabilities and competencies to produce a high quality powder coated product.

The PCI 3000 certification program is designed and offered to all custom coaters applying powder coatings and is not exclusively designed for PCI® member companies. However, member companies will qualify for substantial program discounts.

The program offers standards to consistently rate powder coating processes focused on 12 main areas: pretreatment, ovens and curing, application area, quality control, training, maintenance, customer satisfaction, safety, process control, quoting and warranty policies, incoming quality control, and loading, unloading and packaging.

All PCI audits for certification are performed at the custom coater’s site. The audits are usually 1-2 full days and generally follow this typical agenda: management meeting and discovery process; plant tour and visual evaluation; interviews and discussion with key personnel; review of recordkeeping, logs and audit; system and process evaluation in plant to include all facets of the powder coating process; and a closing meeting with management. The scoring of the audit will be delivered to the custom coaters within two weeks.

Once the custom coater has achieved PCI 3000 certification, they will be allowed to use the approved PCI 3000 logo to promote their qualification. Additionally, they are listed on PCI’s website and in Powder Coated Tough as a Certified Applicator and gain the ability to quote jobs that require PCI certification.

For more information on how to become a certified custom powder coater, please contact me at:

Dave Lurie
Executive Director, PCI®