Posted in: Membership Memo

Membership Memo—Benefitting from PCI Certification

Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2023

There are many benefits to PCI membership, but for Thomarios one stands out among the rest—PCI Certification. Thomarios entered the powder coating world in 2002 with just three employees, growing to 12 in 2010. We became ISO 9001:2015 Certified as it is relative to our industry and accepted by multiple State DOTs and many customers.

In 2019, one of the states amended their QPL (qualified products list) requirements mandating finishing shops to hold either SSPC (The Society for Protective Coatings) QP3 or PCI 3000 Certification. We were familiar with QP3 Certification as we obtained it for our wet paint facility. This knowledge proved beneficial because, from our experience, it really doesn’t cross over to our world in powder coating. So, we applied for PCI 3000 Certification.

The initial audit was long and thorough. We found one of the biggest benefits to be how it made us more aware of the smaller details that can be taken for granted by employees. The audit also led us to focus on incoming material conditions, scheduled equipment maintenance, contingency planning should something go down, and having steps in place to ensure our people take proactive actions. We also found the cost of PCI Certification to be in line with every other program on the market.

By 2022 our powder division had grown to 32 employees and an addition to our facility. The expansion created additional job opportunities for current employees and the community. We owe much of the credit to our PCI Certification. In all the years we’ve been ISO Certified, it never drew the attention of governmental agencies or new customers. However, the PCI 3000 logo publicized in this magazine, found beside our PCI custom coater member listing on the PCI website and incorporated in our email signatures, has sparked unbelievable outside interest for us.

Late last year, I was contacted by a prospective customer. They recently moved their overseas operation to the U.S. and were searching for powder coating companies. Since we do not advertise or have outside salespeople, I asked him how he found us. He said he saw our company on the PCI website, noticed the PCI 3000 logo next to our name, and knew it was going to be a great fit. Our experience with PCI 3000 aligns with our business philosophy, “You work hard to achieve something and you will reap the reward for the effort put in.”

Joe Cochran is vice president powder division for Thomarios.