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PC 2017 Wrap Up

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

By: Sharon Spielman

From March 27-31, The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) hosted three events at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, making the end of March a hat trick for the powder coating industry. PCI devoted an entire week to powder coating education, hands-on training, tabletop exhibits and networking opportunities, through three of its events: a Powder Coating 101 Workshop, the Powder Coating 2017 Technical Conference & Tabletop Exhibition, and the Custom Coater Forum.

The first event, PCI’s popular Powder Coating 101: Basic Essentials Workshop, was offered Monday and Tuesday, March 27-28. The workshop included classroom instruction based on PCI’s Powder Coating: The Complete Finisher’s Handbook. Monday evening offered a reception, where attendees were able to interact with workshop presenters and other attendees. Tuesday, workshop attendees took a bus ride for the hands-on portion of the workshop and were also able to experience a plant tour of the PPG facility. Because there were so many in attendance, there were four groups who spent a few hours on-site between four rotating stations. One group took their written exam and received their certificates; another took a guided tour of the facility; another had the opportunity to powder coat their own T-square; and another group learned about various testing and measurement tools. Each group spent about 35-40 minutes at each station. At the end of the day, attendees got to ask questions before heading back to the JW Marriott.


  1. 1. Sergio Mancini from Bulk Chemicals Inc., instructed the attendees at the Powder Coating 101 Workshop about pretreatment being one of the basic essentials of powder coating;
  2. 2. The Powder Coating 101 Workshop attendees enjoyed their reception in a relaxed environment, conducive to networking;
  3. 3. Workshop attendees took a ride to PPG for a plant tour, test taking, hands-on participation, and instrumentation instruction;
  4. 4. A group of Workshop attendees learned about testing equipment to help ensure quality of powder coated parts;
  5. 5. Each attendee at the Powder Coating 101 Workshop got to try out spraying powder on a part;
  6. 6. After finishing exams and receiving their certificates, this group (one of four in attendance) showed off the T-squares they powder coated during the hands-on demo portion of the Powder Coating 101 Workshop.

Wednesday and Thursday, March 29-30, was the main event: The Technical Conference and Tabletop Exhibition. On the morning of Day One, CM Sergeant Bob Vasquez (Ret.), U.S. Air Force, got the group moving with his motivational general session about leadership. Then there were in-depth breakout sessions that covered a range of topics, including powder coating basics, low-cure powder coating, and powder coating formulations. Lunch was served and the tabletop exhibits were open to attendees. Breakout sessions continued Wednesday afternoon with topics such as ovens, application equipment, powder coating case studies, fast color change, preparing a company for the future, and roundtable discussions about quality enhancement, defect analysis, film build control and powder material selection. The evening ended with more time for tabletop exhibits and a reception along with hospitality suites that were sponsored by Therma-Tron-X and Nordson.


  1. 7. Chief Master Sergeant Bob Vasquez (Ret.) had attendees on their feet and got them ready to face the day of learning that was ahead of them;
  2. 8. CM Vasquez discussed with the general session group what good leadership is all about;
  3. 9. While waiting for one of the breakout sessions to start, Chris Reding, DSM Powder Coating Resins, read Ron Cudzilo's President's Charge in Powder Coated Tough magazine;
  4. 10. Breakout sessions were well attended;
  5. 11. John Cole of Parker Ionics talked to a full classroom of attendees during his presentation about powder coating application;
  6. 12. Roundtable discussions were a part of the breakout sessions during the technical conference;
  7. 13. Attendees enjoyed Nordson's Hospitality Salon during the evening reception at the Technical Conference;
  8. 14. Attendees enjoyed Therma-Tron-X's Hospitality Salon during the evening reception at the Technical Conference.

  1. 15. It was a busy afternoon at the Tabletop Exhibition;
  2. 16. Trena Benson, executive director of PCI, and Troy Newport, national sales manager at PCI, talked with Liz Epps during the tabletop exhibition;
  3. 17. Attendees got to visit the tabletop exhibitors and learn about new products and services;
  4. 18. Sharon Spielman, editor of Powder Coated Tough and an avid Chicago Cubs fan, smiled for the camera during the Tabletop Exhibition;
  5. 19. The Custom Coaters Forum was a great place for colleagues to share ideas in a relaxed atmosphere;
  6. 20. Tim Milner of JIT Powder Coating Company spoke to the Custom Coaters Forum attendees about the marketplace.

Day Two began with two general sessions. First, Kevin Biller talked about the evolution of powder coating (see page 41 for an adapted-for-print version of his presentation), which was followed by Marty Korecky of AkzoNobel Powder Coatings and Bob Feldkamp of Nordson Corporation, who talked about managing the regulatory world of powder coatings and dust mitigation. Morning breakout sessions covered ultimate powder coating, the business of powder coating and powder coating materials. Attendees then broke for lunch and tabletop exhibits. The afternoon breakouts included pretreatment, powder coating best practices and system design. This day ended with a plant tour of Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing.

The week was rounded out with the Custom Coaters Forum, which began with dinner on Thursday evening and incorporated a presentation by Roger Engelau from Inspire Results Business Coaching. Friday morning, the Forum gathered together for several presentations and then broke into groups to discuss several specific topics. Look for the Custom Coaters Forum Roundtable article in the July/ August edition of Powder Coated Tough.


Sharon Spielman is editor of Powder Coated Tough magazine. She can be reached via email at sspielman@powdercoating.org.

Author: PCT Editor