It’s been a busy couple of weeks since FabTech and it was great to see many of you in Chicago this year! We rely on this event as a chance to get a pulse on what’s happening in our industry, especially around challenges and opportunities.
Morgan Fraga and I finally had time to sit down and talk about our key takeaways this year. No surprise, I’m sure to those of you who have been following me lately, but we heard loud and clear that companies need help in training their finishing teams. We built Paint Line University because we had been hearing from clients that this was a gap, but now that the word is out, we heard from many of you at the show that this is just what you need. Here are the highlights from our conversation:
- The Training Gap in Finishing – While it seems like the labor shortage is easing a bit, employee churn continues to be a big challenge. Paint line teams are struggling to get the right training to new hires or engineers who are new to paint. The burden often falls to busy supervisors and companies are looking for ways to offload or streamline this important onboarding component.
- The Right Chemistry Matters – Paint teams are often using older pretreatment technology and it can be costing big bucks in many different ways. Keeping your team educated about new chemistries like Zirconium is critical to staying competitive and ensuring the quality of your paint line.
- Finishers Helping Finishers – We are in such a niche industry that it can be difficult to find the resources to help you. In fact, the term “MacGyver” often came to mind as I spoke to people about how they are solving problems on their lines. There are some amazing and ingenious solutions out there, but we need to bring the community together to share ideas and solve problems. This is exactly why we built the PLU and the common community.
- Implementing What We Learned at FabTech – We learn so much at these industry events, how do we make sure we and our teams follow through and actually implement these learnings? I have some ideas about that which I’ll be sharing soon!
Overall, this year felt like our industry is really getting focused on what’s important, along with lots of momentum and interest in finishing teams sharing knowledge so that we can all deliver better products to our customers.
We’d love to hear from you about the trends and conversations that stood out to you at FabTech. Send us a message on LinkedIn!