The members meetings offer a chance to discuss technical and procedural advances in powder coating and the development of the QUALICOAT Specification, now in its 15th Edition. Pretreatment processes and process monitoring was discussed at length as the association continues to tighten the already high standard that QUALICOAT members have to attain to maintain their licence. There is a move to introduce more process monitoring whist at the same time aligning some of the sample testing to reduce the lab work required during production. The result should continue to improve pretreatment quality. Whist there is some discussion in the market that chrome free technology, or ‘alternative’ systems for pretreatment are not suitable for external use, this is not the case according to new research undertaken by QUALICOAT across its global membership. Both processes of chrome based and chrome free perform on a similar basis when subjected to accelerated weather testing. QUALICOAT will be issuing more information on this in the near future. Discussion moved to pre-anodising as a pretreatment process, this is gaining quite a following and several applicators are now investing in the technology. QUALICOAT are also revising their specification to ensure that 28 quality procedures are in place as the process continues to be developed and improved by applicator members. There are now six applicators in the UK who can offer the licensed ‘Seaside’ class of pretreatment and coating. The ‘Seaside’ class is also being recognised by specifiers offering improved weathering characteristics where architectural coatings are required in harsher coastal or industrial applications. QUALICOAT have also introduce a mandatory training scheme for laboratory technicians as the technology is moving rapidly and there is a need to keep all members up to date on production and testing of the already well respected QUALICOAT licensed applicator. As the association continues to raise the quality of architectural coatings, new members are lining up to join by applying for a licence for their powder coating plants. Approval can take up to a few months to achieve and currently there are six potential new members undertaking the approvals procedure.