Tinting on the Spot: POS Tinting

August 15, 2016

Most home and office painting projects involve visiting a hardware or paint store, choosing your color scheme from a large palette of colors and waiting as a store employee mixes the liquid colorant with a base and hammers the lid back on the can before you’re on your way.
But the industrial coatings industry hasn’t historically operated that way. With a much smaller palette of available colors, industrial paints and coatings were mixed at the factory, then shipped to the customer. Paint arrived ready for application, but the selection was limited.
As a result, point-of-sale tinting (POS tinting) has become an increasingly sought-after option for industrial paint and coatings customers.

Why things are changing
Nowadays, customers demand more color options than were typically available with the limited industrial color palettes offered in the past. Not only is the palette of available industrial paint colors increasing, but custom colors are also becoming more prevalent. With POS tinting, industrial coatings companies are now capable of matching a wider spectrum of colors, making it less practical to stock large inventories of colors in their warehouses. Instead, it has become more economical to produce smaller quantities of custom-color paints, which can be provided locally near the job site.

If, for example, a company wants to use a corporate color scheme on its heavy machinery, it would traditionally need to submit the color swatch, initiate a paint order, and wait for the shipment to arrive and hope that the color match was correct. With POS tinting, however, the company works directly with a paint company’s tinting professionals, allowing it to closely monitor the formulation and ensure that the paint exactly matches the required color. From consumers’ perspective, they benefit from getting an accurately matched, specialized color immediately, reducing down time. Once the match is achieved, the paint company can then store the color in its computer system to give that customer an exact color match for future projects.

Required investment
The biggest cost for companies moving to a point-of-sale tinting system is equipment. If paint tinting centers will be opened, a building or storefront would require additional investment. An industrial paint tinting center requires its own dispensing and mixing equipment, and the computers and software to run it. It also needs tinting specialists to run the equipment and work with customers, although operating the tinting and mixing equipment requires little in the way of specialized training, which minimizes training costs.
With POS tinting, liquid colorant quality and consistency are very important. Tight strength and color tolerances are a must to ensure accurate and consistent colors time after time after time. Rheological properties of the liquid colorants must be suitable for the dispensing equipment being used to tint the bases. In-plant colorants do not generally have the tight tolerances needed for point-of-sale tinting of industrial coatings. Therefore, some investment must be made to find a suitable liquid colorant system for POS tinting. In addition, colorant databases must be prepared so that the software used to run the dispensers can accurately match colors. These databases are created from 100 or more color panels made with various mixtures of the liquid colorants. Colorant suppliers can help with the development of the colorant databases.

The payback
The real financial benefits of POS tinting come after the initial investment. POS tinting of industrial coatings allows coatings suppliers to be more flexible and to target smaller custom jobs, which opens up a portion of the market that may have been previously unavailable. With bases and liquid colorants in stock, inventory levels can be reduced. Industrial paint and coatings companies can produce virtually any color for any end use in the specific quantities required by the customer, eliminating the need to store pre-mixed paints. POS tinting allows companies to maximize potential sales – and profits – while reducing the amount of floor space required to store inventory.

Although the majority of point-of-sale business is being conducted in the U.S. and Canada, there is massive growth potential for point-of-sale systems in the ASEAN region – which includes Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Singapore – as well as Europe, South America and other parts of Asia-Pacific. The way industrial coatings are tinted is changing to the point-of-sale process that has been used by decorative coatings for many years. Now is the time to consider POS tinting options for your industrial coatings.

If your industrial paint and coatings company is interested in developing a POS tinting system, Chromaflo has the colorant selection, merchandizing tools and expertise to help you. Contact us to learn more.

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