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Developing Custom Formulations

The Problem:  

When we met the production manager, the first question she asked was, “how are you different than the coatings supplier we have now?” What sets you apart? Her company, a metal racking manufacture in the Midwest, had run through a series of coatings producers in the last five years and still were unhappy with the paint job they were getting. Poor adhesion, resulting in premature field failure, had caused her company to lose market share and trust in the quality of their product.

The Solution:

At Marcus Paint, we realize there are just as many variables in what our customer makes, as in how they make it. To provide a coating that meets our customers’ needs, we first must understand the entire process – every unique and not-so-unique activity – from start to finish. Our Technical Account Managers (TAM) did a thorough onsite line survey to determine each condition that directly impacted the performance of the coating.

  • Plant environment & conditions
  • Design tolerances
  • Process line speeds
  • Substrate & Pre-treat specifications
  • Equipment capabilities
  • Transfer efficiencies
  • Curing time & limitations
  • Post-application handling & assembly factors
  • Packaging requirements
  • Product transportation & market delivery
  • Employee training & procedures
  • Safety/environmental considerations

Working with their Production and Engineering Teams, we determined their unique product specifications.

  • Application
  • Appearance and uniformity
  • Color consistency
  • UV resistance
  • Chemical & abrasion resistance
  • Adhesion
  • Corrosion & humidity resistance
  • Film thickness
  • Hardness, impact & durability
  • Regulatory compliance issues (VOC, HAP, etc.)

Using the information gained from the line survey, we began the process of custom formulation. Our Research & Development chemists worked to develop the most effective formulation tailored to the unique needs uncovered during the production analysis. At every milestone, we involved the customer to confirm that the end-product would be precisely what the customer needed – always considering the limitations of the production line and maximizing the efficiencies of the manufacturing process.  

The design process included a rigorous testing and development process including:

  • Salt Spray 
  • Humidity 
  • Xenon Arc
  • Outdoor exposure
  • QUV (UVA/UVB) 
  • Pencil hardness
  • Stability 
  • Dry time
  • Impact 
  • Adhesion 
  • Flexibility 
  • Film thickness


Once the formulation had passed our internal specifications, a trial prototype sample was made and ran at the customer’s production facility. Our sales team, technical account managers, and lab personnel were onsite to evaluate the application, appearance, cure properties, and confirm that we met or exceeded our customers’ expectations. Our new customer was delighted with our product solution and consultative approach to their problem.  

We continue to evaluate our customer’s needs to search for value opportunities, productivity, and performance enhancements through regular technical account manager visits. We’re proud to work harder, think smarter, and put more effort into satisfying our customers than anyone else. Our proactive approach helps us serve as an indispensable business partner, not just a coatings supplier.

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