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June IMFormation 2005

Automotive Industry First for IMF


The Automotive Academy has today announced that the Institute of Materials Finishing has become the first training provider to be given an 'Industry Recommended' seal of approval for one of its courses. This new status recognises the globally competitive quality of training provided in its Automotive Surface Finishing course.

The Academy's 'Industry Recommended' award is made to organizations whose training is supported by companies throughout the automotive field. The Institute's (IMF) Surface Finishing Courses have been attended by nearly 100 BMW and Land Rover employees in the last two years. Congratulating the IMF on the achievement, Dr Alan Begg, Chief Executive of the Automotive Academy said, 'This is the first organization to be given the 'Industry

Recommended' award. It is a reflection of the quality of their training and the respect held by the industry of their courses. The IMF is the first of many bodies to gain this status. Employees need to know that the training they receive is of high quality, totally relevant and fully recommended by the industry.' Barry Gay, the IMF Honorary General Secretary commented, 'We are delighted to be the first to gain this important recognition. It is another important accolade in the long history of our organisation. Now in our 80th year, we have always provided quality training for the automotive and surface finishing industries, and we hope this recommendation will ensure we do so for another 80 years.’ (for information on the Automotive Academy see page 4)

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Induction session for the following Distance Learning modules will take place in early September 2005.

Foundation – Basic Electroplating & Surface Finishing.

MF1 – General Principles MF2 – Plating Practice

MF2 – Paint, Lacquer & Varnish MF2 – Powder Coating

MF3a – Electrochemistry MF3b – Material Science MF3c – Surface Coatings

MF4 – Process Management MF5 – Licentiate Project

Intending students are reminded that their registration and payment must be received by the IMF prior to the induction sessions. Contact Exeter House for further information

Health, Safety and Environment


Consultation paper on changes to the Packaging Regulations, March 2005

The UK Government, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government are consulting those affected by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) on proposed changes to the Regulations. The proposed changes include:
  • Increasing the amounts of obligated tonnage from leased packaging and ‘franchise’ packaging;
  • Simplifying the data provision requirement and reducing costs for smaller obligated businesses i.e. those in the £2-5 million turnover range (and handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging);
  • A number of technical issues on which changes are proposed.
The consultation papers is accompanied by two Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs):
  • An RIA on options for obligating leased, franchise and imported transit packaging (Part 1);
  • An RIA on options for reducing the data collection and reporting burden on SMEs, the turnover threshold and technical changes (Part 2)
Comments are requested by Wednesday 22 June 2005 Copies of the consultative documents can be obtained from the Defra Producer Responsibility Unit – e-mail: or tel: 0207082 8775

HSE awareness day for Cr 6+

The awareness day produced an excellent turn out with some 150 persons in attendance. An overview report will be published in a future edition of the ‘Transactions’ . The message was clear – change from the carcinogenic hexavalent form to less hazardous trivalent form where possible or face increasing restrictions and controls. Delegates received four new brochures in their delegate pack:

  • Prevention and Control of Exposure to Chromic Acid;
  • Prevention of Exposure and Control to Chromic Acid Mist;
  • Monitoring for Electrolytic Hexavalent Chromium Processes and
  • Health Surveillance for Hexavalent Chromium Compounds.
Copies of the above brochures can be obtained from HSE, IMF or SEA. Anyone operating a process should obtain a copy and read and digest. Note that whilst the major thrust has been to users of hexavalent chromium electroplating processes, other processes fall into the new restriction namely anodising and some passivation processes.

New COSHH Guidance from HSE

Three new publications have been launched providing updated guidance on the COSHH Regulations. These publications have been revised to take into account of amendments from 2003 and 2004. All the booklets referred to below can be obtained from HSE Books.

COSHH: A brief guide to the regulations

This brief guide has been revised to help employers meet their specific duties under the amended COSHH Regulation 2002. The booklet provides a simple step by- step approach to help employers identify risks, implement controls and establish good working practices related to hazardous substances in the workplace.

COSHH: A brief guide to the regulations: What you need to know about the COSHH Regulation 2002 is available free as a single copy, or in priced packs of 10

(ISBN 0 7176 2982 1) for £5.00.

COSHH Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)

This publication contains the ACOP to the COSHH Regulations. It also includes supporting guidance on the control of carcinogenic substances, provisions relating to work with biological agents and the control of substances that cause occupational asthma.

COSHH Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L5 ISBN 0 7176 2981 3 is priced at £12.50

EH40/2005 – Workplace Exposure Limits

This edition of EH40 represents a new departure for the setting of, and compliance with; occupational exposure limits (OELs). The previous system, setting OELs as maximum exposure limits (MELs) and occupational exposure standards (OESs) has been discontinued in favour of a single type of OEL known as the workplace exposure limit (WEL).

EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits: Containing the list of WELs for use with the COSHH Regulations 2002 is available from HSE Books – ISBN 0 7176 29775, is priced at £11.50.

BSTSA – Health & Safety guide for tank side personnel.

The British Surface Treatment suppliers Association has produced a guide aimed at tank side personnel. There are sections covering: Induction training, protective clothing, house keeping, handling chemicals, tank side work, filtration, heating, loading & unloading, fork lift equipment, portable equipment and maintenance.

BSTSA suggest that all operators should have a copy of this 16-page A5 booklet and keep it in their overall pocket or locker. Copies can be obtained from the SEA, telephone 0121 237 1123. Cost is: members of SEA £2.50, non-members £5.00 plus P & P.

WEEE Directive postponed

The waste industry has welcomed the DTI decision to postpone the implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. This delay brings the UK inline with other EU Members. It is proposed that the Directive will now not be transposed into law in the UK until the summer of 2006.

Hexavalent Chromium Plating Solution-Toxic or Very Toxic?

At the recent CETS meeting (the European body for surface finishing organisations) in Amsterdam the French Trade association SITS announced that following significant work carried out on the toxicity of chromic acid plating solutions, it has been proved that at normal hexavalent chromium plating concentrations, the solution does not warrant the VERY TOXIC classification. It is claimed that this classification has been introduced solely on the basis of chromic acid salt concentration. SITS has shared this information with the French Government who have agreed and endorsed the implementation of the less onerous toxic classification. The result of this action eliminates nearly all plating operations to comply with SEVESO legislation and substantially reduces their overhead costs and the need for change.

It is understood that in the UK, the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency are in favour of keeping the UK plating industry mainly outside of the SEVESO legislation known as COMAH. As such the information from the French research work is being shared within the HSE and the EA with a view to having the UK Government decide to apply the same classification to hexavalent chromium plating solution.

Users of hexavalent chromium plating solutions should contact their local HSE and EA with a view to making known their opinions on this subject, and in particular what the change, if not rescinded, will cost companies plus the unfair advantage that will be given to the French.

Re-classification of Nickel

From work carried out to compliment the activities of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA), soluble nickel salts (carbonate, chloride, nitrate and sulphate) are expected to be reclassified for exposure as:
  • Category 1 carcinogen by inhalation;
  • Category 2 carcinogen for reproduction; and
  • Category 3 mutanogen
New exposure control limits will need to be established. Current exposure limit for soluble nickel salts in aerosol form of 10 mg/m 3 will decrease to possibly 0.05 mg/m 3 or even lower. Consideration will need to be given to using airless agitation, lip and/or pull/push extraction and increased freeboard. Workplace and personnel monitoring will need to be operated as outlined in MDHS 42.2 available from the HSE.

News in Brief

The BREF document due for publication in March for IPPC is still not available.

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New nickel ‘release rate’ for jewellery comes into force in October. Test procedures are being reviewed, with the Birmingham Assay Office overseeing the testing of eleven alloys used in jewellery.

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Scottish Executive proposes amendments to the PPC ( Scotland) Regulations 2000 for changes to activities involving hydrogen halides and ammonia.

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A paint shop has been fined £20,000 following an investigation and prosecution into to death of an employee. A 300 kg steel grid hanging from a forklift truck fell on him. The company admitted the charge under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. An HSE inspector remarked that whilst this was a tragic accident it would have been simple and cheap to prevent by using a rope or strap to secure the grid, or by placing it on trestles for painting.

Company News and Products


Jenway launch a new 3540 pH/Conductivity Meter that is ideal for use in water testing applications and in all laboratories where pH and conductivity analysis is required. It offers a space saving and flexible approach to the measurement of these two parameters. Features include:
  • Simultaneous display of pH & Conductivity
  • Tabbed display screens with set-up menu options
  • Built in data logger with auto save/print and options for: additional modes for resistivity, salinity, TDS & mV; automatic or manual calibration options and two independent channels (e.g. pH and/or Conductivity).
Further information contact Simon Cook tel: 01371 820122 or e-mail:


The new 2005/06 General Catalogue featuring some 10,000 new produced and 20 new product sections in a user-friendly format. Tel: 0500 345 300

Sale of Tikkurila leads to two new companies

Following the sale by Tikkurila Coatings Oy of its UK interests; two new companies have been formed to serve the UK coatings and finishing market by the rebirth of the West Bromwich operation:

  • Protega Coatings has taken over the manufacturing facility to focus on the supply of specialist and bespoke products to high volume OEM and protective coatings users.
  • Prospeed Coatings will be dedicated to the supply of a wider range of products, including paints for metal products, protective coatings, fire protection coatings and floor coatings.
For further information contact Nigel Smith on 0121 524 2215 or 07710012257

Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey Catalysts has signed a collaboration agreement with the Mastermelt Group for the commercialisation of Smopex® in the recovery of precious metals from spent plating bath solutions. It will enable Smopex® to be used for metal recovery from both process and effluent streams, where other technologies have failed or can only achieve low recoveries.

Smopex® is a unique metal scavenging system where metal binding functionality has been grafted onto fibres, allowing very efficient recoveries of a range of metals. The system can be tailored to meet individual requirements and used in cartridge or column systems.

For further information on this and other Johnson Matthey Catalysts products and services visit the website at or tel: 01763 253000

IMF News

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting and Christmas Lectures will be held at the Birmingham Medical Institute on Wednesday 7 December 2005. Please put this important event date in your diary now.

Automotive Academy

On 21 April the IMF became the first body in the UK to receive a prestigious "Industry Recommended" certificate from the Automotive Academy for its Automotive Surface Finishing Course. This new status recognises the globally competitive level of training provided by the Institute and is another important accolade in our 80-year history.

The Automotive Academy had its beginnings in the DTI’s Automotive Innovation and Growth Team and is a farsighted initiative to boost skills in the UK amid growing international competition. It promotes globally competitive standards of training and skill development throughout the UK’s automotive supply chain. It supports the whole supply chain; not just vehicle manufacturers but also small component suppliers to encourage universal best practice set against the Academy’s stringent validation processes. Training is also available from shop floor right up to boardroom level. It is driven by the industry, for the industry and the beneficiaries will be individuals, companies and ultimately the UK economy to which the automotive sector is such a vital contributor. The Academy is not a deliverer of courses, rather it provides opportunities to firms and individuals to access training that is proven to be globally competitive, closely focused on the needs of the industry and delivered by the very best training providers.

The Academy operates on a hub and spoke system. The hub is in Birmingham at the heart of the UK auto industry and is responsible for setting the national curriculum, validating and approving the best-in-class training providers and liaising with industry and government. There are eight regional spokes including Skills4Auto in the Midlands who are the local interface with industry. The spokes provide a "one-stop-shop" for face-to-face training needs analysis, advice on training products and local, validated deliverers and assistance with funding. Learn more about the Academy by visiting and the courses available by visiting

Branch News


The Branch is currently finalising their programme for the 2005/2006 session. Provisional events planned are:

Tuesday 18 October – Waste minimisation/treatments

Tuesday 14 February 2006 – Organic finishing

Tuesday 23 May 2006 – Cr free and non Cr 6 processes

Offers of presentations welcomed – contact secretary- Tel: 0121 308 0777, email:


The Annual General Meeting and Skittles Night will be held on Friday 24 June commencing at 7 pm at the Jolly Millar North Warnborough, Hampshire For further details:

AGM information – Nick Sawyer tel: 01256 311383

Skittles night – Fred Thurgood tel: 020 8560 4111

New members and transfers

Affiliate Austin P Twickenham, Brehler S Telford, Wilkie T Shropshire

Member Finlay M * West Midlands

Fellow Hopper A ** Repubic of Ireland, Hussain M.S Saudi Arabia

* transfer from Affiliate ** transfer from Member

New Sustaining Members

Molecular Technology Ltd

Four Ashes, Wolverhampton WV10 7DF
Tel: 01902 797990. Fax: 01902 798295

Manufacturer of Molclear and Molfin Cathodic electrocoat products for polished and plated surfaces offering high hardness and chemical resistance. Integral and post dye available in a wide colour range.

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Maier Chromeco
Lichfield Road , Brownhills WS8 6LH
Tel: 01543 453333, Fax: 01543 452930

Maier Chromeco, part of the "Maier in the UK" organisation, is the UK’s premier supplier of electroplated plastics components to the automotive industry. They offer design, manufacturing and complete assembly solution.

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The Galvanizers Association
Victoria Road , Sutton Coldfield B72 1SY
Tel: 0121 355 8838, Fax: 0121 355 8727

The Galvanizers Association provides authoritative information and advises on hot dip galvanizing to users and potential users, with a technical team to answer queries. It monitors regulations, taking a role in the development of standards and oversees research projects to support and develop the industry.

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Thermal Spraying and Surface Engineering Association (TSSEA)
Bilton, Rugby
Tel: 0870 7605203, Fax: 0870 7605206

Promotion of the use and development of thermal spraying and other surface technologies together with technical service, conferences and publications. The encouragement of education and CPD within industry and involvement in Euro/International Standards on topics relating to thermal spraying.

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Aluminium Finishing Association
Five Ways, Birmingham B15 1TN
Tel: 0121 456 1103, Fax: 0121 456 2274

The aluminium finishing trade association dealing with powder coating and architectural and strip anodising.

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British Standards


05/30130018 DC EN 15159-1 Vitreous and porcelain enamels. Glass lined apparatus for process plants. Part 1 Technical delivery conditions


BS EN 14431:2004 Vitreous and porcelain enamels. Characteristics of the enamel coating applied to steel panels intended for architecture. (no current standard superseded )


BS ISO 20566:2005

Paints and varnishes. Determination of the scratch resistance of a coating system using a laboratory carwash. (no current standard superseded)


BS ISO 11463:1995

Corrosion of metals and alloys. Evaluation of pitting corrosion

BS ISO 15324:2000

Corrosion of metals and alloys. Evaluation of stress corrosion cracking by the drop evaporation test


BS M 93:2005

Protection of magnesium-rich alloys against corrosion – Specification

Out and About

2nd International Conference on heat treatment & surface engineering in automotive application

20-22 June Riva del Garda, Italy. Details - +39 02 76021132 / 02 76397770

SURCON 2005 Conference and Exhibition

6-7 July at the University of Durham. The Control of Colour: The Key to Successful Product Delivery. Details – Tel: 020 8908 1086, E-mail:

Recycling + Waste Management Exhibition

13 – 15 September, NEC Birmingham Details:

UK CORROSION 2005 – Symposium

13 – 15 September, Manchester Conference Centre Details:

Eurocoat 2005

27 – 29 September. Lyon, France Details tel: +33 1 41 98 40 31

Eurofinish 2005

19 – 21 October, Gent, Belgium Details:

Surface World 2005 + Paint & Powder 2005

8 – 9 November, Pavilion, NEC Birmingham Further information tel: 01442 826826 or e-mail:

Exeter House • 48 Holloway Head • Birmingham • B1 1NQ
Tel: 0121 622 7387 • Please refer to contact list for email addresses
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