Regular readers will have noticed that we have been running excerpts from old issues of our magazine to celebrate our 80-year history as the leading magazine in the paint and coating industry. It is interesting to review those articles, ads and the events that were taking place during that time frame. I hope that you have enjoyed this as much as I have.

I saw an ad in the May issue on page 34 that got my attention. The ad for the Miracle Blue-Boy paint rejuvenator says it will "restore paint in 2 minutes." Restore, in this case, means to blend the paint components that have separated during storage. I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if the rejuvenator could actually restore old paint, or paint that had lost its original properties from being exposed to air or cold temperature? Wouldn't it be amazing if there were devices around that could fix a problem through miracles? Wave a magic wand and your fisheyes will go away! Hit a button on a control panel and the problem of the moment is solved! Call for help and your latest computer glitch is magically fixed!

Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Successful production facilities rely on good controls, good people and good maintenance. Problems do arise in the best-run facilities and problem solving is a routine part of the job of running a coating line. That is part of our thought process when we consider what kind of information to include in the magazine. We include ideas and experiences that will help avoid or correct problems, provide value to our publication, and help our readers be more productive and successful.

That includes articles about new installations, changes to existing lines, and more specific topics on coating materials and the processes and tools used in their application. The article on bacteria in water systems in this issue may be of great interest to someone who is trying to cope with problems associated with it and looking for ideas to fix the problem.

We also have a lengthy article about film-thickness measurement devices and applications. The description of how a film gauge works helps to highlight their function. Film measurement is a fundamental control variable in the coating process. Film thickness affects cost, quality, rework and labor. Regular measurement of film build should be a routine part of a coating operation.

Many companies waste thousands of dollars annually by creating excess rework or by shipping parts with excess coating thickness. With so much attention being focused on competition in China and other developing countries, it would seem to be a good place for some cost savings.

There are very few "miracles" in the manufacturing world that can fix a problem. It takes hard work and knowledge to run a successful business. That is really too bad. It would be a lot easier and more fun if we did not have to keep seeking information and input from outside sources to run our businesses. But we have always needed information and help, and we should keep looking for it where we can. IPP will continue to try to bring it to you as we have for the past 80 years.