As the holiday season approaches, most of the western world celebrates some form of renewal and rebirth. With this celebration, many of us develop a sense of charity. The finishing industry has embraced a long tradition of giving back to the community. Many corporations formally extend their generosity by contributing to the less fortunate through organizations such as the United Way or Habitat for Humanity. A number of companies give back to the community as patrons to the visual and performing arts. Countless individuals band together to orchestrate food or clothing drives for local pantries or shelters. We also celebrate by giving gifts to each other.
Amid all this hustle and bustle, we need to pause and ask ourselves where our priorities truly lie. It can be easy to succumb to the commercialism of gift giving in a relentless quest to sate the materialistic yearnings of family and friends. It seems that some folks fear that if they don’t deliver the latest fad, their relationship with the recipient will somehow fade. But the transcendence of time instructs us that the best gifts are often the simplest. Take the time to read a book to a young child. Visit someone in prison. Volunteer at a soup kitchen and bring your kids along. Instead of writing a check, donate your time to a local community center. Drop in at a nursing home and spend some time with the lonely souls who have dedicated their long lives to making the world a better place. Stop in at your neighborhood Red Cross and drop off a pint of life destined for an ailing stranger. Volunteer as a Big Sister or Big Brother. These are the kinds of gifts that can have a lasting impact.
Hats off to all of you who give.
Recognizing InnovationDecember is also the time of year when Finishing Today recognizes key technology advances for the benefits they have brought to the finishing industry. This year’s Innovation Awards (see p. 20) acknowledge the greatest technical strides made in the materials, equipment, process, instrumentation and plating fields.
The imagination and creativity behind these revolutionary advances is evident. One technology can accurately measure a huge range of film thicknesses on a variety of substrates without ever contacting the finish. Another significantly improves the efficiency of copper plating processes. An innovative system developed by a clever entrepreneur reduces wastewater from pretreatment and other processes. Still another offers a completely different approach to achieving a “stainless steel” look. And probably the most innovative technology uses plasma energy to clean aluminum prior to the coil application of a coating. Congratulations to this year’s winners.