CeraShield Ceramics

Claire Steel, Director and Founder of CeraShield looks at the benefits of the company gaining its ISO certification and how the large yacht market is gaining trust in ceramics

Over the past couple of years, Cerashield has grown dramatically. Year after year, the team grows, and the requests for quotation increase in size and value. We investigated some of the data behind these figures, to understand what was driving the increase in business. Our conclusions are as follows:

Ceramics are becoming accepted by Paint Surveyors and independent coatings consultants. Earlier this year we wrote an article for the International Institute of Marine Surveyors (IIMS) Monthly magazine, “Report”. This came about due to the increasing prevalence of ceramic coatings, and the need to inform and educate coatings inspectors and surveyors about Ceramic coatings, their composition and application methods.

Ceramics are becoming accepted by shipyards – We have worked hard to educate the project managers and buyers at numerous refit centres, about the benefits and disadvantages of ceramic, and to understand how ceramics can benefit the shipyard and end client.

CeraShield CeramicsAs a result of a prolonged commercial campaign, we succeeded in reversing the direction of travel of one well known Italian shipyard, to the extent that 25% of all our turnover in the past year has been generated through this successful collaboration. We were also invited by one very well-known Dutch yacht builder to meet with the entire paint team and conduct some trials and training with them. They explained that they could no longer afford to ignore or refuse the many requests from their vessels for ceramics, and so we have embarked upon a programme of testing and training, that we expect will lead to another successful collaboration for the long term.

We listened to a lot of feedback from major stakeholders in the industry and were determined to come up with strategies to overcome the most common objections we had encountered. The most important of these were grave concerns about the potential for cross contamination of painting projects. There was also a lack of transparency from ceramic applicators about the composition of their products, and where they were situated on the vessel. We are seeing a return on the investment made in our testing programme with OPTIMIZA Consulting. Many thousands of euros have been spent in testing the long term results from coating many different test panels. This has provided us with an enormous amount of data to use in understanding down glossing, longevity, and the interaction of our products.

We are seeing the return on investment from developing, along with Optimiza, a reliable and impartial testing protocol to determine if a ceramic coating has been completely removed. We formulated a removal gel, after exhaustive testing, which has proven to be very effective with all known ceramics, without damaging the underlying paint.

We are seeing the positive impact within the company of attaining ISO certification. Cerashield is ISO 9001, 27001 and 45001 accredited. We are now in our third year of the annual audit cycle, and the structure and discipline that ISO positively imposes upon the company can be seen in all areas of the business. We have become more organised and structured in areas such as staff training, inventory management, project planning and administrative procedures.

CeraShield CeramicsDuring this current refit season, we have completed major projects on five vessels over 100 metres in length. We conclude that the combination of benefits, such as reduced cost, reduced environmental impact, and reduced vessel downtime, are making ceramic coatings more attractive as an alternative to repainting for larger vessels.

All Cerashield clients receive technical and safety data sheets for the products in use, and are guest users in our Pinpoint Works account, where we upload photographic reports linked to the GA plan of the vessel. In this way, when the yacht goes into refit, they can share with the shipyard and applicator the location of the ceramic coatings, and their specification.

We are also able to remove ceramic coatings successfully and provide a third-party analysis report to the client verifying the ceramic is removed prior to sanding and painting. Our team work to objective acceptance criteria in the preparation of surfaces, and we have quality assurance measures to ensure consistency in productivity and finish quality.

For more details: Tel:+34 620 393 033 or visit www.cerashield.net