Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I do weathering or light stability testing at all? What is my ROI?

The Big Payback on Weathering & Light Stability Testing: Quite often weathering and light stability testing yields huge returns on investment. Here are some of the returns you can get from a relatively modest outlay on testing.

Catastrophes Avoided: A new product or a reformulated product could fail very quickly when subject to sunlight and weather. The best protection against this is to test it before introduction. Even established products can fail if a production batch is made improperly or made with a bad shipment of some component material. What is the cost of a recall of a new product or a production batch that fails catastrophically in the field?

Big Savings on Material Costs: Maybe your product could be just as durable with less expensive materials – for instance a lower cost pigment, or the same pigment from a lower cost supplier. Maybe you could get the same performance with a reduced amount of some expensive additive. Or maybe a totally new polymer could lower your cost without hurting durability. The only way to know is to test. How much would a 1% savings on material cost be worth? What about 5%, or 10%?

Enter New Markets: To break into a new market you need to meet the customer's expectations for durability. You can hope that your product has the required durability, or you can test for it. If you find that your product's durability needs further development, you can use testing to improve it. You can re-design and re-test until you get the durability required to break into the market. What is the dollar value of being able to enter a new market?

Expand Existing Products: Even a relatively small change to a product, like a new color, can make a big difference in light stability. To take advantage of those small enhancements that can make a big difference to a product line, you need to evaluate the durability by testing it. What is it worth to extend your product line, without compromising durability?

Improve Product Durability: Frequently small changes in your materials can make big improvements in durability. Often our clients make dramatic improvements in durability without increasing their costs. The only way to do this is to test different materials and combinations of materials. What is it worth to have a more durable product?

Reduce Warranty Claims: How much are warranty claims costing you? How much could you save by reducing your warranty claim rate?

Verify Suppliers' Claims: Each of your suppliers truly believes that they have the best combination of cost and durability. And each of them is probably right - for some set of circumstances. How do you know if what is 'good enough' to your supplier is good enough for you? To find out which supplier is right for your particular requirement, you need to test your suppliers head to head, either in your own lab or at an independent third party like Q-Lab.

Expand Market Share: A more durable product can expand your market share at the expense of your competitors. However, you can't develop better durability unless you test durability.

Stay Ahead of Government Regulation:  Environmental and safety regulations make it increasingly expensive to use many proven raw materials. And every year, even more materials become restricted. Redesigning with environmentally friendly materials is now a way of life. Some of these new materials won't compromise your durability, but some will. The only way to be sure is to test. How much can you save by picking materials that bypass costly regulations? How much would it cost if a new regulation forces you to use a substitute material with poor durability, or a material with high cost?

Outrun the Competition: The pace of innovation in materials keeps getting faster. Better and cheaper materials are introduced every day. If you don't take advantage of them, someone else will. The only way to evaluate these materials is to test them. What is the value of taking advantage of new materials before your competitors do? What is the cost of playing catch up?

Enhance Your Reputation: The products you sell now will affect your reputation far into the future. A premature field failure can haunt you for years to come. On the other hand, products with consistent durability will act as advertisements for your quality throughout their lifetime. An investment in durability testing can protect and enhance your reputation like few other investments. What is your good name worth to you?

Ensure Compliance With Durability Standards: Some customers require light stability test data as a pre-condition for buying your product. In that case you can't sell at all, until you produce test data either in your own lab, or in an independent contract testing lab.

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