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Feature: Powder coating makes steel cabinet more durable

by Tess Superioridad Baluyos

Cagayan de Oro City (22 June) -- What makes one steel cabinet different from other steel cabinets? It could be its size, its color?

"Its durability!" quickly says Engr. Francis Celis, owner of Jacsons Enterprises. The big difference is made possible by a technology intervention called "Powder Coating."

Powder coating technology is a process of which steel cabinets or vaults are finished with an electrostatic powder coating. The powder is applied to all sides including the bottom panel. Powder coating is more durable than enamel and it is scratch-resistant, providing a lifetime quality appearance.

"Powder coating technology has been there for the last 25 years and it is becoming more popular due to its high durable effect. I first heard about it in Malaysia and I have been wanting to adopt the technology. However, due perhaps to its high price, it was not popular then because not everybody can afford it," Engr. Celis says.

Jacsons Enterprises started in the early 70's in Iloilo City as a single proprietorship owned and founded by Jose Celis. It was later incorporated as Jacsons' Metalcraft Enterprises, trading office equipment such as typewriters, calculators and steel cabinets.

In the early 80's, the business shifted to steel manufacturing, mainly steel cabinets and other related steel and metal products.

As part of its long-range business plan to expand to other regions, the company decided to open a distribution outlet in Cagayan de Oro City as a franchise, in favor of Engr. Celis, who is also an incorporator.

While attending a national convention of the Metals Industry Association of the Philippines (MIAP) in Manila, an engineer from the Metals Industry Research and Development Institute (MIRDC) mentioned to Engr. Celis about the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of DOST.

Engr. Celis clearly recalled that the SETUP assistance extends not only financial but also the technical aspect. His interest was heightened, as he wanted to go into powder coating, just like what they do in Malaysia.

Months later, two engineers of MIRDC-Engineers Roy Sagrado and Royce Donasco, based in Cagayan de Oro City, contacted Engr. Celis. He was also assisted in the preparation of the project proposal and the compliance of other requirements. Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Cecilia Aca-ac was also there to assist.

In 2005, a SETUP technology assistance in the amount of P980,000 was granted to Jacsons' Enterprises for the acquisition of production equipment like the batch-type bake oven, powder spray paint booth, powder spray gun and powder sieving machine.

Today, Jacsons' Enterprises is the only powder coating manufacturing plant in region 10. It employs 40 workers (20 in the production and 20 in the office and marketing) and gets about 20% of the powder coated steel cabinet market share in Mindanao.

It has established dealers and distributors in Davao, General Santos City and in Caraga Region. The company plans to increase its production from its present capacity of 200 units per month to be able to cope with the increasing market demand in Mindanao and to supply the whole of the Visayas region. They also plan to export their products to Asian countries.

For now, he is serving the demand of big government agencies and multinational companies in the region for powder coated products.

Engr. Celis confessed that he used to have second thoughts about accepting support from government agencies due to bureaucracy. His experience with DOST, however, has changed his perspective. In fact, he is thankful for the continued assistance he receives from the various agencies under the DOST like MIRDC, ITDI and yes, from the DOST in region 10 and its Misamis Oriental Provincial Office.

He proudly remembers the visit of DOST Secretary Estrella Alabastro a few months ago. He says not all Secretaries of the government do that. (DOST 10) [top]

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