HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH
GSB International as a Digital Pioneer-Quality Assurance in Times of the Pandemic
Edited by GSB International Düsseldorf, Germany1
First published in Besser lackieren 6/2021
Werner Mader, Managing Director, GSB International.
quality community lives from its network. This was the case
conferencing for this format. What is particularly appreciated here is
before Corona, this is the case during Corona and this will also
that in some cases very long business trips are no longer necessary.
be the case after Corona.
The member companies can thus actively prevent the shortage of
GSB International is active in the field of quality assurance for the
skilled workers without having to invest valuable time in traveling.
coating of aluminium and steel components. Its quality focus is on
Coincidentally, the publication of the new edition of GSB quality
exterior applications in the fields of architecture and industry.
regulations coincided with the start of the pandemic. These have
The special feature is that GSB monitors the complete supply chain,
been completely restructured in countless hours of work. Important
by assuring the quality of chromium and chromium-VI-free pre-
information can now be found significantly faster. This is ensured not
treatment chemicals, of powder coatings as well as liquid paints, and
least by the fact that the documents have been optimized for use on
of coating companies. At the beginning of the pandemic, the auditing
digital devices. As a result, it is always possible to call up the latest
of the coating companies was a big challenge. Normally, all coating
information directly in the production facility. Furthermore, glossaries
companies that carry one of GSB’s prestigious quality seals are audited
have been included, as they are known from textbooks. This makes it
twice a year, unannounced, by independent testing institutes. In
much easier for trainees and newcomers to get started.
times of Corona, it is of course difficult to carry out on-site inspections
To ensure that all those who work with the GSB quality regulations
while complying with all hygiene regulations. In addition, the member
on a daily basis can immediately familiarize themselves with the new
companies are spread all over Europe. Different regions naturally go
edition, the GSB offered online introductions. These were so popular
hand in hand with different hygiene rules and containment measures.
that it was able to offer additional sessions on several occasions. Over
In awareness of the ongoing pandemic, GSB drew up a concept as
the course of 2020, the association instructed a total of more than 125
quickly as possible. The most important factor in this was the safety
employees of the member companies in its new quality regulations – in
of the employees from the companies and the testing institutes. A
German and English, of course.
pilot test was launched immediately and an audit was conducted via
In order to further expand GSB’s digital leadership, the Board of
video conference. In this type of audit, employees at the sites show the
Directors, the Quality Committees, and the Head Office are working
auditors the relevant areas using a mobile device.
closely together. A collaboration that GSB reliably maintains via
In the meantime, online audits have become part of everyday life. This
video conferencing, even in times of restrictions. Cooperation with
form of testing was used at companies where on-site audits are not
simultaneous interpreters is particularly important at this point since
possible due to the pandemic. In this way, the outstanding quality of
many nationalities are represented in GSB’s team and, in this way,
GSB-compliant coatings can be secured despite the pandemic.
cooperation is possible without a language barrier. The meeting
In addition to testing, training is particularly important for GSB and its
participants select the language in which they want to hear the
members. Employees of the member companies must regularly attend
meeting via a button. But despite GSB’s advanced digital solutions,
GSB training courses. Within the framework of these training courses,
everyone is naturally looking forward to the time after the pandemic,
the GSB association’s team provides knowledge related to quality
when face-to-face meetings and trade shows will be possible again.
assurance in accordance with the quality regulations. In addition, highly
Meanwhile, the member companies are taking the opportunity to
up-to-date topics, such as technical innovations and legal changes,
present themselves and their projects on GSB’s social media pages
are regularly included in the curricula. GSB has also switched to video
and benefit from its big number of followers.
N. 70 - JULY/AUGUST 2021 - international PAINT&COATING magazine