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THE

BULLETIN

THE NATIONAL CONCRETE BURIAL VAULT ASSOCIATION INC.

Vol. 12

COPYRIGHT 1960

No, 5

December 1997

Death Care Industry Leaders Convene At FAMIC Meeting Representatives of the industry attending the Funeral and Memorialization Industry Council meeting in Chicago (back row, from left): Dan Majestic, IMSA; Hugh Mc Question and Jim Wiens, NCB VA; Bob Harden, NFDA; Robert Gordon, ICFA; Deke Farmer, NSM; Jeff Anderson, MBNA; and Kurt Swenson, AMA. (Front row, from left) Pennie Sabel, AMA; William Aaron and Bruce Overton, NFDA; Linda Marsh, MBNA; Dennis Britson, NCRA; and Otto Ali, NFDMA. (See column by Jim Wiens, Page 3)

INSIDE THE BULLETIN

Wilbert, Inc. Names New Board Of Manufacturers Association

President's Message

3

Making the Transition to Water-Base Paints

4

Liability of Loaning Your Funeral Tents

6

History of NCBVA's Performance Standards

7

Industry Calendar

8

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Wilbert, Inc. recently'announced the new officers new officers of the Wilbert Manufacturers Association (WMA) Board of Directors Elections were held at the company's annual meeting in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Dennis Welzenbach of Suhor Industries, Overland Park, Kansas was elected president. He is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Suhor. Welzenbach has been with the company for 10 years and has been actively invalved with WMA since 1994. Brad Johnson of Western Wilbert Vault Company in Minot, North Dakota, was elected vice president. Steven Bush, Quincy Wilbert Vault Co., Quincy, Illinois was elected

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secretary and Holly B. Bridgers, Baxter Wilbert Burial Vault Service, Cincinnati. Ohio is treasurer. WMA was formed to help licensees better understand the needs of their customer and to improve the lines of communication between Wilbert's corporate office and the distributors. "The WMA board is imperative to the success of the company as we head into the new millennium," said Christopher Lorenc, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. "The WMA Board has the experience and talent to help keep Wilbert at the forefront of the industry for many years to come."


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December, 1997 National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. 926 Great Pond Drive Suite 1002 Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714 President Jim Wiens Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Newton, KS President-Elect and District 5 Director Hugh McQuestion Lakeshore Burial Vault Co., Inc. Brookfield, IL Secretary/Treasurer Warren Chandler Master Grave Services, Inc. Bogart, GA Immediate Past President William Clementz Fort Myers Vault Service Fort Myers, FL Directors, District 1 Robert D. Brouse Ringtown Wilbert Vault Works Ringtown, PA Robert Hardy Hardy Doric, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Directors, District 2 Warren Chandler Master Grave Services, Inc. Bogart, GA Dan Hicks Carlton Wilbert Vault, Inc. Miami, FL .

Directors, District 3 Bob DonateIli Baumgardner Products Co. Akron, OH Holly Baxter Bridgers Baxter Burial Vault Service Cincinnati, OH Directors, District 4 Timothy Brutsche Brutsche Concrete Products Battle Creek, MI Jack Swihart Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp Siginaw, MI Director, District 5 Richard Cooper Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Tulsa, OK Executive Director Thomas A. Monahan, CAE Certified Association Management Company Altamonte Springs, FL Legal Counsel J. Scott Calkins Calkins Sz Campbell

NCBVA BULLETIN

3

Board Members Rise and Shine To Finalize Plans for Convention '98 By Jim Wiens NCBVA President It's hard to believe but we are halfway through the NCBVA year and the pace is picking up as we finalize plans for the 1998 Annual Convention in St. Louis. Convention planning was one of the main topics on the agenda at the board of directors meeting which was held in conjunction with the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) convention in October. We had 100 percent attendance by the board and officers of the association and they didn't waste much time sleeping. Our two-day meeting began at 7:00 a.m. each day so everyone could be on the exhibit floor by 1:00 p.m.. The result of their hard work will be an information-filled convention that you can't afford to miss. Topics will range from plant operations, safety, National Cemetery, to industry trends and issues. We have commitments from Steve Salzman from ABN Amro Chicago Corporation, Jeff Spahn, retired OSHA area director, and a speaker, to be determined, from the National Cemetery System office in Washington, DC. Many other topics will be covered in the breakout sessions which will be led by industry experts. Whether you are a large or small manufacturer, urban or rural, you will be able to customize a track to meet your needs. The Performance Standards Committee along with inspector E.J. Brutsche has been active and also met via conference call in October. A shorter, one-day inspection has been proposed at a reduced cost. Revisions in the manual will be made to modernize and account for the changes. This program is very important to the concrete burial vault industry as more cemeteries adopt standards for outside burial containers interred in their cemeteries. As an industry we must control those standards and make sure most of the manufacturers can meet them. Plant certification lets your customer know that you take quality seriously. The board of directors also approved a model cemetery regulation for outer burial containers for caskets and urns. A copy can be ordered from the NCBVA office. Many thanks to Mark Minnick and Scott Calkins who co-authored the regulation. NCBVA was represented at the meeting of the Funeral and Memorialization Industry Council (FAMIC) in held recently in Chicago by Hugh McQuestion, Tom Monahan and me. This is an important organization and provides NCBVA with an opportunity for exposure to all the leaders in the indugtry. Groups represented included the International Memorialization Supply Association (IMSA), National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), International Cemetery and Funeral Association (ICFA), National Selected Morticians (NSM), Monument Builders of North America (MBNA), American Monument Association (AMA), and the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association (NFDMA). One of the main speakers was Dennis Britson, president of the North American Cemetery Regulators Association (NCRA) This group is auditing cemetery trust funds on a multistate basis to save money on audits. Their model regulations for trust funds could be used by all states. They have also audited the storage program for Vantage products in Georgia and we need to work with NCRA to be sure that our product is not harmed through regulation. Christopher Chigas of Access Financial Group discussed trust fund yields versus the inflation rate on funeral service. We learned that the inflation rate on funerals has averaged 4.9% for the last 11 years, which is well ahead of the inflation rate for all goods and services. If you are out surfing the net, take a look at the FAMIC website that was designed by our Executive Director and launched at the meeting. It is an impressive site, providing access to information about all facets of the industry. The address is http://www.famic.org . Mark your calendars now for June 25-27, 1998. We are planning an exceptional program that will improve your business so . . .

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NCBVA BULLETIN

December, 1997

Water-Base Paints Things to think about Before making the transition By Richard Horse11

T

he most important place to start is with the vault manufacturer's interest in switching over to water-base products. If the attitude of the manufacturer is complacent and only curious at best, chances are the performance of the water-base products will fail in his eyes. His attitude must be one of determination and dedication to doing what is best for his company and his employees. If you are thinking about making a change to water-base, there are at least eight factors to consider: ( I ) Changes in the heating system or even actually installing one may be required depending on the climate; (2) Installation of a water source for clean-up is required near the painting area; (3) Inside storage of unpainted vaults and finished vaults should be available; (4) Change in daily finishing schedule; (5) Better monitoring of powder to vehicle ratio; (6) Rotation and agitation of liquid inventory; (7) Spraying vs. rolling; and (8) Water-base, v -Ater-borne, latex.

Heating system Obviously, this is a very important factor in transferring a plant to water-base usage. The changes will of course depend on the geographical location of the vault plant. Regardless, the painting area needs to be kept above 50 degrees to insure proper film formation on the service of the vault. The area where the water-base liquids are to be inventoried must be kept warm, also 50 degrees. Drastic fluctuations in air temperature may cause a vault's finished coat to appear uneven in brilliance and/or color.

Water supply In using any type of liquid medium, it is important to have a source of "solvent" to clean equipment and/or hands. For water-

base, the "solvent" of choice is, of course, water. A manufacturing plant, of any kind, using water-base products, will work more efficiently and safely if there is a constant source of water by the painting location. Notice I used the word "constant." Having a five-gallon pail of warm water brought to the painting location every morning is not considered a "congtant source of water." To help the employees successfully implement the usage of water-base products, the installation of a sink is an important , yet often overlooked, step.

Inside storage This step depends again on the continental location of the vault plant. Areas subjected to cold climates as well as areas subjected to large amounts of rainfall will definitely fare better if the vaults are stored inside. Vault companies will not be able to paint a cold vault using water-base products. The finished coat will almost instantly freeze upon contact and leave the vault's finish looking very "foggy" and dull. Companies located in wet climates will quickly discover that painting on a wet surface will compromise the integrity of the finished coating. What may appear to be a successful painting job, will come off with wind or additional moisture (rain/ snow) on the way to the service. Protecting vaults from the elements will allow the water-base products to perform best.

Finishing schedule When using solvent-based liquids, the vault manufacturer never had to be concerned with the time of day he painted his vaults. Even in the rain, he could always service a director who forgot to call in an order and not worry about the vault's finish washing off. With a change to water-base, those days are gone (at least until new tech-

Note: In the last issue, Earl J. Brutsche discussed the proper mixture of irater in the concrete !lily. This article, deal inglt .ith things to consider when making a transition 10 water-base paints, is written by Richard Horse/I, Vice President of Edgmont Metallic Pigment, Inc. He is a member of NCBVA.

nology brings faster setting times). A commonly asked question is "how long before this material dries?" It is very important to understand the answer. There are two types of drying times when working with water-base products: (1) dry to the touch and (2) set time. Dry to the touch means that one can handle the vault without scarring the finished coat. Chains may be used to load or move the vault, hands may be laid on the vault to help swing it into position, etc. However, that is all the finish can handle. Set time is of greater importance then dry time. If a vault's finish is damaged during the dry time stage, it can always be touchedup. However, if the set time is compromised, then numerous problems may occur. Set time is the amount of time needed for the paint film to dry and form on the vault. If this is "challenged" there may be problems. The biggest of course is wash off. If the finished coat is not allowed to set and it rains, the coating could and most likely will wash off. What is the recommended set time? That will depend on the manufacturer of the water-base product. For bronzing liquids, our company recommends setting overnight. We recommend that vaults painted by 3:00 p.m.if they will be required for services the next day, However, the cautions do not end there. Vaults painted for the services the next day may be placed onto the truck beds overnight but they should not be strapped to the truck. The force of the strapping will most likely create an impression on the paint film and when the strap is removed, the impression will remain. Another important point is that if the vaults are placed onto the trucks, the trucks must remain inside overnight. The paint film must be allowed to dry air that is at least 50 degrees If it is too cold outside or where the trucks are stored, the paint film will freeze


December, 1997

NCBVA BULLETIN

before it has time to set. The finishing time and other aspects surrounding it play an important roll in utilizing water-base bronzing liquid.

amount of pigment-to-liquid ratio. Waterbase products by their very nature require a more exacting amount of pigment than solvent systems.

Powder liquid ratio

Inventory rotation

With a solvent-based products, the powerliquid ration was not critical as it is with water-base. Some believed that using more powder yielded a more brilliant vault. Others thought it was just a waste of powder and some tried to use the least amount they could get away with. With water-base, all of these theories go right out the window. Water-base bronzing vehicles are very sensitive to the proper powder-to-liquid ratios. Too much powder just wastes money. Additional powder will not yield any more brilliance. In fact there is a point to which the liquid cannot carry any more pigment and make spraying more difficult. Conversely, too little powder-to-liquid ratio will result in off standard colors. Coppers will appear pinkish, golds will appear mustard, silvers will appear gray. This is rarely a problem with solvent-base products. To answer the question usually in the minds of vault men, no, we did not formulate a bronzing liquid that required a greater

As with any raw material, inventory rotation is very important. It takes on an even greater role when using water-base materials. Typically, solvent-based liquids (unpigmented) had a shelf life of 12 months plus Water-base products do not. The recommended amount of time to inventory waterbase products is six months. After that, bacteria can develop and sour the liquid rendering it useless, not to mention the offensive odor!

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Spray vs. roll This seems to be a very personal choice. While we feel that there are definite advantages to one over another, we always respect the choice of the vault man and support him in whatever way he sees best fits his plant. Our choice is spraying because we feel the advantages far outweigh any disadvantages. It may seem strange coming from a company that is well rooted in manufacturing vault paints, but rolling just wastes paint.

5 The advances in spraying equipment have been marvelous and are keeping up with the various local, state and federal regulations. Spraying is faster, neater and more economical. The cost of a quality gun will be paid for within one year regardless of your usage. With the new guns and using water-base, a spray booth is not required. A ventilation fan is always suggested to remove any over spray. However, because you're using a water-base rather than solvent-base product, an explosion proof motor may not be required. (Check with your fire marshall or insurance company).

Water base, borne, latex -

It is important for the vault manufacturer

to be aware that there are different types of water "based" products. The different types all contain varying amounts of solvents. The least amount of solvent is usually found in the product termed "water-base." This is important to understand due to changes in regulations. Water-base products that contain very small amounts of solvent should be able to be used for many years. Those that contain higher amounts of solvent may become outdated if the regulations are changed to stricter levels.

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NCBVA BULLETIN

December 1997

Loaning Tents For Events Increases Your Liability By J. Scott Calkins, Esq. NCBVA Legal Counsel You might be asking, "Why is Scott interested in discussing tents?" It may come as a surprise to some members to learn that over the past six or seven months, I have received a number of requests for advice and recommendations regarding the use of tents owned by vault manufacturers. I have researched the liability of funeral directors/vault manufacturers for supplying defective or inappropriately erected tents. To date, the only court decisions involving tents deal with charges by the public against the funeral director and vault manufacturer under a breach of contract for not providing a tent which had been ordered . or for supplying an unclean, unsightly tent. I did not find any cases dealing with liability for injuries, etc. If any of the readers of this article have personally experienced or know of any litigation or insurance claims for liability due to use of their tents, please send information to NCBVA. The potential liability for tents can be broken down into four or five different categories: (1) A tent supplied and erected by the vault manufacturer for service at the cemetery; (2) A vault manufacturer's tent with cemetery personnel erecting said tent; (3) A tent left in place for hours after the cemetery service; (4) And, of course, the proverbial damage allegedly done by the erection of a tent for the cemetery service. In speaking with many vault manufacturers, I find that the generally accepted practice (with which I concur) is that no tent shall be used for cemetery service unless it is erected by the vault manufacturer's personnel, and that such personnel remove said tent shortly after the service is concluded and the family and friends have departed. In the few instances where a vault manufacturer allows cemetery personnel to erect the tent, the vault manufacturer should obtain a release and hold harmless agreement to protect himself from potential liability for improper erection of the tent. The most potentially troublesome uses of your tents are when they are utilized for purposes other than the cemetery and funeral service. As a gesture of community goodwill, many vault manufacturers will allow their tents to be used free of charge for local charity events, weddings, parties, etc. In my opinion, such usage greatly enhances your chance of liability for injury to individuals involved in the event. In this regard, I understand that vault men will provide their tents free of charge, including setting them up and tearing them down with their own personnel; renting with the use of their own personnel setting up and tearing them down; or renting or providing tents free of charge with the users setting them up and tearing them down. Allowing a user to set up and tear down creates unnecessary potential liability. I recommend that vault men, if asked to provide a tent for a purpose other than cemetery service, rent them for a fee comparable to the price charged by the local commercial rental companies. However, we all know that vault men are often "forced" to provide tents for the funeral director's customer, a

Photo courtesy of Puckett Supply Co. Inc.

daughter's high school party, etc. When faced with this situation be sure that your tents are erected and torn down by vault personnel. If you are renting your tents for public use, it is most important that they be made of fire retardant material. You should have a certificate, either on the tent or in your possession, indicating that said tent is made of fire retardant material. Several vault men have indicated that local fire chiefs will disallow the use of a tent if fire is going to be used such as grilling or even smoking unless the tent is made of fire retardant material. The bottom line here is never, I repeat never loan a tent to the public, unless it is fire retardant. Don't forget to send us any of your comments or local examples involving the issue of tent liability.

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December, 1997

NCBVA BULLETIN

7

A History Lesson on NCBVA Performance Standards By Earl J. Brutsche

The National Concrete Burial Vault Association has had performance standards for some 50 years, but we just didn't call it that. Here's a brief history. Years ago, a vault was selected and a frame was constructed of 2inch by 8-inch planing and a layer of sand was then leveled and then sacks of cement were placed on the cover until a failure took place. That was it. It was about 15 years ago when John Williams was president of NCBVA and he felt we needed to develop a performance standard. The Association employed a firm in St. Paul, MN—Twin City Testing Lab. They were instructed to put together a program. They didn't' move very fast and before you knew it, seven years had gone by. It was finally in 1990, under the leadership of Chairman Mark Minnick that things happened. In January of 1992 the first inspections of the Plant Certification and Performance Standards Program started. The NCBVA Plant Certification Program is designed for those members of NCBVA who desire to have their plants inspected and certified on the basis of their level of compliance to the performance standards. The Plant Certification Program is a system whereby an unbiased inspector can objectively rate your plant and your products according to the standards set up by the NCBVA. This program is voluntary and is available to NCBVA members in good standing.

The inspection fee is paid by the participating producer. Producers of outer burial receptacles who are not members of the NCBVA may apply for Plant Certification at twice the stated fee for member producers. A firm should have no fear of not passing if all the following are adhered to: Box and cover forms "true" (not in a bind). A good mix design (700 # of cement minimum, 35 gals of water maximum, w/o ration .4). Adequate reinforcing (rebar properly placed, mesh used). Proper curing (28 days at 40 degrees). Two piece covers (don't pass). Lightweight covers (thin 1-1/2" covers don't test well either). The size of your business, the type of batch plant, the number of units produced daily and the number of personnel employed should have no bearing on the outcome for this evaluation. Quality, safety, and performance of the finished product are the concerns of our organization. Therefore, every plant will be rated based on its ability to produce high quality precast outer burial receptacles and meet the conditions recommended in the performance standards. If you are considering certification, talk to one who has gone this way. You may be surprised by the additional information you acquire during this education exchange. Schedule your inspection by calling NCB VA headquarters 1-800-538-1423.

LONG

The VAULT-MASTER has variable speed hydraulic drive, hydraulicly raised and lowered front steering axle, roll-back CraneWay beam with adjustable support legs, and an 9,000 lb. hydraulic vault lifting hoist. Will handle straight or cross grave settings. The Crane-Way beam is a 5" I-Beam and is 14' long with heavy-duty, adjustable support legs. The beam is carried on large flat rollers with heavy duty bearings. There is a hand crank system to roll beam back and forth. The vault lifting winch is swivel-mounted to the beam trolley. This prevents trolley wheel binding due to sideways shifts of the load. Hand operated back winch at the rear of the Crane-Way beam allows safe loading of a vault from a truck or trailer bed onto the Vault Handling Trailer. Rear hydraulic leveling jacks enable easy leveling of the whole machine on almost any terrain They make off-loading a vault from a truck bed easier and safer. We have a long list of options and will do custom options. For more information contact: Don Long Long Machine Co. 519 N. Main Ave. Maiden, NC 28650 , (Ph) 704-428-2648 (Fax) 704-428-8606


December, 1997

NCBVA BULLETIN

8

Short Takes

Industry Calendar and Key Dates

Cemeteries Can Be Fun! Before the advent of public parks, graveyards doubled as picnic spots and playgrounds. Now that they draw only mourners, there's a marketing effort afoot to attract more of the living. Why? To build future client base. "It's a good way to get your name out there," says Edward Laux of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, N.Y., which holds concerts and a holiday tree-lighting fest to rival Rockefeller Center's. In Cincinnati, Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum hosts weddings and pruning seminars. Nearby Walnut Hills Cemetery recently had a 5-km run. And Boston Boasts an annual "Tour de Grave" bike trip. Source: Business Week magazine

•••

January 15-18 Wilbert Natl Sales Seminar, Monteleone Hotel, New Orleans, LA 18-21 World of Concrete Exp, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL 29-30 Dealthcare World Expo, Charlotte, NC

February Doric Winter/Spring Seminar, Holiday Inn, Terre Haute, IN 19-21 21-25 Wilbert Management Seminar, La Playa Resort, Naples FL

March 13-15 National Precast Concrete Assn, Expo MCX '98, Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH 15-18 Natl Precast Concrete Assn Annual Convention, Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH 18-22 ICFA Annual Convention, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, GA

June 25-27 NCBVAAnnual Convention, DoubleTree Hotel, St. Louis, MO

How About Some Numbers According to statistics released recently by the Casket and Funeral Supply Association (CFSA) there were an estimated 536,301 total deaths in the U.S. between July and September, 1997. Of that number, 436,357 were estimated to be casketed deaths.

August 19-22

Cana, Westin, Seattle, WA

September 20-23 Wilbert Manufacturers' Assn., Loews Coronado Hotel, San Diego, CA

National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. 926 Great Pond Dr. #1003, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714-7244


Bulletin 1997 December