The foundations for the Australasian Institute of Surface Finishing (AISF) were laid over 50 years ago when electroplaters had a desire for regular exchange of technical information. This led to the establishment of branches of the American Electroplaters’ Society (AES) in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. By the late 1960’s NSW were also members of the Master Electroplaters Association which focussed on consultation with government authorities to have a voice in policy changes.
With national agreement that the industry needed to speak with one voice, it was clear an Australian based national industry association was required. On the 1st April 1969 the Australasian Institute of Metal Finishing (AIMF) was born. Guided by a Federal Council drawn from all the three founding Branches, the AIMF grew rapidly. 420 members attended the first AIMF Annual Conference in October 1969.
The 1970’s featured the rise of powder coating and anodising. These industry members joined the AIMF as their professional and technical industry body. As the AIMF strengthened the support of many major companies, smaller operators and suppliers soon followed and branches in Brisbane and Perth were established.
In the years of the 70’s and 80’s, the AIMF initiated industry specific training programs that were utilised by the association in conjunction with TAFE and other training organisations.
The AIMF played a key role, through members time being allocated to working with Australian Standards committees.
These included Standards for electroplating and anodising and in subsequent years powders coatings. Most of these Standards are still applicable today in updated formats. To this day, AISF is the key driver for updating industry specific Australian Standards.
The late 1990’s saw the development of the AIMF’s Audit and Accreditation Programs.
The first program, encouraged by the Australian Window Association (AWA), was the AIMF implemented accreditation program for powder coating aluminium extrusions.
After considerable deliberation, in 1998, the AIMF decided to utilise the highly regarded, international Qualicoat Audit & Accreditation system. This system is still in operation today and registered plants complete bi-annual audits to maintain their Qualicoat License. The AISF holds the master license for Qualicoat in this region.
The second accreditation program was created by anodiser’s who wrote their own Anoaudit Audit and Accreditation system specific for Australian conditions.
There are currently 3 registered plants with Anoaudit Accreditation with discussion to convert to the International Qualanod System. The AISF would likely become the licence holder in this region.
Development of the AISF
In September 2006, the Institute changed its name to the Australasian Institute of Surface Finishing (AISF). The name change was made to reflect the changes in the industry, with the development of plating on plastics and powder coating on wood, as well as the finishing of many other materials.
In 2017 the AISF established the School of Powder Coating to formalise the training of members in the powder coating industry.
2019 saw the AISF move towards further growth with the AGWA (formally AWA-AGGA) managing the Secretariat services, with leadership guidance and wisdom passed between the associations.
Currently the AISF is working on further developing our industry by updating the Powder Coating Standard AS3715, holding valuable seats on Environmental Protection Authority forums across Australia and is focused on the continued development of industry specialised training programs.
Today we invite you to join our Institute and continue the vision of our founders to create an organisation that represents and grows our industry.