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The Life-Cycle Cost Calculator (LCCC) has been a tool in AGA members' arsenal since 2008. The current data used to calculate the initial and life-cycle cost of paint systems is from a 2008 NACE Paper written by KTA Tator, a prominent consultant to the paint industry. For the past couple of years, when delivering the Galvanize It! seminar to audiences, the relevancy of the costs had been challenged, despite the fact galvanizing costs in the calculator are dynamic and can be input at any level. The challenge is no longer valid as the AGA has recently updated the LCCC with data from the 2014 version of the KTA paper (C2014-4088 Expected Service Life and Cost Considerations for Maintenance and New Construction Protective Coating Work) delivered at the NACE conference earlier this year.

KTA-Tator conducted a survey of paint manufacturers again in 2013 and released the paper at the NACE show in March. As expected, the cost of most paint systems defined in the paper and now resident in the LCCC increased anywhere from 20–25% over the last six years. This reinforces the notion hot-dip galvanizing is initially less expensive in most cases! That may be a revelation for some in the hot-dip galvanizing industry, but when promoting that fact, one should keep in mind the LCCC costs do not include any fabricator markup on the services (paint or galvanizing). This may be an advantage when dealing with decision-makers who are unaware some fabricators apply exorbitant (50% – 80%) markups on the galvanizing cost. As a side note, KTA-Tator did update information in their paper about the longevity of hot-dip galvanized steel. The changes are an improvement, but still not totally accurate, so the AGA will continue to use our own data for galvanizing in the calculator.

Since the launch of the new website last September, the AGA Marketing Department has targeted a rebranding of the calculator, and thanks to impeccable timing of the new KTA-Tator release, the facelift will now be more than cosmetic. The calculator will keep all of the existing functionality, including the duplex systems module which was added in 2010. However, all of the cost data in the backend will be updated to the 2014 information. In addition to the new data, the look of the calculator tool at is being updated to match the branding of the other AGA online resources. The new and improved calculator will launch in the first part of August 2014.

With the launch of the new data and branding, the AGA is working on updating cost data and promoting the “relaunch.” Once the calculator is live, the AGA will update all of the cost data in the various formats of the Galvanize It! seminars and push those out to the presenters. Additionally, the AGA will be updating the Costs Less, Lasts Longer publication, which is nearly out of stock. The relaunch of the calculator and the release of the new publication will both be promoted on our website and through third party outlets.

Promotion beyond the AGA’s reach is also highly encouraged. If you haven’t used the calculator, or do not use if often, now is the time to jump on board. With the increased paint costs and the relatively stable price of zinc and hot-dip galvanizing over the last five years, the new data in the calculator will strengthen the argument that hot-dip galvanized steel is less expensive both initially and over the life-cycle. As an industry, we have been too quick to immediately change the conversation to life-cycle cost analysis, when in fact we often have an initial cost advantage over high-performance paint systems.

Don’t be a late adopter…start using the calculator today to reinforce the message that hot-dip galvanizing is the most sustainable, cost effective, steel corrosion protection system.