The NASF/AESF Foundation 2017 Course Catalog is Here!

Click Here to download the course schedule and catalog

Four Approaches to Education

In-Person Classroom Courses:

  • Taught across the country over 2-4 days
  • Electroplating & Surface Finishing (CEF) and Airline & Aerospace Finishing taught at SUR/FIN 2017

Web-Based Training:

  • Foundation courses in a series of web-based sessions
  • Live, online interaction with industry experts
  • 2-hour sessions take place Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00PM EST
  • Course recordings available for 30-days after original posting date

Home Study:

  • Learn any Foundation course at home and at your own pace
  • Receive hard copy materials which include lessons and homework
  • Technical Education Director responds to questions, grades homework and offers insight on improvements
  • Proctored exams at your location are also available

Custom Courses:

  • Design your own course to meet your company needs
  • Mix and match 110 available course modules
  • No travel required, we come to you

Visit our Education page for more information.

Road to Master Surface Finisher (MSF)

The AESF Foundation offers all primary, core and secondary courses for anyone interested in the “Master Surface Finisher” (MSF) certification program. Starting with either the CEF or CAF certification, students can progress to MSF by completing five of the additional courses and exams listed below.

Primary: (Choose 1)

  • Airline & Aerospace Finishing (CAF)
  • Electroplating & Surface Finishing (CEF)

Core: (Choose 3)

  • Aluminum Finishing
  • Chromium Plating for Engineering Purposes
  • Electroforming
  • Electroless Deposition
  • Precious Metals Plating
  • Zinc & Zinc Alloy Plating

Secondary: (Choose 2)

  • Corrosion & Salt Spray
  • Environmental Stewardship: Pollution Prevention
  • Environmental Stewardship: Wastewater Treatment

Visit our Certification page for more information

Posted in Education

NASF Closely Watching New EPA Superfund Clean Up Rule’s Impact on Surface Finishing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in early December proposed a new Superfund cleanup rule that NASF members should watch closely. The new proposal stems from an agency hazardous waste initiative under the Obama Administration that covers metal finishing as well as several other manufacturing sectors.

The latest proposed rule, which industry anticipated throughout 2016, would subject hard rock mining companies to a determination of future cleanup responsibilities and require each company to obtain bonds or insurance or self-assure to cover the cost of that clean up.

This is an important development for NASF members and finishing operations nationwide. A few years ago, EPA listed metal finishing on the list of sectors that would be targeted for what would be new, extremely burdensome requirements under the federal Superfund law that could potentially bankrupt both small and large companies.

NASF Has Advised Dropping Financial Assurance Requirements

NASF has been monitoring the rule’s progress for several years and held discussions with EPA, arguing that the agency’s approach was misguided on several fronts. EPA more recently expanded the metal finishing category to cover more facilities in the larger fabricated metals sector.

Outgoing EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, who heads the federal hazardous waste program, argues that the agency’s approach of requiring a company to secure a bond, letter of credit or other financial assurance mechanisms would lead to more cleanups in the U.S.

“This proposed rule, once finalized, would move the financial burden from taxpayers, and ensure that industry assumes responsibility for these cleanups,” Stanislaus said. “The proposed rule would also give companies an economic incentive to use environmentally protective practices that can help prevent future releases.”

Mining Industry Shared “Case Study” with NASF Members in Washington

This past year, attendees at the NASF Washington Forum heard from National Mining Association’s Tawny Bridgeford, who highlighted the mining industry’s experience as a “case study.” She noted that the onerous EPA requirements in the pipeline for miners would severely impact surface finishing facilities if the rules weren’t curbed early in the process.

The proposed rule, which wasn’t yet published in the Federal Register at press time, formally identified the next group of sectors in the pipeline for financial assurance rules, specifically electric power generation, transmission and distribution, petroleum, and coal products manufacturing.

The results of the presidential election, however, clearly will have some bearing on the outcome of the regulations in 2017. Because the agency released its proposal so late in the year, it’s possible that a new EPA under the incoming Trump administration will elect not to make the rule final in the new year.

Posted in Business, Government Relations, Law & Regulation

Don’t Miss-This Week: Palmetto Southeast Chapter Annual Conference & Holiday Party


Dec. 7-9, 2016

Hampton Inn & Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Hotel

1801 South Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Join the NASF Palmetto Southeast Chapter for the 8th Annual Technical Conference & Christmas Party. There is still time to send in your registration to take advantage of this opportunity to network, celebrate 2016 and look to the new year. Don’t miss your chance to reconnect with fellow Chapter members and meet new industry professionals.


Wednesday, Dec. 7:

4 pm – Registration
5-6:30 pm – Social hour
7:30 pm – Dinner

Thursday, Dec. 8:

8:30-11:45 am – Conference sessions
12:30 pm – Golf at Prestwick Country Club
7 pm – Social hour/Dinner

Friday, Dec. 9:

8:30-12 pm – Conference sessions
5:30-6 pm – Duplin Winery Tour
7-10 pm – Christmas Party at Greg Norman’s Australian Grille

Click here for more information and to register.


Posted in Events, NASF Chapters

Washington Forum, April 25 – 27, 2017: Register Now

April 25-27, 2017

Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City

Arlington, Virginia

Each year, the NASF Washington Forum offers both strategic and practical updates from top thought leaders and decision makers on the challenges that impact the surface finishing industry. This year’s event included a day and a half of sessions and networking followed by an optional day of meetings with legislators and congressional staff. The 2017 Forum will continue to deliver. With the election settled and a new administration coming to Washington, attendees will get first-hand the most significant news on how decisions in and outside of Washington will affect their businesses in 2017 and the coming years.

Posted in Events, Government Relations, Law & Regulation

Leadership Conference, February 26 – March 2, 2017: Register Now

Keynote: Disney’s Lee Cockerell on Customer Service and Improving Productivity

February 26-March 2, 2017

LaPlaya Resort & Spa, Naples, Florida

NASF’s Leadership Conference brings together over 100 attendees in an informal setting to network and learn about the issues and challenges facing the surface finishing industry. This year we are pleased to welcome Mr. Lee Cockerell as our keynote speaker for the 2017 Leadership Conference. Mr. Cockerell is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort.

In addition to our outstanding keynote, we have planned a complete agenda of timely informative updates including “What the Finishing Industry Can Expect from the New White House and Congress” as well as new initiatives from the NASF that provide members an advantage in 2017.

Posted in Events

NASF SUR/FIN is on Track to Sell Out the Exhibit Floor in Atlanta, June 19 – 21, 2017

June 19-21, 2017, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia

The NASF SUR/FIN Manufacturing & Technology Conference and Trade Show is on track to sell out for Atlanta next June! With seven months to go, nearly 70% of booth space has been reserved. Attendees and exhibitors will not only continue receiving the best in conference programming but will see expanded show hours as well.

The event will take advantage of Atlanta’s easily accessible location in the Southeast region of the U.S., the “new Detroit” for the automotive industry. Additionally, the geography boasts a strong presence from the aerospace, defense and other key sectors for surface finishing technologies.  Regardless of the industry you serve, SUR/FIN will deliver the newest and most innovative technologies in the marketplace.

Posted in Events

TSCA Reform: NASF Focuses on Implementing New U.S. Chemicals Law

NASF is a member of the North American Metals Council (NAMC) that monitors North American and global regulatory issues that impact the use of metals. The association has worked closely with groups like NAMC to ensure that the risks associated with metals are appropriately addressed in new chemical regulations.

NAMC has prepared a working document that identifies a timeline for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to achieve the mandates identified in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg) that amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In addition, EPA has also posted its first-year implementation plan on its website at:

Provided below are some of the key dates for implementing the new TSCA Reform requirements for issues affecting metals.

December 2016

  • EPA will need to propose three rulemakings for public review and comment by mid-December to achieve the final rulemaking deadlines mandated in TSCA Reform legislation:

1. Establish screening process for prioritization (to achieve June 22, 2017 deadline for final rulemaking);

2. Process to conduct risk evaluations (to achieve June 22, 2017 deadline for final rulemaking); and

3. Inventory reset process (to achieve June 22, 2017 deadline for final rulemaking).

  • EPA must “ensure” risk evaluation work has begun on ten chemicals from TSCA Chemical Work Plan.
  • EPA must submit a report to Congress on its capacity to complete the risk evaluations required under the TSCA Reform legislation.

June 22, 2017

  • EPA must issue a final rulemaking to establish a screening process that includes prioritization criteria.
  • EPA must issue a final rulemaking on its process to conduct risk evaluations.
  • EPA must issue guidance for stakeholders on developing and submitting draft risk evaluations.
  • EPA must issue a final rulemaking for Inventory reset — notification on chemicals manufactured or processed over the last 10 years.

June 2017 through December 2018

  • Although not specified in the TSCA Reform legislation or in EPA’s implementation plan, it seems evident that EPA will need to begin negotiations on limiting byproduct reporting under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule to achieve the proposed rulemaking deadline of June 22, 2019.

June 22, 2018

  • EPA to issue policies, procedures, and guidance necessary for implementing amended TSCA.

June 22, 2019

  • EPA must issue proposed rulemaking for risk management on TSCA Work Plan Chemicals identified as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic from the 2014 TSCA Work Plan, with likely exposure to the general population that were not subject to Section 5 review or to a consent agreement under Section 4.
  • EPA must propose rulemaking to limit reporting requirements for recycled, reused, or reprocessed inorganic byproducts.
  • EPA must issue a final rulemaking on information to be provided in periodic reports for persons who manufacture mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process.

December 22, 2019

  • EPA must “ensure” that risk evaluations are being conducted on at least 20 high-priority substances and that at least 20 chemicals have been designated as low-priority substances.
  • EPA must issue a final rulemaking on recycled, reused, or reprocessed inorganic byproducts and CDR reporting.

The timeline summarized above is subject to change as EPA works to meet the challenges of implementing the obligations under the new legislation. NASF will continue to review the new requirements associated with the implementation of the new TSCA Reform legislation and provide updates to members.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Jeff Hannapel with NASF at

Posted in Government Relations, Law & Regulation

NASF Secures EPA Pollution Prevention Grant with National Center for Manufacturing Sciences

Focus: Advancing Industry Environmental Performance & Sustainability

NASF’s research and training arm, the AESF Foundation, has been awarded a pollution prevention grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The grant proposal was submitted earlier in the year to the agency under the NASF joint partnership with Ann Arbor, Michigan-based National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS).

The new project will focus on evaluating and benchmarking current and emerging industry pollution prevention practices. NCMS and NASF will initially prepare a comprehensive list of pollution prevention options for the industry, develop a survey and audit tools for evaluating pollution prevention options at surface finishing facilities. The project will engage approximately six potential facilities from the Michigan Chapter of NASF to participate in survey and audit phases for the implementation of pollution prevention practices.

NCMS and NASF will then provide training and technical support for implementing pollution prevention options, prepare company case studies on the participating facilities, and incorporate the results of the project into the association’s technical education courses. They will also conduct workshops for the surface finishing industry to promote the implementation of effective pollution prevention practices.

The new project will generate useful information to promote effective pollution prevention practices and further improve the environmental performance of the surface finishing industry. If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding this project, please contact Christian Richter of Jeff Hannapel with NASF at or

Posted in Business, Education, Government Relations, NASF Members, Research

NASF Provides Training Session for EPA on Plating Industry Air Rule

EPA Region V Office of Enforcement recently identified some common problems with compliance with the plating and polishing NESHAP rule for area sources (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart WWWWWW), and then asked the state Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) in Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) to see if they can work with the industry to facilitate compliance.

The SBEAP representatives contacted NASF representatives in each state and invited them to participate in a dialogue to develop the best approach to facilitate further compliance with the plating and polishing area source rule. During these discussions the NASF representatives noted that some of the compliance issues identified by EPA may be the result of misinterpretations and confusion regarding the implementation of the rule requirements and indicated the industry’s willingness to assist in the development of guidance to ensure continued compliance with the requirements of the plating and polishing rule.   Specifically, NASF agreed to present a compliance training session on the rule for SBEAP and EPA officials.

On November 15, 2016, NASF representatives, Joelie Zak and Jeff Zak of Scientific Control Laboratories and Jeff Hannapel of The Policy Group, went to the EPA Region 5 offices in Chicago and provided a training session and informal discussion on the plating and polishing rule for a small group of SBEAP and EPA Region 5 officials.  The group included SBEAP representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as officials form EPA Region 5 enforcement and air toxics offices.

The training sessions focused on fundamental plating processes and the requirements of the rule, particularly with regards to how the industry demonstrates compliance with the management practices and the use of wetting agents and fume suppressants. The presentation and discussion was well received and much appreciated by the audience of regulators.  While the EPA enforcement officials did not necessarily agree with NASF and SBEAP representatives on the scope of the potential compliance issues with the rule requirements, all parties agreed to develop guidance that could provide further clarification for industry and agency inspectors on how the rule must be implemented.  This guidance will be shared with surface finishing facilities that may be subject to the rule and agency inspectors and other regulators who are charged with implementing and enforcing the requirements of the rule.

The partnership among the NASF, EPA, and the SBEAP representatives continues to be a very constructive process. NASF will disseminate compliance assistance and guidance on the applicable requirements of the plating and polishing rule to promote ongoing compliance with the rule for the surface finishing industry.

For more information regarding the plating polishing area source rule and the industry’s efforts to promote compliance with EPA and the states, please contact Jeff Hannapel with NASF at

Posted in Education, Government Relations, Law & Regulation