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Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Plating Operations

Section 1 - Overview of Project Results

1.1 Description of Project

1.1.5 Description of the Users Survey

A portion of the Users Survey results are presented in Section 1.2 and in various other sections of the text. Some key details of the Users Survey are presented here, so that readers may understand the methodology employed to gather and organize the data.

The survey form employed during the Users Survey (Appendix A) was developed through an iterative process. Draft versions of the form were prepared by the contractor and reviewed by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences Project Manager and Steering Group, the AESF, other industry members and EPA. Two draft versions of the form were sent to a portion of the NAMF membership to be completed and critiqued. The iterative survey development process employed these various sources to improve the survey form in four ways:

(1) improved the clarity of questions
(2) improved the format of the forms
(3) minimized technical and typographical errors
(4) expanded the technical coverage of the form to better meet the objectives of the project.

These improvements resulted in clearer and more in-depth responses from platers, an increase in the technical and regulatory scope of the questionnaire, and an improvement in the amenability of the data to inclusion in a database. The iterative process also permitted the contractor to improve the efficiency of mailing, non-response follow-up, and response handling techniques. The inclusion of EPA and AESF in the survey form review process expanded the technical base from which the survey was developed.

The Users Survey was sent to approximately 2,000 companies and government facilities that perform electroplating. A significant portion of these shops and the majority of the respondents were members of the National Association of Metal Finishers. Most of these NAMF shops are job or contract shops. This type of plating business processes parts for manufacturers of products, and is differentiated from a captive shop, which is an internal plating operation at a manufacturing plant. Other recipients included: members of the Connecticut Association of Metal Finishers (mostly job shops); NCMS members (mostly captive shops of Steering Group companies); captive shops randomly selected from the mailing list of the Metal Finishing magazine; and military plating shops. The number of plating shops included in the survey and the number of respondents from each group are shown in Exhibit 1-2.

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