tdscanuck - Thanks for your input. I've been in the tack cloth industry for 30+ years, and have become a foremost expert in the field with industry-adopted product developments to my credit. I've been through the introduction, sales and support processes with auto manufacturers and other major industries, so I understand that corporations have their own product specs, requirements, etc. One problem here is in even getting those specs. Another problem is in being able to find appropriate contacts and discuss with them whether their specs are complete or even valid, or what might be some alternatives, etc. In the case of tack cloths, which are often poorly understood even by experienced paint engineers, there are often misstatements in specs such as "percent tack".
When treated as a commodity, tack cloths are too often not considered for their great variety of chemistries and other qualities that are difficult to qualify. Tack cloths, in particular, will differ greatly between the relatively few manufacturers in the industry, regardless of empirical spec. Auto manufacturers who perform "Class A" painting know about these nuances, and will "validate" and approve only specific manufacturers and their individual tack cloths, in addition to specifying the material in general.
I believe that Boeing (et al) would have keen interest in the kind of uncommon, highly specialized expertise that I can provide. But I have never quite been able to crack the Boeing corporate veil. Large corporations impose high hurdles to small businesses or qualified individuals who may seek to do business with them, or even try to make a simple inquiry. Channels are not generally open to those who are not large advertisers or trade show exhibitors, or who don't have well-established channels in related industries or professional communities.
Generally, small businesses or individuals who seek entre to large corporate customers would need to work through a pre-approved, tiered vendor. But getting to that point requires some sort of contact with the actual corporate consumer in order to start the process. From my experience in the auto industry (also notoriously difficult to access), the best channel is a "champion" inside the corporate customer who can takes some interest in the situation, and thereby help a potential vendor to jump through the hoops (whether that's to become a direct vendor or to work through an approved teir vendor). Otherwise, the investment in time and money that may be required to even investigate an opportunity can be prohibitive to a small business.
Its understandable that larger corporations need to filter and qualify vendors, but at the same time, this kind of efficiency may come at their expense of obtaining the best inputs available.
About Boeing using tack cloth, we know that it had been an item of use there at some point because we used to receive requests for a certain brand of tack cloth that was said to meet some Boeing specification (which I was never able to obtain). It stands to reason that the aviation industry at large is...or would be...a significant and interested consumer of tack cloths for paint preparation. In particular, overseas component suppliers could benefit from a more global perspective on tack cloth rather than their reliance on regional suppliers who may not have achieved "state of the art" in tack cloth. Where solvent wiping is used to remove particlate, tack cloth might be substituted as a much less hazardous alternative...and potentially superior one (at least in some applications). Where tack cloth is not used, or where its use may have been reduced, its not unlikely that the consumer had a bad experience with poor quality tack cloth. Certainly Boeing has not had the benefit of my expertise.
So further comment, questions and contacts are most welcome here.
kanban - the recent thread you mention about cheesecloth contamination in the new Dreamliner was the impetus for me to join and contribute to this forum. It showed up on a recent search I conducted.