Jerome H. Heckman, general counsel for the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Wash-ington, said when it comes to material containing colorants or additives, it is everyone's responsibility to know exactly what is in it-the compounder, the molder and the molder's customers. Bert Lederer, president of Teknor Color Co. in Pawtucket, R.I., speaking generically on the issues surrounding a compounder's responsibility, said the more difficult issues tend to be communications between the molder and the compounder: understanding and agreeing upon the specifications that people want.
``It's very difficult to write a good specification,'' Lederer said. ``You have to contemplate all the rigors this material is going to see; understand all the uses and environments this product will experience.''
Parts might fail for a variety of reasons.
``One, people have not anticipated all the uses and abuses a product might undergo,'' Le-derer said, ``and a product fails in a performance that wasn't inside the specification.''
Another reason, Lederer said, is simply that people make mistakes.
Heckman agreed. It may be that a material can be used within the broad parameters outlined in materials specifications, but not within the more narrow confines of the specific applications.
Lederer said that the heart of a good business relationship between the supplier and the user is thorough understanding of the specifications and performance of the product.
What it boils down to, Heckman said, is that where materials specifications and applications are concerned, everybody is responsible.