Taking a look at equipment and processes could add up to some very significant savings.
We all want to find that best blend of quality and efficiency when it comes to collision repairs, yet sometimes we overlook where some of the biggest savings can be found.
Let’s look at refinishing. It’s a crucial step because the paint quality on the vehicle is the first thing the customer notices when they collect the vehicle, so it’s critical in not only getting it right but also getting it done in a timely fashion.
Yet often, it’s the small things that can make or break the process and create unwanted efficiencies.
It’s imperative that every shop has some form of maintenance plan. There are numerous cases where contaminants have gotten into the base or clear coat, simply because the lines from the compressor have deteriorated internally due to a lack of regular inspections. Excess moisture in the lines can also impact spraying and also curing. Ask your refinish partner to do an assessment and or/audit on your equipment in addition to establishing a shop maintenance plan. You might be surprised at what you find and also the significant time and cost savings you can achieve by instigating it.
Spray guns are also an often-overlooked aspect. Manufacturers will have suggested maintenance/replacement intervals but this can also be impacted by the types of guns you use and the frequency and volume of spraying in the booth.
Shops should always make sure they are using the right gun for the job, that it is regularly cleaned and maintained and that the refinish supplier’s Technical Data Sheets are followed. When the gun isn’t cleaned, leftover particles from previous jobs can impact pressure, direction or even restrict the ability to spray certain colours. If a gun has excessive paint on the outside, chances are contaminants are inside, impeding its performance.
Drying a big factor
When it comes to the drying process there are also very significant savings to made, even if your shop doesn’t have a state-of-the-art robotic drying system currently installed. Think about your current drying process and see if any changes can made.
Often, we don’t maximize the number of parts we could in the booth for either painting or curing, so instead of just one fender, why not have two fenders and a front clip, or mirror housing or door. Having more parts will increase your efficiency and utilize energy costs much better than having a single fender on a car or a single small piece being subjected to spraying or large volumes of hot air.
Advanced robotic drying systems can realize major efficiencies because they can zoom in on specific panels but investing the technology is no good if you haven’t taken the steps to really look at your overall process and realize where actual savings can be made.