CARSTAR recently put up an innovative interactive display at the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) event held in Toronto from January 30 to 31.
CCIF Toronto 2020 hosted a showcase, inviting key stakeholders of the collision repair industry to introduce their latest products, services, innovations and ideas to the attendees of the event.
At CARSTAR’s booth, a virtual spray booth was installed for visitors to try out their refinishing skills. Those interested in trying it out were provided with a virtual reality headset that would help them in operating the spray gun. Transported into the virtual spray booth, they were tasked with painting a car panel holding an actual spray gun. A digital board displayed the skill level of the people in various aspects of refinishing, including the quality of the finish and the amount of paint wasted, among other things. The innovative display was put up in collaboration with Fuji Spray Auto, a North American manufacturer of HVLP paint spraying equipment based in Canada.
According to Collin Welsh, Senior Director, Franchise Development at CARSTAR Canada, the idea of installing this interactive display first came to them at the SEMA Show held in November 2019. “We were introduced to Jim from Fuji Spray at the SEMA Show in Vegas in late October. They were a couple of booths away from us. We got talking to him and came to know that Fuji Spray was a Toronto-based company. We loved the interaction their virtual spray booth was getting from the attendees, the interest that was there.”
Welsh explained that CCIF was the perfect venue for such a display. “Maybe in the future, this could be fine-tuned into a good training tool for people that are just getting into the trade and want to try it out or perfect the skills they already have,” he added. “The response has been fantastic at this event. The software is constantly being refined so we look forward to working further with Fuji Spray and see what else we can add and how else we can make it more interactive and possibly introduce it to our stores as a training tool. Considering you are not using any products as it is all technology, your cost is reduced. We don’t have to purchase the software; we can just rent it or subscribe to it. Compared to using actual refinish products, the costs are minimal, and the results are easily measurable with stats.”