Mobile Toggle

Archive for October, 2017

Preventing Corroision After Collision Repairs Protects Profits, Performance for the Long Haul

Posted by

When a truck or commercial vehicle is manufactured, preventative measures are taken to resist corrosion over the life of that vehicle. These preventative measures come in the form of primers, sealers, and coatings along with various application and process methods. In the event of a collision, these protective materials can be compromised and need to be restored properly. Restoring the corrosion protection and being careful not to create new corrosion hot spots is the key to a proper repair.

When asked to identify the causes of corrosion on trucks today, the common responses are salt and corrosive chemicals, moisture or damaged coatings from stone chips. Most owner/operators and repair technicians don?t consider that collision repairs are commonly the cause of premature vehicle corrosion. Common processes such as grinding, welding and cutting in the truck collision repair process can create opportunities for corrosion. If these processes are not understood and addressed with proper repair methods and corrosion protection, it can lead to cosmetic consequences or, more importantly, compromised protection of structural parts which are critical to the safety of the truck.

What exactly is corrosion? Corrosion is an electrochemical reaction called oxidation that is formed when combining exposed metal, oxygen and an electrolyte such as an acid, salt or moisture. Galvanic corrosion is another type of corrosion that occurs when two dissimilar metals come together in contact with an electrolyte such as moisture.

When OEM coatings are damaged in an accident, it leaves bare metal exposed. Once bare metal is exposed, a corrosive hot spot can start to form on the exterior and interior panels by forming flash rusting. The corrosive hot spot can negatively affect rivet joints, weld joints, floor pan, cab corner extensions and reinforcement pillars. One such coating that could be compromised during the accident is the electrodeposition coating or known as ?E-Coat?. During the repair process it is very important to maintain or keep the E-Coat intact and to only remove this coating in the necessary locations.

Areas known as the seam sealer joints can be stressed in an accident resulting in distortion, twisting and damage. Seam sealers are designed to eliminate moisture, air intrusion and, in some situations, noise. Seam sealer joints should be thoroughly inspected after an accident to determine if the seam sealer has been damaged or compromised in any way.

Improper collision repairs can affect exterior and interior truck components. Heat is a promoter of corrosion and can be neglected during the repair process. Repair technicians need to keep in mind that they create heat through grinding, cutting and welding. Continuation of applied heat to surfaces can accelerate metals to high temperatures. When the metal cools, this can result in condensation or moisture. Even though the technician works on the outside of the panel during the repair process, the backside of the panel can be affected throughout the repair. The coating on the backside of the panel is usually compromised or even removed through hammering, pulling, dollies, stud weld pin inserts and even prying. This can leave the exposed metal susceptible to corrosion.

To restore the integrity of this coating when access to the backside is difficult or limited, use 3M? 08852 Cavity Wax Plus. This product will effectively coat and protect these areas from corrosion by sealing out oxygen from the metal. This is an easy-to-use aerosolized product that can be used with a variety of application wands. The 3M? Cavity Wax Plus Applicator Wand Kit 08851 contains and 8? wand for easy-to-access areas as well as two longer wands for accessing enclosed areas (frame rails, cab corners/supports).

Technicians need to keep in mind while working with bare metal that bare hands can leave behind salt, moisture and other contaminants. This neglected habit can also lead to corrosion. Wearing gloves and designating tools for specific metals can also help to reduce the potential for creating corrosion during the repair process.

Removing rivets during a heavy duty truck repair can also contribute to galvanic corrosion. For example, steel particles being removed from the substrate can get lodged into surrounding crevice areas. Also, high amounts of heat can be generated while grinding on these substrates which can lead to a potential corrosion hot spot. 3M? Cubitron? II sanding and grinding abrasives run cool during the rivet removal process due to consistent shape mineral and fast cutting action. This can help reduce the negative effect of heat during these applications.

The other area of concern during the riveting process is the reattachment point of the rivet. During the repair process the technician inserts coated steel rivets into an aluminum substrate. Even though a coating has been applied to the surface of the rivet, the coating could be scratched during the insert process leading to galvanic corrosion. This is why it?s important during the refinish process to completely coat the rivet on the backside of the panel or even apply 3M 08852 Cavity Wax Plus as added protection.

You can see how a neglected repair processes could potentially lead to corrosion. Neglecting corrosion protection can affect the life of the truck or possibly change the designed path of energy in the event of a future accident. 3M?s commitment to the commercial vehicle and heavy duty truck market help deliver solutions for corrosion protection as well as other challenges within the repair process.

For more information on heavy duty truck repair solutions from 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, visit 3MCollision.com/HDtrucks.

>> Link to PDF version.

An Introduction to Paint Booth Filters & Maintenance

Posted by

The filters you choose for your truck refinish paint booth ? and how well you maintain them ? can have a direct impact on everything from booth efficiency and paint finish quality to booth maintenance costs and the safety of technicians. But before you select your booth filters, it?s important to understand all your booth?s filtration locations and the types of filters that can be used for each location.

Air Make-Up Filters
Depending on your paint booth setup, the first line of filtration defense may be in the air make-up unit, which provides pressurized air to the booth. These filters trap large particles before air reaches the air make-up unit. In addition to protecting the air make-up unit itself, these filters play an important role in extending the life of more expensive intake filtration further down the line. Relatively inexpensive, air make-up filters are sometimes known as a sacrificial layer.

Intake Filters
You likely wouldn?t know it because they are invisible to the naked eye, but particles as small as 10 microns can cause defects in your paint job. For reference, that?s about 0.0004 inches. A paint booth relies on high-quality intake filtration to remove these particles before they can contaminate the paint job.

Intake filters are often internally-supported polyester panel filters or linked panel filters, which are typically designed to be installed without the aid of clips or other mounting hardware to create a leak-free static fit when inserted into the frame. Your paint booth?s airflow style determines the type and efficiency of intake filter used.

Crossdraft Booths: In crossdraft booths, air is either pulled through a filtered intake door or pushed through a filtered intake plenum. Global Finishing Solutions® (GFS) supplies intake filters for crossdraft booths with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 7 rating, which is higher than the industry standard.

Side Downdraft, Semi-Downdraft and Downdraft Booths: Air is introduced into these booths through a filtered ceiling. The diffusion-type media pad used for ceiling intake filtration is much more efficient, with a rating of MERV 10 or higher. This rating ensures an internal cleanroom atmosphere that removes more than 99 percent of all particles 10 microns or larger from the air entering the booth.

Exhaust Filters
Where intake filters ensure that you are working with clean air from the start, exhaust filters ensure the air leaving the booth is safe for the environment, while also preventing potentially dangerous chemicals from remaining in the booth.

Exhaust filtration also protects your fans, exhaust stack and plenum from the buildup of overspray contamination. To do this effectively, exhaust filters need to hold enough paint to avoid constantly replacing them. At same time, these filters must provide a minimal pressure drop in the booth to ensure particles don?t harden and end up on the painted surface.

Traditional exhaust filters are generally single-stage filtration media made of multilayered polyester and/or fiberglass. Differences in fiber configuration, density and composition impact how exhaust filters will perform. With a 99.94 percent particle removal efficiency and holding capacity of 4.4 pounds, GFS Wave filters are designed to meet or exceed the performance of the original equipment filters.

The same type of exhaust filter can be used in crossdraft, side downdraft, semi-downdraft and downdraft booths but the location and frame configuration differ:

Crossdraft and Semi-Downdraft Booths: Exhaust filters are secured to the plenum located at the rear of the booth.

Side Downdraft Booths: Air is pulled into floor-level filtered exhaust plenums on both sides of the booth.

Downdraft Booths: Filters are located in the exhaust pit in the floor.

Filter Maintenance
Just as important as deciding which filters to use is establishing a regular schedule for changing your intake and exhaust filters. The cleanliness of your spray booth and the work you do within depend heavily on it. Clogged or overloaded filters may not allow proper airflow through the booth, causing dust or overspray to recirculate through the booth and affect the finish of your paint job.

Beyond that, it is also an important step in ensuring your paint operation meets the health and safety standards required by OSHA and NFPA regulations. In more severe situations, clogged filters may create flammable or explosive conditions within your booth.

Filters will reach their ?target? reading and require replacement at varying rates. These rates also depend upon the paint type, booth design, fan speed, temperature, spray equipment, etc. One way to establish a change-out schedule for exhaust filters is to compare readings from a manometer or magnehelic pressure gauge with the booth manufacturer?s specs. Without a pressure gauge, it is best to establish a strict maintenance schedule based on the volume of spraying taking place on a day-to-day basis.

Ultimately, it is best to work with your spray booth manufacturer or filter supplier to design an effective schedule for changing your filters that finds a good balance between filtration needs and cost efficiency in your booth?s performance. GFS and many of their distributors throughout North America offer preventative maintenance plans ? with quarterly, annual and just-in-time filter replacement offerings ? to take the hassle out of paint booth filter maintenance.

     

Road to Green: HD Vehicle Technology Will Change Labor Measurement

Posted by

The progression of heavy duty vehicle technology will make a dramatic difference in measuring a typical HD service shop business. The HD aftermarket will have to relearn this portion of the business all over again. You will find that a typical HD shop owner is going to require 6 to 8 days of management training per year moving forward. This labor measurement is one of the changes that will have to be relearned as the old way of setting and measuring labor rates will leave too much money on the table.

As commodity margins decline and HD vehicle software grows, everyone must understand where their management attention must be directed.

A redefined labor measurement will take place within the next year to maximum 2 year period.

A ?maintenance labor? category will be just that, pure maintenance work based on the manufacturers recommended service intervals and repairs of worn out or broken parts.

Diagnostic labor will be the analyzation of a situation or interpretation of information. (What is the problem, what caused it and what is the solution?)

Inspection labor will be all completed paid inspections.

Re-Flash will be strictly updating the vehicle from the OEM website.

Calibration labor will be a new category as the lining up of sensors after a repair has taken place will become an additional specialty skill within the HD shop. Software platforms will have to be understood.

The key information that will need to be understood is ?what will the mix of each labor category be within the shop?? This brings back the importance of key efficiency measurement for each category as specific training will have to be required and making sure the shop has the right skill set within the team to ensure professional execution of the services on behalf of the HD client. The efficiency measurement of each category will also help establish the billed hours per R/O.

Measuring the ?effective? rate will be critical in the labor mix measurement. How much labor should we be getting from each labor category to justify the staffing level?

All that being said another big change coming to the industry will be the setting of labor rates for each category. Labor rate multiples will change from what they are now based around the technicians hourly wage to working with the individual shops actual cost per billed hour.

Better ?job quoting? skills will have to be embraced because the knowledge for ?how? a job must be done and ?what kind of labor? is involved to complete the job to total client satisfaction must be learned.

As you can see, personnel development and business measurement will become more intertwined than ever before. All of these things combined will affect the net profit of the business.

Our heavy duty industry is changing so rapidly and dramatically and the reason for this is due to vehicle technology and technician competency that will be required to fix and maintain a vehicle properly.

I see this as just the beginning of so many changes coming to the heavy duty aftermarket sector within the next 1 to 2 years maximum. What will happen to the HD shops that don?t have a learning culture in their business or won?t want to re-learn and move in the direction they must? Time will not be on their side. It is this kind of change that will dramatically separate the heavy duty shops in a given marketplace.

As the business owner you want to be committed to keep ?ahead of the wave? and seek out the business knowledge you will need to keep the business moving forward. Hold on for the ride over the next 2 years, it will be a great one for the heavy duty shops that get it.

Bob Greenwood