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Archive for the ‘HD Repair Forum’ Category

HD Repair Forum Cancelled Amid Evolving Concerns for Health and Safety

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Katy, Texas, March 13, 2020 – The 3rd Annual HD Repair Forum, originally scheduled for March 24th-25th in Fort Worth, TX, has been postponed, due to the evolving situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and efforts associated to reduce rapid spreading of the virus. 

Organizers of the event are in the process of rescheduling the Forum to take place later in the year. Announcements for new dates and hosting venue, for the largest gathering of heavy-duty collision repair professionals, industry leaders, and executives will be made in the coming weeks. 

“We apologize for any inconvenience but, under the circumstances, this is the best decision for everyone involved. The health and safety of our attendees, their families, and their colleagues is our first priority,” stated Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President. “We look forward to hosting the event in the coming months where we will continue the networking, collaboration, and industry progress that our sponsors and attendees have grown to expect.”

The HD Repair Forum will continue to provide industry information through the monthly HD Repair newsletter, the organization’s social channels, and its website, www.hdrepairfourm.com

For questions, please reach out to the organization’s Communications Manager, Jennie Lenk.

Steve Beck and Aaron Lowe Showcased at HD Repair Forum 2020

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Steve Beck will have a significant presence at this years’ HD Repair Forum. Beck’s motivational and entertaining keynote speech will provide attendees with tips and suggestions on how to have a Great Day, Every Day. He will guide the audience through understanding our ability and influence to make every interaction a positive one. His insightful, energetic, and passionate approach will be on full display day one. 

After addressing attendees at the general session, Steve will deliver a fast paced ninety-minute seminar on “Coaching Employees”. Beck’s approach to coaching employees will leave you with tools and action items you can immediately implement in your place of business to get the most out of your team. Beck’s breakout session takes place during the fist of six afternoon break-out sessions taking place over the course of the program.

Right to Repair legislation dominated industry headlines almost ten years ago. It also changed the face of the industry. Aaron Lowe, Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs at the Auto Care Association was at the forefront of that legislation. He led an effort to ensure the industry had access to the data needed to properly repair vehicles. 

Many years later, Right to Repair is taking center stage yet again. The latest advancement in technology specific to telematics is causing shock waves across the country and in Washington D.C. Aaron will provide an update on what is happening in Massachusetts and in Washington D.C., and what impact it will have on the heavy-duty collision repair industry. 

Collision repairers, shop owners and management, fleet repairers, OEM/manufacturers, insurance professionals and appraisers, equipment/service/technology companies, and any others serving the heavy-duty collision repair industry are encouraged to attend the HD Repair Forum, taking place March 24th & 25th in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Online registration is available. www.hdrepairforum.com/register
For additional information on the complete two-day agenda: www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda

Additional Inquiries may be sent to Jennie Lenk: jenniel@hdrepairforum.com.

HD Repair Forum Releases Details for 3rd Annual Event, March 24th-25th

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The HD Repair Forum announced the release of its’ educational program and agenda for this years’ installment of the only event dedicated to the heavy-duty collision repair market. The two-day event is filled with a fast-paced agenda, with speakers from industry leading companies and individuals driving change in the industry. Some of the topics include:

  • Frame, Cab, and Trailer Repair
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Scanning, and Diagnostics
  • Business Strategy and Employee Relations
  • Steering, braking, and other key repair knowledge
     

The speakers and content for this program are a derivative of the work, input, and direction of the HD Repair Forum Advisory board www.hdrepairforum.com/advisory-board

HD Repair Forum Advisory board member, James Svasaand of Penske Truck Leasing states, “What makes the HD Repair Forum unique is that we have direct input on the content, speakers, and direction of the conference. As a result, it’s an event created for the people, but more importantly by the people in the industry.” 

The HD Repair Forum continues its goal to expand and include other industry stakeholder groups. For the first time, a bus manufacturer (Prevost) will be presenting at the conference. HD Repair Forum Advisory board member, Mark Polzin of Budget Truck & Auto added, “We repair cars, trucks, RVs, and buses. I’m thankful Prevost will be at the event. Their participation will shed light on some areas the industry can clearly benefit from, as it relates to the availability of parts information and repairability.” 

To see a complete list of speakers, content, and education programs visit: www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda

Online registration information for the event can be found at www.hdrepairforum.com/register

Any questions or comments can be directed to Brian Nessen and Jennie Lenk.  

HD Repair Forum Announces Formation of Committees to Address Collision Industry Setbacks

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HD Repair Forum, the collision industry’s largest gathering of heavy-duty repair executives and leaders, is proud to announce the creation of four committees: Education, Technology, Parts, and OEM Repair Standards.

These committees have been established to address the macro-level issues found throughout the heavy-duty collision repair industry and are co-chaired by leaders from various segments of the market. Insight on the direction of each of these committees will be presented during the 2020 HD Repair Forum being held March 24th – 25th in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The purpose of these committees is to address challenges and solve problems throughout the year, not just during the HD Repair Forum. The key to the success of these committees is strong leaders who share a passion to drive change and a vision for a path that improves the industry for all stakeholders.” Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President and co-founder shares. “We are fortunate to have this diverse group of leaders pave the way for a brighter future.”

Education Committee Co-Chairs
Doug Schlueter – I-CAR
Brandon Eckenrode – CREF

OEM Repair Standards Committee Co-Chairs
Kevin Clary – Daimler Truck North America
Rohit Mathew – Carlisle & Co.

Parts Committee Co-Chairs
T.J. O’Hanlon – Navistar
Mark Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

Technology Committee Co-Chairs
Chuck Olsen – AirPro Diagnostics
Aaron Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

A complete list of committee members and mission statements are available on the committee pages of the HD Repair Forum’s website.

Collision repairers, shop owners and management, fleet repairers, OEM/manufacturers, insurance professionals and appraisers, equipment/service/technology companies, and any others serving the heavy-duty collision repair industry are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in learning more about the committees or contributing, you may send your inquiries to Jennie Lenk. As evidenced by the diverse cross section of companies and individuals currently serving on committees, all industry stakeholders are welcome to participate.

HD Repair Forum’s 2020 Event Designed to Prepare Industry Leaders for Change and Growth

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The 2020 HD Repair Forum is in full swing and the momentum continues to build for the only gathering solely dedicated to the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The 3rd edition of this event will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24th & 25th in Fort Worth, Texas. The two-day event will include unique educational seminars and training classes designed to benefit all industry stakeholders. Repairers, insurers, independent appraisers, dealers, fleets, OEM’s, paint manufacturers, and the like are encouraged to attend. There is no additional charge to attend one or all of the fifteen classes offered, they are included in your registration. Early bird registration rates are available for a limited time at www.hdrepairforum.com/register.

As in year’s past, the HD Repair Forum advisory board consists of heavy-duty collision repair facility owners and managers and are the driving force behind the development of the program and the classes offered. Topics being covered at this year’s event will include:
– Advanced driver assistance systems
– Scanning
– Calibrations
– Tools and software for collision repairers
– Hiring, recruiting, and retaining talent
– Sales, marketing, and CSI
– Acquisitions, raising capital, and a lot more

A complete schedule of classes will be listed on the HD Repair Forum website in the coming weeks. Additionally, attendees are not required to sign up for individual classes and are given the flexibility to choose their classes while on site at the event.

Register now to guarantee your attendance, participation, and opportunity to network with the brightest minds in the heavy-duty collision repair industry.

2020 HD Repair Forum Opens Sponsorship Positions

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Plans for the third annual HD Repair Forum have been confirmed. The 2020 event is scheduled for March 24-25 at The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel. Registration is now open and sponsorship opportunities are already being booked. Companies interested in having a presence at the HD Repair Forum are encouraged to book now as sponsorships are limited. More information can be found on the sponsorship page of the website.

“The HD Repair Forum brings together the stakeholders of the heavy-duty collision repair industry in an effort to provide attendees with a unique opportunity to discuss trends, address industry challenges, and evaluate key business strategies.” explains Brian Nessen, President of the HD Repair Forum. 

The 2019 event saw significant growth from its inaugural meeting. With the guidance of advisory board members and constituents, the HD Repair Forum is addressing the needs of the industry. A few highlights from the 2019 event include presentations from Daimler, Navistar, Peterbilt, Volvo, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and I-CAR. Session topics focused on a myriad of industry issues such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electric and hybrid vehicles, liquified and compressed natural gas vehicles, and a panel of insurance executives discussing claims handling and industry collaboration. 

Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers, and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems.

Companies interested in sponsoring, getting more involved with this industry, or even hosting a co-located event can send inquiries to Brian Nessen BrianN@hdrepalrforum.com or Jennie Lenk JennieL@hdrepairforum.com 

Visit the website for more information or contact us at 281-819-2332.

Registration Opens for the 3rd Annual HD Repair Forum

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Registration for the HD Repair Forum is now open. Last year’s event experienced a forty percent increase in attendance and has quickly established itself as the can’t-miss event for the heavy-duty collision repair industry. 

The third annual conference is set to take place Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24th & 25th, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. The program will follow a similar format as last year’s event, spanning two days with presentations from OEMs, insurers, and other industry leaders during each morning’s general sessions. 

Attendees will gain valuable insight into industry trends allowing them to make better business decisions today and in the future. Afternoon break-out sessions will provide attendees an opportunity to choose classes that best address their individual or business needs. These sessions are geared towards executives, shop owners, managers, and company leaders. 

Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems.

To register for early bird rates and gain unique access to equipment suppliers, break-out sessions, and networking opportunities dedicated to the commercial vehicle collision repair industry, follow this link: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/hdrf2020

For additional information, please visit www.hdrepairforum.com or contact us at: www.hdrepairforum.com/contact-us

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are now available. Reach out to Brian Nessen or Jennie Lenk.

About HD Repair Group

HD Repair Group offers a dedicated source of focused information for those involved in collision repair work for heavy-duty/commercial vehicles, primarily in classes 5, 6, 7, and 8. This community is where shop owners, executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and other industry stakeholders will find the latest news, tips, tactics, trends and best practices in the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The HD Repair Group offers numerous ways of delivering this information including an annual conference, a monthly e-newsletter, webinars, videos, and social channels for networking. 

Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Gaining Attention and Support

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Collision repair is a segment of the transportation industry that does not get a lot of attention. Historically, there has been a lack of training, information, and support. For many similar collision repair industries, including automotive, emergency, commercial, and recreational vehicles this has been the case. Why?

Collision repair is usually an afterthought. Energy and investment is placed on developing new vehicle technology. There is a never-ending race to make vehicles lighter, stronger, safer, and more fuel efficient. Recently the term ADAS was nothing more than some jumbled letters on a Scrabble game board. Today you can’t go to a trade show or read an article without being exposed to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicles. Another important trend in this industry; Autonomous vehicles.

While all of this technology is absolutely necessary and part of the evolution of the industry, at some point, these vehicles will need to be repaired. The industry has done a great job ensuring that technicians (mechanics) are prepared to service and maintain trucks. Keeping these vehicles on the road and operating is vital to our economy and to those that rely upon this industry to make a living. A truck sitting in a service bay is costing someone money.

Understanding that a vehicle out of service is lost revenue, more attention needs to be placed on the truck sitting in a collision repair facility awaiting parts. And what about the truck that has tens of thousands of dollars in collision damage awaiting repair from a technician that does not have any information on how to properly repair it?

As vehicles become equipped with more safety features, such as ADAS, or newer substrates that are lighter and stronger, information and training has never been more critical. In today’s collision repair facility, it’s a daily struggle to find and order parts and identify proper repair procedures. An independent collision shop could wait several days just to obtain parts prices. If you talk to insurance companies, they will tell you that the single biggest concern they have for their insureds is cycle time. Cycle time is defined as the number of days it takes for the vehicle owner to get his/her truck back on the road. For those that have had their vehicles in a collision shop, it would not be uncommon for a truck to be down for weeks. In some extreme examples it could be months.

As an industry, we need to work together to address these issues. We should be seeking solutions to reduce cycle time and put vehicles safely back on the road. We should continually be looking for solutions that ensure technicians have the knowledge and equipment needed to properly repair vehicles.    

In the spring of 2017, a dedicated source of focused information for the heavy-duty collision repair industry, the HD Repair Forum, was established to address these challenges. The HD Repair Forum’s purpose is to improve the narrative for repairers, insurers, OEM’s, paint manufacturers, parts suppliers, dealers and other industry stakeholders via a website, newsletter, conference, and other information tools.

The first HD Repair conference was held in April 2018 and featured technical and management training from some of the most well-respected companies and presenters in the industry. Executives from Navistar and Peterbilt discussed their new vehicle technology and the challenges repairers will face in the future. Co-located meetings, such as AkzoNobel’s 20 Group, were held during the same week and brought in some of the best repairers from the United States and Canada. The vendor expo gave high visibility to organizations committed to serving and improving the industry.

“Our goal is simple,” states Brian Nessen, President of the HD Repair Forum. “Provide the heavy-duty collision repair industry with an avenue for obtaining information and encourage collaboration. We want to facilitate safe, proper, and efficient repairs of all vehicles, and help the industry prepare for the future.”

The HD Repair Forum provides individuals and companies an opportunity to meet others, share experiences and best practices, and gain knowledge from manufacturers, trainers, and educators. The 2019 conference was held last April and experienced a 40% attendance increase, and brought in increased support and participation from several OEM’s including Daimler Trucks North America, Volvo, Navistar, and Peterbilt.

The 2020 conference returns to Fort Worth on March 24th & 25th. Companies like Axalta Coating Systems and AkzoNobel will also be co-hosting their spring Business Council and 20-Group meetings that same week.

To stay up to date on participation opportunities as an attendee, vendor, or consultant, sign-up to receive the organization’s monthly e-newsletter here

Customer Satisfaction Measurement – How to Use it in the Shop

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In our last installment, we asked- somewhat tongue-in-cheek- Does Customer Satisfaction Exist? The premise being, how do we define “customer” today when HD owners, fleet managers, OE’s and insurance companies can all be important influencers in the repair process? Undeterred, we pressed on with the “why’s” of measurement, including components of successful measurement (The Six C’s of CSAT Measurement).  You can reference the last installment here

This month, we are going to explore more specific uses for customer satisfaction measurement to demonstrate the value of such programs. Since there are a variety of uses, we will separate them into two main categories: Internal and External.

Internal uses are those that are more operational in nature, that owners and managers use to run their business and help their staff.  External uses are defined as those applications that are more sales and marketing oriented, or those that involve communication or contact with those outside the organization.

Internal Uses

      1. As an Essential Part of Core Strategy, Management Philosophy

Buy-in from the top owners, executives, and managers is crucial to the success of your Customer Satisfaction Program. The Program should transcend reports, numbers, and information so that it is an underlying philosophy of business operations. In that way, it becomes integrated into your entire system of managing the company. 

It serves us well to recall that we use the term “customer” with the understanding that in the HD repair environment, there are many people and organizations that impact successful service delivery- not only vehicle owners, but also fleet managers, insurance companies, and others. As such, we construct our program with all those people and organizations in mind.

Most companies have a Strategic Plan that guides the direction of the organization. Some common components of a Strategic Plan may include a mission statement, budgets, sales, marketing and operational plans; IT and HR plans, and the like. Best practice would dictate consistent meetings to review the Plan, confirm you are on course, and make adjustments as necessary. The Customer Satisfaction Program should be part of the Strategic Plan.  Inclusion in the Strategic Plan sets the foundation for integration into company culture.

Some of the following initiatives and ideas will demonstrate to your staff why you included the Customer Satisfaction Program in the Strategic Plan. 

2. As an Integral Part of Compensation Plans

Your Customer Satisfaction Program should measure performance by employee. This information can be incorporated into compensation or incentive plans. The example below shows a report Estimator. Other staff can be rated on overall satisfaction scores or other metrics provided by the program. 

Usually, plans are devised to operate on a month-over-month basis. This is a great way to keep the Customer Satisfaction Program at the forefront of the minds of the employees.

 A word of caution: as with any program that impacts compensation, keep an eye out for attempts to inappropriately influence outcomes and results. 

3. A Way to Help Attract and Retain Talent

One of the biggest challenges for owners and managers in today’s environment is attracting and retaining good employees. Demonstrating a commitment to customer satisfaction also demonstrates a commitment to employee satisfaction as the two are closely related (more on this in a future installment). Compensation programs can be mentioned in the interview process and, once an offer is tendered, be an important part of the on-boarding process. It can also be included in the Employee Handbook. 

      4. As a Conduit for Cross Functional Management

Sometimes, strategic initiatives remain in company silos. For example, maybe the owner or President does the financials. The IT Manager updates the management systems. The Marketing Manager deals with the web site. Technicians and administrative employees focus on daily tasks. Depending on the size of the company, collaboration can be difficult as the day-to-day tasks need to be completed. The Customer Satisfaction Program however, is a reason to bring all functions together as it impacts all functions. 

Consistent meetings should be held to review results- as, ultimately, all silos and functions depend on the customer for the company to succeed. In the meetings, accolades can be bestowed on employees’ positive results, and challenges can be discussed too. Best practices can be shared, while go-forward initiatives and goals can be established. 

      5. Operational Measurements for ROI

Your Customer Satisfaction Program should provide opportunity to monetize some of your results, which may be of particular interest to owners and managers. For example, surveys often include some type of a “return” question, such as: 

After your repair was completed, was it necessary for you to return to the shop for additional work? 

Results could be displayed in a graphic like the one below:

The donut graph demonstrates that over the past 90 repairs, about 82% of them have not returned for supplemental work, but that about 18% of them (or 16) have. “Comebacks,” as they are often called, throw a wrench into the efficient workings of a repair facility, since there are administrative, scheduling, operational, and workflow interruptions that often accompany a comeback. Therefore, there is a cost associated with every comeback.

The average cost will vary with the type of work the HD repair facility does, but based on previous studies done by TenPoint Complete, it is estimated to be at least $400 per unit and could be much higher. The first step to reducing your comeback rate, is to actually track your comeback rate. 

You can then dig into root causes (potentially in the aforementioned cross-functional meetings) and set about lowering your comeback rate. This provides real ROI- but it also provides a platform for collaboration, and when improvements are implemented successfully, improves employee morale. 

Comebacks affect the overall efficiency of shop operations in the form of workflow and scheduling updates. There is an administrative expense that impacts everyone from the front office to the technicians. Potentially, parts need to be ordered and/or returned. The actual labor put into the return make be the greatest expense if gratis or at a reduced rate. And, everything hour you incur on a less profitable or non-profitable job takes that same hour away from a more profitable one. 

Instead of an expense, shop owners and managers should look at Customer Satisfaction Program data as information that can help improve financial results. 

External Uses 

      1. Marketing and Advertising 

Without even looking it up, I know that GEICO has a 97.1 customer satisfaction rating, because they have made it a priority to incorporate that number into their messaging. Few companies have the advertising spend of GEICO, but there are still plenty of opportunities available to communicate your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Positive customer satisfaction results should be incorporated into your marketing strategy. This can include your website, advertising (print, radio, billboards, etc.) in your customer waiting area, press releases, most public relations activities, hiring events, and other customer facing activities. 

You may be able to incorporate a message in communications with customers, current and former, as well as prospects. Examples may be e-mail campaigns, direct mail, newsletters- whatever your methodology. 

Consider incorporating the premise of customer satisfaction into your brand promise- which could include your tagline or slogan, that is used on company documentation from RO sheets to business cards.

      2. Insurance Companies and OE’s

Insurance companies play an important role in many HD repair and are very much concerned with policyholder loyalty. They understand that it costs them a lot more money to recruit new customers than it does to keep current policyholders. The amount of churn they have, or policyholder turnover, is meticulously tracked.

Insurance companies in the automotive repair space have put CSI programs in place, often in conjunction with their Direct Repair Programs (DRP’s). In the HD space, we are beginning to see the emergence of some managed programs that have some similarities to DRP’s. 

HD shops can solidify and expand their relationships with their insurance partners by being proactive with regards to a Customer Satisfaction Program. They can also use the information the program generates to attract additional work from insurance companies. 

OE’s can be another important source of referral business. Make it a point to have a professional presentation on hand for conversations with your OE and insurance business partners. It could be a hard copy binder, a PowerPoint, or a PDF for e-mail. Make your Customer Satisfaction Program an important component of this marketing piece. Other components would be items such as your mission/vision statement, facility capabilities and equipment, certifications, recognition and awards, community involvement, etc. 

      3. Service Recovery

Service Recovery is one of the most important components of your Customer Satisfaction Program. How many times have you gone to the trouble to reply to a survey or give feedback on an experience only to be ignored? It is vital that you recognize and respond to low scores and negative feedback in a constructive manner that turns a negative into a positive, or at least neutralizes the negative!

There are entire courses designed around service recovery (too much to get into here), but whether in person, over the phone, via-e-mail or social media, make sure only skilled employees are dealing in service recovery. Use surveys as a way to determine the satisfaction level of customers, and then follow up accordingly. 

On a 0-10 scale, we can generally divide responders into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. Promoters are rating you a 9 or 10, and are your biggest fans. Passives are rating you a 7 or 8 and are just lukewarm about your service. Detractors are rating you between 0-6 and likely have some serious issues with your company. A basic goal is to move the Detractors up into the Passive category so they are not actively involved in harming your brand, and to move the Passives up to Promoters, so they are actively involved in positive word of mouth, or social media advertising. 

      4, Performance Groups and Best Practices

Many shops are involved with performance groups that promote best practices between non-competing repair facilities. Sharing customer satisfaction results with peers is a great way to build on victories and learn how others have successfully navigated dealing with the most complex and angry customers and situations. 

Performance Groups often have veteran and skilled leaders that have vast experience throughout the country. Often, paint company, insurance company, OE or other executives are invited to speak and share their experiences. This is often an excellent way to discover solutions to specific problems, relative to customer challenges and issues: from peers and industry experts. 

Next Steps

Previously, customer satisfaction has sometimes been difficult to quantify. The “I know my customers” strategy that has proven at least partially effective in the past, will not be considered as appropriate or sufficient moving forward. While personal relationships remain the foundation for many if not most business activities, measurements, data and information are becoming increasingly important to assist in the development and sustainability of those relationships. 

What we have presented here are some use cases for using a Customer Satisfaction Program both internally and externally, that can prove valuable to shop owners and all their “customers”: employees, HD owners, fleets managers, insurance companies, OE’s and strategic partners. 

TenPoint Complete has been helping clients design and measure their customer journey for over 20 years. John Webb is a company Partner and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) Certified Associate. He can be reached at jwebb@tenpointcomplete.com 

 

Examining Infrared Drying Solutions For Your Prep Area

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When examining solutions to increase production in the paint shop, all the emphasis is placed on the paint booth. The paint booth is the most noticeable piece of equipment in the shop, the most expensive, and the one that can make or break production. The right paint booth solution and paint shop layout can increase your throughput and keep your productivity goals on track. But there is still another area where productivity gains are easily found, and that is in the prep area.

No matter what your shop layout is, you have to have some area to prime and prep cars for paint. Some shops have several of these grouped among the paint booth. Since 99% of your repairs are only going to involve a few panels, your prep deck is the area where you spot prime and sand panels before final paint. 

In a pinch, you may even paint a panel in the prep area during high volume periods. Even in a pinch, you may also paint the occasional panel during high volume periods. Your prep deck allows you to push more work through the shop, by acting like the paint booth’s helper. What if there was a way to turn one prep deck into two perhaps even three or more prep decks without adding any additional filters, fans, ductwork, curtains or square footage? Well, the good news is that you can with a catalytic drying robot for your prep deck.

You are probably familiar with infrared drying in a prep deck. Shops have been using infrared drying lights for some years now, but they have been slow to catch on. This situation is because they are bulky, heavy, and get dirty pretty quickly reducing their utility. Electric IR dryers are also very analog. They require a lot of user experience do dial in the temperatures and make sure you are not melting bumpers or boiling paint. For as sophisticated as Infrared drying can be in a shop, the electric IR dryers are nothing more than glorified toasters.

Learning From The Europeans

In Europe, cars get repaired differently. Everything in Europe is about maximizing space. Streets are narrower, and vehicles are smaller and so are the body shops. As a result of this, European body shops have had to figure out how to move more vehicles through small shops using innovative technologies such as infrared drying.

The Italians have developed an infrared drying system that operates on LP or natural gas and is rail mounted, and robotic. This factor eliminates the need to drag around bulky electric IR arrays, move 220 Amp cords around, and keep the reflectors and bulbs clear of overspray.

How Gas Catalytic Dryers Help

While you don’t need an Infrared dryer to cure paint, catalytic dryers cure materials like primers in minutes. Gas catalytic dryers come mounted on a rail system, and one unit can service multiple bays. When you can cut dry times by half or more, you can get more vehicles through prep and into the paint booth. Gas catalytic dryers also eliminate the user error of electric IR dryers because the gas systems use temperature sensors to set and maintain surface temps. They can also switch panels on and off to achieve the desired results automatically. As shops seek new ways to squeeze more productivity out of an existing footprint, Gas Catalytic drying has proven time after time to cut production times without sacrificing quality.

 

For more information, please contact Gascat