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Posts Tagged ‘paint booth’

State of HD Collision Repair Industry & Automated Trucking Information Shared on Episode One of HDRF Webinar Series

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The HD Repair Forum (HDRF) kicked off the first of six webinars scheduled for 2020. These webinars are free of charge and made possible by these industry sponsors, www.hdrepairforum.com/sponsors.

Richard Bishop, President of Richard Bishop Consulting, kicked off the event with a presentation on automation in heavy-duty trucking appropriately titled, Robots on the Road: Outlook for Automated Trucking. The information shared provided attendees with a look at the evolving technology on today’s truck. Truck manufacturers are incorporating advanced driver assistance systems at an accelerated pace, and partnerships like Navistar and TuSimple’s recent announcement are another confirmation of that fact. Semi-autonomous vehicles will be in your bay sooner than later and repairers need to be prepared.  

Richard’s subtle and indirect message to attendees was very clear – your business needs to continue to evolve and embrace change. Preparing for the future starts with understanding trends and building a foundation within your business to adapt to the change. Investing in tooling, training, and equipment will ensure your business will be able to insure, estimate, repair, and service the most modern vehicles.

Following Bishop’s presentation, John Webb, President of TenPoint Complete shared a subset of the results from the HD Repair Forum’s inaugural collision industry survey. Additional results are set to be provided in a future webinar. 

“The goal of the survey is to provide benchmark data on the HD collision repair industry with the intent of expanding its content annually. The results included some surprising information on the current state of HD collision repairers,” explained Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum’s CEO. 

87% of repairers surveyed stated that despite the pandemic, they felt positive about their business and prospect for the future. Conversely, 13% of respondents said their business was severely impacted by the pandemic. Although not shared on the call, this is in stark contrast to the automotive collision repair industry that has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

Another enlightening statistic pulled from the survey includes what can only be characterized as “great news” for progress in the industry. Less than 60% of the shops surveyed repair frame damage within their facility.

This presents a promising opportunity to educate the industry on the added value on-site frame repair can provide. As it relates to cycle time, it also highlights a problem and potential smoking gun within the industry. Could part of the reason for elongated cycle times be a by-product of sublet repairs, since so many collision shops do not have the ability to repair frame damage in house?

Another surprising statistic coming from the survey is the number of HD collision shops that do not use an electronic estimating system.

It’s alarming because most developed and mature industries have already come to wide-spread adoption of this type of  technology. These statistics could be an indication that the industry is lagging with a lot of opportunity for growth and improvement.

Much of the data found within the survey is “industry first” and uncovering this data will support businesses across the industry in their decision making process.

The HD Repair Forum continues to grow its reach and identify shops that offer heavy-duty collision repair. However, the following chart depicts the challenge it and many others have faced in answering, “How many HD collision repair facilities are there?” 17% of the shops surveyed don’t know who or where their competition is. The positive news seen below is that there may be more shops within the industry than has been suggested.

“We are committed to providing relevant and timely information to the heavy-duty collision repair industry. Our webinars are a natural extension of the annual event held in Fort Worth, Texas.” Nessen continued.

Additional insight and other results from the study presented during this one hour webinar can be found by registering for the webinar on-demand at www.hdrepairforum.com

Episode two of this six-part series is scheduled for  August 18th, 11 AM CDT. Complimentary registration, made possible by the organization’s 2020 sponsors, can be found at this link.

If you have questions about the HD Repair Forum, its webinar series, or further involvement please visit our website or contact the company’s Communications Director, Jennie Lenk at JennieL@hdrepairforum.com

Garmat Innovates to Combat the COVID-19 Virus

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The headlines scream that we are facing a critical shortage of PPE in the fight against COVID, and that protecting our medical providers against contamination is of the utmost importance.  There is a call to manufacturers to innovate and help overcome this crisis, 3D printers around the country are churning out masks, to help fill the void.  Manufacturers are turning their factories into medical device fabricators. At Garmat we are joining the fight to help stop the COVID-19 epidemic, with a new idea, an idea that protects the medical provider while saving PPE.

Garmat USA is a leading U.S. based manufacturer of Paint Booths and Refinish Equipment. Our company is well versed in innovation, and we possess agile manufacturing processes that allow for easy product customizations.  This led us to research ideas to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.

The core of our business is providing a clean environment through containment, which includes expertise in airflow and differential pressure.  We are leveraging that expertise to support the battle against COVID-19, and the development of the COVID-19 Walk-Up Testing Booth. This product was developed from start to finish in less than six days, and we know that getting it out the door is critical, so we focused all of our attention on the development.

The availability of safe and rapid testing is one of the most critical tools in the fight against COVID-19. In the weeks and months ahead, both the number of tests and availability of testing sites will need to grow exponentially. We believe Garmat’ s innovative COVID-19 Walk-Up Testing Booth developed by Garmat entrepreneur, Johan Huwaert, enables a rapid and effective rollout of testing sites. This solution saves PPE and protects the provider while providing a more efficient way to test masses of individuals.

Current testing methods are flawed when it comes to testing the masses of individuals in the months ahead. For example, in the medical office, when a patient is suspected of having the COVID-19 Virus, the medical provider must have on PPE. Most of these of the cases come back negative – so the PPE is wasted. Testing stations in Colorado provide Drive Through operations, which are unsafe, time-consuming, and not viable for those without access to transportation.

South Korea has been very proactive in testing its citizens for COVID-19, which has led to a lower number of cases and deaths. One hospital in Seoul has set up four walk-up booths outside the hospital for patients to enter for testing. Before the development of these booths, patients were treated in large negative pressure rooms that took a long time to disinfect. The innovation to “individual patient,” walk-up phone booth testing made processing ten times faster, allowing for more patients testing each day. It also reduced the amount of personal protective gear required by healthcare workers to perform the tests. The patient-centered booth in South Korea has one major drawback – it still requires a fulsome disinfection process after each patient.

Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston designed a 3-sided plexiglass version, an improvement over the S Korea booth, as it  placed the healthcare provider inside, minimizing the surface area and time required for disinfection.  Garmat’s latest innovation advances Brigham’s version to provide additional protection for healthcare workers by fully enclosing the booth and applying positive airflow pressure, forcing contaminants from the interior of the booth.

The size and convenience of these walk-up style testing booths would allow for testing outside hospitals, urgent care centers, pharmacies, airports, universities, and major sporting venues. Garmat has ample production capacity in its Colorado manufacturing facility. Units can be shipped fully assembled on a standard pallet – install is as simple as placing the unit and plugging into a power source.

Garmat USA is America’s leading manufacturer of paint booths serving auto collision repair and industrial refinishing customers. Read more at the Garmat USA website. We are concerned about the spread of this virus and would like to do what we can help keep our families and communities safe. We know stopping the spread is vital, and protection for the provider is paramount.

How Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Shops are Doing Their Part

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As the world watches the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, people and companies are doing everything possible to stay healthy, stay in business, and reduce the impact of this illness on the healthcare system and the economy.

Over the past few days we spoke with a number of shops and companies to find out what they’re doing to keep employees safe and healthy while trying to reduce the spread of the virus. The purpose of these calls was to gather information and share that with the HD Repair Forum audience.

Following are examples of the steps shops and companies across the US have put in place:

Steps for Staff

  • Every shop we spoke with has all employees wearing gloves at all times. There is a constant exchange of tools and wearing gloves discourages touching around the face.
  • Vendors and other non-employees are not allowed in shops in order to reduce contact and exposure.
  • Lunches and breaks are not at the same time for every employee, thus avoiding everyone congregating in one place at one time (physical distancing).
  • Some shops are purchasing lunch for staff; this reduces risk of bringing an illness from homes, and it supports local food-service businesses that may be surviving by pick-up or delivery only.
  • Some shops have altered work hours and created new shift times, so some employees start earlier in the day and leave earlier, while other employees come and leave later in the day. This establishes little, or no overlap while having fewer people in the shop at the same time.
  • Some businesses have opened on weekends to further spread out their staff’s time in the shop, and allowing some people, who have children at home to work more flexible hours.
  • To reduce bringing illness to the business some are offering a safe, clean place to change and asking workers to consider leaving work clothes and boots at the shop.
  • More hand-sanitizer stations are being placed throughout the business and a good supply of soap at every sink and wash station.
  • Anyone with so much as a sniffle needs to stay home until absolutely healthy.
  • If any staff can work from home, even for some hours, try to support that.
  • If a company has more than one location, no staff is traveling to other offices
  • Staff meetings in some shops are limited to no more than 6. Keep group meetings small, in open spaces if possible, and have people physically apart from one another.

It is critical to have staff buy-in for the measures you are taking. Some people are taking this situation more seriously than others, and it is very important everyone is in alignment with the steps and measures taken for the safety of all. One way to do this is to ask your team members for their ideas on how to keep everyone safe. When they feel they have a voice in the process, they are more likely to support new mandates.

Steps for Customers

  • No customers are allowed in shops. Customers are met outside and at a safe distance.
  • Some shops are requiring scheduled appointments only to spread out the number of people coming in for repair work.
  • Do not reuse pens; when a customer signs an estimate or invoice, give them the pen to keep.
  • Photo-estimating is being utilized as much as possible.
  • All vehicles are disinfected before any employee gets in a vehicle. Key touch points are wiped down including but not limited to:
    • Door handles (inside and outside)
    • Armrests
    • Steering wheel
    • Seat belts
    • Any push-button areas on the dash and doors (radio, electric windows, thermostat, etc.)
    • Cruise control and windshield wiper controls
    • Glove box and center console
    • Shift levers and knobs
    • Hazard light buttons

When all work is complete, the vehicle should be disinfected (following the same steps as above) before delivering it to the customer.
It is very important to communicate these measures with customers, so they know your procedures and feel safe when working with your company.

Steps for Leadership

  • Lead by example; if you ask your team to take certain safety measures, you should be abiding by those same measures or they won’t take you seriously.
  • Listen to your team. Many people are losing jobs right now. Kids are at home because schools are closed. Some products are not available on store shelves. All of this is creating stress. Anything you can do to give your employees some level of comfort in their roles will help with productivity and their overall well-being.
  • Look at opportunities to acquire products that your staff cannot get at a store. One shop had a large order of paper towels and toilet paper that they were able to share with their staff.
  • Stay informed of local, regional, and state mandates; they are changing, sometimes daily, and you need to be ready to make adjustments. Some states are requiring shelter in place or mandatory quarantines.
  • If possible, keep in touch with local officials. Your business may be able to help in some way.
  • Contact other shops and share ideas, challenges, and solutions. The HD Repair Forum was designed to promote networking within the industry and now is the time to take advantage of communicating with your industry peers.
  • Most importantly, keep yourselves, your team, and your customers safe. This is your highest responsibility.

In speaking with some of the vendor companies, many are cutting travel for their staff so communication and orders should be made by phone and email. Be patient with them as some of those companies are able to shift their efforts to the medical community. Gloves, dust masks, and head socks are difficult to come by right now, because they are being sent to medical establishments. Within your own shops, DO NOT REUSE THESE ITEMS! But do not be wasteful either, they are in high demand right now.

In addition to the many steps listed above, if you are taking additional actions at your place of business and you would like to share them, please let us know. Information is empowering, and this is certainly a time to help one another any way we can.

If you have any questions, are looking to connect, or would like to share the additional steps you are taking, please contact us: www.hdrepairforum.com/contact-us/

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

Heavy-Duty Truck Repair Provides Limitless Opportunities to Rural Business

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In 2002, Chris Lindstrom started Practical Applications, a specialty manure handling and spreading business in Durand, Wisconsin. He managed a fleet of semis and truck-mounted spreaders designed to handle any size field at any distance from the client’s farm.

Two years later, he expanded his services, acquired another facility and started Maxville Truck and Repair. Maxville now offers custom truck builds and truck alterations, silage, grain and TMR trucks, and new truck sales.

His niche was noticed from hundreds of miles away. The business grew rapidly via word of mouth and reached areas such as Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky and even Australia. Through the growth, Lindstrom recognized a need for heavy-duty truck repair.

After 10 years of coordinating with outside painters and sandblasters, Lindstrom was ready to expedite the process and bring painting services in-house. He reached out to local paint booth manufacturer, Global Finishing Solutions (GFS).

“I didn’t do any shopping around,” Lindstrom said. “GFS was down the road, and I knew they produced quality paint booths. I even trucked the paint booth over myself. It took two trips, but it was worth it.”

In June 2014, Maxville Truck and Repair started up their new 18-by-16-by-50-foot drive-thru crossdraft Heavy-Duty Truck Paint Booth for the first time. Since then, Lindstrom has stuck to the same paint scheme for his fleet of trucks — Massey Ferguson Red, black and a silver/gray metallic.

“With our truck paint booth, we produce consistent, clean and quality work,” Lindstrom mentioned. “It has improved our image 100 percent.”

In a dirty business like manure, it is going above and beyond that makes Maxville stand out — as a supplier and an employer.

“The paint booth isn’t for me, it’s for my people,” Lindstrom added. “My drivers take pride in what they’re doing. They look professional and they put out better work. I also didn’t want my people spraying in an unsafe and dirty environment.”

Lindstrom is a jack of many trades. He builds and paints hose reels, fabricates bumpers, and paints custom trucks and trailers. With sandblasting and painting services in-house, there is not much they cannot do.

“I don’t buy anything new,” Lindstrom said. “We have the ability to put anything together. We can fix it up and make anything look good.”

Since the addition of their truck paint booth, Lindstrom has also noticed he is able to rapidly turn trucks over.

“Our truck paint booth has definitely shortened the time it takes to get trucks done,” Lindstrom explained. “It has improved how I look with my fleet. It’s pretty cool that I can make my stuff look awesome.”

Heavy-Duty Truck Repair Pays Off

Businesses that perform heavy-duty truck repairs are hard to come by, especially in rural areas. When an oversized vehicle is in an accident, the nearest shop with a paint booth large enough to accommodate it is sometimes hundreds of miles away.

Although Maxville is not positioned directly off an interstate, Lindstrom saw the potential in adding a truck paint booth. Without a single competitor within two hours, he is able to assist his customers in repairing large vehicles. Depicted below is a $10,000 to $12,000 truck job, which can be a week’s worth of work for the company.

The purchase of a heavy-duty truck paint booth is a game-changer for most shops. Not only does it increase the physical paint booth footprint, it can also boost their bottom line. Maxville Truck and Repair is a prime example, as they can accommodate practically anything that is oversized.