Booth Equipment

Auxiliary Spray Booths

To increase production, many shops are utilizing auxiliary spray booths for several key finishing operations. Parts priming and parts jamming operations are performed in open faced or special cut-in spray booths, leaving the main booth free for assembled vehicles. These booths are available in many sizes and designs. Your equipment representative should be able to help you choose the proper one for your application.

Paint Mix Rooms

In-house paint mixing systems offer many benefits including:

1. Waste reduction. You mix only the amount of paint you need.
2. Time savings. Your paint is ready when you need it.
3. Versatility. You can match thousands of factory colors.

Paint mixing machines come in many different sizes. You will also need digital scale, label printers, computer, and quart and gallon agitators. Your paint supplier will help you choose the right equipment for your application.

Paint mix systems must be installed in a clean, well-ventilated room. You should put your mixing machine and accessories in a pre-engineered paint mix room. A typical paint mix room is constructed of sheet-metal panels much like those used in spray booths. It should have color-corrected artificial lighting and downdraft ventilation. Paint mix rooms are generally located next to the spray booth to maximize painter productivity. Your local jurisdiction will probably have codes regulating your paint mix room size, proximity of paint mix room door to the spray booth door and ventilation requirements. Several suppliers, including Global Finishing Solutions, offer vestibule kits to enclose this area.

Some manufacturers offer exhaust-only models, while other manufacturers may have both input and exhaust blowers. The input blower will pressurize the paint mix room to push airborne dust away from the door when it is opened. This option will help maintain a cleaner mix room environment and cleaner vehicle paint work.

Heating & Air Replacement Systems

The simple fact is you should use radiant heat for your entire shop to help keep it clean. Radiant heat systems work without fans, so they don’t move dirt and dust around. They also heat the things in your shop, not the air around them. Also don’t forget air conditioning for the offices and customer waiting area. Some owners are also putting air conditioning in the work areas to maintain productivity when seasonal heat usually reduces productivity. A heating / air conditioning contractor can help you plan the right size and style of heating and air conditioning systems for your facility. Figuring out your air replacement needs, however, is a little more complicated.

Non-heated spray booths and prep stations exhaust large quantities of air from your building. A single spray booth or prep station will exhaust from 10,000 to 12,000 cubic feet of air per minute while it is operating. If your building was air-tight, and if you didn’t replace this air, a vacuum would be created that would actually cause your building to collapse. What actually happens, though, is that the booth exhaust fan creates only a partial vacuum, causing dirt-laden outside air to be drawn in through cracks, doors and other openings. In the winter, this is a big waste of energy and makes for cold working conditions. The best way to correct this negative pressure condition is with an air replacement unit.

All air replacement units need a source of outside air. Air intakes can be mounted on the roof, under the roof or in a side wall. Your building design has to plan for the weight of the air replacement unit, and the location of the air replacement unit and associated ductwork. Your equipment supplier should be able to help you with choosing the proper size and location for your air replacement unit. When planning a facility, discuss air replacement units with your architect and equipment supplier.

Lifts

You need lifts in a productive collision shop for three reasons:

  1. Increased production. Studies show that productivity increases of 20% can be realized by using lifts.
  2. Higher quality work. Workers can see and repair all the problems on the vehicle.
  3. Workers don’t get tired. The worker is able to stand or sit on a seat, not kneeling or lying on the floor.

Where do you need lifts? At prep stations and in the spray booth, in addition to the metal working department.

Lifts are especially useful in spray booths to help the painter get a quality finish on the lower surfaces of the car. Electrical lifts should not be used in spray booths or prep stations unless they are equipped with explosion-proof motors. And the solvents used in many paints may attack the seals used in hydraulic lifts. So Global Finishing Solutions believes pneumatic lifts are the best choice for spray booths or prep stations. Global Finishing Solutions offers lifts which are easily installed in either location.

Lifts are also very useful in the estimating area. A small pneumatic, hydraulic or electric lift is all that’s needed. But it will give both salesmen / estimators and customers a complete view of the vehicle. You can also put one in the detailing are for customer convenience in checking out his or her finished vehicle (or perform this last service in the estimating area).

In the metal repair area, you should consider lifts that raise one part of the car higher than the other. These are available in a variety of styles, lift capacities and power sources. And there are a number of good manufacturers. So once again, we recommend you talk to several before choosing the lifts for your shop.