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  • Prep & Prime Stations

3.3.2 Prep & Prime Stations


Improved factory finishes have given new importance to prepping and priming operations. Prep stations help control and improve these operations. A properly designed prep station offers many advantages:

1. Downdraft prep stations surround the vehicle with a curtain of air, which sweeps the sanding dust off the vehicle and into the filters beneath it.


2. Many units feature modular construction, so they can be customized for your specific building and shop layout.


3. Most units re-circulate filtered air, which lowers shop heating costs. Some units have inside/outside dampers for venting fumes outside during priming operations.


Buyers have a choice of pit or semi-downdraft styles. Pit models provide a better curtain of air around the entire vehicle.


Although a prep station will trap most of the dust generated by typical sanding and grinding operations, some collision shop owners also install a dust collection system to provide even better dust control.


If you are going to install several prep stations that will exhaust air to the outside, you should consider installing an air replacement unit to supply clean, heated outside air into your shop. An air replacement unit will correct the negative air condition caused from the prep stations exhausting shop air outside of your building. Proper sizing and location is very important, so talk to your equipment representative to figure out exactly what your shop will need.


We recommend that a lift be available at each station for work on the rocker panels and lower areas of a car.


CAUTION: Your local jurisdiction may not allow you to prime in a prep station. They will require that a prep station which is also being used as a priming station have an explosion-proof motor, an inside/outside damper assembly and possible other modifications to meet local codes. The damper allows the operator to switch from air re-circulation to air exhaust to carry solvent vapors out of your shop. In this case you may need a limited finishing workstation for priming operations. A limited finishing workstation combines an air replacement unit attached to prep plenum/s. The air replacement unit will provide clean, heated outside air while the workstation is in the “exhaust” mode. A limited finishing workstation will provide a positive pressure environment similar to a pressurized spray booth, resulting in cleaner paint work. Some manufacturers offer curing options on their limited finishing workstations to improve productivity. Again, it is very important to know the codes relative to what you want to accomplish when choosing the proper equipment for your shop.



1: During sanding or prep, the overhead plenum re-circulates clean, filtered air to the workstation. During priming, the inside/outside damper vents solvent vapors to the outside.

2: Each fiber in the paint booth-quality air filters is coated with adhesive. This adhesive traps particles as small as 10 microns permanently, even under severe vibration.

3: An adjustable-pitch, non-sparking fan provides 10,000 cubic feet per minute of airflow through the filtering system.

4: A Magnahelic gauge monitors the filtering systems efficiency at all times.

5: The central filtration chamber holds high-density, ultra-fine bag filters. Acoustic insulation reduces shop noise.

6: The first-stage roll filter at floor level collects large particles of overspray and dust.


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12731 Norway Road • Osseo, WI • 54758 • info@globalfinishing.com • 800-848-8738