Automotive Paint Booth Guide to Better Production

Automotive Paint Booth Guide to Better Production

The Auto Body / Collison Repair Industry has seen many changes over the last decade. Aluminum body construction and high-tech safety equipment are requiring skills totally unrelated to the traditional “straighten it and paint it work” of the past. However, one thing remains the same for most Repair Centers, nearly all Repair Orders (ROs) include a trip to the paint shop. The paint shop is generally the bottleneck of a body shop and the costliest department to upgrade, so it is important to make sure that much thought goes into a remodel or the new construction of the paint shop.

Considerations for Paint Shop Productivity

Things to consider when reviewing your paint shop productivity.

  • Would painting 2 or more ROs at the same time improve your throughput?

Note: an RO does not necessarily mean the whole car. It could be parts of a car.

  • If possible, a “drive-through” booth allows a production line of work in one end then out the other.
  • A recent trend is for 2 cars, side by side down draft booths. This allows for multiple ROs to share one cure cycle, saving time and energy cost. Down draft booths also improves the painter’s efficiency.
  • A full functioning prep booth capable of painting parts, bumpers allows for more production from your current spray booth for critical production work.
  • Or install a new quality production spray booth and keep the existing booth to use as a prep booth for less critical work.

Equipment Considerations when Looking for a New Spray Booth and Supplier

The life of a modern production spray booth is 20+ years. Choose your supplier and their representative as if you are planning a long relationship. Your equipment will require parts and service to keep it going during its life.

Desirable Features

  • Down draft airflow direction – cleaner work – more even airflow – paint multiple parts – better cure cycle.
  • Recirculating airflow in cure cycle – faster temp rise – maintains the velocity of hot air over parts (benefits water bourn paints)
  • Color corrected lighting
  • Quality fans for stable airflow.
  • Direct fired burner for accurate temp control and fast temp rise.
  • Serviceability and parts availability.

Keep in mind that more than half the cost of any spray booth is the cost of installation, utility-related cost, permitting, and downtime during the process.  Cutting corners on the equipment choice will probably stick you with years of less than optimum ownership and productivity. Always remember that the spray booth is a fixed piece of equipment with the sole purpose of giving a skilled painter a quality environment to produce quality work for decades with reasonable maintenance.