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June 2021 l autobodynews.com
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AUTOBODY AkzoNobel 2-3
European Collision Repair Jonesboro & Sandy Springs, GA Antioch & Nashville, TN
Country Parkway Repairs Westbury, NY
Axalta 6-7 Coating Systems Rick's Auto Body Inc. Missoula, MT
Blowtherm USA 8-9
ROEM Certified Collision Ctrs Costa Mesa & Santa Monica, CA
CCC 10-11 Information Services Maaco
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Elitek 12-13 Vehicle Services
Matrix Edge 20-21
Carpe Diem Automotive Reconditioning Oklahoma City, OK
Winners Circle Kustom Autobody Henderson, NV
Industrial 18-19 Finishes & Systems Beal's Auto Body & Paint Prescott, AZ
Brand-X Customs Everett, WA
Complete Color Auto Collision Fowler, MI
Pro Spot 24-25 B&B Auto Body Sarasota, FL
RelyOn 26-27 Technologies
Platinum Collision Centers Corona, CA
SATA Dan-Am 28-29 Company
Sherwin- 30-31 Williams Automotive Finishes
Dynamic Collision Services Baltimore, MD
Spanesi 32-33 Americas
Fix Auto TucsonThoroughbred & Fix Auto Sierra Vista Tucson, AZ
USI of 34-35 North America Driven Collision Kennesaw, GA
Kiddy's Classics Jensen Beach, FL
5/3/2021 4:36:57 PM
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2 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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In Ju Repa paint A vice MSO the b they cost seale game to red saves produ A ECR “ with in ea painte an ad the ti dialed and w ple gu Sugg worke effort incred W pleas the S raves “ the S good highpaint in ter growt S lege runs E “ ferent so th expec the sa under them imize put. T but fi their p S “Peop than or-co ganiz With blunt sugar
ECR Improves Color and Personality-Matching with Sikkens European Collision Repair
by Autobody News Staff
In June 2020, European Collision Repair (ECR) converted to a new paint line: Sikkens by AkzoNobel. According to Andrew Suggs, vice president of the four-shop MSO, “Sikkens’ clearcoats are the best product on the market— they edge out the competition on cost and quality. The fully tintable sealers from Sikkens changed the game by allowing ECR painters to reduce basecoat usage, which saves money while getting a better product and improving efficiency.” AkzoNobel partnered with ECR for the transition. “We did one location at a time, with AkzoNobel spending a week in each shop, and then our head painter, Eric, would follow up with an additional week at the shop. By the time we wrapped up, Eric had dialed into the product’s nuances and was able to get our last couple guys up to speed very quickly,” Suggs said. “AkzoNobel and ECR worked as a team, and that joint effort made the conversion process incredibly easy.” While Suggs is extremely pleased with the cost and quality of the Sikkens line, that’s not what he raves about most. “Our main reason for choosing the Sikkens line was the extras. A good painter can spray with any high-quality paint, but what do the paint suppliers offer beyond paint, in terms of business development, growth and analytics?” Studying psychology in college has impacted the way Suggs runs ECR. “I tend to look at things differently. Each person is unique, so their responses vary; you can’t expect one person to view things the same as another, but when you understand people—how to talk to them, motivate them—you maximize their potential and their output. That leads to better workers, but first you have to understand their psyches.” Suggs offered an example: “People respond better to colors than words, so our shops are color-coded to help with everyday organization and maximize efficiency. With some people, you have to be blunt for it to sink in; others require sugar-coating, so you don’t hurt
Location: Jonesboro and Sandy Springs, GA; Antioch and Nashville, TN (678) 973-4379 www.europeancollisionrepair.com
By identifying key indicators and traits of top performers in various roles, ECR and AkzoNobel are working to develop a platform that will help shops increase employee longevity and build a more stable core.
their feelings.” After unproductive talks with his previous paint supplier about offering a personality assessment that shop owners and managers could leverage, Suggs began shopping, and when he mentioned the idea to AkzoNobel, they informed him they already the groundwork for such a program in place, though it had only been used by one other shop. “AkzoNobel was completely supportive of my desire to develop a platform from that, so we converted paint lines,” Suggs stated. “We work directly with DiSC to conduct the assessments and have begun using it as a pre-hiring tool with the goal of weeding out the employees that would only last for six months.” By identifying key indicators and traits of top performers in various roles, ECR and AkzoNobel are working to develop a platform that will help shops increase longevity and build a more stable core. It can also evaluate an overall census of shop personalities to determine if a potential new addition is a good fit. “It seems to be working really well so far,” Suggs said. “In addition to weeding out several employees who wouldn’t have worked out, we had a guy interview for an estimator position, but the assessment indicated he’s better suited for parts. We’ve also been able to move some folks around to different positions and locations that are better suited to their mindset and efficiency. “Leveraging personality traits and dispositions allows us to get the most of our employees with-
out leading to stress or burnout. Work/life balance is important for employee happiness. We’re taking a new approach, and it seems to be working well so far,” Suggs continued. “Since May 2020, we’ve hired 21 people, and we have not lost a single person since we developed this program with AkzoNobel. We’re refining the model, but hopefully, other shops will be able to leverage personality assessments in the near future.” ECR and AkzoNobel are also collaborating to facilitate local painter and body technician roundtables, allowing collision repair professionals in similar roles to compare notes that help refine the process. “It’s so easy for management to get caught up in the mundane day-to-day workload that they can’t see the forest for the trees. Good body technicians are extremely intelligent, and they have some great ideas. If they are invested in your company, they’ll share valuable feedback that makes all of us better by raising our standard of work.” Alluding to constant advancements in vehicle technology, Suggs added, “We can’t better our industry unless we do the fundamental things correctly, and by sharing information, we ensure everyone is at the top of their game. In turn, that benefits the customer and the industry as a whole. “We have to keep moving forward and bettering ourselves. Quality products and service survive good and bad times, but the subpar items eventually go away. We refuse to be subpar.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 80 In Business Since: 1979 Number of Locations: Four DRP Programs: Two Combined Production Space: 105,000 square feet
ECR’s painters love spraying with Sikkens from AkzoNobel because “they edge out the competition on cost and quality.”
Suggs believes that understanding employees psychologically leads to a more productive work environment, such as using color-coding to organize the shop and enhance efficiency.
AkzoNobel 1845 Maxwell Drive Troy, MI 48084 www.akzonobel.com Facebook: @AkzoNobelRefinish Twitter: @AkzoNobel_AACNA Instagram: @AkzoNobelRefinish
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 3
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4 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Chris way R focus nostic age s years the p NY, s ducti like A great I you’ll decis ed wh ing w whole ed th equip nical the fir in the his cu C the lo ADAS prom that w pertis C touts native and f team motin lision vice in cap retain prove H ADAS come pand with derst pariso calibr driver made inspir sendi L trust nostic E Repa ysis provid
Country Parkway Repairs Uses the Autel ADAS Calibration System to Expand Service Country Parkway Repairs
by Autobody News Staff
Chris Cole started Country Parkway Repairs as a specialty shop, focusing on the advanced diagnostics and difficult repairs average shops need help with. Over years of growth servicing both the public and local Westbury, NY, shops, Cole learned the introduction of new service options— like ADAS calibration—is the key greater success. If you like success stories, you’ll love this one. Cole made the decision in early 2019 to get started when the public was just learning what ADAS was. He knew the whole repair industry was headed that way. His team was well equipped to handle this new technical level of service, and if he was the first to offer the service reliably in the community, he could grow his customer base. Cole could essentially corner the local market with only a single ADAS calibration frame, if he could promote the service to more shops that would rely heavily on his expertise. Country Parkway Repairs now touts itself as a “dealership alternative” because of the affordable and faster turnaround time Cole’s team provides. Aggressively promoting his company to local collision shops and dealership service managers, Cole succeeded in capturing the new business, but retaining trust came when his team proved their value. He decided the Autel MaxiSYS ADAS Calibration frame would become the heart of his plan to expand, because of his experience with Autel’s scan tools and understanding the competitor comparison. He knew the support to calibrate more than camera-based driver assist systems was what made the Autel unique, and would inspire his customers to continue sending all their calibrations to him. Little did he realize, that new trust would also increase his diagnostic and repair work too. Every day, Country Parkway Repairs performs advanced analysis diagnostics to confirm it is providing its customers and vehi-
Location: Westbury, NY (516) 338-2886 www.countryparkway.com
Company At A Glance... Type: Automotive Diagnostics Facility Employees: Seven In Business Since: 2019 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 4,000 square feet Autel MaxiSYS ADAS Calibration software in use for completing LDW calibration procedure.
cle owners with repairs completed correctly the first time. The same is needed from its ADAS equipment, to ensure its calibrations are accurate and to provide documented proof to customers for insurance submission. Country Parkway Repairs specializes in the difficult vehicle system repairs like pulling dashboards, programming modules, component coding and replacing headlights and airbags, as well as modern mechanical work, including HVAC service (1234YF on-site.) The introduction of ADAS calibration service is now securing work like camera, night vision, lidar and radar sensor installation, as Cole’s team is able to provide the full process of system repair, wheel alignment, ADAS calibration and diagnostic reporting. The increase in trusted work gave Country Parkway Repairs an all-around boost in business and a need to expand its building size to keep up with the workload. “Our clients appreciate us for three reasons—accuracy, speed and cost,” Cole said. “We have the tools and the technicians to work on vehicles that have been in a collision. We pride ourselves on doing everything right the first time, so we can get these cars out without delay. Our services are considerably lower in price than what the dealerships charge.” Before investing in the Autel frame, Cole measured his shop to ensure the space could handle it. Country Parkway Repairs is 4,000
square feet, with six bays, but ADAS calibrations require a large space to complete. He says the frame is a good fit for his New York shop because he has the 15-by30-foot space needed to calibrate any vehicle. Beyond the space needed for the calibration frame and vehicle separation, other factors of the shop must be accounted for. “You need a level floor, enough room so there’s nothing interfering in the calibration area and no external light sources like windows,” Cole said. “External light and grid patterns on shop walls can interfere with the vehicle camera focusing on the frame-mounted pattern during the calibration procedure. Interference of any kind will result in an unsuccessful or inaccurate calibration. All we need to do is follow the tool software instruction and simple steps to ensure perfect calibrations every time.” Cole said trusting in Autel tools is a smart investment. Modern vehicle technology is constantly changing and Autel has proven its dependability to support the most current vehicle software. Cole said he can expect Autel’s current hardware to provide access for years to come. “Autel has proven their value, especially when you include their customer support. They go way out of their way to help us; it’s pretty exceptional. If we have a software issue, which is rare, they never hesitate to solve it and enable us to move on.”
Driver assist systems rely on mechanical parts to react to the collision warning, which need repair or service to operate properly.
Accurate calibration frame placement to the vehicle and ample shop space to complete the procedure are a necessity.
Autel 175 Central Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735 (855) 288-3587 www.Autel.com Facebook: @auteltools YouTube: @AutelTools Instagram: @auteltools Twitter: @autel_tools
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 5
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A X A LT A C O A T I N G S Y S T E M S
The c a ple shop hightificat impor Rick’s rely o stead yond Auto CHRO Paul Axalta They we w marke “ notch ment ness dous Flores Fens client great had c Axalta situat R ed in part-t rebuil torati his ho Over on gr tion, selling He o comp ing th T foot f repai an av mont Body and i Alum ProFi Flores mode shop assem team creas and p custo to sc
A match made in color.
At Axalta, we deliver the products, tools and services you need to stay at the cutting edge of color match. All of our industryleading digital color matching tools integrate seamlessly with our high-performing refinish systems. Make color match as easy as 1, 2, 3 with Axalta. Find your perfect match.
www.axalta.us/color Copyright © 2021 Axalta Coating Systems, LLC and all affiliates. All rights reserved.
6 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Rick’s Auto Body Committed to Axalta’s Top Notch Products Rick’s Auto Body Inc.
by Autobody News Staff
The collision repair industry holds a plethora of challenges for body shop owners who intend to deliver high-quality repairs. With OEM certifications rapidly becoming more important and technical, shops like Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, MT, rely on paint suppliers to remain steadfast and provide value beyond the products they sell. Rick’s Auto Body sprays with Cromax® CHROMAPREMIER®, and owner Paul Flores shares, “We have used Axalta products since the 1990s. They were leading the industry and we wanted to do the same in our market.” “Axalta’s products are top notch, but the business development aspect, especially the business councils, has brought tremendous value to our organization,” Flores added. “Our local rep, Gene Fenske, as well as every Axalta client under his service, has been great to work with. Whenever we had complications with a product, Axalta has helped us navigate the situation as quickly as possible.” Rick’s Auto Body was founded in 1976 by Rick Booth as a part-time business doing total-loss rebuilds, custom painting and restoration work, before he expanded his hours to full-time status in 1979. Over the decades, Booth focused on growing his brand and reputation, until beginning the process of selling the shop to Flores in 2013. He officially retired in 2019 after completing the transaction of selling the entire business to Flores. The shop is an 18,000-square foot facility employing 34 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 200 vehicles each month. In addition, Rick’s Auto Body holds nine DRP contracts and is certified in FCA, Ford, Ford Aluminum, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda ProFirst and Subaru. According to Flores, “I believe our production model sets us apart from other shops. We have dedicated disassembly/blueprint teams, body teams and paint teams. This increases our production capacity and provides greater benefits to our customers in reduced wait times to schedule for repairs and to de-
Location: Missoula, MT (406) 549-5400 www.ricksautobodymissoula.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 34 In Business Since: 1979 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Nine Production Space: 18,000 square feet Rick’s Auto Body has been using Axalta products since the 1990s and can’t imagine wanting to switch brands.
crease repair cycle times.” “Our focus on OEM certifications and providing our customers with OEM certified repairs is important. This involves a heavy commitment to ongoing training, equipping and tooling in every area of the business. Our team is also highly dedicated to improving upon our communication skills—both internally and with our customers and business associates,” Flores said. “OEM certifications are huge. First notice of loss has been captured by insurers; however, advanced telematics will transfer first notice of loss to the OEMs. This has the potential to decrease the value of direct repair programs and put emphasis on OEM certification, or at least bring equal value to the two.” Looking to the future, Flores adds, “I see the potential of the all-makes, all-models type of shop going away. Specialization in the form of OEM certification will be the primary focus. The cost of correctly repairing multiple brands may limit shops to only selecting certifications with the largest OEMs represented in their market place. The threat of liability for repairing a vehicle that you are not approved to repair may also lead to specialization with specific OEMs.” Flores notes, “The landscape’s changing rapidly, and the information necessary for all parties to make the right decision is moving much slower. Access to the necessary information is a road block due to insurers’ unwillingness to
acknowledge the need for the subscription fee. To accurately repair a vehicle, you must access the repair information from the OEM sites, as they are the only ones who have the most up-to-date information. Understanding OEM repair procedures on every repair is also a culture change that requires communication, education, time, patience and a consistent commitment to our technical development.” Rick’s Auto Body is also committed to lessening its impact on the environment through best practice processes and procedures, in addition to using fully integrated UV primers to reduce the amount of coverage necessary to achieve a better quality product. Flores recalls, “We tested new primer products for Axalta in the mid-2000s and then integrated the products into our daily production. Axalta was outstanding in helping us field test, and they continued to provide excellent support if we had any questions when we rolled out for full production. Implementing new Axalta products has traditionally been a seamless process.” The technicians working at Rick’s Auto Body love Cromax® CHROMAPREMIER® because it’s so easy to spray and produces a flawless finish, and their experiences with other Axalta products have also been very favorable. Flores points out, “We’ve been partners too long now to remember anything but Axalta, but with all the benefits they offer, why would we want to?”
Axalta’s flawless finishes allows Rick’s Auto Body to produce superior repairs that keep customers coming back.
Rick’s Auto Body employs 34 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 200 vehicles each month.
Axalta Coating Systems Company Contact: Heidi Stillwell Heidi.email@example.com (610) 358-5353 www.axalta.us
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 7
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® There isn’t a better time to buy Blowtherm than right now!
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Dual skin wall panels joined by H channels with rockwool insulation.
New SBC P1 Control Panel
Heavy duty adjustable steel hinges with brass bushings open door to optimum position.
Twin 10HP direct drive centrifugal fans.
Standard Package: 2 Row Pit Solid Back Four 4-Tube LED Wall Lights take/Exhaust Turbo Fans w/VFD’s ’ ’s Intake/Exhaust Ductworkk Package (15’ Roof Height)
Internal push bar on the front door and the side personnel door.
Hinged ceiling filter frames for easy replacement of 10 micron media filters.
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Eight 4-Tube LED light fixtures with hinged access for ease of cleaning and maintenance.
Pre- and Post-filtration: Intake and Exhaust. Two direct drive centrifugal fans with 2 sets of 10 bag filtration for each.
balanced, pre-engineered air flow.
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Actively looking for U.S. Distributors: Sales, Service & Installation. Call 262-269-6265. 8 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Whet on st ally ta ury v the ri and e rectly shop sion succe booth and ceive distrib J Certifi alread USA booth ta Mo to el paint of mo “ ducti bor c full-ti corre polish “By j are s cause and two f That you c at lea A the he could “ smoo comp booth said. had h layou to pu booth and p Beac tunity comp Eurot are n With who pensi has t order mark “ how the ai
Collision Centers Increase Production, Decrease Costs with Blowtherm USA Spray Booths ROEM Certified Collision Centers
by Autobody News Staff
Whether you’re certified to work on standard vehicles, exceptionally tall vehicles or higher-end luxury vehicles, that means you have the right tools, equipment, training and experience to do the job correctly every time. In this case, a shop owner with an eye on expansion credits a good portion of his success to his Blowtherm spray booths and the customer service and product support that he receives from his Blowtherm USA distributor, Eurotech (CA). Jeff Atkins, owner of ROEM Certified Collision Centers, was already enamored with Blowtherm USA after he purchased a spray booth for his initial location in Santa Monica, because it enabled him to eliminate one position in his paint department while saving tons of money on unneeded labor. “We are able to increase production times and save big on labor costs as we no longer need a full-time finisher to handle paint corrections, as well as buffing and polishing every vehicle,” he said. “By just eliminating that step, we are saving $3,000 per month because we no longer need a finisher and we’re cutting approximately two full hours per car every day. That becomes significant when you consider the fact that we paint at least 100 vehicles every month.” A seamless installation with the help of Eurotech ensured Atkins could be up and running quickly. “All in all, everything went smoothly and the new shop is complete with the Blowtherm booth as the finishing touch,” he said. “Our new location already had high ceilings and a really nice layout. It was a really easy decision to put in a sprinter drive-through booth. Having the ability to repair and paint sprinter vans in Newport Beach really gave us the opportunity to capture business other competitors could not. Thanks to Eurotech and Blowtherm USA, we are now open at our new facility.” With discerning customers, many who drive some of the most expensive cars on the planet, Atkins has to make quality paramount in order to succeed in a competitive market. “The Blowtherm is amazing at how it keeps all of the dirt out of the air,” he said. “We never have to
Location: Santa Monica and Costa Mesa, CA (949) 566-3004 Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 70 In Business Since: 2012 Number of Locations: Two Production Space: 20,000 square feet Owner Jeff Atkins at ROEM Certified Collision Centers relies on two Blowtherm paint booths at both of his Southern California locations.
worry about that aspect of the process because we have seen these booths come through for us time and time again. Working cleaner means working faster and we get zero repaints, which saves us a ton. Plus, shorter flash-off times between coats is also a huge plus for us and our paint crew.” Atkins continued, “Essentially putting in the right equipment saves money and increases production and that translates into profits. We have bought Blowtherm in the past and we saw the immediate effects on paint quality and production improvements.” A great product backed by a hands-on, detail-oriented California distributor such as Eurotech is a win-win proposition for Atkins and his pair of Blowtherm booths. “(Eurotech’s) Rob Summers comes here all the time and supports us in any way he can,” Atkins said. “We never have to worry about filters or booth maintenance and that makes it great. We’ve been working with Eurotech for seven years now and it’s been a wonderful relationship. He is all about customer service and the people at Blowtherm USA are the same way. The Eurotech people come here to service the booth and we rarely even notice them, which is exactly what we need, especially when we’re super busy.” Blowtherm USA’s network of authorized distributors can provide this same customer service nationwide. Atkins is known for shops that resemble high-end hotels or fancy commercial buildings. Much
of his business comes from local southern California car dealerships that sell nameplates such as Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Tesla, just to name a few. His shops aren’t huge, but he also maintains another 50 employees that work on-site at dealerships, Atkins explained. The pandemic was a scary time for body shop owners everywhere, including ROEM’s two locations. Right after breaking ground on his second shop in Costa Mesa, CA, last spring, the world went on hold and Atkins was forced to furlough most of his employees. “We went from 67 employees down to three literally overnight,” he said. “I started building my new shop right before the pandemic. I was a little nervous on getting our equipment as Italy was being hit hard by the virus. Rob Summers from Eurotech was in constant communication with me and Mark Miller, Blowtherm USA. We received the equipment on time and never had any issues.” Now back at full force, Atkins and his crew are poised and prepared to rebuild the business one amazing paint job at a time. “The pandemic showed me that I have control of my business and I can pivot if needed,” he said. “I learned long ago that some doors close and others open. I have found some new business I wasn’t even looking for during the pandemic, and having these Blowtherm booths is a big part of that. We made it through a tough time, but now we’re in a good place and ready for the rest of 2021.”
By using Blowtherm paint booths, Atkins was able to avoid paint corrections, as well as buffing and polishing every vehicle.
With his amazing equipment from Blowtherm coupled with great support from Eurotech, Atkins is ready to take on a post-pandemic world.
Blowtherm USA & Training Center 810 No. Grove Road Richardson, TX 75081 (855) 463-9872 or (262) 269-6265 email@example.com www.blowtherm-usa.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 9
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The M of the North years T owne looks for hi he re agnos Safe™ A tic s is int ONE® team includ and E C Maac ley be ny at tor, a “ time Ron store a goo aged mined really that I co sto I broug maro persu That’s brand he ha “ sales My b telling car w I was G fered soon show “ reven 1991, that then schoo a sm opera those really T is his Barb, drives and create
Multiple Makes. Multiple Models. One EASY TO USE Solution.
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Scan results are automatically attached to a vehicle’s workﬁle in CCC ONE®, keeping your shop and repairs in order. Visit www.cccis.com/diagnostics for more information.
On-Demand Quick Scans Get scan results in minutes, or less
CCC Diagnostics gives us invaluable information that we can access quickly and easily. Brian Greenley Owner Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting Littleton, CO
OEM Direct Cloud Scans Access OEM results from your scan device*
* For participating OEMs only. CCC Diagnostics and CCC ONE are registered trademarks and CCC and the CCC logo are registered service marks of CCC Information Services Inc. © 2021 CCC Information Services Inc. All rights reserved.
10 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Top-Performing Maaco Store Uses CCC Diagnostics and Opus IVS ScanSafe™ to Drive Success Maaco
by Autobody News Staff
The Maaco in Littleton, CO, is one of the leading Maaco locations in North America, a top performer for years. To get there and stay there, owner Brian Greenley always looks for better ways to fix cars for his customers, and that’s why he recently began using CCC Diagnostics and the Opus IVS ScanSafe™ device. An industry-leading diagnostic scanning solution, ScanSafe is integrated into Greenley’s CCC ONE® software and provides his team with an easy-to-use tool that includes all major domestic, Asian and European vehicle brands. Celebrating 30 years as a Maaco franchisee this year, Greenley began working for the company at age 19 when he found a mentor, a mission and a motive. “The owner of the store at that time was a wonderful man named Ron Vogel who owned seven stores,” he said. “We met through a good friend of mine, who managed one of Ron’s shops. I determined that going to college wasn’t really for me, but I never imagined that I would eventually own a Maaco store for three decades now.” It all began when Greenley brought in his 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 for a spot job and was persuaded to paint the entire car. That’s when he realized Maaco’s brand was about much more than he had thought. “I was fascinated with the sales side of the business initially. My buddy tried to recruit me by telling me that I could work on my car when I wasn’t on the clock—so I was sold!” Greenley was eventually offered a management position, and soon he was running the entire show, followed by full ownership. “I almost doubled the store’s revenue during that first year in 1991,” he said. “I persuaded Ron that I needed 100% control and then attended Maaco’s franchisee school in King of Prussia, PA. I had a small amount of cash, and we operated out of our checkbook for those first few months before we really started rolling.” The “we” Greenley refers to is his top-notch crew and his wife, Barb, who shares his vision. She drives the day-to-day operations and provides encouragement to create a positive foundation.
Location: Littleton, CO (720) 689-0645 www.maaco.com
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair & Custom Paint Facility Employees: 42 In Business Since: 1986 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 16,000 square feet A Maaco store in Littleton, CO, recently began using CCC Diagnostics and the Opus IVS ScanSafe™ device with great success.
Today, the store is doing nearly $9 million in sales, with 42 employees operating out of a 16,000-square foot facility. With their Opus IVS ScanSafe™ device and CCC ONE integration, Greenley’s crew can do all their scanning with a single tool. “We get 100 vehicles in here every week and most of them need to be scanned,” he said. “But with this system, there is never a bottleneck. “We used to need multiple scanners to do our pre- and postscans, but no longer. We perform a pre-repair scan while the estimate is being written and use the ScanSafe again after the repair is completed,” Greenley said. “That way, we know that repairs have been done correctly, calibrations are set and the vehicle is safe to return to the road. That is our top priority.” With so many things going on all the time in a busy shop, keeping track of multiple scans and vehicles can be potentially problematic, but not for Greenley. “Once we have scanned a vehicle, a notification immediately appears on the CCC ONE dashboard to inform us that it occurred,” he said. “What is so great about the system is that once a scan takes place, it’s attached to the estimate. It becomes permanently available to us, so if the customer or insurance company calls with questions down the road, it’s all right there. “It’s a snapshot of what was going with that vehicle at that time, and it’s invaluable information that we can access quickly and easily.” Less paperwork and organized files make life much easier for the
office personnel. “We are saving 10 to 15 minutes per repair with the integration to CCC ONE,” he said. “The scan reports and invoices go right into the vehicle’s work file, which makes things a lot easier from the admin side. We also have a map and a history to show to the customer.” Greenley also likes the fact the Opus IVS ScanSafe runs on 5G and resides in the cloud. “We’re on a large lot, which means we can be an acre away, but we never lose connectivity,” he said. “It’s really important because with our consistently large car count, we can’t afford to start and stop on any job.” If anyone on Greenley’s crew has any questions about the system or the software, Opus IVS offers live repair guidance from more than 100 OE-trained brand-specific master technicians. “If needed, their people can connect directly into the vehicle and share data with us while they’re doing it using video,” said Greenley’s production facilitator, Mark Reinig. “Initially, a trainer from CCC came here and we asked him questions for almost three hours and after that, we felt like we were good to go.” The growth of Greenley’s shop hasn’t happened by accident. With the OPUS device, his team can perform more scans, faster and easier than before. Thanks to the CCC integration, the results are readily available for office personnel and insurers. Combining a better process and better information has been Greenley’s recipe for success.
Brian Greenley and his wife, Barb, own a leading Maaco location in North America, a top performer for many years.
Production Facilitator Mark Reinig is saving time and money by using CCC Diagnostics and the Opus IVS ScanSafe™ device.
CCC Information Services, Inc. Company Contact: Mark Fincher (877) 208-6155 www.cccis.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 11
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• Automotive diagnostics • Re-flash • Pre-post scans • Air Conditioning Services– 1234YF on site
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• Electrical/Electronic and Wiring Repairs • Full Mechanical Services (excluded in some market areas) • ADAS calibrations
FOR M O RE INF O R MATIO N, PLEAS E C O NTAC T U S AT: 8 8 8 -8 -EL ITEK | (8 8 8 ) 8 35 -4 8 35 W W W. EL ITEK AUTO. C OM
12 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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TriStar Collision Shines Every Time by Using Elitek TriStar Collision
by Autobody News Staff
If you’re the owner of a small independent body shop or even the regional manager for a large MSO, you’re probably already jobbing out your diagnostics, or at least seriously thinking about it. If you’re already working with Elitek Vehicle Services (an LKQ company), you’ve figured out trying to do everything in-house isn’t often the wise way to go, especially when it comes to automotive diagnostics. With today’s cars that contain countless sensors and cameras, the diagnostics game has gone from a specialty service to a free-for-all. There are so many players in the game now. How does a shop find a good diagnostics company that has the right equipment, tools and skills to do the job precisely on hundreds of vehicles? Jeff Sullivan, Managing Partner at TriStar Collision, has worked more than three decades in the collision repair industry, as a combo tech, an estimator and ultimately in management for several MSOs. He has worked for several shops during his career that have used Elitek Vehicle Services with great success. Sullivan’s career in collision repair all began in 1989 by happenstance. “I was in and out of college and trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Sullivan said. “I had a car that needed a few repairs and one of my buddies told me that his father had a shop. The next thing I knew, I was working for them doing whatever was needed. I was fascinated by the industry right away. These people were taking wrecks and fixing them, and their customers were delighted!” After about six months, things began clicking for Sullivan and his career went on a fast track. “One night, the owner of the shop asked me to paint a 1965 Chevy in baby blue with a white stripe, and after that, I was hooked, big-time.” Sullivan is entering an exciting time at TriStar Collision, where he and his partner, John Hughes, have plans to expand at a steady rate. Their goal is to open 8 to 10 new locations within the next five years
Location: Brentwood, TN (615) 489-4400 Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: Four In Business Since: 2020 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 7,000 square feet More and more companies like TriStar Collision are using Elitek for their diagnostics.
and to leverage their longstanding relationships with car dealers and insurance partners. To hit those ambitious numbers, Sullivan and Hughes know they need to partner with vendors that will alleviate headaches before they happen. For all their automotive diagnostics, TriStar Collision has been calling upon Elitek Vehicle Services to accurately diagnose, repair and re-calibrate all vehicle systems well before Sullivan entered into this new partnership. Initially, Sullivan called on Elitek Vehicle Services only for the most difficult diagnoses, but when he lost his No. 1 mechanic, it really opened his eyes. “I figured why should I invest a lot of money in all these different types of scan tools and equipment?” he said. “Or I can have Elitek Vehicle Services come here, perform the duties that need to be done and allow us to move on. They are very respectful of our shop and our technicians’ space and they work well with everybody here. It was an easy decision for sure, and one of the best we have ever made.” What are some of the most common issues Sullivan encounters with ADAS? “Front radar sensors, blindspot monitors and any type of re-calibration involving sunroofs,” he said. “We often run into problems with adaptive headlights and back door latches that can be problematic, and anything camera-related that we had to unplug is something we need Elitek Vehicle Services for. They come down and either reset it
or at least confirm that the targets are set precisely and reading correctly.” With so many of today’s newer cars loaded with ADAS from front to back, Sullivan wants an expert as opposed to a generalist or someone learning on the job. “Elitek Vehicle Services has all the necessary tools that are up to date; they’ve trained their people to do the job and we can rely on them. A technician has to know about a lot of things, but we can’t expect them to be an expert on diagnostics.” In many cases, diagnostics is the last thing to do before a shop can return the vehicle back to the customer. It happens all the time. The car looks amazing, but you’re having issues trying to clear an engine light or an airbag light. That’s why Sullivan needs a company like Elitek Vehicle Services that is prompt and responsive. “If I call them in the morning, they can be here in the afternoon,” he said. “If they tell me they are going to do something, I know it will happen, and that’s why we’ve maintained that relationship for the past eight years.” Elitek has a “whatever it takes” approach to service, and Sullivan appreciates the company’s dedication. He also likes the fact that Elitek Vehicle Services’ pricing is competitive and fair. “They send us as many people as they think they need for the job, and if it’s something they can’t do, which is rare, they will tell us to take it to the dealer without charging us.”
TriStar Collision relies on Elitek to accurately diagnose, repair and re-calibrate all vehicle systems.
Owner Jeff Sullivan appreciates Elitek’s “whatever it takes” approach to service.
Elitek 888-8-ELITEX l 888-835-4835 www.ELITEKAUTO.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 13
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ENROLL TODAY AT AUTOGLASSACADEMY.COM
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At Ca dition comp the D the w out e serve a flee day a a stea years ent ro tional mous on a expan of se of fu consi rior r (PDR) and g O Diem use E form shield anyth a wid tools tor™, their ment Repa on th to mo R Zach grow Brent differe cludin reach tions O “Labo Carpe said. becau hard said. was a pany saw t siona “ under impor safety he sa
Auto Reconditioning Company Praises its Equalizer Glass Tools Big-Time Carpe Diem Automotive Reconditioning
by Autobody News Staff
At Carpe Diem Automotive Reconditioning in Oklahoma City, OK, the company’s name means “Seize the Day” in Latin and it matches the way they do business. Without exception, this company that serves Texas and Oklahoma with a fleet of 18 vans is seizing every day and that’s why it has grown at a steady rate since its inception 12 years ago. With an impressive client roster consisting of large national companies that have enormous fleets, Carpe Diem is focused on a sensible plan for nationwide expansion. The company’s menu of services includes every type of full automotive reconditioning, consisting of upholstery and interior repairs, Paintless Dent Repair (PDR), bumper repairs, spot paint and glasswork. One of the reasons why Carpe Diem is doing well is the fact they use Equalizer® glass tools to perform several tasks, including windshield removal and installation, and anything else glass-related. With a wide range of Equalizer® glass tools with cool names like Raptor™, Blackhawk™ and Viper™ in their company-wide arsenal, not to mention the Rock Star™ Windshield Repair Kit, Carpe Diem is right out on the cutting-edge when it comes to mobile glasswork. Regional Director of Oklahoma Zach Newlin has seen Carpe Diem grow under the direction of owner Brent Black. Newlin wears a lot of different hats for the company, including marketing, community outreach, customer service and operations within the Sooner State. Oklahoma’s state slogan is “Labor Conquers All Things” and Carpe Diem fits the bill, Newlin said. “We have been successful because we are not afraid to work hard and do whatever it takes,” he said. “Our owner realized that there was a need 12 years ago for a company like Carpe Diem because he saw that there was a lack of professionalism in this industry.” “Our auto glass technicians understand that every glass job is important because our customers’ safety is always a major concern,” he said. “That’s why we always use
Location: Oklahoma City, OK (405) 531-4333 www.carpediemautomotive.com
Carpe Diem Automotive Reconditioning is succeeding by offering mobile glass services and using Equalizer’s glass tools.
the best materials in the industry for our auto glass division and that is Equalizer® glass tools. We make certain that every installation is done correctly the first time and by taking the time to perform an ultrasonic sound test on each and every windshield we replace.” Newlin is also not afraid to give his glass crew much respect because he feels they are some of the industry’s crème de la crème. “We recently hired Brian Baker, who is a fourth-generation glassier who is currently running our glass department,” he said. “John Deleon is in charge of car interiors and Tristan DuBose does account management and runs our paint department.” You can have an all-star team, but unless they have the right tools to do the job, what’s the point? Newlin has that box neatly checked and doesn’t have to worry about that aspect of his production because they’re all-in with Equalizer®. Each one of his glass guys have successfully completed the oneweek training program at Equalizer’s Auto Glass Academy. Auto Glass Academy provides exceptional training and skills for auto glass repair, removal, replacement and calibration for all techs. They set the standard for excellence in the auto glass industry, and are highly recommended for any tech or shop. Once Newlin’s team is ready for the road, they get a specific region and are provided with a complete battery of Equalizer’s glass tools. If Newlin can see firsthand a glass tool is easy to use and won’t
beat up his technicians when using it, he’s sold. “We use almost all of the automotive glass tools provided by Equalizer® because they provide us with the best solutions for our applications.” Another factor Newlin and his team were concerned about was the safety of their glass technicians while operating the same tasks over and over. “We’re always looking at better and safer ways of doing everything,” he said. “Safety and durability are really big with us. All of Equalizer’s glass tools are ergonomically designed to make things easier for our technician’s shoulders, necks and backs. Using a variety of tools through Equalizer’s Auto Glass Academy allowed us to make the perfect selection of tools for our team. Performing quality windshield repairs and replacements is a top priority for us. We support and share Equalizer’s mantra of ‘Clean Sets Save Lives™’ and strive to educate our customers on the importance of a clean set and ensure that we prioritize their safety with each replacement.” Carpe Diem has big plans and lofty aspirations for the future and they’re all good. “We want to passionately change the lives of our employees and customers by providing superior service,” Newlin said. “We want to be coast-tocoast eventually, but we also want to be strategic about it. At the end of the day, it’s really more about growing our company responsibly while cultivating the relationships we have with our business-to-business relationships.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 25 In Business Since: 2009 Number of Locations: 30 Combined Production Space: 30,000 square feet
Carpe Diem has an all-star team and Equalizer’s glass tools make them even more effective every day.
Carpe Diem wants to become a coast-to-coast company and by using the right tools they’re confident that they’ll get there.
Equalizer (512) 388-7715 email@example.com www.equalizer.com www.autoglassacademy.com www.adasacademy.com * Add to your Arsenal with an Arsenal Box Subscription! www.thearsenalbox.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 15
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Ready. Set. Get to
This Customized Package Gives Shops: GET TO GOLD CLASS® IS THE MOST DIRECT AND A F F O R D A B L E W AY F O R A S H O P T O G E T S TA R T E D O N I T S T R A I N I N G J O U R N E Y T H AT CONTRIBUTES TO COMPLETE,
• A Discount on Gold Class Required Training • Limited Turnover Protection • An In-Shop Knowledge Assessment™ • A Dedicated Customer Care Representative • Flexible Monthly or Pay-in-Full Payment Options
S A F E A N D Q U A L I T Y R E PA I R S .
Go to www.I-CAR.com/GTGC ©2021 Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair
16 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Dale in 19 Ford plant the a he w next 2 I body to ma the fa ishing I Ford, to La opene tobod Vegas came motiv assist over cated D solely realize “ best— am to W gos le check this a maint alism and e prope every tomer J comp in 20 of ex uniqu direct tomer gets i “ er sh beyon and in appro check cess, H every “ out o ensur said. W in 202 gos a becom ity. Th “Get duced clusiv
I-CAR’s ‘Get to Gold Class’ Package Helps Nevada Shop Commit to Complete, Safe and Quality Repairs Winners Circle Kustom Autobody
by Autobody News Staff
Dale Dlugos graduated high school in 1963 and began working at the Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Lorain, OH. After working the assembly line for seven years, he went into management for the next 23. In the early 1970s, he opened a body shop and asked an employee to manage it for him. He stopped by the facility nearly every day after finishing his shift at Ford. In 1993, Dlugos retired from Ford, closed his shop and moved to Las Vegas the following year. He opened Winners Circle Kustom Autobody in 1998, located near Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He became friends with American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and assisted Shelby with many projects over the years. The shop was relocated to Henderson in 2014. Dlugos’ intent was to focus solely on custom work, but he soon realized there wasn’t a demand. “I went back to what I know best—collision repair—and here I am today,” he said. While working at Ford, Dlugos learned the three Cs: circulate, check and correct. By implementing this at Winners Circle, it helps him maintain a high level of professionalism in all aspects of collision repair and ensure every vehicle is repaired properly. As the owner, he is on-site every day and accessible to customers. Jose Martinez joined the company as body shop manager in 2020. With more than 30 years of experience, he said the shop is unique in the way employees have direct and friendly contact with customers and everyone in the shop gets involved in the repair process. “What sets us apart from other shops is how we go above and beyond in every aspect of the repair and in the way we clean, detail and approach the final quality control check to adhere to our strict process,” said Martinez. He added they do anything and everything to get a part. “Dale sometimes even goes out of state to Utah or California to ensure we have the correct part,” he said. When the shop slowed down in 2020 due to the pandemic, Dlugos and Martinez allocated time to become an I-CAR Gold Glass® facility. They signed up for I-CAR’s new “Get to Gold Class” package, introduced in November 2020. The all-inclusive training package was creat-
Location: Henderson, NV (702) 643-9981
The team at Winners Circle Kustom Autobody. Owner Dale Dlugos is pictured in the center holding the I-CAR plaque. Jose Martinez, shop manager, is standing second from the left in the light blue shirt.
ed for shops working toward I-CAR Gold Class® recognition, the highest role-relevant training achievement recognized by the collision repair industry. In addition to receiving flexible payment options and discounts, shops have access to a dedicated customer care representative, an InShop Knowledge Assessment™, a customized training plan based on shop size and existing knowledge, and turnover protection. The program is intended to help shops achieve Gold Class recognition within a year, which may help shops satisfy OEM and insurance network requirements. Martinez said the process took Winners Circle about two months to complete. First, an I-CAR assessor visited the shop and assessed technicians’ knowledge. Employees then took virtual and online classes to meet the requirements. “It was a flawless process,” said Martinez. “We worked closely with our rep, which helped a lot. In many ways, it expedited the process to becoming I-CAR Gold Class.” Martinez said the process was user-friendly, and technical support was readily available through I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal. The shop became Gold Class as of January 2021. Dlugos said this achievement demonstrates his shop is committed to the highest standards of professionalism and quality in collision repair. Customers rate Winners Circle a five-star shop. “To be that, you can’t go in the office, put your feet on the desk and hope everyone makes a good decision,” said Dlugos. “You have to be involved daily and circulate, check and correct. That’s the only way to
do it.” With vehicles becoming more complex, with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features and electric vehicle considerations, Dlugos encourages shop owners to keep up with the latest repair methods. In addition to relying on OEMs for procedures and technical information, the shop has access to I-CAR resources, like I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal. “I-CAR is on top of the latest developments, acquiring information from car manufacturers,” said Dlugos. “We are then able to get that information to our techs.” He stressed the importance of ensuring technicians are properly trained and qualified. Otherwise, shops might employ people without knowing the depth of their knowledge. Winners Circle plans to keep up with annual training requirements to maintain Gold Class recognition each renewal year. Not only will this lead to a positive experience for consumers, but it will also contribute to a complete, safe and quality repair. “You can’t just say, ‘I’m certified,’ and turn them loose,” Dlugos said. “You have to stay on top of it.” Operating a direct repair shop (DRP) for several major insurers, Dlugos finds an increasing number of companies are requiring I-CAR Gold Class recognition. He foresees this will likely increase, and recommends shops become I-CAR Gold Class now. “Buckle up; the future is coming,” said Dlugos. “If technicians want to get a good job at a good reputable body shop, they need I-CAR training.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 15 In Business Since: 1998 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Three Production Space: 14,000 square feet
The shop used the Get to Gold Class package to achieve this industry-respected recognition.
Dlugos said that receiving Gold Class status demonstrates his shop is committed to the highest standards of professionalism and quality in collision repair.
I-CAR (800) I-CAR-USA www.I-CAR.com/GTGC Facebook: @icareducation Twitter: @I_CAR_Education Instagram: @icareducation LinkedIn: @company/i-car YouTube: @user/icartraining
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 17
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ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE CURING SYSTEM
Increase daily output without additional personnel or facilities expansion Decrease key-to-key cycle times Incredible return on investment Full compliance to Canadian & US Fire Prevention Standards - Class 1, Div. 2 certification
DISTRIBUTED EXCLUSIVELY BY
Contact Industrial Finishes & Systems for more information 800-531-1305 • INDUSTRIALFINISHES.COM
18 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Beal’s nine t hicles be a pervig days, about shop. H cy to proce the U syste dustr “ shops future need the s requir stay c H to-ke insura shops profit U ploye ploye TEAM team to in than indivi and l pool, shop’ forma “ stake techs TEAM ly,” B a cult er fo have Attitu B advan shifts the ty “ and m cienc syste takes their toget Team than a A goes Cure “
Beal’s Auto Body Credits Efficiency to ‘Most Advanced Drying System on the Planet’ from Industrial Finishes & Systems Beal’s Auto Body & Paint
by Autobody News Staff
Beal’s Auto Body & Paint employs nine technicians who repair 136 vehicles monthly, a feat that seems to be a small miracle requiring a hypervigilant shop owner, but these days, owner Tim Beal only spends about a quarter of his time in the shop. He credits his shop’s efficiency to the culture he’s created, the processes he’s implemented and the US AutoCure infrared curing system, sold by his distributor, Industrial Finishes & Systems. “The ability of independent shops to stay in business in the future will hinge on efficiency. We’ll need to repair more vehicles with the same equipment and people, requiring us to lower cycle times to stay competitive,” Beal said. His shop maintains a 6.8 keysto-keys cycle time. “It makes the insurance companies happy, but shops and their employees can profit, too,” he said. Understanding happy employees are more productive employees, Beal implemented a total TEAM system, incentivizing his team by providing an opportunity to increase their income. Rather than paying technicians for their individual work, a portion of sales and labor profits are placed in a pool, which is divided amongst the shop’s employees, based on performance. “They aren’t employees; they’re stakeholders in my company. The techs make about 25% more on TEAM than they could individually,” Beal explained. “We’re creating a culture where we all work together for a common goal. My guys have really taken ownership of it. Attitude is everything.” Beal’s employees have the advantage of working four 10-hour shifts, offering an improvement over the typical shop work/life balance. “Everyone is in a good mood, and my techs average 98% efficiency,” Beal said. “With our TEAM system, everyone knows what it takes in hours and sales to achieve their ideal paycheck, so they work together to achieve that goal. Teamwork makes us more efficient than a lot of other businesses.” A positive work environment goes a long way, but the US AutoCure Phoenix pulls its weight, too. “The Phoenix allows us to
Location: Prescott, AZ (928) 445-2295 www.bealsautobodyandpaint.com
Shop owner Tim Beal credits his shop’s efficiency to the culture he has created, as well as the processes he’s implemented, and the U. S. Autocure infrared curing system.
cure a bedside or two panels in 30 minutes; we can reduce 10 hours of paint time to just one-hour cycle time through the booth—our paint-to-reassembly cycle time averages two hours,” according to Beal. “The efficiency of the Phoenix allowed us to process $4.4 million through one paint booth in 2019 while maintaining excellent quality.” Employee satisfaction is important to Beal, and the US AutoCure Phoenix does not disappoint. “My guys love it. They get their work done sooner and are able to go home earlier,” he said. Although it was modeled after similar European drying systems, the US AutoCure was created because “European models weren’t big enough for American vehicles and didn’t meet U. S. standards,” Beal explained. “Industrial Finishes & Systems manufactures the system in Phoenix, AZ, but it’s the most advanced drying system on the planet!” Beyond reducing cycle times, the gas-catalytic medium-wave infrared curing system requires no modifications or expansions to work with an existing paint booth, making it easy to install and use. Because the US AutoCure works so much quicker, Beal’s Auto Body has reduced energy consumption by 90%. Additional environmental efforts by the shop include installing energy-saving lights and spraying with the Axalta Spies Hecker waterborne paint line. Beal purchases all of the shop’s equipment and painting supplies from Industrial Finishes & Systems because “they offer good
prices and excellent customer service. They do a great job of meeting my needs and expectations. Their representatives are very helpful and knowledgeable; Industrial Finishes & Systems occasionally brings shops to tour my facility, so I’ve had interactions with a lot of their people. It’s a pretty solid, homegrown company.” Beal also likes that “Industrial Finishes & Systems manufactures a lot of their products. Their True Performance Product series is very economical and high quality.” Beal’s father was a technician who taught him the trade, and Beal developed a love for working on cars at a young age. He began pursuing an automotive career in 1988, when he rented a small stall in a building for $20 per day, equipped it with an air compressor and fan, and started working as a custom painter. “It was never work—I just loved it!” Beal said. “In 1988, I rented a two-bay shop and hung out my shingle.” Beal’s Auto Body is certified in Honda, INFINITI, Nissan, Jeep, Chrysler and Kia, in addition to being I-CAR Gold Class. “The only way independent shops are going to survive is by keeping their staff educated—making sure everyone follows SOPs and researches the proper repair procedures and providing the training to ensure they do it correctly,” Beal believes. “Beal’s Auto Body would not be as innovative and successful as it has become without the support of my wife,” Beal added.
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 17 In Business Since: 1988 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Two Production Space: 12,000 square feet
No modifications or expansions are required to install the U. S. Autocure – it fits right in existing paint booths.
Beal believes, “The ability of independent shops to stay in business in the future will hinge on efficiency.”
Industrial Finishes & Systems (800) 531-1305 www.industrialfinishes.com Facebook: @industrialfinishes Twitter: @indfinishes YouTube: matrixautomotivefinishes
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 19
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REBORN with ever ything you asked for– color consistency and tools.
M AV ERICK APPROV ED .
MICHAEL “BUCK” RAMIREZ
BUCKWILD BRAND | LOS ANGELES, CA
BRAND-X CUSTOMS | EVERETT, WA
CHAD’S CUSTOM DREAMS | SALUDA, SC
2020 MAVERICKS OF COLOR REQUES T A DEMO, V ISI T W W W. M AT R I X S Y S T E M . C O M
20 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Richa roll S and Jerry W izing file p collis impo sugge owne a form expec of Co trix E spar K try’s Must Valsp Three a 202 Color “ is a p grain ored worke bless crafts see a on m the c the ri worke A repair pract After his fa introd syste “ Know tive, a terials qualit A at th Know trave work televi T peara indus with His w for c his b highcreat that since toms
Maverick of Color Lauds Matrix Edge for Color Matching and Versatility Brand-X Customs
by Autobody News Staff
Richard Petty. Steve Wynn. Carroll Shelby. The Busch family. Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart. Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains. When repairing and customizing vehicles for such high-profile personalities, providing quality collision and custom work is as important as offering innovative suggestions. Brandon Knowles, owner of Brand-X Customs, offers a formula for exceeding customer expectations—this 2020 Maverick of Color only sprays with the Matrix EdgeTM refinish system, a Valspar Automotive® brand. Knowles captured the industry’s attention with his 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, featured in the Valspar booth during SEMA 2016. Three years later, he was named a 2020 Matrix Edge Maverick of Color. “To me, a Maverick of Color is a painter who goes against the grain,” Knowles said. “I was honored to receive the award. I’ve worked hard my whole life and feel blessed to be recognized for my craftsmanship. When customers see all the achievements hanging on my office wall, it gives them the confidence to know they’re in the right place to get their vehicle worked on.” A fourth-generation collision repair professional, Knowles was practically born into the industry. After high school, he worked in his father’s shop, where a jobber introduced him to the Matrix paint system in the late 1990s. “We immediately liked it,” Knowles said. “It was cost-effective, allowing us to reduce our materials overhead without sacrificing quality or durability.” After his father sold the shop at the turn of the millennium, Knowles spent the next few years traveling the country, performing work on cars featured in movies, television and magazines. To achieve the polished appearance needed for those visual industries, he continued spraying with the Matrix refinish system. His work on customized vehicles for celebrity clientele reaffirmed his belief in the value of using high-quality paint and materials to create his masterpieces, a belief that has continued to serve him since he founded Brand-X Customs in 2005.
Location: Everett, WA (425) 230-0549 www.brand-x-customs.com
Brand-X Customs provides flawless finishes on customers’ specialized rides, thanks to the superior color-matching delivered by the Matrix Edge, a Valspar Automotive Brand.
When Valspar Automotive released the Matrix Edge product line in 2019, Brand-X Customs was the first shop in the state of Washington to begin using it, and although the pandemic created challenges with training schedules, Knowles found it simple enough to make the switch. Since Knowles was among the first to begin spraying with Matrix Edge, he had some questions early on, but as soon as he called or emailed for help, Valspar Automotive’s technical team “would be right there; I couldn’t ask for better customer service, and their local customer service is stellar, too.” Having gained some early experience with the product, Knowles offered advice to newer users in online forums, connecting with shops across the country and growing his own knowledge of the system. “Using the Spectro camera and the software, the color matches with the Matrix Edge have been amazing,” Knowles said, explaining, “Local shops send us the work they can’t or won’t do, especially the custom, specialized paint jobs. We love bringing customers’ dreams to life. We recently made a Volkswagen Beetle look like an orca—the horn even sounds like a killer whale.” To create these fantasies, Knowles relies on the Matrix Edge’s “streamlined bank that allows me to use a premium basecoat, mix up a single stage urethane and also mix acrylic enamel—all off the same set-up; it’s very versatile and user-friendly,” Knowles said. “I’m able to keep everything in stock
so I can mix whatever I need on the spot without worrying about missing deadlines. That’s a major advantage.” Although the entire Matrix Edge line provides a flawless finish, Knowles admits to having a few favorite products. “The Matrix MH-006 slow catalyst flows really nice. Their MS-42 Premium Urethane Clearcoat and the AG-40 Clearcoat dry quick and offer superior holdout.” The entire team at Brand-X Customs loves the Matrix Edge paint system, including Knowles’ father, who now works with him. “Dad hadn’t painted enamel in years, and he picked it up quickly. Matrix is great, but with Matrix Edge, Valspar Automotive took it to the next level; they took a great product and made it even better. Color-matching improved, the new primers are ahead of their time and the updated sealers are just all-around better. We’re loving the Matrix Edge.” Knowles also loves the Matrix Edge solvents are low-VOC, minimizing waste and lowering emissions. The shop is involved in community efforts, sponsoring local sports teams, hosting fundraisers and donating to local charities. The 5,000-square foot shop is home to seven employees, and although the shop only averages about a dozen collision jobs each month, Knowles keeps a shop full of custom jobs and restoration work. “We work for the customer—and they work for us. All of our advertising is done by word of mouth.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair & Customs Facility Employees: Seven In Business Since: 2005 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: None Production Space: 5,000 square feet
Brand-X Customs specializes in bringing customers’ tailor-made dreams to life.
Brandon Knowles was named a 2020 Maverick of Color by Matrix Edge, but he first captured the company’s attention three years earlier with his 1967 Mustang Fastback, which he calls “Josephine.”
Matrix Edge™, a Valspar® Automotive Brand 4440 Warrensville Center Road Warrensville Hts., OH 44128 (800) 321-0672 www.matrixsystem.com Facebook: matrixsystem Instagram: matrixautomotivefinishes YouTube: matrixautomotivefinishes
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 21
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NOTHING MATCHES TODAY’S COLORS BETTER Ford Ruby Red. Inspired by the vivid hues of the ruby gemstone. Matching any color is easier when you’re spraying with the best. Learn more at envirobase.com
©2021 PPG Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. The PPG Logo and Envirobase are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
22 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Dead-On Color Matches Help Father/Son Shop to Grow While Being Green Complete Color Auto Collision
by Autobody News Staff
Head Painter/General Manager Austin Loynes and his father, Jim Loynes, at Complete Color Auto Collision aren’t afraid to invest in the best tools, products and equipment they can find to fix cars to OE standards and exceed customers’ expectations. To continually hit their numbers and serve their ever-growing customer base at a high level, the Loyneses recently purchased a new drive-through downdraft spray booth and switched to PPG’s ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne paint system. Austin is only 25, but he’s already running the show at Complete Color, and Jim is totally OK with it. In fact, he’s thrilled. At first it didn’t look like Austin would even be working in the collision repair industry, primarily because his father tried to steer him in another direction. “We told him to go to work in any other industry but collision repair,” Jim said. “I didn’t want him to get a career where it could beat up his body. So, I told him to go to college and get a desk job to use his brain and avoid the wear and tear. But he didn’t listen, and now we can’t get rid of him.” As a car nut, Austin studied to be a mechanical engineer initially, so he could design tomorrow’s vehicles, but the body shop life was calling and pretty soon he answered the call. “I talked to a professor at Lansing Community College and he said I should enter their collision repair program before it no longer existed,” he said. “I fell in love with the program and consumed as much information as I could to use here at the shop. My professor was right because in 2018 when I completed the program, it went belly up.” Upon graduation, Austin began working full-time at the shop under the tutelage of his father. “Dad is like the head coach, our techs are the offensive line and I’m like the quarterback as the head painter/manager,” he said. “The QB usually wins the MVP if they perform well but they also get the heat if they make a mistake.”
Location: Fowler, MI (989) 593-4110
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Facility Employees: Five In Business Since: 1999 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 8,000 square feet Jim Loynes, left, and his son Austin switched to PPG’s ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne paint system and are loving every minute of it.
Austin loves every aspect of body shop life, but decided fairly early that painting was going to play a big role in his future. “I work hard to be a better painter every day and I am really proud of what I do. I tell people that there are two groups out there—applicators and painters— and I’m a painter.” To stay on top of their game and keep winning with every vehicle they repair, the Loyneses at Complete Color Auto Collision decided to switch to PPG’s ENVIROBASE® waterborne product in 2019. Around the same time, they connected their two buildings with a drive-through paint booth and were ready to enter a new and exciting period in their history. Before integrating the new paint line into their production, Austin and the rest of his paint crew traveled to PPG’s Business Development Center. “Before we made the transition, we went down there with the people from Painters Supply and sprayed all morning long,” Austin said. “We looked at the clears, sealers and basecoats, and had an opportunity to play around with them a little bit. At the end of the day, we signed a deal. We couldn’t be happier.” Becoming a greener business by saying hello to a waterborne paint after spraying solvent for 22 years was a major part of the decision. “We were always thinking about waterborne because we no-
ticed that all of other shops around here are shooting solvent,” Austin said. “We want to be known as an environmentally responsible company, and the PPG ENVIROBASE® helps us to do that. We want our customers to know that we are using it, so we post about it on our social media all the time, and the feedback we’ve been getting is awesome.” One major obstacle with their former paint system was related to color matches, Austin said, a problem he doesn’t have anymore. “We got tired of always having to rely on the camera that our former paint supplier provided. In order to dial in the right colors, we were often blindly searching to find that acceptable variance. PPG’s system is very straightforward and easy to use. The other system we were using required too many steps, but now we are getting dead-on color matches and saving a ton of time.” Now that the Loyneses are sitting pretty with their new PPG ENVIROBASE® waterborne system that’s performing like an all-star and consistently achieving precise color matches, it’s time to give much respect to those who helped them to get to the next level. “Our PPG territory managers Brian Shelley and Aaron Rogers are incredible. Ron Miner at Painters Supply and Equipment is really knowledgeable. Whenever we ask anything from any of them, they are always right there with the answer, and the overall support from this team is the best.”
Complete Color Auto Collision is proud to say it’s the only body shop in its area spraying a waterborne product.
Even the shop dog Jax is all-in with PPG.
PPG Company Contact: Cathy Rusnak (440) 572-2800 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ppgrefinish.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 23
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Confidently Tackle Any Aluminum Repair That Rolls Into Your Shop!! Pro Spot Has All Of The Right Solutions
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24 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Bob Body little h shoeT numb decid provid ity re servic “ impro do a Benn A B&B curre emplo fessio 50 ve B succe our c comp ticipa OEM terma It’s im for ou T what acros “ sized Pro S lot of right “We their e F in the ble P “ was u before Pro S Pro S per up night per ea cours up im of a le ty mu B Invert desig cult t Adva “ Resis cordin mode
FL Shop Enjoys ‘Super Upgrade’ to Pro Spot Equipment B&B Auto Body
by Autobody News Staff
Bob Bennett founded B&B Auto Body in Sarasota, FL, in 2007 “in a little hole-in-the-wall building on a shoe-string budget.” Though he had worked at a number of independent shops, he decided to open his own shop to provide customers with high quality repairs and superior customer service. “I just thought I could make improvements to the process and do a better job for the consumers,” Bennett said. Achieving that goal allowed B&B Auto Body to expand to its current 20,000-square foot facility, employing 12 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 50 vehicles each month. Bennett explained his shop’s success: “We repair vehicles for our customers, not the insurance companies, so we never ever participate in any DRPs. We follow OEM guidelines and avoid using aftermarket parts whenever possible. It’s important that we do our best for our customers.” That drive to do his best is what led Bennett and his son across town six years ago. “My friend has a pretty goodsized shop, and he showed us his Pro Spot equipment. We asked a lot of questions and received all the right answers,” Bennett recalled. “We opted for Pro Spot because their equipment works great!” First, B&B Auto Body invested in the SP-5 DP Single Phase Double Pulse MIG Welder. “Our team at B&B Auto Body was using small 100v MIG welders before we enhanced our shop with Pro Spot equipment. Switching to Pro Spot’s SP-5 was definitely a super upgrade,” Bennett said. “It was a night and day difference, plus it’s super easy to use. After a short training course for my guys, they picked it up immediately. There wasn’t much of a learning curve at all. It was pretty much plug and play.” Bennett loves the Pro Spot i4 Inverter Resistance Spot Welder, designed to handle materials difficult to weld, like boron steels and Advanced High Strength Steels. “Shops need the i4 Inverter Resistance Spot Welder now!” according to Bennett. “With a lot of modern cars, you can’t plug weld
Location: Sarasota, FL (941) 924-4342 www.sarasotabodyshop.com
Bob Bennett loves Pro Spot’s equipment because it’s a “super upgrade” over what his shop was using previously, speeding the repair process and allowing B&B Auto Body to perform more repairs.
without ruining the inner panels. Compared to punching and drilling holes, the i4 speeds the process, and if you look behind the seams, the welds look like they came straight from the factory. There’s also about a quarter less clean-up. It seriously makes the job go so much faster!” When it comes to working with aluminum, Bennett praises Pro Spot’s PR-5 Riveter. “We’ve used the PR-5 on a bunch of aluminum bedsides. Without it, the repair isn’t nearly as fast or easy. Maybe you can do the job without a riveter, but can you do a good job? It’s easily visible when you don’t use a self-piercing riveter; it’s not the same. The PR-5 results in a cleaner look, which leads to happier customers.” B&B Auto Body also relies on Pro Spot’s Ion Spot Anti-Static Gun, which uses compressed air to eliminate static and dust for up to 40 minutes. This tool reduces dry edges and prep time, while improving paint adhesion and aiding in color blending. “The Ion Spot works excellent,” Bennett said. “It gets rid of static and dust for the cleanest possible paint job.” With the Ion Spot, B&B Auto Body requires less chemicals and cleaners, which saves time and money, but it also has a positive impact on the environment. Bennett makes sure B&B Auto Body does its part to preserve Mother Nature—“We recycle everything we can, and we invested quite a bit into energy-efficiency lighting. The Pro Spot equipment helps us reduce energy usage as well,” he
said. “My team and I love all our Pro Spot equipment,” Bennett added. “They work great, and they make our jobs easier which improves our efficiency. Faster, cleaner repairs give us the ability to take on more work and the opportunity to increase profit, which is important since we’re one of the only independent shops around. “We’re competing with MSOs and big dealerships with multiple insurer relationships, but the insurance companies aren’t our customers,” he continued. “Since the pandemic, they aren’t even sending out appraisers; they are depending on the shops to do all the admin work with virtual estimates, requiring more supplements. That additional burden makes it even more important that we be able to complete repairs quickly to enhance our customers’ experience.” While Pro Spot’s products amazed him, the company impressed Bennett even more with their customer service. “Service is a big thing for me. When something went wrong with past equipment from other companies, getting someone to troubleshoot it or fix it was an absolute nightmare, but that’s not the case with Pro Spot. Their customer service is awesome. If there’s a problem, they’re here the same or next day, and it’s fixed right away.” The customer service experience for Bennett and other shops in his area just improved—Pro Spot recently opened a sales warehouse and service center near Venice, in Nokomis, FL, to assist regional customers and distributors.
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 12 In Business Since: 2007 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Zero Production Space: 20,000 square feet
B&B Auto Body believes the repair process should focus on the customer whose car is being repaired, which is why Bennett invests in the best tools and equipment possible.
B&B Auto Body loves Pro Spot’s i4 Inverter Resistance Spot Welder because it’s easy to achieve welds that look like they came straight from the factory.
Pro Spot 5932 Sea Otter Place Carlsbad, CA 92010 (877) PRO-SPOT www.prospot.com Facebook: @prospotinternational Twitter: @prospotwelding Instagram: @prospotwelding YouTube: @Pro Spot International
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 25
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As Collision Repair Becomes More Complex ...Choosing a Paint Booth Shouldn’t Be
• User Friendly Controls • Easy to Maintain • Superior Airflow • Optimal Lighting • OEM Approved Supplier
• Servicing the Industry Since 1983. • Family Business 3 Generations. • Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada. • Turn-Key Spraybooth Installation. • Offering Full Construction Services.
RelyOn Team with Tom and Stephanie Gregg
www.relyonusa.com RelyOn Technologies | California License #506096, Nevada License #73093, Arizona License #289957 | 562-697-7095
26 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Rely-On Technologies and Garmat USA Spray Booths Make a Winning Team Platinum Collision Centers
by Autobody News Staff
Your paint spray booth is the only piece of equipment which almost every vehicle must travel through before being returned to the customer. A well-built and properly maintained spray booth is a cash register, while a sub-par one is more like a slot machine—sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Rely-On Technologies, a 37-yearold company that oversees sales and installations for Garmat USA spray booths in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, has a successful track record for tailoring the shop layout and equipment to the client’s individual needs, procuring permits and managing equipment construction, while collaborating with local and federal agencies to ensure the project is in full code compliance—including concrete, mechanical assembly, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression. The company’s primary focus is to provide a turnkey installation from concept to completion. Rely-On recently engaged with Tom Gregg, owner of Platinum Collision Centers in Southern California, with eight locations and counting. Most of his premier locations have Garmat USA paint booths from Rely-On. Gregg entered the collision repair industry after completing a ROP program at Norco High School in Corona, CA. He liked the fact he could leave school every day at noon to work at a local body shop. He was a go-fer admittedly, but he loved it. “I was the doughnut boy, the guy who delivers parts and sweeps the floor, but I was learning all the time,” Gregg said. “I went to high school for two reasons—to play sports and to attend my collision repair classes.” At 19, Gregg decided to go for the money, so he started selling cellphones in 1999 when they were hotter than flapjacks. One day, he was involved in an accident in his new pickup truck, which pulled him back into the world of collision repair. Long story short, Gregg was hired by the shop and worked there for 15 years, starting out as a parts assistant, but quickly ascending to become the shop’s general manager.
Location: Corona, CA (951) 433-5888 www.platinumccs.com
Tom Gregg, owner of Platinum Collision (center), and Al Ortiz, president of Rely-On Technologies (far right) have worked closely together with the rest of Rely-On’s team to acquire Garmat booths in most of Gregg’s eight locations.
The time to fly out of the nest and soar took place in 2014, when Gregg found his first location in his hometown of Corona. Like any young business, his shop struggled at the outset, but pretty soon it was making a nice profit. “I began looking at the demographics in the surrounding areas and I saw there was a need for shops that could repair the higher-end vehicles,” he said. “So, I started building shops from the ground up all along Interstate 15.” Gregg is well-known for not cutting costs every time he builds a new location. His customers call his shops “palaces,” containing all the top cutting-edge tools and equipment in the industry today. For this reason, each of Gregg’s locations is certified to work on Teslas and Maseratis. During every step of Gregg’s accelerated expansion, he worked closely with Al Ortiz Jr., owner of Rely-On Technologies. When Gregg talks about Rely-On and the family that runs it, you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice. “Al knows the paint booth industry from A to Z, and working with him and his four sons (Alfonso III, Joseph, Erick and Raymond) and his administration team (Karen Mendez and Julia Lomeli) have been a huge part of our success,” he said. “Garmat makes an incredible product, there is no doubt. But Rely-On’s real strength is the Ortiz team and their ability to navigate through the entire process. “They know how to get permits, communicate with the utility
providers and the local air quality control, as well as helping us to lay out our floor plan that works well for our technicians and our production processes.” With eight Garmats in all of Gregg’s premier shops, he doesn’t worry about his spray booths, he said. “The value-added services that Rely-On and Garmat provide are really important,” he said. “I have met Johan, the owner of Garmat several times, and their marketing person Debbie is awesome. We have a great product and the support is unbelievable. You can’t get any better than that!” Gregg looked at all of the spray booths on the market, but quickly realized he’s already in a prime position with Garmat booths with support from Rely-On. “We never need additional airflow to cure these vehicles, and we never get things like solvent pop or dirt in the line. I tell my painters that I bought the best booths I can find, so if you’re not doing a great paint job every time, it’s on you.” Gregg is happy with eight locations. He wants to make it an even 10, though he’s not in any rush. “Two more shops in the next two years would be nice,” he said. “Expansion and scaling the business has to be done strategically, and finding good people is one of our main obstacles. But, if I can continue to work with companies like Rely-On Technologies and Garmat, we’ll be in a good position for at least the next 20 to 25 years.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 80 In Business Since: 2014 Number of Locations: Eight Combined Production Space: 200,000 square feet
Gregg loves his Garmat booths and continually thanks Rely-On and the Ortiz family for their product support and knowledge.
Gregg specializes in repairing top tier nameplates, so that’s why all of his locations maintain high standards for performance and appearance.
Rely-On Technologies La Habra, CA (562) 697-7095 www.relyonusa.com Serving California, Arizona and Nevada
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 27
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* applies to all SATA RPS standard cups, however not to SATAminijet 3000 and older series.
BENDABLE The *SATA RPS cup can be safely tilted by up to 45° forward, right and left to facilitate easy access to almost any painting situation.
The cup can be easily, cleanly and safely separated from the spray gun without making a mess!
Firm connection between lid and cup (thread). No accidential detaching of cup from lid.
The cups can be easily be refilled. The paint strainer can be exchanged by a spare strainer at any time.
For more information, please watch our product video at www.sata.com/rps
The exclusive independent distributor of SATA products in the US and Puerto Rico
Call Today! 800-533-8016 email: email@example.com
28 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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When a too truly to sti I referr lectio have ranks dream M alread fame tor fo and a worke creati for fe Dan-A distrib Puert F the b is 100 SATA of SA paint the S respir socks M er at Beac "Girls zation to oth indus I create and n “ and re autom she s thous ers an T years an im Faceb K ally a and f ated buildi go-to only doing pre-1 from O er Ma sics h
Head Painter at Top Restoration Shop Shoots For the Moon with Her SATA Guns Kiddy’s Classics
by Autobody News Staff
When Connie Manjavinos finds a tool or piece of equipment she truly believes in, she isn’t afraid to stick to her guns. In this case, the guns we’re referring to are the ones in her collection of 10 SATA spray guns. They have helped her to move up the ranks and enabled her to land her dream job at Kiddy’s Classics. Manjavinos is 29, but she’s already used up her 15 minutes of fame several times over, as a mentor for other women in the industry and a world-class painter. She also worked with a team to inspire the creation of a paint suit designed for female painters, distributed by Dan-Am Company, the exclusive distributor for SATA in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. From the top of her head to the bottom of her feet, Manjavinos is 100% onboard when it comes to SATA. In addition to her large cache of SATA guns and the signature paint suit she wears, she also uses the SATA air vision™ 5000 full-face respirator, and even wears SATA socks too. Manjavinos is the head painter at Kiddy’s Classics in Jensen Beach, FL, and the person behind "Girls Behind the Gun," an organization with a mission of connecting to other women in the automotive industry. It all began when Manjavinos created an outlet on social media and named it Girls Behind the Gun. “It’s a place of appreciation and recognition for all women in the automotive and refinishing trades,” she said. “I’m now connected with thousands of other female refinishers and technicians.” The movement started six years ago and has already reached an impressive 55,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Kiddy’s Classics is a nationally acclaimed vehicle restoration and fabrication shop that has created award-winning vehicles while building a reputation for being the go-to shop for people who want only the best. They specialize in doing full restorations on primarily pre-1980 classic cars, averaging from $20,000 to six figures. Owner Shaun Kiddy and welder Madison Ervin at Kiddy’s Classics have nothing but great things
Location: Jensen Beach, FL (772) 334-2041 www.kiddysclassics.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 10 In Business Since: 2012 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 18,000 square feet
The all-star team at Kiddy’s Classics includes (from left) Liam Martin, Connie Manjavinos, Madison Ervin, Mike Zumbo, owner Shaun Kiddy, Alex Saffron and Sam Kalb.
to share about Manjavinos, focusing on her drive, an eye for detail and a true passion for getting better every day. Ervin credits Manjavinos for helping her and encouraging her along the way. “Connie is an inspiration for all of us in this industry because she knows what women in this industry are going through and she isn’t afraid to help,” Ervin said. “I am her No. 1 fan and her work speaks for itself.” Kiddy is also a huge Manjavinos fan and happy to have a crew that includes two amazing women. “Connie is one of a kind because she loves what she is doing and it shows every day,” he said. “She is an absolute force here and her attitude affects all of us in such a positive way. In this business, the hours can add up, especially when we are working on a tight deadline, but Connie hangs in there when we work all night or until three in the morning. In addition, having Madison here is huge because she is just as dedicated to her job as Connie is.” Manjavinos hopes to have a long and healthy career and that’s why she also uses the SATA air vision™ 5000 full-face respirator to provide clean air supplied from outside the spray booth. She appreciates the 5000, because it isn’t heavy and fits her head correctly. “I won the 5000 when I finished second in the SATA design
contest and it changed my life,” she said. “Before I started using it, I would get really bad headaches that would prevent me from sleeping, and I had no appetite either. After using the 5000 for a few days, my headaches stopped! We don’t realize how much our bodies soak in through our skin, our eyes—it’s crazy.” When Manjavinos talks about her SATA guns, she focuses on the main three things that she wants from a spray gun. “First, it has to be a quality product,” she said. “I need them to work right and they need to be durable. I need to work efficiently and I don’t want them slowing me down. And last, but maybe most important, I need to be comfortable when I am spraying.” Whether she’s working on a 1972 International Scout or a 1963 Studebaker Avanti, Manjavinos knows she’s got the perfect SATA gun to do the job. “I use a different SATA gun for everything I do,” she said. “I use one to apply clear, another for basecoat, one for black and one for white, as well as a different one for solids or metallics. I love my Sailor Lady, and I keep adding more guns when I have the opportunity. I know some painters have 30 SATA guns, and I don’t think I’ll ever have that many, but I figure if I’m going to invest, why not put the money into my equipment?”
Connie is all-in with SATA and has an arsenal of 10 SATA guns (and even wears SATA socks.)
Kiddy’s Classics is a nationally acclaimed vehicle restoration and fabrication shop that creates award-winning vehicles year after year.
Dan-Am Company One Sata Drive P.O. Box 46 Spring Valley, MN 55975 (800) 533-8016 www.satausa.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 29
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WE ARE REDEFINING REFINISHING
Pigment-rich toners deliver on brilliance, intensity and effect, while our globallyrecognized color tools and documentation deliver on consistency for a flawless finish.
30 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Reputation Matters: MD Shop Owner Praises Sherwin-Williams® Refinishing System and Service Dynamic Collision Services
by Autobody News Staff
Since falling in love with collision repair at the age of 16, Danny Szarka knew he’d own his own shop someday, so he put his heart and soul into establishing Dynamic Collision Services, which opened in 2018. A lot of decisions needed to be made to ensure the shop would be properly equipped, but when it came to paint, Szarka knew exactly which product to use: the Ultra 9K™ Waterborne Basecoat System, manufactured by Sherwin-Williams®. “I chose a high-quality product from a company with a reputation I could trust,” Szarka said. “It’s cool that the only thing Sherwin-Williams produces is paint. It’s in their blood, their DNA, and they specialize in manufacturing a great product. “But anyone can give you a decent price on a can of paint. A lot of people get caught up in the cost per ounce because they’re worried about the value of their dollar, but sometimes, the value is immeasurable. “When I purchase paint products for the shop, I’m actually buying much more than that,” Szarka continued. “With Sherwin-Williams, I get the added benefits of convenience, a reliable support system and a reputation that spans over a century. I’m acquiring their technology and the superior color-matching that the Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System provides, in addition to the quality of the product.” In high school, Szarka swept floors at a local shop, and by the age of 21, he was managing the shop. “I learned as much of the business as possible, and I refused to get comfortable. Instead, I’d learn a new role. While working full-time for another shop, I started building my business until I could go full-time with it.” In just three years, Dynamic Collision built a reputation for providing high-quality collision repairs. The 16 collision repair professionals who work for Szarka repair an average of 75 vehicles each month, and Szarka is “an active owner. It’s a family environment.” “I’m in the store every sin-
Location: Baltimore, MD (410) 500-9200 www.dynamiccollisionservices.com
Danny Szarka has known he wanted to own a shop since he was 16, and his dreams came to fruition when he founded Dynamic Collision Services in 2018.
gle day,” he said. “My wife has been my biggest support system through the entire journey, helping me stay on task and continue pursuing my goal until I achieved it. Through her marketing agency, my wife helps with our online presence. We share videos, and we’re very transparent.” Szarka appreciates the transparency he receives from Sherwin-Williams, noting, “Their data is pretty straightforward. If we have issues, their reporting can identify the problems. I’m a numbers guy. You never know what’s going to happen in the future, so you have to do your best to make good decisions based on the data in front of you.” Evidence that he was making the right decision began piling up from the moment Szarka reached out to Sherwin-Williams before his shop opened. “Without a question, they asked for an address and flew their design team out to visit. They measured every outlet, column and plug, and then they helped us lay out the design—with just a handshake agreement!” Szarka said. “That says a lot about the character of a company. It’s really exciting when you share your vision with someone who receives it so well and is eager to help turn that dream into reality.” There was no question for Szarka when it came to choosing a local representative. “At my first job, our Sherwin-Williams rep was Brandon Meyer. He was surprised to hear from me, but I cherish his
knowledge, and Chris Dolan has been really helpful as well. Sherwin-Williams offers a great support system. It lessens the stress of running my business to know that I can trust them to be there when we need them.” Szarka has a lot of trust in his team as well, which is why it’s important his painters “want to shoot the product, instead of shooting it just because the boss said so.” “Fortunately, I have an honest relationship with my painters, and they love Sherwin-Williams’ products; one guy even sprays Ultra 9K on his side jobs,” Szarka said. “Their faith in the product gives me more confidence, plus they know that their opinions are valued. “With the Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System, we have a superior product with better color technology, but we also have higher quality painters applying it,” Szarka added. “When it comes to productivity, having the right product goes hand in hand with having the right people, and we’re killing it because we’re covered on both sides of that spectrum.” Szarka knows his dream wouldn’t be complete if he didn’t have a great team at the shop. “Dynamic Collision always puts our team first. I genuinely appreciate my team and all their hard work. I want them to achieve their dreams as well. I’m the first in my family to work in this industry, so my team is my collision repair family.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 16 In Business Since: 2018 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Three Production Space: 10,000 square feet
In addition to superior color-matching, Sherwin-Williams’ Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System provides Dynamic Collision Services with convenience, a reliable support system and a reputation the owner can trust.
Szarka is “an active owner. It’s a family environment. I’m in the store every single day.”
Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes 4440 Warrensville Center Road Warrensville Hts., OH 44124 (800) 798-5872 www.sherwin-automotive.com Facebook: @SherwinWilliamsAutomotive YouTube: @SWAFC Instagram: @swrefinish LinkedIn: @Sherwin-WilliamsAutomotiveFinishes
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electronic measuring system
Spanesi Americas, Inc. 123 Ambassador Dr. STE 107 Naperville, IL 60540
2021 - 06 Autobody News SPS Spanesi FP Ad REV1.indd 1
32 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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structural straightening bench
PULL UP! repair system
224-SPANESI (224-772-6374) www.spanesi-americas.com facebook.com/spanesiamericas
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Ian M indus father body ing tim in Tuc T worke porte gener even and t “I just A Morto two la about Thoro a fam beach going “I had make O unexp with 8 get ou day a work. S openi 2020— ton h ture f ing v This i ern t and p the O ADAS A demic cided reinve that w portu spend ing w or gu H for hi bench pairin he sa A Auto Morto gan, of S a 30 Morto the C a cal talkin M Morto
Spanesi Equipment Helps Fix Auto Shop Owner Ensure Quality Repairs for Customers Fix Auto Tucson-Thoroughbred and Fix Auto Sierra Vista
by Autobody News Staff
Ian Morton grew up in the collision industry, with his stepfather, grandfather and uncle involved in running body shops. Morton recalls spending time at his grandfather’s facility in Tucson, AZ, at the age of five. Throughout high school, he worked at the shop, starting as a porter and eventually becoming general manager. “Sometimes, I even slept at the shop, showered and then went to school,” he said. “I just loved it.” After the business was sold to Morton’s uncle, Morton worked for two large MSOs. In 2018, he learned about an opportunity to purchase Thoroughbred Paint and Body from a family friend. “I was sitting on the beach in Maui and told my wife, ‘I’m going to buy this shop,’” he recalled. “I had no idea how I was going to make it happen, but we did.” On Jan. 1, 2019, there was an unexpected snowstorm in Tucson with 8 inches of snow. He couldn’t get out of his driveway the following day and was late for his first day of work. Since purchasing the shop and opening a second location in July 2020—Fix Auto Sierra Vista—Morton has focused on building a culture for his teammates while ensuring vehicles are repaired properly. This includes keeping up with modern technology, so they can preand post-scan vehicles and meet the OEM requirements from an ADAS and calibration standpoint. At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, Morton decided it was a great opportunity to reinvest in his business. “I realized that we might not get another opportunity like this where we can spend time remodeling and upgrading without impacting our workflow or guests,” he said. He researched new equipment for his facilities. “I knew I wanted a bench and fixturing systems for repairing today’s modern vehicles,” he said. A fellow market leader at Fix Auto told him about Spanesi and Morton reached out to Tim Morgan, chief operating officer (COO) of Spanesi Americas. “We had a 30-minute conversation,” said Morton. “I was so impressed that the COO of a company would take a call after hours and spend time talking to me.” Morgan flew to Tucson to meet Morton and the team. Together,
Location: Tucson and Sierra Vista, AZ (520) 790-4946 www.fixautousa.com/tucson-thoroughbred
(520) 263-4973 www.fixautousa.com/sierra-vista
Fix Auto shop owner Ian Morton has been very impressed with the quality of Spanesi equipment such as the Q5.2 Three Torch MIG/MAG welder (left center), squeeze-type resistant spot welder (center right), Touch electronic measuring system (back left) and 106 EXT Structural Straightening Bench with Universal Jig system (back center).
they mapped out how to reorganize the shops. Meanwhile, Morton talked to other Spanesi owners and received positive feedback about the company and the quality of its products. “It was easy for me at that point to say, ‘I’m in.’” He ordered a Spanesi 106 EXT structural straightening bench along with the Universal System fixturing system and truck kit. He also purchased a Spanesi Touch electronic measuring system, a Q5.2 three torch MIG/MAG welder, a 14,500A automatic resistance spot welder and a Spanesi self-piercing riveter. “I liked the equipment so much that when I opened my second location in Sierra Vista, we ordered another round of equipment for that store,” he said. Teammates were excited to receive new, modern equipment and were impressed with the quality and aesthetics. Because space is limited at the Tucson facility, Spanesi offered input in regard to the layout and the most efficient use of space. “We ultimately changed the location of the frame bench based on their suggestions,” said Morton. “We found their advice very helpful.” Teammates also appreciated the training provided by Spanesi. “They took time to work with each technician,” said Morton. “It was great to have that level of interaction, especially because the measuring system was so different from what we were used to.” Since using Spanesi equipment, Morton has found it has helped with cycle time and repairing vehicles. “It’s providing us the op-
portunity to ensure we are returning vehicles to our guests in a manner that meets the OEM requirements,” he said. The Spanesi Touch measuring system has allowed them to be more accurate and productive in damage analysis, structural repair and post-repair inspection processes. “We can take the Spanesi Touch out to a vehicle and do measurements quickly while the customer is waiting,” he said. “It’s efficient once you learn how to use it and has increased our capabilities from a damage analysis standpoint.” The equipment has also helped identify if there are additional calibrations needed. “In our world, it’s a game of millimeters and being able to identify damage quickly,” he said. “If there is a panel that holds an ADAS component, we are able to do comparative measurements to identify if we have movement and need to repair a panel. That has been a game changer.” Morton has been impressed with the Multibench’s versatility. It can be used as a scissor lift for doing traditional repair work and is low-profile, lowering to just 1.25 inches; it rises to above 47 inches with a lifting capacity of up to 7,000 lbs. and pulling capacity of up to 10 tons. “As we look to build and acquire new locations, Spanesi will be involved in providing us with the most technically advanced equipment,” said Morton. “Spanesi and Tim Morgan have been excellent partners.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 27 In Business Since: 2019 Number of Locations: Two DRP Programs: 15 Combined Production Space: 18,000 square feet
Since using Spanesi equipment, Morton has found it has helped with cycle time and repairing vehicles properly.
Teammates at both Fix Auto locations were really excited to receive new, modern equipment and appreciated the training provided by Spanesi.
Spanesi Americas Inc. Timothy W. Morgan (224) SPANESI (224-772-6374) www.spanesi-americas.com Facebook: @spanesiamericas LinkedIn: @spanesi-americas Twitter: @spanesiamericas Instagram: @spanesiamericas
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News June 2021 33
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USI SPRAY BOOTHS
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For more information www.usius.com 34 June 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Wate enviro takes es for W Driven last y ing b spray is am apart car in 100% pletel nome G that I the s on on coat with t paint the sa thing my ow been G tance so be interv manu produ paint. “ booth their the p water Simo Amer the c provid cure tems “ where turers er tra contin the d ers on other on fa adam with t tech c A Greer bases a pain booth the C and I
Driven Collision Cures from the Ground Up with USI ITALIA’s Chronotech Driven Collision
by Autobody News Staff
Waterborne paint is better for the environment, but the extra time it takes to cure can present challenges for busy shops. When Alan Greer relocated Driven Collision to a new facility last year, he needed “a fast-drying booth. The Chronotech EPS spray booth, made by USI ITALIA, is amazing and definitely sets itself apart from the pack. It can bake a car in 20 minutes or less, and I’m 100% sure that everything is completely dry—the cure times are phenomenal!” Greer added, “It’s so efficient that I’m able to buff and build cars the same day; we pride ourselves on only using a high solids clearcoat on customers’ vehicles, and with this booth, we can confidently paint and reassemble a vehicle on the same day. I didn’t believe everything it could do until I saw it with my own eyes. The Chronotech has been an awesome investment!” Greer understands the importance of equipment that performs, so before making a purchase, he interviewed multiple paint booth manufacturers about how their products handle curing waterborne paint. “To be quite honest, a lot of booths looked good on paper, but their salespeople couldn’t explain the process the booth used to dry water. That wasn’t the case with Simone Mazzon at USI of North America. In addition to explaining the curing process, he was able to provide documentation on how to cure various waterborne paint systems in different climates. “Simone got excited telling me where the different booth manufacturers originated in Italy, but he never trashed his competitors,” Greer continued. “He also informed me of the differences in motors and burners on different booths. While every other manufacturer was selling me on fans and blowers, Simone was adamant that I didn’t need them with the Chronotech. The Chronotech cures from the ground up.” As a painter for nearly 20 years, Greer noted, “I’m not an owner who bases everything off budget. I’m a painter, and I know what a paint booth does. I’ve sprayed out of the Chronotech dozens of times, and I love it! I’ve sprayed in a lot of
Location: Kennesaw, GA (678) 424-1308 www.drivencollision.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 14 In Business Since: 2015 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 12,000 square feet Alan Greer is pleased with USI ITALIA’s Chronotech because “I’m 100% sure that everything is completely dry—the cure times are phenomenal!”
booths, and my spray booth from USI ITALIA is the only one that dries water to the point that you can sand it, tack it off, basically treat it just like solvent. “Before I bought this booth, I questioned my paint system because we had frequent issues with dieback, but the Chronotech has completely changed what I think of my paint product. We don’t see much dieback since it’s cured from the ground up,” Greer said. “We’ve been so impressed with the booth’s speed. Within 30 minutes, you can’t print the clearcoat, so the vehicle is ready to be built up within half an hour, instead of waiting until the next day. USI ITALIA’s Chronotech allows us to cure faster than I ever thought possible.” Driven Collision has also been impressed with USI ITALIA’s service. “They were very involved in the buildout process and addressed any issues we had,” Greer said. “They’re able to remotely access the system to solve problems, so it takes the guesswork out of it. In the collision repair industry, consistency is vital, and both USI ITALIA and the Chronotech have delivered the consistency we need.” Using the Chronotech is extremely simple, thanks to USI ITALIA’s Easy Paint System (EPS). After loading a recipe, which includes details about the sealer, basecoat, clearcoat and hardeners used, the booth sets the working rhythm and each job’s parameters. “Anyone who’s used a smartphone can navigate this easily. You
just click some buttons to answer questions about which parts you’re painting, the number of coats, whether you’re using sealer—it’s all self-explanatory,” Greer said. “My 54-year-old painter isn’t the greatest with a smartphone, but he’s shown me some awesome features on the Chronotech.” The Chronotech automatically senses when a car is in the booth, increasing airflow. In the past, painting parts raised off the ground “would be baked hot at the top, while the bottom received less to nothing in a traditional booth,” Greer explained, “but we tell the Chronotech which parts are raised, and it adjusts what it needs to do to properly bake those parts.” USI ITALIA’s DGT Manager software helps shops organize processes more efficiently by managing, supervising and organizing the paint division workflow. This system also generates energy consumption data for each job. “The data manager monitors everything for you!” Greer said. “It tracks how long my painter takes on a hood and fender, so it forces him to stay on track. The booth is least efficient when it’s in spray mode, and I can track that at any time. “I can check if my utilities run high, allowing Driven Collision to save money on utilities, plus the efficiency of being able to build up and deliver cars the same day without sacrificing quality is huge. We get a fully cured, quality paint job in a much quicker time, and we couldn’t be happier with the Chronotech.”
Driven Collision prides itself on providing superior customer service, and though Greer services highend clientele, “We’re going to treat you the same whether you pull up in a Lamborghini or a Nissan.”
When Greer relocated Driven Collision in 2020, it was important the new location “really represents what I’m doing. We want it to feel different than a body shop, to offer more of a boutique experience for our customers.”
USI of North America Company Contact: Stefano Moretto (201) 405-7760 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usius.com Facebook: @USI-of-North-America Instagram: @usi_refinish
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