October 2020 Shop and Product Showcase

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Lusid Technologies l 16-17

South Orange, NJ

Chicago, IL

Modern Auto Body

Runge’s Auto & Tire

AUTEL l 4-5

PPG l 18-19

Concord & Davis, CA

St. George, UT


CAR-O-LINER l 6-7 Opeka Auto Repair Pennsylvania

CARSTAR l 8-9 CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision Milford, MI

CCC l 10-11 Information Services Budget Truck & Auto, Inc. Janesville, WI

Florida l 12-13 Pneumatic Mfg. Corp. Copley Auto & Collision Copley, OH

Garmat/ l 14-15 Autotality

October 2020 l autobodynews.com

Dealer Collision Center

Rapid Tac l 20-21 Star Body Works Collision Center Grants Pass, OR

SATA Dan-Am l 22-23 Company Thomas E. Brown, Inc. Mechanicsburg, PA

Spanesi Americas l 24-25 Best Body Shop Wichita, KS

USI of North l 26-27 America Russell & Smith Body Shop Houston, TX

MITCHCO Collision Repair Merritt Island, FL



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Saima of North America Inc. | Randolph, New Jersey 07869 | (800) 524-0340 info@accudraftpaintbooths.com | www.accudraftpaintbooths.com 2 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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Modern Auto Body Triples Production with Accudraft Paint Booths and Prep Station Modern Auto Body

by Autobody News Staff

Founded in 1932, Modern Auto Body in South Orange, NJ, boasts a reputation for trustworthiness, superior quality and customer service. As word of the shop’s excellence spread to neighboring communities, owner Jack Haberman identified the need to expand his space to meet his clients’ demands. In 2016—just three years after taking ownership of the businesss—Haberman relocated Modern Auto Body to its current location, offering 14,000 square feet of production space. Knowing he also needed to equip the shop with tools designed for high-volume operations, Haberman turned to Accudraft for all his paint hardware needs. In addition to installing two Accudraft XL downdraft paint booths, Haberman invested in an AccuMix SS mixing room and an Accudraft Prep 4000 automotive prep station. “We selected Accudraft based on a combination of product capability, service and price,” Haberman explained. “Anybody who has been in the industry longer than a couple of months has heard of Accudraft. They’ve had the reputation of being a company who can speed up the workflow while promising top-quality finished products. “While we had a previous relationship with Accudraft, we still bid the work out to see which solutions would fit best with our new expansion. The Accudraft team came back with the best design for our needs—at a price point that worked within our budget. “The new Accudraft equipment was a huge leap forward for us, and our business results prove it,” Haberman continued. “This equipment has enabled us to scale from repairing 15 to 20 vehicles per week up to 45 to 50 vehicles in a week. The efficiency and cleanliness of the equipment also enables us to produce high-quality repairs at this increased throughput.” The Accudraft XL downdraft paint booths feature observation windows, dual skin insulation and a highly efficient heating system, powered by either propane or natural gas. The downdraft technology ensures paint is sprayed more evenly without risk of overspray or contamination. The booths can also be customized to meet the

Location: South Orange, NJ (973) 763-1149 www.modernautobodynj.com

Since installing two Accudraft XL downdraft paint booths, an AccuMix SS mixing room and an Accudraft Prep 4000 automotive prep station, Modern Auto Body has enjoyed triple its previous production.

shop’s needs, an important factor for Haberman as he plotted out the best uses for his new space. With the larger shop, Haberman was also able to optimize his team’s workspace by adding prep and mixing stations, both of which were customized to meet the needs of Modern Auto Body. The Accudraft Prep 4000 automotive prep station provides a separate area for technicians to prime, sand and perform light painting without allowing the potential for unwanted dirt and debris to enter the paint booths. The AccuMix SS mixing station enhances shop safety by providing a contained area for mixing paints, reducing employees’ exposure to toxic chemicals and vapors. Workplace safety and environmental conscientiousness are top concerns at Modern Auto Body. The facility frequently changes its paint booth filters, and it uses a paint recycler machine and Festool dustless D/A machines with HEPA filters for the body and paint shop. The business also contracts with Safety-Kleen for hazardous waste removal. Modern Auto Body is also active in the community, sponsoring local Little League teams and donating to local schools, fire departments and rescue squads. With a 4.9-star rating on Carwise.com and close to 4,000 reviews, Modern Auto Body proves the shop’s success is due to the “relentless focus on quality and customer satisfaction,” according to Haberman. His appreciation of great customer service was one of the deciding factors when it came to selecting equipment for the shop’s new location.

“Accudraft’s customer service is one of the main reasons we selected them. They worked with us on the layout of the equipment, specified numerous custom aspects of the install and then installed a great working set of booths,” Haberman said. Installation and implementation of the new equipment was also seamless: “Accudraft delivered a turn-key solution on time and within budget,” Haberman said. “Our paint department loves the Accudraft equipment!” Haberman runs a busy I-CAR Gold Class collision repair facility, where his 20 employees repair an average of 190 vehicles each month, so he has experienced many of the industry’s challenges firsthand. “The biggest challenge we have with insurers is the persistent inclusion of aftermarket and used parts. Also, ADAS technology is becoming increasingly relevant, leading to increased repair complexity and more frequent calibrations,” Haberman said. “Shops must invest in the technology, equipment and training to stay relevant with today’s vehicles.” Accudraft’s customizable mixing room and prep station, along with the two Accudraft XL downdraft paint booths, appear to be just the investment Modern Auto Body was seeking in order to continue its growth. By increasing throughput, the shop is able to repair vehicles and release them to their clients faster. “After seeing firsthand what my Accudraft paint booths have done for my business, I’m a believer. It’s true—you don’t have to choose between quality or turnaround time,” Haberman said. “With Accudraft, you can have both.”

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 20 In Business Since: 1932 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Six Production Space: 14,000 square feet

Founded in 1932, Modern Auto Body in South Orange, NJ, built a reputation for trustworthiness, superior quality and customer service, but when customer demands necessitated a larger facility, owner Jack Haberman turned to Accudraft to equip his new shop.

At 26’ by 13’4” by 11’6”, Accudraft’s XL downdraft paint booths ensure Modern Auto Body is prepared to handle any job, regardless of size.

Accudraft 961 Rt. 10 E, Ste 2K Randolph, NJ 07869 (800) 524-0340 x112 Info@accudraftpaintbooths.com www.accudraftpaintbooths.com

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 3

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by Aut










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Purchase of the MaxiSYS Tablet or ADASUPGRADE is required. Autel ADAS Calibration frame is needed to use this package.







4 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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By a Maxi tem, erator north diagn W Davis Neves to tra tions A vides for c featur graph body diagn el acc tionin ment N repair the co Dr. Fr cess exper I public today in 30 more annua calibr and fo He do for bo wide nonet W rived and t or van busin A cation neede transp his fo too b T ADAS folds easily softw tion p syste eling and m vehic “ do th want

Autel Comes Through for 2 Novus Glass Locations with its MA600 Calibration System NOVUS

by Autobody News Staff

By acquiring an Autel MA600 MaxiSys ADAS Calibration System, Gary Neves, owner and operator of two NOVUS locations in northern California, is performing diagnoses he couldn’t previously. With facilities in Concord and Davis, CA, roughly 55 miles apart, Neves needed a system designed to transport easily to do calibrations between both locations. Autel’s MA600 software provides precise calibration procedures for camera-based systems and features easy step-by-step tutorial graphics. The system is lauded by body shops, glass companies and diagnosticians for its millimeter-level accuracy, with multiple laser positioning and cutting-edge measurement tools. NOVUS invented windshield repair nearly five decades ago when the company’s founder and inventor, Dr. Frank Werner, turned the process into a less wasteful and costly experience. In 1985, the company went public by setting up franchises, and today it has 1,300-plus locations in 30-plus countries and repairs more than 50 million windshields annually. Neves does most of the calibrations himself, traveling back and forth from both of his locations. He does not perform glass repairs for body shops, but works with a wide range of insurance companies nonetheless. With 90% of his business derived from flying rocks on the road and the rest caused by theft and/ or vandalism, Neves knows that his business is here to stay. As the volume at both of his locations grew at a rapid rate, Neves needed a system that was easy to transport, set up and break down; his former calibration system was too bulky. The Autel MA600 MaxiSys ADAS Calibration System’s frame folds up and disassembles to move easily to other locations. The MA600 software provides accurate calibration procedures for camera-based systems, with its five-line laser leveling process that makes it faster and more efficient for squaring the vehicle to the calibration frame. “It only requires one person to do the calibrations, and we didn’t want to have to buy two systems,”

Location: Concord and Davis, CA (925) 969-1079 www.novusglass.com

From left, Owner Gary Neves, Assistant Manager Ken Schauer and Technician Jason Abenoja at NOVUS acquired an Autel MaxiSYS MA600 to use at its two locations in Concord and Davis, CA.

Neves said. “When we were able to use the system as part of a pilot program earlier this year, we fell in love with it almost immediately. Now we can provide a one-stop solution for our customers, which was our goal from day one.” Neves’s father owned a glass repair store, where Neves worked as a teenager, learning the business from every perspective. Back in the old days, windshield removal and installation involved just that, but today it’s a whole different ball game requiring sophisticated equipment and the knowledge to operate it. “There are more than a dozen systems within today’s cars that are affected by or connected to the windows,” he said. “They work together to create automated and enhanced driver/passenger safety and are designed to alert the driver to avoid collisions and other potential issues. Some Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) include adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems, connecting smartphones for hands-free dialing, automatic braking, incorporation of GPS/traffic data, lane departure warnings and even heated windshield wipers.” Some automotive glass companies were initially intimidated by the changing technology, but Neves was poised and prepared when the time came. “When ADAS started becoming standard equipment on new vehicles, we realized that this was going to be an exciting yet challenging new part of the business,” Neves said. “With MaxiSYS calibration tools and accurate software, Autel MaxiSys ADAS MA600 is an ideal calibration tool for glass replacement and the portability is ideal for us.”

To receive regular updates of latest OE-level diagnostic and calibration software, Neves has to do very little, he said. “At the end of the day, we just leave it plugged in and that’s all we need to do. It automatically updates itself which is a huge plus. It’s connected to Wi-Fi and updates itself overnight, so when I come in the next day, we just push the update button and we are good to go.” Another easy process Neves appreciated was the excellent and comprehensive training that accompanied his purchase of the Autel MaxiSYS MA600. “NOVUS and Autel found a central location in Portland, OR, to do the training, so that all of the western franchisees could conveniently attend two days of training. After the training, we were ready to roll, even though we learn more about this tool all the time.” To support its training, Autel provides a help desk that is both thorough and responsive, Neves said. “Autel is located on the East Coast, but they keep their helpline open until 6 p.m. PST to accommodate NOVUS stores located here on the West Coast,” he said. “We rarely have any questions or concerns about our MA600, and they are fewer and fewer as we become more comfortable with the system.” When ADAS technology evolves and autonomous vehicles become a big part of our daily lives, Neves knows he’s in a prime position with NOVUS and Autel as partners. “Building this business is dependent on having the best equipment available, and Autel surely fits the bill.”

Company At A Glance... Type: Glass Repair and Installation Facility Employees: 12 In Business Since: 1985 Combined Production Space: 12,000 square feet

The Autel MA600 MaxiSys ADAS Calibration System’s frame folds up and disassembles so that NOVUS can do calibrations in either location easily.

Neves gives Autel a five star review when he states without hesitation “the best diagnostic equipment available in the industry is from Autel.”

Autel 175 Central Ave. Farmingdale, NY 11735 (855) 288-3587 www.Autel.com

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 5

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Request a

FREE Demo 6 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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by Aut

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Opeka Auto Repair ‘Helps People’ by Repairing Vehicles with High-Quality Car-O-Liner Products by Autobody News Staff

Opeka Auto Repair

When employees answer the phone at Opeka Auto Repair, they tell customers, “We can help you.” Dale Opeka, owner of the business’s three body shops in Pennsylvania, said that has always been his mantra. “We’re here to help people,” he said. “We want to be able to take any problems away from the customer and make it as simple as possible.” Although the team works hard to ensure they restore all vehicles to pre-accident condition, Opeka said that doing a quality repair today is table stakes. “We’ve always followed procedures the way we are supposed to—you have to in today’s world,” said Opeka. “Our differentiator is we make it easy for people.” This includes negotiating with the insurance company, setting up a rental car and handling all of the issues associated with the repair. Opeka’s parents, John and Lillian, started Opeka Auto out of a two-car garage at their home in McMurray, PA, in 1951. John repaired vehicles there for nearly a decade, and assisted many loyal, longtime customers. Eventually, he moved the business into the facility where they now operate, three miles from where they began. That was 1960, the same year Dale was born. Three years later, the business was incorporated. Growing up, Dale spent most of his free time and weekends in the garage, learning about the business. He assisted his father at the shop throughout grade school and high school and earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. A few years later, in 1986, Opeka took over the family business and changed the name to Opeka Auto Repair Company Inc. About five years ago, he purchased a 5,000-square foot building in Canonsburg, PA, which eventually became a second location. Then, a year and a half ago, Opeka opened a third facility closer to Pittsburgh with a collision repair and mechanical shop. All three locations are in close proximity to one another. “Our shops are all within about 10 miles from end-to-end, so our name and reputation are pretty well known,” he said. In addition to collision repair, the business also offers mechanical repairs at its McMurray and Upper St. Clair locations. Opeka first learned about Car-

Location: Pennsylvania (412) 257-0960 www.opekaauto.com

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 48 In Business Since: 1951 Number of Locations: Three DRP Programs: Two Combined Production Space: 32,000 square feet

Andrew Smith at Opeka Auto Repair uses the Car-O-Tronic Vision to measure a Ford F-250 with the shop’s Car-O-Liner frame machine.

O-Liner when researching manufacturer approvals, and took a closer look at the company and its offering while attending industry tradeshows. When the body shop began getting involved in certification programs, Opeka realized the need to purchase frame equipment with specific features. After researching the brands on the market, Opeka felt the CarO-Liner® frame machine would meet all of his shops’ needs, and was well-priced. “Once we started using it, we found it is a fantastic system,” said Opeka. “It’s fast, accurate and my guys love to use it.” Opeka has been impressed with the training and support provided by Great Lakes Car-O-Liner. “They have been fabulous, and the service is wonderful,” he said. The body shop has since purchased Car-O-Liner® products for all of its locations. Even though Opeka said there was a perfectly good frame machine at the newest location, the first thing he did was sell the existing machine and replace it with another Car-O-Liner® Benchrack™ and Car-O-Tronic® Vision2™ X3 measuring system. Since using Car-O-Liner® products at the facilities, Opeka said it has streamlined the repair process. “It goes back to our mantra of helping people,” he said. “We want cars to get out and back to the customers as quickly as possible.” He has also been impressed with the equipment’s accuracy and the lack of mistakes. With their prior equipment, Opeka said there were many times employees would have to put the car back

on the frame machine to make a change later in the process because it wasn’t measured correctly the first time. “Now, that’s dissipated,” said Opeka. “We’re able to do it right the first time.” Opeka said his shops use the equipment all the time, even during the pandemic. Although the claims count was down during the stayat-home restrictions, Opeka said severity was substantially higher. “The machine seemed to be getting used more now than it was before,” he said. “People were getting their cars repaired because they had to, not because they were choosing to.” In addition to the frame machines, Opeka Auto Repair uses Car-O-Liner CTR®9 and CMI™300 Pulse Trio welders, which Opeka describes as high-quality products that are competitively priced. “They are just amazing, the way they will duplicate factory welds almost automatically,” said Opeka. Opeka said the Car-O-Liner® equipment meets the manufacturers’ certifications, and the measuring system, Car-O-Tronic® Vision2™, is very accurate and simple to use. A burning issue that Opeka said really bothers him is how the outside world often portrays the industry. “I think if shops would make more of an investment in themselves through high-quality equipment, training and professionalism, like what is provided by companies like Car-O-Liner, maybe Hollywood would stop acting like we are all drug dealers and chop shops.”

Dale Opeka, owner of Opeka Auto Repair, has purchased Car-O-Liner® products at his three locations in Pennsylvania.

Since using Car-O-Liner® products at the facilities, Opeka said they have found it has streamlined the repair process.

Car-O-Liner Doug Bortz info@car-o-liner.com (800) 521-9696 www.car-o-liner.com

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 7

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by Au

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8 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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CARSTAR Owner Keeps Up with Industry Changes CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision

by Autobody News Staff

David Ellis, owner of CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision in Milford, MI, joined the CARSTAR franchise network in 2019 “in order to keep up with the changes in the industry, to up my game and to have access to the tools, technology, training, analytics, metrics and nationwide warranty that will set me up for success in this rapidly changing industry.” Although his shop has recently joined the CARSTAR network, Ellis has more than two decades of automotive industry experience. In 1999, he founded Complete Automotive Restoration Inc. (CAR Inc.) and “grew the business to one of the largest mobile paint companies in the state,” Ellis said. “That growth required us to expand our facility, so we figured why not go for it by building a gold-class body shop in 2016? We currently employ seven mobile technicians at CAR Inc., and that success eventually funded our CARSTAR collision business.” Because of his previous experience in the automotive sector, Ellis quickly took note of some trends in the collision repair industry. “OEM certifications are growing in importance, and there is lots of consolidation in our industry; the big are getting bigger by buying up MSO businesses,” he said. “AV development continues to evolve and is rapidly altering how cars interact with their human interface,” Ellis continued. “The cars being produced today have many of the systems that must be perfected to make AV a reality for the masses, and they’re mastering this technology, hastening the arrival of AV. Most importantly, the body shop of tomorrow must be proficient in researching all the new technologies as well as the repair methodologies.” While seeking the most effective means for obtaining the training and OEM certifications necessary to make his collision repair business as successful as his mobile painting company, Ellis explored the CARSTAR franchise network opportunity. “The training from CARSTAR is awesome! The depth of the material we have training modules for is simply amazing, and the proces-

Location: Milford, MI (248) 717-3432 www.carstar.com/locations/mi/ milford-15493/

CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision in Milford, MI, boasts “one of the coolest waiting rooms in the business,” according to owner David Ellis.

ses and tools at our disposal allow us to compete at the same level as the big chain stores,” he said. “CARSTAR is one of the biggest players in the collision repair market, and as a result, I-CAR has assigned a dedicated representative to assist CARSTAR franchisees with acquiring Gold status, and our representative was there for us every step of the way—to me, that’s very special treatment,” Ellis added. “We only needed six months with CARSTAR to become I-CAR Gold Certified. I’m so proud of our team because that is almost record time. Now, OEM certifications are on our list of top priorities.” Change always elicits a variety of emotions, and transitioning to a CARSTAR facility was no different for Ellis Brother Collision. “Everyone in the shop experienced something unique, but all of us felt a mix of excitement, anxiety, fear, hope and faith to one degree or another,” Ellis said. “I personally felt all of it in hi-def. Fortunately, the transition went smoothly, and we are off and running.” The CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision facility consists of 11,500 square feet, where three technicians repair an average of 50 vehicles each month. The I-CAR Gold Certified shop participates in five DRP relationships with insurers and also offers paintless dent repair services. “What makes our shop unique is our ability to work on everything from compacts to motorhomes, from jet skis to golf carts, from door dings to frame jobs, and we have one of the coolest waiting

rooms in the business,” Ellis said. Advances in technology constantly create rapid updates to how collision repair processes are performed. Staying up to date on these changes requires a solid support system, which can be a challenge for independent shops. “The industry is changing each model year, and our focus is on staying current on these changes,” Ellis said. “We have to scan every vehicle, and we spend a lot more time educating the consumer from the moment they drop their vehicle off.” According to Ellis, “We have adapted to the collision repair industry’s changes by purchasing the latest equipment and information technology programs. We use both of those to research repair methods to ensure we execute a complete, safe and quality repair every time. CARSTAR continues to remind and encourage us to acquire OEM certifications since this industry is rapidly heading in that direction. CARSTAR has even provided the contacts and some of the resources we need to hit the ground running. “In addition, we are able to call upon other franchisees who’ve already obtained OEM certifications, and I’m amazed by their experience and willingness to help new franchisees to succeed,” Ellis continued. “CARSTAR supports our endeavors to improve our business, and I recommend independent shop owners explore the CARSTAR franchise network opportunity. If you don’t have the support to move forward, you’ll continue to get left behind… or worse.”

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: Three In Business Since: 2017 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Five Production Space: 11,500 square feet

CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision facility was founded in 2016 and joined the CARSTAR network in 2019.

David Ellis decided to pursue the CARSTAR franchise network opportunity “in order to keep up with the changes in the industry, to up my game and to have access to the tools, technology, training, analytics, metrics and nationwide warranty that will set me up for success in this rapidly changing industry.”

CARSTAR 1-800-CARSTAR www.CARSTARFranchise.com

24 AM

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Business lining up in your CCC ONE® inbox.

CCC® Engage Photo Estimate drives more business to you. Customers can use their smartphones to upload pictures of vehicle damage and request an estimate through your site. And it’s all managed inside of CCC ONE, making the tracking of jobs easier than ever. Find out more at www.cccis.com/get-photo-estimate


© CCC Information Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Budget Truck and Auto Relies on CCC ONE® More than Ever During Pandemic Budget Truck and Auto, Inc.

by Autobody News Staff

At Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. in Janesville, WI, the menu of services is lengthy, including auto body repair, custom paint and vinyl graphics for passenger vehicles, semi-trucks, buses, motor coaches, assorted commercial vehicles and RV’s. To streamline and enhance all of its customer service-related processes, the shop uses the CCC Engage package and is enamored with the results. Family owned and operated since 1973, Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. was founded in a tiny two-car garage and now features a 40,000square foot state-of-the-art facility and employs 37 people. The company’s highly trained team of technicians are skilled and certified by I-CAR, which makes the business a Gold Class shop. Today’s customers expect an experience that is both convenient and drama-free, and most of them have proven to be comfortable using technology to get it done. By pairing its existing CCC® UpdatePlus package with CCC Engage, Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. can connect to their customers at every touch point, including booking appointments, and check-in at their facility, while staying in touch during the repair process from start to finish. Customers even have the option to publish their customer satisfaction survey on Budget Truck and Auto’s Carwise profile, making it easy to measure customer satisfaction once the repairs are complete. Strategy Manager Aaron Polzin’s grandfather Herb started Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. 47 years ago and today his grandson uses technology that was unimaginable back then. Polzin, 28, has been playing a major role in instituting the CCC Engage package within the shop, which includes training and support. During the pandemic, Polzin has been able to clearly see that the benefits of using CCC Engage and the Photo Estimate feature have been numerous, he said. “We began using Photo Estimate in October of

Location: Janesville, WI (608) 756-0861 www.budgettruckandauto.com

Strategy Manager Aaron Polzin at Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. is using CCC Engage and the Photo Estimate feature more and more during the pandemic.

2019, which made us one of the first shops in the country to adopt it. “The system invites our customers to submit photos of their damaged vehicle by guiding them through the process step-by-step. Once they submit photos using their smartphones, our estimator is notified in CCC ONE and can create the estimate without ever leaving the system.” During uncertain times, a car accident is just another aggravation to deal with and that’s where CCC’s Photo Estimate feature plays an invaluable role. “If people can work with us but don’t have to physically come here, that’s preferable for all of us,” Polzin said. “We’ve learned that people will feel more comfortable and at ease using CCC’s Photo Estimate feature. It helps us to get the estimating process started, as well as communicating easily with them throughout the entire repair process.” By using CCC ONE’s Photo Estimate, Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. is able to convert leads from Carwise and their website into actual customers. “We make it so easy and offer them the flexibility of communicating with us via text, email or social media,” he said. “Some customers prefer face-to-face interaction, but more and more people, especially Millennials, expect the newest technology. Photo Estimate gets the conversation started and that’s where we are often able to build rapport with them and capture that business. “By using CCC Engage, we are

also able to use the Lobby feature that allows customers to checkin electronically and continue that digital experience. It improves our lobby experience with a self-service check-in option and the customer’s information syncs from existing appointments we receive through Engage.” By eliminating the deluge of paperwork that invades the average body shop every day, Budget Truck and Auto is saving time and money. “We have a tablet at the front desk with a series of questions that are easy to fill out,” Polzin said. “In the past, we handed the customers a clipboard and they had to fill out three to four pages, but now it all happens on an iPad and we have eliminated all of the paper.” After using what Polzin described as “too many different systems” for too many years, the company jumped all in with CCC ONE in June 2019. “We use the entire platform now and everything is connected and integrated,” he said. “Every member of our crew, including our technicians, painters, front office people and estimators, use it every day in one way or another. We have a total of 13 workstations available for our technicians on the floor, 10 of which are completely mobile.” If Polzin or any of his crew have questions about any aspect of CCC ONE’s systems, it’s easy to get the right answers, he said. “We call them directly and they respond promptly, whether we reach out to them online or by calling their 800-number technical support line.”

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair and Custom Paint Facility Employees: 37 In Business Since: 1973 Production Space: 40,000 square feet

Polzin has been playing a major role in instituting the CCC Engage package within the shop, which includes training and support.

Budget Truck and Auto, Inc. performs auto body repair, custom paint and vinyl graphics for passenger vehicles, semi-trucks, buses, motor coaches, assorted commercial vehicles and RV’s.

CCC Information Services, Inc. Company Contact: Mark Fincher (877) 208-6155 www.cccis.com

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 11

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Low Vibration Air Saw

6340-A 1.0 HP Grinder


Needle Scaler


1.0 HP Angle Die Grinder

FOR YOUR BODY SHOP NEEDS 6700 SERIES 6”& 8” Geared Sanders Vac / Non-Vac

6320 Spot Sander


18” Belt Sander


Low Vibration Sanders 1”, 3“, 5”, and 6” Vac / Non-Vac

12 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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Inves ity an for Jo Auto W mech cility cles a delay or fai S AIRC Pneu to be that m B ploye AIRC & Co delive ity re to ex “ famil how custo Plevr T ley A in 19 lision the cu I-CAR and c terbo ronm “ paints used partm hazar vents are cl prope C ways possi in gre than Pneu the n ment cally made mate longcomp “ & Co great Pneu gono “We u Electr AIRC and t terbu


AIRCAT Pneumatic Tool Line Makes Work Easier for Ohio Shop Copley Auto & Collision

by Autobody News Staff

Investing in tools that offer both quality and value is absolutely imperative for John Plevris, owner of Copley Auto & Collision in Copley, OH. While running a full-service mechanical and collision repair facility that repairs nearly 300 vehicles a month, Plevris cannot afford delays caused by tool difficulties or failures. Since 2000, the shop has used AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools by Florida Pneumatic, because “There seems to be an evolution in ergonomics that makes work easier.” By allowing the shop’s 13 employees to work more efficiently, AIRCAT Tools provide Copley Auto & Collision with an opportunity to deliver even more of the high-quality repairs customers have grown to expect from the facility. “My shop is family run with family values, and we understand how to develop relationships; our customers become our friends,” Plevris said. The mechanical shop at Copley Auto & Collision was founded in 1976 by Plevris’ father; the collision shop addition in 1983 was the current owner’s brainchild. The I-CAR Gold shop has been trained and certified to spray Sikkens waterborne paint, one of many environmental efforts. “We’ve been using water-based paints for 15 years, and waste oil is used for heat in the mechanical department,” Plevris said. “All other hazardous wastes, from spent solvents down to fluorescent bulbs, are claimed by a certified facility for proper disposal.” Copley Auto & Collision always strives to avoid waste when possible, and there’s no resource in greater danger of being misused than capital. Investing in AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools has eliminated the need for frequent tool replacements since the quiet, ergonomically designed line of products is made with only the highest-grade materials, ensuring a high-quality, long-lasting user experience at a competitive price. “All of the techs at Copley Auto & Collision recognize the value in great tools, and they love AIRCAT’s Pneumatic Tools. The products’ ergonomics are great,” Plevris said. “We use the AIRCAT 6700-DCE-3V Electric Palm Sander/Polisher, the AIRCAT 6525-ABS 18” Belt Sander and the AIRCAT 6700-JBS-332 Jitterbug Sander, as well as the AIR-

Location: Copley, OH (330) 666-5060 www.copleyauto.com

Copley Auto & Collision is a full-service mechanical and collision repair facility that restores nearly 300 vehicles to their pre-accident condition on a monthly basis, and to meet that production level, it’s vital its tools work correctly every single time.

CAT 6390 Compact Needle Scaler, the AIRCAT Pneumatic 6350 Reciprocating Saw and the AIRCAT 6520 3” Reversible Cut-off Tool. The reversible cut-off tool is excellent at keeping sparks away from the user, even in tight spaces. “All of the tools we use from Florida Pneumatic have exceeded our expectations.” The AIRCAT line promises “a substantially reduced level of noise while retaining more power and torque. AIRCAT also incorporates a patented ergonomically engineered handle design to relieve stress and fatigue on the operator’s hands, wrists and arms, [along with] the patented tuned exhaust muffler technology in most tools, which allows discharged air to pass without developing back pressure, thus retaining more power, while significantly reducing noise.” While no specific training is necessary for technicians to learn to operate the AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools, the company is always available to demonstrate its products and explain the differences between them. With vehicle technology advancing at unprecedented rates, the tools and equipment used to repair modern vehicles must keep pace. “More technology in vehicles is changing the repair process to become more ‘white collar’ than ever before,” Plevris noted. “I believe this trend will continue, requiring shops to invest in more hightech equipment as time goes on.” Fortunately, AIRCAT’s unique patented technology represents the most significant advances in the performance of pneumatic tools in nearly 30 years, according to the manufacturer’s website. Founded in

1998, AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools is the professional line of mechanical and collision shop air tools from Florida Pneumatic Mfg., a global manufacturer and distributor of more than 1 million products annually, including air tools, pipe threading equipment and intake compressor filters. Another collision repair industry trend Plevris has observed is insurers demanding shops assume more responsibility for the claims process. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been facilitating more of the whole claim process, while insurers review claims remotely,” Plevris said. “The shop has been heavily burdened by these administrative tasks of processing claims, managing rentals, performing evaluations and handling more supplements, but I expect that we’ll continue performing some of these functions in the future since insurers may realize it’s not worth overhead to pay their own adjusters. If that happens, our hourly rate is going to have to increase to account for the extra paperwork.” With the added burden created by this situation, it’s more important than ever that Copley Auto & Collision alleviate any unproductive time in the shop’s processes, and being able to rely on the AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools they use daily provides one less cause of concern for Plevris as he navigates the daily challenges of running a successful mechanical and collision repair shop. “AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools allows us to provide dependable, high-quality repairs in a timely fashion, and we couldn’t ask for more,” Plevris said.

Company At A Glance... Type: Mechanical and Collision Repair Facility Employees: 13 In Business Since: 1976 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Five Production Space: 20,000 square feet

The reliable, easy-to-use AIRCAT Tools provide Copley Auto & Collision with an opportunity to deliver even more high-quality repairs.

Technologically advanced vehicles require technologically advanced tools to repair them, and AIRCAT boasts the most significant advancements in the performance of pneumatic tools in nearly 30 years.

AIRCAT a Division of Florida Pneumatic Mfg. Corporation (800) 356-3392 www.aircat.com Facebook: @aircat.pneumatictools Twitter: @AIRCATUSA

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Sales@Garmat.com © 2020 Garmat USA, LLC




14 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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To st chang findin the w ther-s ates M four lo B relatio spray ell an many impre expan A Filterw Gregg vide a filtrati South pany mat U spray S with G one o distrib cludin of tha O perien instal spray the ex Florid North Easte comp and m giving turn-k sign, and e has a contra Carol A staff o know sales exper exclus of the booth M Vice Mitch adept shops groun times each using

Support From Autotality and Booths From Garmat is a Win-Win for a Growing MSO MITCHCO Collision Repair

by Autobody News Staff



To stay competitive in the rapidly changing industry of collision repair, finding great business partners along the way is crucial. Just ask the father-son team that owns and operates MITCHCO Collision Repair, with four locations in Southern Florida. By establishing an exceptional relationship with Autotality, a Garmat spray booth distributor, Dave Mitchell and his son D.J. have reaped the many benefits of working with this impressive team as they work toward expanding to five stores. Autotality, formerly known as Filterworks USA, was established by Gregg Strandberg in 1988 to provide air conditioning and paint booth filtration services to body shops in Southern Florida. In 1990, the company became a distributor for Garmat USA, one of the world’s leading spray booth manufacturers. Since Autotality’s alignment with Garmat, Autotality has become one of its top three North American distributors for 25 years in a row, including a full decade at the very top of that list. Over the years, the highly-experienced team at Autotality has installed more than 1,500 Garmat spray booths in the Southeast as the exclusive Garmat distributor for Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. In 2008, the company became a licensed general and mechanical contractor in Florida, giving Autotality the ability to offer turn-key projects featuring facility design, permitting, project management and equipment installation. Autotality has also become licensed general contractors in Georgia and North Carolina. Autotality currently employs a staff of nearly 100 people, including a knowledgeable and highly responsive sales team, skilled technicians and an experienced design team dedicated exclusively to handling every aspect of the installation of every Garmat booth. MITCHCO Collision Repair Vice President and Co-Owner D.J. Mitchell and his father have become adept at acquiring existing body shops and building others from the ground up. They’ve done it several times over and have made money each time by doing it smartly and using companies like Autotality.

Location: Southern Florida (321) 450-4056 www.mitchcocollisionrepair.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 45 In Business Since: 2020 Number of Locations: Four Combined Production Space: 50,000 square feet Autotality (formerly known as Filterworks USA) recently installed three Garmat spray booths for MITCHCO, a rapidly growing MSO in Florida “We look at every opportunity and weigh all of the pros and cons carefully before we even consider buying a shop or building one,” Mitchell said. “But we are not afraid to expand rapidly, as long as the situation is right and we can continue to provide a high-quality product to our customers and insurance partners.” Three MITCHCO locations were built from the ground up, so they installed brand new Garmat booths in those facilities. The installation process went smoothly and the booths are exceeding the Mitchells’ highest expectations, D.J. said. “In each case, it took roughly two weeks to get them in, which we thought was exceptional,” he said. “These are definitely higher-end booths. We really like the way they have the lights set up so that there are never any shadows and their dual inlet reverse incline fans provide more than enough air movement to do the job using our waterborne paint system. When it gets cold here, which is rare, they are well-heated and we never miss a beat or have to compromise the quality.” Part of their recipe for scaling shops and emulating their proven formula involves MITCHCO’s commitment to Garmat USA, which has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading paint booth equipment in the U.S. since 1988. Well known for being on the cutting edge with innovative products, Garmat paint booths are constructed with the highest quality components in its state-of-the-art facility in Englewood, CO. When D.J. and his dad start looking to open new locations, they can be certain a Garmat in each fa-

cility will enable them to produce a quality finished product every time. “These Garmat booths are absolute workhorses,” Mitchell said. “With dual inlet reverse incline turbine fans, direct fire burners and durable construction, they are designed to run efficiently and last a long time. They’re also very reliable, which is nice, because we never have to worry about them. The airflow is the best in the industry and the lighting package is Grade A, and with Autotality doing all of the maintenance, we couldn’t be in a better position with these two vendors.” To keep their Garmat booths up and running and performing like a fleet of Rolls Royces, Autotality handles it all skillfully and on time. “When it comes to any piece of equipment that’s used heavily like a Garmat booth, support and maintenance is key,” Mitchell said. “Autotality offers overnight afterhours service so that they can come in to do their work without interrupting our production. Changing the filters based on a schedule devised by our managers and Autotality allows us to keep our booths healthy and ready to perform. This way, 20 years from now, we will still be using these same booths and getting the same amazing results.” Further expansion is in the future for the Mitchell family and MITCHCO, and Autotality and Garmat will undoubtedly continue to play an integral role. “We all work well together, because Autotality goes over the top with its services and knowledge and Garmat is a world-class product. It’s a winning combination and a recipe for ongoing success!”

The highly-experienced team at Autotality has installed more than 1,500 Garmat spray booths for body shops over the years.

Big expansion plans for the future at MITCHCO will undoubtedly include both Autotality and Garmat.

Autotality 3452 SW 15th St., Deerfield, FL 33442 Company Contact: Cole Strandberg (800) 726-6400 info@autotality.com www.autotality.com Garmat 1401 Stanford Ave., Englewood, CO 80110 Company Contact: Debbie Teter (303) 781-6802 ext. 417 debbiet@garmat.com www.garmat.com

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 15

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Longe apart cago, facilit tive r fore b ge fam T built i centu cordin Sobc Ralph ily acq “ years and f and that b is on want “Rest pre-a priori dollar appre cern intera S Tim a busin passe works next g ton a legac I vehicl tal the closel identi cost o “ ucts lievab prices “No o peop chang to a p 20 ye try of gan e “ for a r looke brand in term ued. “ visite the co After we co 16 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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100-Year-Old Shop Enjoys State-of-the-Art Color Matching with Lusid GenRock Runge’s Auto & Tire

by Autobody News Staff

Longevity sets Runge’s Auto & Tire apart from the competition in Chicago, IL. The 18,000-square foot facility has been home to automotive repair shops since 1920, before being purchased by the Runge family in 1963. The reputation the shop has built in the community over the past century has driven its success, according to body shop manager Joe Sobczac, who began working for Ralph Runge shortly after the family acquired ownership. “Boasting a longevity of 100 years means that we serve thirdand fourth-generation customers, and we’ve been able to retain that business because our focus is on treating people the way we want to be treated,” Sobczac said. “Restoring their vehicle to its safe, pre-accident condition is our top priority, not trying to make a million dollars off every repair. Customers appreciate that honesty and concern we demonstrate in all of our interactions with them.” Second-generation owners Tim and Chuck Runge took the business over in 2006 when Ralph passed. Austin Runge, Tim’s son, works in the shop and will be “the next generation to assume the baton and carry on with the Runge legacy,” Tim said. In order to repair customers’ vehicles at reasonable prices, it’s vital the shop monitor its expenditures closely, and in early 2019, Sobczac identified a way to save significant cost on materials. “The cost of the paint products we were using was unbelievable, and they kept raising the prices every year,” Sobczac said. “No one wants to change—most people are naturally resistant to change, especially when it comes to a product you’ve been using for 20 years; however, this is an industry of constant change, so we began exploring our options. “While we were in the market for a replacement paint system, we looked at multiple options, but the brands were all basically the same in terms of cost,” Sobczac continued. “Then, a Lusid representative visited Runge’s and told us about the company’s GenRock paint line. After he demonstrated how much we could save, without sacrificing

Location: Chicago, IL (773) 764-9360 www.rungesauto.com

GenRock’s superior color matching capabilities ensures the customers at Runge’s Auto & Tire are always thrilled with their vehicle’s finish.

efficiency or quality, we were convinced.” Lusid sent a trainer to Runge’s Auto & Tire for a full week, and according to Sobczac, “He was very helpful and responsive to our questions and was willing to stay longer if we needed. Our painter’s first language is Spanish, so Lusid even accommodated that by sending a bilingual trainer to ensure full comprehension. “They were very beneficial during the implementation process— you can’t find that from other major paint manufacturers. With Lusid’s help, converting to the GenRock paint line was very easy, and they’ve been quick and responsive anytime we’ve called with a question.” Runge’s Auto & Tire uses the entire GenRock paint line from Lusid Technologies, including primers, basecoats and clearcoats. While the painting process turnaround time has remained similar, “switching to Lusid saves us nearly 20% in paint costs, which is a significant savings over the competition,” Sobczak said. “My painter really likes GenRock because it covers really well, the color matching is a lot better than our previous brand and application is much smoother,” Sobczak continued. “My other techs like it because it’s easier to sand than other brands, plus it yields a high-quality finish that you just can’t find elsewhere for the same price.” GenRock is Lusid’s flagship product, and was designed for quality, coverage and color matching. The line offers a complete range of high-quality 2K single-stage, twostage and three-stage basecoats. Due to super high pigment load-

ing, GenRock provides excellent coverage with only two coats, saving shops time and money. Quick flash-off means painters spend a minimal amount of time waiting for the basecoat to dry before they can apply clear. Distributed in North America, Lusid’s GenRock features more than 90,000 formulations, spectrophotometer, worldwide color match capability—and a lifetime warranty. Runge’s Auto & Tire employs 13 automotive and collision repair specialists who repair an average of 120 vehicles each month. The I-CAR Gold shop does not participate in any DRPs, but in addition to offering collision repair services, the shop offers full-service mechanical repairs, completed by their ASE-certified mechanics. The Runges ensure they are environmentally compliant by enlisting the services of a local environmental specialist who provides feedback and makes recommendations on a regular basis. The shop is also involved with local youth through Little League sponsorships, and Sobczak feels that focusing on the next generation is important as it pertains specifically to the automotive and collision repair industries as well. “One of the issues we’ve seen is a lack of qualified help; new techs just aren’t receiving the training they need, but everyone seems to have the same problem,” he said. “There are a lot of changes constantly happening in this industry, and small businesses like ours won’t survive if we don’t adapt. Switching to Lusid was definitely a step in the right direction!”

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision and Mechanical Repair Facility Employees: 13 In Business Since: 1920 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 18,000 square feet

Runge’s painter loves GenRock due to its easy application and the excellent coverage it offers.

Runge’s Auto & Tire’s facility has been used as an automotive repair shop for the past century.

Lusid Technologies (801) 966-5300 www.lusid.biz Facebook: @lusid.biz Twitter: @LusidTech

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 17

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NOTHING MATCHES TODAY’S COLORS BETTER Lexus Structural Blue. Inspired by the iridescent beauty of the Blue Morpho butterfly. Matching any color is easier when you’re spraying with the best. Learn more at envirobase.com

©2020 PPG Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. The PPG Logo and Envirobase are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.

18 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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Utah Shop Sprays PPG Envirobase High Performance Waterborne for All the Right Reasons Dealer Collision Center

by Autobody News Staff

Nineteen years ago, Collision Shop Director Jesse Thompson took over the helm at Dealer Collision Center in St. George, UT, and has worked hard to help the business grow at a steady rate. Due to his work ethic and ability to motivate his people, the numbers have been getting better over the years, and now the business has two other shops. To get there, the company has proactively pursued ongoing training and acquired cutting-edge equipment, tools and products to stay ahead in the ever-changing world of collision repair. A large part of the big picture at Dealer Collision Center involves its commitment to using PPG’s ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne system every day for precise color matches and an incredible finished product. In addition, the shop is helping the environment and providing a healthier workplace for its employees by using a waterborne product with low VOC. When you throw in the superior customer support he receives through his distributor and PPG itself, Thompson is smiling ear to ear, because his customers are happy and five-star reviews are the norm. Back in 2015, Thompson’s jobber Automotive Industrial Supply (AIS) introduced him to PPG, a recommendation that has turned out to be a game changer. “To get a feel for it, we sprayed some cars with the Envirobase High Performance system and it was amazing,” he said. “Then we sat down with our six painters and asked them candidly if they were comfortable using it because we never want to force a product on them. The reviews were 100% favorable, so we made the switch five years ago and it’s been nothing but positive.” Thompson and his crew are busy all the time with the help of his son, Scott Thompson, and Manager Tyler Wade, so it’s a busy environment. But they never lose sight of the most important thing— their customers’ safety. “If a barber is cutting your hair and he nicks your ear, it will heal and it’s not the end of the world. But, in the world of collision repair, people can be seriously harmed and that’s why we take our jobs very seriously,” Thompson said.

Location: St. George, UT (435) 673-5694 www.dealercollisioncenter.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 31 In Business Since: 1996 Number of Locations: Three Combined Production Space: 40,000 square feet Dealer Collision Center is run by Collision Shop Director Jesse Thompson, left, and managers Tyler Wade and Scott Thompson. They spray PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne for outstanding results month after month.

“We won’t ever put a family back into their car until we know it’s safe because we need to guarantee the work.” The company has established a strong bond with the community through its philanthropy and outreach. This includes hosting events to train first responders and holding events, such as luaus and lunches, to give back to those who protect us and save lives. “We thank the police department, firefighters and health care workers who are out there on the front lines by putting on lunches and other events,” he said. At age 17, Thompson got a job at a small body shop and was lucky to work under an experienced head painter. “He taught me a lot, but I knew that I needed some additional training,” he said. “So, I quit that job to attend tech school for one year and to get my paint certificate.” Thompson was 18 years old when he painted his first car, a 1964 Ford Fairlane in blue, that kicked off a long and successful 28-year run as a painter. “In 1997, I painted my last vehicle—a Ford F-150—and stepped out of the booth permanently to become a manager. I loved painting, but the time to move on was right. I admit it, I still get my hands wet every once in a while, it’s in my blood.” Thompson’s jobber, AIS, enables him to keep his paint department operating efficiently and affordably.

“To be as lean as we possibly can, we don’t want a lot of product sitting around,” he said. “We don’t want to be a warehouse and AIS helps us to make that happen.” To quickly and thoroughly cure the cars after they have been painted in PPG Envirobase High Performance, Thompson recently acquired a Phoenix 1000 from U.S. Autocare, a cutting-edge autonomous paint curing machine. It proves Thompson and his crew are not afraid to use new and innovative products and equipment to be a better business. Training and customer support are two main reasons Thompson appreciates PPG’s Envirobase High Performance paint system. “The support we get from AIS and our PPG Business Development Manager John Sturino is world-class and way over the top,” he said. “They really work hard to make sure that we are using the product the best we can to get the best results. The training is better than anything I’ve ever seen because they not only train our people; they also motivate them to improve their skills moving forward.” With no plans to retire any time soon, Thompson is still passionate about this industry and wouldn’t change it if he could. “I love this industry and that’s why I am still here at age 69,” he said. "With Tyler and Scott's significant growth across the board we are surely in very good hands. Our motto is tomorrow will be better than today, and that’s how we approach everything we do here.”

Lead Painter Robert Davis gets precise color matches with color tools provided by PPG.

With happy customers and top reviews, Thompson is smiling ear to ear.

PPG Company Contact: Cathy Rusnak (440) 572-2800 rusnak@ppg.com www.ppgrefinish.com

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20 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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Star B is a f egon for ev additi comp C Work vehic amou sticke cordin shop Grant made Clean “ long a said. perso graph tion fl apply the b cling time t in the T to rem sets. to be Tac, I es th other R for p saving Body cial b creas “Rapi a mis have that w out it just s bottle Reinh B liable has n the c depar ly ran with w about shop. volum produ much ees fe Tac’s is the

Rapid Tac Saves Star Body Works Collision Centers From Sticky Situations Star Body Works Collision Center

by Autobody News Staff

Star Body Works Collision Centers is a four-shop MSO located in Oregon that offers collision services for everything except restoration, in addition to running a 24-hour towing company. Company-wide, Star Body Works repairs an average of 300 vehicles monthly, and a significant amount of its refinish work includes stickers, decals and graphics. According to Tyler Reinhardt, body shop manager for Star Body Works’ Grants Pass location, the job is made much easier with Rapid Tac’s Cleaner and Application Fluid. “I’ve used Rapid Tac for as long as I can remember,” Reinhardt said. “It makes the job easier for one person to do it right. When you add graphics without using the application fluid, it’s stuck as soon as you apply it, but spraying Rapid Tac on the back of the sticker allows it to cling without fully setting, giving us time to adjust and reset it so that it’s in the perfect position. Then, I just squeegee the area to remove any fluid, and the sticker sets. Aligning larger graphics used to be a twoman job, but with Rapid Tac, I can do it myself, plus it reduces the risk of wrinkles, bubbles or other distortions. Rapid Tac is like miracle juice for putting on stickers!” Besides saving money on labor costs, Star Body Works has seen the financial benefits of Rapid Tac in the increased accuracy of its applications. “Rapid Tac reduces the likelihood of a mistake, which means we don’t have to pay to replace something that we may have messed up without it. It’s so easy to use too—you just spray the product out of the bottle, so no training was required,” Reinhardt said. Because Rapid Tac is so reliable and easy to use, Reinhardt has never had the need to utilize the company’s customer service department. However, he recently ran into the owner of Rapid Tac, with whom he held a conversation about how the product works for the shop. “His genuine interest speaks volumes,” Reinhardt said. “The product just makes the process so mucheasier by tenfold. Our employees feel the same way I do. Rapid Tac’s Cleaner and Application Fluid is the only product of its kind, and

Location: Grants Pass, OR (541) 479-1191 www.starcollisioncenters.com

Star Body Works strives to bring value to its community.

it really helps us avoid some sticky situations.” Star Body Works Collision Center was founded in 1948 in its original Medford location. After changing hands a couple times, it was purchased by Arthur Lamensdorf, who has since bequeathed the business to his sons and current owners, Mark and Art Jr. Under the Lamensdorfs’ ownership, the company has expanded to add three new shops in Ashland, Grants Pass and Rogue River as well as its 24-hour towing company. They are currently building a new location in Medford, set to open later this year, in order to expand their 18,000-square-foot shop to a 30,000-square-foot facility. The shop is also environmentally conscious, spraying with PPG Envirobase waterborne paints and conserving as much energy as possible. It also disposes its waste through Safety Clean. Star Body Works Collision Centers is I-CAR Gold certified, and each location has obtained a variety of OEM certifications. “We are all fully equipped with everything needed to do the job at hand,” Reinhardt said. “There is nothing we need to turn away because we aren’t equipped for it.” Reinhardt feels that it’s important to be properly equipped these days because of constant enhancements in technology. “Everything is getting smarter,” he said. “We are outsmarted by our cars every day and see mind-blowing stuff like On Star integrations, preliminary diagnostics scans, crash mitigation and so much more. So

much technology is being put in place, and this industry is becoming so electronic and computerized that almost every vehicle has to be plugged into some kind of scanning system. “With all the technological advancements, it’s becoming more and more complex and more expensive to repair vehicles. Vehicles are engineered to give in upon impact and parts are made to crumble, so it’s becoming more about replacement than repairs these days, and I see that trend continuing into the future.” The number one thing that makes Star Body Works stand out, according to Reinhardt, is that the shops are “100 percent communityinvolved. Our owners put a lot of emphasis on doing right in the community, and there aren’t many businesses like that. This is the first place I’ve ever worked that doesn’t spend their marketing budget on ads. Instead, they use it to focus on bettering the community we live in.” Star Body Works Collision Centers allows the local police agencies to train their narcotics dogs in the shops’ impound lots, and are very supportive of the Boys and Girls Club. In addition to participating in Toys for Tots annually, the Lamensdorfs took over the Rogue Valley Toy Run with Mark Daley at Thunderstruck last year. The shops have also donated three vehicles to NABC’s Recycled Rides since 2016. Reinhardt stressed, “We want our community to have a good impression of our shops, and we want Star Body Works to be a good name they know they can trust for the repairs they need.”

Company At A Glance... Type: MSO Facility Employees: 50 In Business Since: 1948 Number of Locations: Four, plus towing company DRP Programs: 14 Medford, 6 Grants Pass, 10 talent, 4 Rogue River Combined Production Space: 30,500 square feet

Reinhardt demonstrates how easy it is for one person to use Rapid Tac.

Rapid Tac helps Star Body Works apply graphics easily, saving time and manpower.

Rapid Tac Company Contact: Jeff Bailey (541) 474-1113 jeff@rapidtac.com www.rapidtac.com

SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2020 21

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by Au

SATAjet X 5500 + SATA RPS The Dream Team for perfect finishes The revolutionary

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CLEAN: The cup can be easily, cleanly and safely separated from the spray gun SAFE: Firm connection between lid and cup (thread) REFILLABLE: The cups can be easily refilled BENDABLE: The SATA RPS cup can be safely tilted* by up to 45° forward, right and left * applies to all SATA RPS standard cups, however not to cup lids with minijet connection.


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Phone: 800-533-8016 www.satausa.com E-mail: satajet@satausa.com

SATA, SATAjet and/or other SATA products referenced herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SATA GmbH & Co. KG in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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When Thom icsbu tool o not a part o A who guns and h ing eq trueS have T opene a fou er. Th and w house lor at I ent l growi vestin advan end u Shaff years ation from S one s as a p period the in spect “ I nee indus side local a gre able t opera cessf Shaff direct “ that i best, he sa and it tried went I was flow— with m B share Brow time t wrong “

If SATA Makes It, Thomas E. Brown Uses It Every Day Thomas E. Brown, Inc.

by Autobody News Staff

When Eric Shaffer, owner of Thomas E. Brown, Inc. in Mechanicsburg, PA, believes in a product, tool or piece of equipment, he’s not afraid to make it an essential part of his production. At age 35, Shaffer is a painter who has been using SATA® spray guns since day one, and now he and his crew also use SATA breathing equipment as well as the SATA trueSun™ color-matching tool that have both proven to be invaluable. Thomas E. Brown, Inc. opened its doors 60 years ago with a four-man crew and a bookkeeper. The shop moved several times and was located in an old carriage house connected to a funeral parlor at one point. In 2009, it moved to its present location to accommodate a growing customer base while investing in new equipment, like an advanced paint booth and highend unibody realignment systems. Shaffer bought the company three years ago from a second-generation owner who wanted a break from the collision repair industry. Shaffer has only worked at one shop his entire life and always as a painter, except for a five-year period when he decided to look at the industry from a different perspective, he said. “At one point, I realized that I need to learn more about this industry, so I got a job as an outside salesman selling paint for a local jobber," Shaffer said. "It was a great opportunity because I was able to see how other body shops operate, especially the most successful ones.” One lesson that Shaffer learned early on led him directly to his beloved SATA guns. “I was taught at a young age that if you pay a little extra for the best, you won’t have to pay again,” he said. “People try to cut corners and it comes back to haunt them. I tried another gun for a minute and went back immediately, because I was struggling to get the right flow—a problem I’ve never had with my SATA guns.” Because he still does the lion’s share of the painting at Thomas E. Brown, Inc., Shaffer doesn’t have time to think about what might go wrong with his gun, he said. “I expect superior coverage

Location: Mechanicsburg, PA (717) 691-3679 www.thomasebrowninc.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 11 In Business Since: 1960 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 12,000 square feet

Owner Eric Shaffer at Thomas E. Brown, Inc. has been using SATA® spray guns since day one, and now also uses SATA breathing equipment and the SATA trueSun™ color-matching tool.

and I can’t tolerate an inconsistent pattern or mottling," Shaffer said. "I can work faster with SATA’s RP and HVLP guns and in the end, I am using less product overall, which can be very significant over time.” In 2005, SATA introduced its new cup systems to the world and Shaffer added them to his arsenal for all the right reasons. “We were encountering issues with other cups made by other companies, so when we saw what the SATA cups did, we were sold," he said. "The cleanup is so much easier and we also love the fact that when you use a SATA cup, there will never be a drop of paint leftover.” After using two other color matching systems that had him guessing half the time, Shaffer was introduced to the SATA® trueSun™ LED Color Corrective Light and hasn’t looked back. “It’s a high-precision LED lamp that enables us to get precise matches, even with metallic paints or special effect materials,” he said. “If there’s any mottling or other surface issues, this device offers a true reproduction of the daylight to provide us with dependable color identification while we’re in the booth. It emulates daylight and cuts down on comebacks or re-paints, which saves us a ton of time and money.” For a safer and healthier environment in its spray booth, Thomas E. Brown, Inc. also uses the SATA® air vision™ 5000 full-face respirator to provide clean air supplied from outside the spray booth.

Shaffer appreciates the 5000, because it isn’t heavy or cumbersome, and will fit almost any head shape, allowing the individual adjustment of its effective circumference, height and position. “I used the vision 2000 for more than a decade and loved it, but the 5000 is even better,” he said. “We were the first shop in this area to switch to waterborne paint in 2009, so it just made sense for us to use the best breathers out there and this is definitely it.” When it comes to customer support and service, Shaffer relies on his jobber and the experts at Dan-Am Company, the exclusive independent distributor of SATA Products in the US, to find solutions when needed. “All of the SATA products we use on a daily basis are built to last, so we rarely have to contact them,” he said. “But when we do, they respond quickly and their information is always useful. If you take care of your equipment, you won’t encounter problems and I can go several years without re-building any of my SATA guns.” Shaffer is fairly young to be the owner of a body shop, but his industry knowledge is extensive, and by continuing to make smart moves, his future is bright. “We have been able to establish great relationships with many of our vendors, and that includes SATA,” he said. “They play a huge role here and are one of reasons why we’re successful in a very competitive market.”

Shaeffer appreciates the accuracy and resiliency of his SATA spray guns.

Thomas E. Brown, Inc. is firing on all cylinders and part of its success involves his dedication to SATA.

Dan-Am Company One Sata Drive P.O. Box 46 Spring Valley, MN 55975 (800) 533-8016 www.satausa.com

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by Aut

Multibench repair station

Touch electronic measuring system

Spanesi Americas, Inc. 123 Ambassador Dr. STE 107 Naperville, IL 60540

2020 - 08 Auto Body News Spanesi SPS FP ad REV1.indd 1

PULL UP! dent removal system

106 Series frame straightening benches

spanesi-americas.com facebook.com/spanesiamericas 2 2 4 - S PA N E S I (224-772-6374)

8/5/20 12:14 PM

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When Clay ter an “You’ your l depen back. H Shop about to cus tainin pertis P 2014, “ lision sues a one to “I did I mad sion r A a 2,7 busin expan taking now foot repair repair dama “ shop based lines, has n suran T Inside has tw can v ing re video the s which Twitte have follow “ platfo they k said. it and back. A berec tance syste pany tools H gan, C soon when ume, “ ket, y they h berec

Spanesi ‘360-Degree-Concept’ Enables Kansas Body Shop to Complete High-Quality Repairs by Autobody News Staff

Best Body Shop

When a vehicle owner arrives at Clay Hoberecht’s body shop after an accident, he frequently says, “You’re making decisions about your life and your family’s safety is depending on it—we’ve got your back.” Hoberecht, owner of Best Body Shop in Wichita, KS, is passionate about providing outstanding service to customers. He does this by maintaining a culture of humility and expertise. Prior to opening the facility in 2014, Hoberecht built hot rods. “I quickly realized that the collision industry had some serious issues and consumers needed someone to be an ally for them,” he said. “I didn’t see anybody doing that, so I made the decision to pursue collision repair.” As a result, Hoberecht opened a 2,700-square-foot shop. As his business grew over the years, he expanded the facility in 2016. After taking over the building next door, it now operates in a 10,000-squarefoot facility, focusing on collision repair, body painting, paintless dent repair (PDR), car restoration, hail damage and other services. “We are a consumer-driven shop and 100% of our repairs are based on manufacturers’ guidelines,” said Hoberecht. The shop has no DRPs or contracts with insurance companies. Transparency is a top priority. Inside his facility, the paint booth has two walls of glass so customers can view vehicles while they are being refinished. He also records live videos of repairs and posts them on the shop’s social media channels, which include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Currently, they have more than 210,000 Facebook followers. “Our Facebook and Instagram platforms educate customers, so they know what we are doing,” he said. “People seem to really enjoy it and I’ve received a ton of feedback.” About three years ago, Hoberecht set out to purchase a resistance spot welder and measuring system. He was looking for a company where he could purchase his tools and equipment in one place. He contacted Timothy W. Morgan, COO at Spanesi Americas, and soon found they had similar views when it came to producing low-volume, high-quality work. “With some tools on the market, you buy them and the next year they have to be replaced,” said Hoberecht. “I told Tim that was one

Location: Wichita, KS (316) 516-3827 www.bestbodyshopinwichita.com

Clay Hoberecht, owner of Best Body Shop, uses the Spanesi Touch measuring system, which enables the shop to provide high-quality repairs.

of my fears; I don’t have a lot of money and the ability to buy a new welder every two years.” Hoberecht felt Spanesi would be a great fit for what he was looking for, and Morgan drove from Chicago to Wichita with a resistance spot welder. “It blew me away when he did that,” said Hoberecht. The body shop owner appreciated the quality of the Spanesi welder and purchased it for his shop. He was also impressed that many Spanesi products can be updated remotely. In the years following Hoberecht’s initial welder purchase, he invested in an aluminum dent repair system and the Spanesi Q5.2 three torch MIG/MAG welder. When Hoberecht considered expanding, he asked Morgan for advice based on his past experience and success. “I was scared to death moving into the location I’m in now and I called him and told him I didn’t know what to do,” said Hoberecht. He said Morgan acted as a coach and is grateful for his encouragement. “I can’t imagine where I would be without it,” said Hoberecht. “It has been an incredible experience working with a hands-on owner like Clay Hoberecht,” said Morgan. “Clay has the vision and drive to push his business goals beyond normal boundaries. This creates immense opportunities for him. We have been able to methodically collaborate on a progressive business plan to reach his objectives. “Clay’s drive never stops nor do his ideas for improving his facility’s operations, so we probably have some more surprises coming in the future.” Hoberecht predicts a big change is coming in regard to how

cars are repaired, how shops communicate with customers and their relationships with insurance companies. “I hope to be at the front of the change,” he said. As result, he revamped his shop during the downtime created by the pandemic. Spanesi was instrumental in the remodel. Over the past several months, Hoberecht worked closely with Morgan to design the new layout based on Spanesi’s 360-Degree Concept. This includes a complete line of OEM-approved products, as well as ongoing training and support. Best Body Shop was outfitted with a Spanesi Michelangelo spray booth, an aluminum room, a Spanesi Multibench, Universal jigs, a lift and a damage analysis cart where the shop keeps triage equipment and scanning devices. Compared to the shop's old spray booth, Hoberecht said his employees have found 95% less dirt using the Michelangelo. He has also found Spanesi’s Touch measuring system to be very accurate. “The tools and equipment work really well and the shop flow is unbelievable,” he said. “Our average repair order (RO) has gone up significantly because we are finding damage and we’re more accurate with measurements.” This has also helped the team communicate with customers more clearly about the repair process. “It’s not just me saying what I think should happen,” he said. “We have the data behind it.” Hoberecht recently had a customer come in and look at her car jigged up on the frame machine with the new Spanesi equipment. “She told me, ‘I don’t want my car anywhere else. This is how a car is supposed to be repaired.’”

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: Six In Business Since: 2014 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: None Production Space: 10,000 square feet

Spanesi was instrumental in the recent remodel of Best Body Shop.

Hoberecht worked closely with COO Timothy W. Morgan to design the new layout based on Spanesi’s 360-Degree Concept.

Spanesi Americas Inc. Timothy W. Morgan, COO tmorgan@spanesi-americas.com (224) 772-6374 spanesi-americas.com

4 PM

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by Au

The future of Body Shop is here!









For more information www.usius.com 26 October 2020 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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Shop Logging Big Paint Hours with its USI Booths and Prep Station Russell & Smith Body Shop

by Autobody News Staff

If you were looking to open a new shop, what would be the first piece of equipment you’d think about? In many cases, it would be your spray booth because we all know cars don’t paint themselves. At least for now. Buying a paint booth is a huge investment, like buying a house or a car, and there are a lot of factors to carefully consider before selecting one. Will the booth work well in a region where there’s a ton of humidity and with drastic changes in the weather? How long do you think the booth will last, and will it require a lot of maintenance? Will your painters be comfortable using it every day? Will the company making the booth provide solid training and reliable customer service? To answer these questions before acquiring two Chronotech spray booths and a prep deck from USI ITALIA back in 2004, Collision Center Manager Kevin McIllveen at Russell & Smith Body Shop in Houston, TX, spent six months studying the market. He was looking for the best booths that matched his needs to use in a brand-new, 36,000-square foot facility the company built from the ground up. Mcllveen, 56, entered the collision repair industry more than three decades ago as an estimator, and has worked for Russell & Smith Body Shop since 1993. His goal with his new spray booths was to improve the efficiencies in his paint department and to accommodate his production, he said, while simultaneously saving time and energy if possible. The vetting process was arduous but worth it in the end. “We did our research so that we could make an educated decision,” he said. “I went to NACE two years in a row and talked to literally everyone and asked a lot of questions. We knew that this was going to be a very significant investment, so we took the time to perform our due diligence to cover all our bases. “We invested in their prep stations as well, which was another good decision, because my guys can work so much faster and effectively with five different places

Location: Houston, TX (713) 663-4216 www.rsbodyshop.com

Collision Center Manager Kevin McIllveen at Russell & Smith Body Shop acquired two USI Chronotechs and a prep station for the shop’s new 36,000-square foot facility.

where we can spray,” he said. “We put a curtain up in the prep booth that provides us two additional spaces that are heated and properly ventilated. So, when we are really jammed, we can handle the workload and maintain our cycle time without interrupting or slowing down our production.” After using them for a very short time, Mcllveen could clearly see his Chronotechs were more than capable as they quickly became a centerpiece in his new high-end, modern shop. “We have four paint teams here, consisting of a painter and a painter’s helper, and we consistently log approximately 600 to 700 paint hours weekly,” he said. “We switched to waterborne paint when we opened this facility because we want to provide a healthier climate for our employees and the community as a whole.” Why was Mcllveen able to improve his numbers by simply adding two USI booths? “In the end, it all comes down to their airflow, because we never need blowers or additional air to cure these vehicles,” he said. “The fans in these Chronotechs are exceptional because they feature variable speeds, so we can switch depending on the parameters of each job. “Our painters are producing an impressive product day after day, so these booths are saving us both time and money. We paint an average of 400 cars every month, so we push these booths and they never let us down.” Any issues Russell & Smith Body Shop have encountered with

its USI ITALIA booths have been rare and far between. But Mcllveen feels good knowing that if called upon, the company will respond and find solutions promptly. “If you do your scheduled maintenance and keep everything clean, these booths will last you 30 years and maybe even longer,” he said. “The issues that we have encountered with the Chronotechs have been minor and quickly solved, which is impressive when you think that we have been using these booths daily for the last 16 years. I tell people that these booths will be here long after I’ve retired!” After training provided by USI ITALIA, Mcllveen’s painters were able to start spraying after one day, he said. “The Chronotechs are designed to work with waterborne paint, which makes it easier for our painters to do their work. After a very short time, all of our guys were comfortable and the results were consistently exceptional.” Mcllveen is also impressed by the Chronotechs’ sturdy construction and durability. “Some booths are just a box, but these are well-built,” he said. “I know, because I’ve seen them all and there isn’t anything like a USI ITALIA booth.” His career in collision repair industry has been a great experience, and products like his USI ITALIA spray booths and prep station are a part of that, he said. “We haven’t had to furlough anybody here and that’s because we value our people and, in the end, our Chronotechs are part of the team.”

Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 38 In Business Since: 1971 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 36,000 square feet

The crew at Russell & Smith Body Shop is continually impressed by their USI booths’ sturdy construction and durability.

The USI booths have quickly become an integral part of production in a new high-end, modern shop.

USI of North America Company Contact: Stefano Moretto (201) 405-7760 s.moretto@usius.com www.usius.com

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