SHOP AND PRODUCT
SHOWCASE October 2021 l autobodynews.com
Cascade Collision Repair Provo, Utah
Quality Color & Collision Greenwood, SC
Frank's Accurate Body Shop Slidell, LA
New Trimble Auto Body Clifton, NJ
Automotive 10-11 Art Paints Mongoose Motorsports Ravenna, OH
TOOLS l TECHNIQUES l TESTIMONIALS
Blowtherm 14-15 USA
Elitek 24-25 Vehicle Services
SATA Dan-Am 38-39 Company
Cleveland Heights, OH
Car Bench 16-17 of America
Samuels Collision Repair
Today’s Collision Repair Centers Malden, MA
Car-O-Liner 18-19 North America Frank's Collision Repair Baytown, TX
CCC 20-21 Intelligent Solutions Chesapeake Collision
Randallstown & Huntingtown, MD
Inter-Tech Collision Centers
Caliber Auto Glass/Protech
I-CAR 28-29 Gullo Ford
Industrial 30-31 Finishes & Systems
Auto Art Collision Specialists
Mitchell 32-33 International, Inc.
Larry H. Miller Collision
Axalta Coating 12-13 DeVilbiss 22-23 Boise, ID Systems Automotive Refinishing PPG 34-35 Hjelms Body & Paint Shop Applied Technology Center Helena, MT
Rock Hill, SC
Frank's Collision Center
Pro Spot 36-37 BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Ray Skillman Collision Center
LJI Collision Center
Sherwin- 40-41 Williams
Monroeville Dodge Ram Collision Center Monroeville, PA
Sherwin- 42-43 Williams LJI Collision Center
Beachwood & Cleveland Heights, OH
Spanesi 44-45 Americas
Morrow Collision Center Lincoln, NE
TCI Products 46-47 Badass Broncos Braunfels, TX
USI of North 48-49 America
Mountain View Auto Body Wayne, NJ
T.R.A.D. – Team Racing McCloud, CA
Water never looked so good.
“By using the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system, the quality of the ﬁnished product that we’re getting every time is excellent, so we are not sacriﬁcing or compromising anything by using waterborne.” John Barratt, Production Manager Cascade Collision, Provo, Utah
2 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Utah MSO and AkzoNobel’s Sikkens Autowave Waterborne Paint Are a Seriously Perfect Match Cascade Collision Repair
by Autobody News Staff
When you’re an MSO with four locations, everything you do needs to be scalable and adaptable when it comes to tools, products, training and equipment. If you’re not all on the same page, any MSO will suffer, and that’s why Cascade Collision, with four locations in Utah, makes sure its three co-owners are constantly looking for solutions that will create uniformity with its production processes without sacrificing one iota of quality. As part of their approach to doing business, Cascade Collision switched roughly five years ago from its previous paint supplier to AkzoNobel, to spray its Sikkens Autowave waterborne product. Brothers Russ, Brian and Dan Nichols run the show at Cascade, with each playing a different but very important role. Part of their master plan is strategically opening new locations in Utah, but only if the opportunity is right. They recently decided to build their fifth location in Eagle Mountain, UT, to leverage their success in the Beehive State. Cascade Collision’s success story began back in 2000, and its steady path to expansion has been built on smart decisions when it comes to things such as tools, equipment and OEM training for its 100-plus employees. Repairing 1,000 vehicles every month is a challenging ask, but the Nichols family is poised and prepared to take it on. A big part of that formula involved switching over to the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system by AkzoNobel, praised for its coverage and sprayability, and lauded worldwide for its ability to create incredible finishes. The timing for the switchover in 2017 was perfect for Cascade Collision because its former paint was struggling to meet the quality and speed needed, causing bottlenecks and slowing down production, co-owner Brian Nichols said. “We began running into various issues with the paint brand and it became problematic after a while. We were spending a lot of non-productive time playing around with chips, so we decided to meet with all of the paint companies.”
Location: Provo, UT (801) 396-8413 www.cascadecollision.com
The crew at Cascade Collision loves Sikkens Autowave because it’s easy to apply and the finished product is spectacular.
To assist in the search for a new paint vendor, Cascade Collision’s Production Manager John Barratt played a pivotal role in the vetting process by meeting with every paint company over a sixmonth period. Coincidentally, Barratt attended UVSC (now UVU) in Orem in 1999, where he received an excellent education on every aspect of the collision repair industry from instructor Terry Nichols—the father of his new bosses, Russ, Brian and Dan. Cascade was an early adapter when it came to embracing waterborne paint in 2010 and proud of it. “In the end, it came down to two things—cutting down on our waste disposal and being a green operation,” Barratt said. “By using the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system, the quality of the finished product that we’re getting every time is excellent, so we are not sacrificing or compromising anything by using the waterborne.” For accurate color matches, the paint crew at all four locations use digital color matching tools designed by AkzoNobel called Automatchic and MIXIT. “It makes it so easy and all of our painters know how to use it,” Barratt said. “We’re hitting our colors 90% of the time with just one pass, which means it’s helping our cycle times, which is exceptional. It makes life a lot easier when you can dial colors in like that.” Designed so painters, preppers and even detailers can use it in a pinch, there is little training needed in order to operate these tools to get dead-on color matches.
“Paint chips? We don’t need them anymore, which is so nice,” Barratt said. “When you know that you’re getting a blendable match, it makes everything else easier. The device offers you a rating to go off of three different images to compare and it rates them as well. We don’t get comebacks now because the colors are not an issue and the customers are always amazed when they pick up their vehicles.” By using the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system to paint 1,000-plus cars every month, Barratt and his paint team are exceeding customers’ expectations and meeting all of their tight deadlines. “This waterborne product is easy to cure and we never have to use hand-held dryers,” he said. “With waterborne, it’s all about quick dehydration and everything is faster with this product, no doubt.” The crews at Cascade are happy to be using Sikkens Autowave waterborne system every day, and the support they receive from their jobber and the brand is exceptional, Brian Nichols said. “Our rep is AIS Automotive, Inc. and they are literally in one of our locations every day. If we have a question about anything or need a product delivered quickly, these people are so willing to help us, it’s perfect.” With a company motto that says, “We are Serious About Perfection,” the people at Cascade Collision are happy—and serious— to report their paint departments are firing on all cylinders, thanks to the AkzoNobel Sikkens Autowave waterborne system.
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 105 In Business Since: 2000 Number of Locations: Four DRP Programs: 10 Combined Production Space: 15,000 square feet
All four Cascade locations use digital color matching tools designed by AkzoNobel called Automatchic and MIXIT.
Repairing 1,000 vehicles every month, Cascade Collision is one of the busiest small MSOs in Utah.
AkzoNobel 1845 Maxwell Drive Troy, MI 48084 www.akzonobel.com Facebook: @AkzoNobelRefinish Twitter: @AkzoNobel_AACNA Instagram: @AkzoNobelRefinish
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 3
4 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Auto Body Shop Chooses ALLDATA to Save Time, Make Better Repairs Quality Color & Collision
by Autobody News Staff
When Mark Ventrillo joined Quality Color & Collision in Greenwood, SC, as its fixed operations director in early 2021, his assignment was to improve its management of the collision repair industry’s most valuable resource—time. “Everybody sells time, everybody pays for time and they pay for nothing extra,” Ventrillo said. Fortunately, he knew exactly how to do that. “That’s where ALLDATA comes in,” Ventrillo said. Ventrillo introduced the Quality family of dealerships-attached collision repair center to ALLDATA’s scanning and diagnostic software, specifically ALLDATA Collision, ALLDATA Collision Advantage and ALLDATA Diagnostics. ALLDATA Collision has everything an auto body technician needs for OEM-accurate repairs and liability protection, including body and frame sectioning, handling of new materials, evolving technologies such as hybrids and panel replacement, and more, while Collision Advantage works with it to analyze estimates and flag OE-required repairs. ALLDATA Diagnostics has ALLDATA Collision built in to a device that plugs into any tablet, making it a portable, professional-level scan tool. The I-CAR Gold Class shop is most familiar with the makes sold by the dealerships—Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Kia and Nissan—which makes ALLDATA even more valuable when another make comes in for repairs. “Let’s say a BMW comes in and we need the specs—ALLDATA has all that,” Ventrillo said. “If we’re not sure of [remove and replace] procedures, ALLDATA has all that.” Ventrillo linked ALLDATA’s programs to CCC Intelligent Solutions’ estimating software to produce a seamless—and accurate—process from scan-in to scan-out. “Everything links in, everything can be emailed to [the insurance company] and they pay the bill,” Ventrillo said. “[Estimates] that used to take an hour and a half to two hours can be done in 10 minutes.” Ventrillo, originally from New York, has an optical engineering degree and 30 years of experience in the collision repair industry, first as a hobbyist collecting and fixing up British cars, which he eventually turned into a business. He then worked stints as a bonded appraiser and a dealership
Location: Greenwood, SC (864) 223-0586 www.qualitynissansc.com/service
Quality Color & Collision in Greenwood, SC, is part of a dealership group but repairs all makes and models, making ALLDATA’s products invaluable.
service department manager, running nearly 45 dealerships over the years, and has worked for GM and NADA. “You name it, I know it about cars, or that’s what they tell me,” Ventrillo said. When the owner of the last dealership group for whom Ventrillo was working sold his business, Tracey Terrell, owner of Quality Color & Collision—who Ventrillo called a good business owner, open to change—asked Ventrillo to come on, to bring employees up to date with the new technology that could save them all time and make more money. “Especially with the pandemic and [shift to online] sales, I was here to get the technology in place, get people trained,” Ventrillo said. “The town is really expanding, all of South Carolina is—and time is money.” The body shop’s technicians, who were using older scanning tools before he introduced them to ALLDATA, quickly came to prefer it. “The techs love it,” Ventrillo said. “I try not to act ‘New York,’ but when you’re bringing new things, you gotta hope that it’s going to be accepted,” he said. “If it makes their job easier and they make more money on it, it gets accepted, and that’s exactly what happened.” Ventrillo said ALLDATA has been there every step of the way, through initial training for the technicians, continuing education through webinars and an online database with a search function. “Our rep has been very helpful,” Ventrillo said. “The 800 number always gets an answer, and ALLDATA notifies us about updates and helps us download those at no extra cost.” Updates happen about every
quarter, he said. Ventrillo said ALLDATA’s biggest advantage over competitors is the fact it’s accepted by the insurance companies. “They believe it,” he said. “All that information that’s in the car gets sent to the insurance adjuster, there’s no questions and you just fix it.” The insurance companies Quality Color & Collision works with aren’t the only ones who appreciate ALLDATA, Ventrillo said. While the body shop’s customers might not have a direct opinion on ALLDATA’s products, the shop’s Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores have improved since it made the switch. “Every car is a smart car now, and smart cars need smart tooling,” Ventrillo said. “You may have gotten hit in the rear end and might not even know it if the rear park sensor might not be working---the scan tool will have the code in it for those sensors. “Before, if you don’t have that tool [finding that sensor], you have the inconvenience of a customer getting a car back that’s not working,” he said. “You have to do a scan when it comes back in, which creates supplements, which are more work and more time for everybody across the board.” Using ALLDATA’s products has increased customers’ confidence in the repair, which in turn has increased the shop’s CSI scores. “They’re happy the car is fixed right the first time,” Ventrillo said. The shop’s business has also improved by another important metric. “Grosses have already more than doubled,” Ventrillo said of his first six months on the job. “Things are on the right path.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 14 In Business Since: 1997 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Eight Production Space: 21,000 square feet
Fixed Operations Director Mark Ventrillo said time is money in the collision repair industry, and “that’s where ALLDATA comes in.”
James Nunn is one of 14 employees at Quality Color & Collision who now rely on ALLDATA’s scanning and diagnostic software.
ALLDATA 9650 West Taron Drive Elk Grove, CA 95758 Company Contact: James Loveridge Marketing Manager (916) 478-3255 firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: @yourALLDATAteam Twitter: @ALLDATA Instagram: @youralldatateam/ YouTube: @YourALLDATATeam LinkedIn: @alldata_2
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 5
Visit us during the SEMA Show. Service all makes and models of today and tomorrow with asTech.
6 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Louisiana Man Turns Car-Painting Hobby into Successful Business with Latest From asTech Frank’s Accurate Body Shop
by Autobody News Staff
For some three decades—ever since his car-painting hobby grew into a prosperous business—Frank Rinaudo, 56, has worked to keep pace with improving industry technology. That’s why Frank’s Accurate Body Shop of Slidel, LA, now uses asTech scanning and calibration equipment. Rinaudo said he’s been relying on asTech, a Repairify company, for six or seven years, but he founded the firm in 1990. “My father painted vehicles as a hobby, and when I was 15, we bought an old Mustang as my first car, and he helped me paint it in our garage,” he said. “And before I knew it, I was painting friends’ and neighbors’ cars, and it grew from there.” Rinaudo said he took work in other auto body and paint shops until he was about 23, when he stepped out on his own. “I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but I jumped in,” he said. “We’re still here, so I must have done something right.” Frank’s Accurate Body Shop is a family affair, with Sandy, Frank’s wife of 35 years, doing the accounting and his daughter-in-law also working there, he said. Of his two sons, both in their 20s, one is following in his father’s professional footsteps, while the other is “still figuring out what he’s going to do,” he said. Specializing in taking “the dents out of accidents,” Frank’s Accurate Body Shop is south Louisiana’s leading auto body repair shop, according to its website, “providing St. Tammany Parish with customer focused auto body repair since 1990.” The firm is certified in more than 10 vehicle manufacturers, including Tesla, Nissan, Subaru, Infiniti, FCA vehicles, General Motors and Ford, is customer focused and uses only highly trained professionals, the site says. “Your best interests are always at the top of our mind and we never cut corners,” it says. “We invest heavily in our staff and equipment so all aspects of auto body repair are performed in-house. Our staff will guide you through the entire auto body repair process…from start to finish.” Client safety is a top priority, the site says. “With the increasing complexity in design and engineering of luxury
Location: Slidell, LA (985) 641-1454 www.franksabs.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair and Paint Facility Employees: 15 In Business Since: 1990 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 12,000 square feet Franks’s Accurate Body Shop has helped folks around Slidel, LA, take the “dents out of accidents” since 1990, by keeping up with the latest industry tech, like asTech scanning and calibration equipment.
vehicles, our technicians make it a priority to not simply restore the aesthetic appeal of your automobile but also, bring your vehicle back to its five-star safety rating,” it says. Rinaudo said the best part of doing what he does is seeing vehicles that come to him with serious issues leave looking great. “I like seeing the skills it takes to take a car that looks pretty smashed up and making it look new again,” he said. One way Rinaudo said Frank’s Accurate Body Shop ensures its clients get the best possible outcome is the company’s commitment to keeping up with the latest innovations, like asTech’s remote scanning technology. “asTech has a device which connects to the car, where you can do scanning remotely,” he said. “It’s fairly new in the automobile industry. It allows us to perform the scans in-house without having to bring the car to a dealer.” Modern vehicles present complex electronic systems that require extreme precision to function safely, the asTech website says. “Our ASE certified and dealer-trained technicians use our patented technology to ensure electronic vehicle systems are back to OEM standards post-collision repair.” They do this by drawing on “real world experience along with asTech training to pinpoint the exact cause of issues within a vehicle to recommend solutions and repairs that work,” the site says. With a corporate vision to “be recognized as the automotive industry’s leading service provider for vehicle electronic systems,” asTech
describes the company’s purpose as providing support to industry leaders by ensuring proper repair of automotive electronic systems. Its mission, it says, is to “provide superior quality automotive diagnostic and vehicle electronic services to professional repair organizations while delivering a service our employees are proud of and our customers value.” Incorporating the new tech didn’t require much in the way of training to make the process at Frank’s Accurate Body Shop even more accurate than it had been, Rinaudo said. “There’s not much involved but connecting the device to the vehicle, and they remotely perform the scan,” he said. “It allows us in the pre-scan phase, before disassembly, to see if there are any diagnostic trouble codes, and then after it’s reassembled, to double-check again.” Rinaudo said he knew when he first laid eyes on it the asTech system was a good fit for Frank’s Accurate Body Shop. “I saw a demo at another shop, and thought this would work for us,” he said. And he was right. “The electronics and tech in vehicles is steadily increasing,” he said. “This makes it possible to make sure the proper repairs are performed, saving time and increasing accuracy without having to send the vehicle out to a third party. We try to perform as much stuff inhouse—where we can control quality and procedures—as possible. This helps with that, as part of our long-term strategy for keeping up with the times.”
Frank’s Accurate Body Shop has been using asTech scanning and calibration equipment for several years, taking the top notch service they provide their clients up a notch or two.
The staff at Frank’s Accurate Body Shop say they’re pleased with the upgrade to asTech scanning and calibration equipment. asTech, a Repairify company 2600 Technology Drive, Suite 900 Plano, TX 75074 Liz Gonzales, Director of Marketing EGonzales@astech.com (888) 486-1166 x 92154 Serving California, Arizona & Nevada Facebook: @CollisionDiagnosticServices/ LinkedIn: @company/collision-diagnosticservices—astech Twitter: @astech_official?lang=en Youtube: @channel/UCBepRlKZuPPCkXd v1eM8GMA
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 7
LASERACCURATE DIGITA L A DA S
ELIMINATE MECHANICAL ME ASUREMENT S
EXPANSION PACKAGE FOR AUTEL STANDARD FRAME
• Replaces Manual Tape Measure
• Millimetric Accuracy with Digital Distance Readings • Usable with All Makes & Models • Enables Positioning To Be Performed By One Tech * Autel Standard ADAS Frame Not Included
TEL: 1.855.288.3587 I WEB: WWW.AUTEL.COM EMAIL: USSUPPORT@AUTEL.COM AUTEL.COM FOLLOW US @AUTELTOOLS ©2021 Autel U.S. Inc., All Rights Reserved
8 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
FRONT WHEEL DIALS (LEFT & RIGHT)
DIGITAL TAPE MEASURE CROSSBAR BRACKETS (2X)
DIGITAL TAPE MEASURE (3X)
SCAN TO WATCH
DIAL PLACEMENT BOARDS (2X)
CENTER DIGITAL TAPE MEASURE BRACKET
Family Auto Body Shop Takes on Diagnostics Big-Time with Autel New Trimble Auto Body
by Autobody News Staff
When Ivo Rodrigues, owner of New Trimble Auto Body in Clifton, NJ, decided to step into the world of auto diagnostics, he began searching for the best tools for the job, and Autel moved right to the top of his list. Now, Autel’s equipment has become an integral part of the body shop’s production and Rodrigues couldn’t be happier with his decision to go with one of the world’s leading providers of automotive diagnostics for automotive intelligent assisted driving systems. When Rodrigues looks back at his career in the collision repair industry, he says he’s lucky, but his success has been built on timely decisions and smart moves. In 2006, he immigrated to the U.S. from his home of Portugal and quickly landed a job as a technician. He came here as an ‘A’ technician ready to work long hours to establish a reputation for doing pristine work. His father owned an auto body shop in a small town just outside of Porto, Portugal, and Rodrigues grew up there working so he was poised and prepared for the future when opportunity called. Rodrigues worked for several shops in New Jersey for the next seven years, but he never abandoned his dreams along the way. “I dreamed about having my own body shop for a long time,” he said. “Then the shop I was working at was up for sale and the timing was right. I bought it in 2013 and updated everything and for the first few years, I ran a two-man shop.” Today, Rodridgues employs 14 people and with several insurance companies including the shop as a member of their Direct Repair Program (DRP) repairs from 85 to 95 vehicles monthly. By proactively pursuing cutting-edge technology, training and OE certifications, New Trimble is excelling in a highly competitive market. Rodrigues has never shied away from investing in the right tools to fix today’s cars that have essentially become four-wheel computers. With almost all the vehicles in his shop every day loaded with sensors, cameras and highly sophisticated electronic systems, Rodrigues and his crew have to rely on Autel’s equipment and information to do an effective job. To perform a pre-repair inspection and then make any post-repair calibrations, New Trimble has
Location: Clifton, NJ (502) 368-7212 Company At A Glance... Type: Vehicle Diagnostics Facility Employees: 14 In Business Since: 2013 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 13,000 square feet Everyone at New Trimble Auto Body loves their Standard ADAS Calibration Frame working with the new Autel IA800 for its speed and accuracy. At left, Shop Manager Patricio Buri and at right, Office Manager Christina Lopez.
a complete arsenal of Autel tools and equipment at its disposal. That means Rodrigues acquired a deluxe package of the finest systems and devices that Autel makes. “If Autel has it, we want it, because in order to stay ahead of the system repair game we need the latest diagnostics available,” Rodrigues said. “The technology is always changing fast, so we’re dependent on getting updates in a timely fashion. We use the MaxiSYS Ultra scanner and have the Standard ADAS Calibration Frame working with the new Autel IA800, which provides the quickest and most accurate frame positioning available.” The Autel Intelligent ADAS Optical Positioning System features six high-resolution cameras to deliver three-dimensional adjustment for the most accurate frame centering and vehicle distance recognition. Compatible with the Autel Standard Calibration Frame, and designed for seamless integration, this new component system optically measures two-wheel clamp targets to significantly cut down setup time and increase placement precision. Autel is proud to say on the company website it has the most extensive camera, radar, lidar and night vision calibration coverage in the industry. When you are scanning more than 80 cars every month like Rodrigues’ auto body shop does, speed is nearly as important as accuracy, particularly when you’re doing a post-repair calibration while a customer waits to pick up their vehicle. That’s why he especially appreciates his MaxiSYS Ultra supporting the Autel Standard Calibration Frame and Autel IA800 tools.
The software working together, they enable frame placement in as little as one minute to complete ADAS calibrations faster and more accurately, and easily repeatable. This professional Optical Positioning System for the Autel Standard Calibration Frame includes six high-resolution cameras, wheel clamps and targets. For an average post-repair calibration, it takes roughly 30 minutes using the Autel system, as opposed to as much as 90 minutes to two days if you have to take the car to the dealership for the scan, Rodrigues said. When talking about targets, Rodrigues has nothing but good things to say about this important part of his Autel system. “I can tell you that these targets from Autel are better than the ones made by the OEs,” he said. “They are made out of machined aluminum, and you won’t find anything better, that’s for sure. We use them several times every day, so they have to be built right, and some of the ones made by carmakers are made out of thick cardboard.” To stay current and ready for any car that comes through his doors, Rodrigues makes certain he keeps his Autel scanners up-todate at all times. “Every two or three days, the updates appear on our tablets and we simply click on the ones we need. How can it be easier than that?” While many body shops have hesitated to bring their automotive diagnostics in-house, New Trimble can say “been there, done that” and loving every minute of it. Autel has taken a potentially complex part of the process and made it easy for Rodrigues and his crew, and for that they are forever grateful.
New Trimble Auto Body is saving tons of time and money by using Autel’s diagnostic tools.
Owner Ivo Rodrigues immigrated from Portugal and bought his shop New Trimble Auto Body in 2013.
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 October 2021 9
PROFESSIONAL VEHICLE REFINISHING
COLOR SYSTEM - CLEAR COATS PRIMERS - ANCILLARIES
Tel. 1-888-815-2278 | www.AutomotiveArtPaints.com Tel. 1-888-815-2278 | www.AutomotiveArtPaints.com Logicar Inc.Logicar 1361 NW 155th Drive, Miami, FL, 33169-5723, USA Inc. 1361 NW 155th Drive, Miami, FL, 33169-5723, USA 10 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Ohio Restoration Shop Keeps Building on its Stellar Reputation with Automotive Art Paints Mongoose Motorsports
by Autobody News Staff
When a full-service auto restoration shop has a well-established, word-of-mouth reputation like that of Mongoose Motorsports in Ravenna, OH, it can be a hard sell to get them to consider switching products. But that is what Automotive Art did, and now employees are loving the results on the vehicles they paint—everything from semis to motorcycles and all manner of classic and special interest cars in between. Owner Tricia Krause said the previous owner of Mongoose Motorsports convinced her late husband, Gary Krause, to leave his job as a shop superintendent at a diecast company to come work at Mongoose. Tricia said Mongoose’s previous owner was impressed by the restoration work Gary was doing in their home garage on a 1963 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport body. Three years later, in 2009, the previous owner wanted to get out of the business after the economy tanked. Gary wanted to buy it. “I was like, how are we going to do that? My question has always been how are we going to pay for that,” Tricia said. “He always said to me, don’t worry about it, we’ll figure it out. “It was a struggle in the very beginning because the economy was terrible, but we figured it out for the last 10 years,” Tricia said. Those Corvette Grand Sports helped get the Krauses’ business off the ground even amidst a bad economy, when Universal Studios asked them in late 2010 to build five identical Grand Sports for its “Fast Five” movie. The order eventually grew to nine cars, as the studio kept wrecking them while trying to get a shot of the car being stolen out of a moving train near the beginning of the movie. “That helped us get started, and we are very thankful for the relationship we’ve built with Universal Studios,” Tricia said. Universal Studios even came back for a Corvette Grand Sport Gasser that was used as an extra in a scene in “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth movie in the franchise. Mongoose Motorsports used its 15 minutes of fame to start building its reputation.
Location: Ravenna, OH (330) 296-1963 www.mongoosemotorsports.com
Mongoose Motorsports in Ravenna, OH, is a one-stop restoration shop that recently switched to Automotive Art Paints for its superior finishes.
The shop is licensed by General Motors to build replica Grand Sports, using body molds taken from one of the original five cars. Each one takes a year to a year and a half to build. At this point, Mongoose has built so many, for clients all over the U.S. and even the world, they’ve lost count. In 2015, the Krauses bought Portage Trim, a nearby upholstery company that used to do work for Mongoose. With that, Mongoose Motorsports became a full-service restoration company, with the capability to do every inch of a frame-off restoration in-house— fabrication, welding, wiring, upholstery, mechanical and paint. Now the business has grown to 11 employees, 33,000 square feet of production space and another 22,000 feet of enclosed storage space. It typically moves 45 to 50 cars through its doors every month, doing everything from full restorations to small mechanical jobs. The shop also hosts a huge car show every August, also founded by Gary. Now in its seventh year, it has grown to attract 2,000 cars and 10,000 spectators. Sadly, Gary died in October 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. Tricia said she and her employees are determined to carry on Gary’s legacy. “We built such a strong company,” Tricia said. “I have the best team of guys ever. I could never do it without all the people I have standing by my side. They’re all very special.” Another area body shop that partners with Mongoose for its
upholstery work was the one who initially recommended Automotive Art and its local representative, Tim Jones with Litwin Paints & Supplies LLC, said Bill Scott, shop foreman. “Tim seemed really knowledgeable,” Scott said. “His customer service is second to none. He showed us some of the new products, we started trying it, and it blows away the older products we used from [another company.]” Since Mongoose Motorsports looks for more of a show-quality finish on its paint jobs, Scott said it was the clearcoats that sold them on Automotive Art. “They have a variety of clears with different dry times, durability and glosses,” Scott said. Mongoose Motorsports does not have a mixing station since it generally does not need large quantities of paint, but Scott said any time it needs a particular color, Automotive Art gets it mixed and to them by the next day. “Their customer service is a lot like ours; they put their customers first,” said Tricia Krause. Scott said the shop’s former paint supplier recently visited to try to get Mongoose Motorsports to return. “I basically had to tell them there’s no way,” Scott said. “I like the cost, durability and appearance. It blows away [our former supplier.]” Scott said another vendor has a high-end clearcoat that produces similar results, but at nearly twice the price of Automotive Art. “The cost was a good selling point,” Scott said.
Company At A Glance... Type: Automotive Restoration Facility Employees: 11 In Business Since: 2009 Number of Locations: One Combined Space: 55,000 square feet
The shop put its name on the map when it provided multiple 1963 Chevy Corvette Grand Sports for two movies in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.
Foreman Bill Scott said Automotive Art Paints’ cost, durability and appearance were the main selling points for making the switch.
Automotive Art Paints 1361 NW 155th Drive Miami, FL 33169 (888) 815-2278 email@example.com www.automotiveartpaints.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 11
A X A LT A C O A T I N G S Y S T E M S
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Copyright © 2021 Axalta Coating Systems, LLC and all affiliates. All rights reserved.
12 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Fourth Generation Body Shop Owner Uses Axalta to Build on Tradition of Excellence Hjelms Body and Paint Shop
by Autobody News Staff
When you’ve practically grown up in the family business, like Brian Gilreath of Hjelms Body and Paint Shop of Helena, MT, it’s second nature to treat your customers like family. “I’ve been coming here since I was a young kid, like 14, cleaning toilets to earn some spending money,” said Gilreath, 36. “I’m the fourth generation of my family to own it. I went and did my own thing for a little bit and came back.” Hjelms was founded by Gilreath’s great uncle in 1952, he said. “Then my grandpa bought it, and then my dad, and then I bought it,” the single father of an 11-yearold son said. It is not yet certain if the business will pass to the next generation, Gilreath said. “He says he either wants to take over the business or be a firefighter,” he said. “We’ll see. I’ve told him he has to get good grades for either.” Meanwhile, Gilreath has a well-established, busy business to run. “Committed to excellence since 1952,” Hjelms’ website says company officials realize “for most people, auto maintenance and repair is not fun or convenient. So, we want make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible for you.” This effort has resulted in many repeat clients, Gilreath said. “Most of our customers are repeat, and we know most of them by first name. We try to treat them all like family,” he said. The shop employs highly skilled and experienced technicians who “love cars and care about yours,” the site says. “Our customers love us,” it says. “Get to know our experienced technicians. They’ve got the tools, skills and a desire to help.” In the interest of furthering that cause, Hjelms adopted the latest technological innovations from Axalta—Cromax XP—said Gilreath and his 27-year veteran head paint tech, Shane Hall. “As the owner, when I took it over from my dad, that’s what they were using and I just carried it over,” Gilreath said. “It’s been good so far. No big complaints.” With more than 150 years of industry experience, Axalta is “a
Location: Helena, MT (406) 442-5261 www.hjelmsbodyshop.com Company At A Glance... Type: Auto Repair Facility Employees: Four In Business Since: 1953 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 10,000 square feet
Hjelms Body and Paint Shop, in business for 27 years, switched to Axalta's Cromax XP one year ago and is delighted with the move.
global coatings company focused on providing customers with innovative, colorful and sustainable solutions,” according to its website. Hall and Gilreath say that experience shows. “We have better color matches with this new stuff, and it doesn’t take as much paint to cover, like with lighter colors like yellows, especially,” Gilreath said. “You get more coverage quicker,” Hall agreed. “You’d need four or five coats, sometimes, and with Axalta, you consistently need only 2½ coats. It’s been a huge time saver for us.” Axalta made sure everyone was brought up to speed on the new products, the men said. “They came in and had a couple of training representatives [Gene Fenske and Joe Holzer] with them, and they spent two or three days with us showing us how to use the system, getting us perfected on how to spray the new product,” Hall said. Hjelms has been using the new Axalta system for about a year, the men said. “We were in on it on the testing level, and spent some time spraying it before it was actually launched,” Hall said. “We’ve been spraying Axalta products for about 23 years. "It was DuPont before it was Axalta. Their reps are really good about letting us know when there are new products out there, and Gene Fenske came to us with this new one and it sounded like it could benefit the shop and we were really impressed so when it did launch, we stayed with it and it’s been a su-
perior product.” One of the main benefits Hall said he’s finding with the new Axalta system is the reduced time it takes to spray something. “Also, the color match is huge,” he said. “With all the different colors that are out there now—metallics and pearls—most of the really flashy colors have that. They’re getting fancier, and color matching is a huge deal.” The Axalta system also produces a “cleaner, crisper color,” along with the “way quicker” turnaround time, Hall said. “With our old system, about 50% of the paint is pigment and the rest is binder or balancer,” Hall said. “The new system is more concentrated, making it easier and quicker, so it saves a lot of time.” Hall said he also appreciates Axalta’s feedback system, which benefits both parties if any issues arise. “With every color I spray, I can give them feedback. It’s been a huge help to me and to them. “I’ve been in the business for 27 years and this is the first time I’ve had an outlet for complaints or a feedback system,” Hall said. “They get both the critiques and the positive feedback, as well. So, it works for them, too.” The bottom line, the men said, is going with Axalta was a good business decision. “At the end of the day, your color match is superior, you save time and get the car back to the customer quicker, and cars go out the door looking great,” Hall said.
Painter Shane Hall said he’s producing a “cleaner, crisper color” spraying Axalta at Hjelms Body and Paint Shop.
Axalta gives this 1952 GMC truck some big-time “wow” appeal.
Axalta Coating Systems Company Contact: Heidi Stillwell Heidi.firstname.lastname@example.org (610) 358-5353 www.axalta.us Facebook: AxaltaNArefinish Instagram: AxaltaNArefinish Twitter: @Axalta LinkedIn: @axalta YouTube: @axalta
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 13
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14 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
“When you get a spray booth, you expect it to perform…that’s why we love this booth.” Samuels Collision Repair
by Autobody News Staff
Samuels Collision Repair is a neighborhood family owned and run body shop in Louisville, KY. Jeff Embry runs the family business with his team of 8 including son, Dustin, as his head painter and son, Josh, in the front office. The Embry family relies on their Blowtherm USA paint booth to produce “spectacular” paint jobs on every vehicle that comes into the shop. Embry admits he did thorough due diligence research before going with Blowtherm. “It was a big decision because getting a new paint booth includes a major investment, so I did not want to get one and then regret it a year later.” Jeff explains his main concern was a booth that could produce higher quality finishes, faster drying time for increased production and cleaner air quality for the environment. “I met with five different companies and to be honest, I did lose a little sleep over it. I started leaning toward Blowtherm USA when their local distributor, Ron Baylor Tri-State Spray Booths, met with me and within a few days he showed me everything I needed to do, the height of my ducts; the exact location of the booth, and that sold me. I figured, if this is the type of customer service I’m going to get—I’m in! In the end, it was really a no-brainer, but Ron sealed the deal,” confirming Blowtherm USA as his final choice. Although the booth was scheduled for shipment and installation during the height of the pandemic, Blowtherm USA still delivered as promised. Embry wanted to make sure he was giving his shop a high-quality booth. “When we got the Blowtherm booth, I told Dustin that ‘I am giving you the best booth in the world, so there should be no excuses’”, said with a chuckle. “Dustin is my painter and he does spot painting and full paint jobs in our Blowtherm USA booth. We paint an average of 80-90 vehicles every month, so Dustin is busy, but because the Blowtherm is such an excellent booth, we are consistently producing an incredible fin-
Location: Louisville, KY (502) 368-7212
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: Eight In Business Since: 1975 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 13,000 square feet Father Jeff Embry and his two sons, Josh (left) and Dustin (right), get awesome customer reviews thanks to their Blowtherm paint booth.
ished product and that’s why we get awesome reviews.” When asked about specific features that stand out and performance of the booth, Embry elaborates, “The air speed is perfect and we never need to bring in other fans or require additional air flow.” Blowtherm USA checked all of Jeff’s boxes with its climate controlled booth, superior lighting, increased cycle times, clean air filtration system and energy efficiency. Embry claims, “We never have to adapt to the weather. With our former booth, we had to wait and heat it up during the winter to control the climate in there before we could spray. We also encounter a fair amount of humidity here in Kentucky, but it’s never an issue with our Blowtherm booth. We control the weather in the booth, so we don’t care about what the weather is outside. Another great thing about Blowtherm is the lighting, it’s the best out there and it makes life so much easier for the painter.” “The Blowtherm booth allows Dustin to work efficiently and it definitely has helped our cycle time since we acquired this booth”, Embry said. “We don’t ever have to do any sanding or buffing after applying the base and clear coat and curing the car which is a huge time saver. When you get a spray booth, you expect it to perform and you shouldn’t have to even think about it and that’s why we love this booth! We haven’t had any issues with this
booth. Having a local knowledgeable Blowtherm USA rep/technician stand behind their equipment with excellent customer service helps my crew perform superior work.” Jeff completed auto body vocational training at Pleasure Ridge Park high school with a 1-year coop program at Samuels Collision, not realizing this was the beginning of his life-long career. At age 19, he began full-time work with original owner, Ted Samuels. “So, I went to work over there, and it was a whole different world. Ted was a great mentor—he ran a clean shop and was like a teacher himself—always up on the latest equipment and processes”, he explained. In 2000, he purchased the facility and now, decades later, he knows what it takes to run a successful business in a small community. Is expansion on the horizon? “I’m not opposed to expanding at some point, but my sons Dustin and Josh would play a big part in that decision. We have worked really hard to build a great reputation here. The community respects and trusts us and I am proud to have my family working here.” How does Blowtherm fit into future plans? “If we ever need another paint booth, I won’t hesitate to get another Blowtherm. We haven’t had any issues with this booth and the cars coming out are really spectacular, so the decision of getting a Blowtherm was a very good one.”
Dustin never has to worry about his Blowtherm USA booth, which enables him to focus on painting 80-90 cars every month.
Samuels Collision Repair (KY) produces great finishes, growing their reputation, respect and trust in the community.
Blowtherm USA & Training Center 810 No. Grove Road Richardson, TX 75081 (855) 463-9872 or (262) 269-6265 firstname.lastname@example.org www.blowtherm-usa.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 15
16 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Today’s Collision Repair Center’s Journey to OEM Success with the Car Bench Muraena Today’s Collision Repair Centers
by Autobody News Staff
After graduating from trade school, Bobby Cobb worked in the collision repair industry for eight years as a painter. In 1987, with help from childhood friend Kevin Kyes, he started his own small collision center. Two short years later, the business was doing well enough that Cobb and Kyes decided it was time to expand. Today’s Collision Repair Center was founded, in Chelsea, MA. A lot has happened in the following 32 years. “We started out with a great reputation and had the drive to grow,” Cobb said of the reason behind the business’s success. Cobb and Kyes started hiring employees and taking on more work. In 2003, the business had grown to the point where a second location was needed, and Today’s in Malden was founded. With continued success, Today’s opened a third full-service location in 2017 in Stoneham, MA. Shortly thereafter in 2020, Cobb recognized the need for a fourth “express” location. Today’s Danvers focuses on light collision repair work, such as dent removal and paint. Today’s has 72 employees between the four locations, of whom nearly a third have worked for the company for at least a decade. They repair an average of 375 vehicles every month, of all makes, both domestic and imported. “As owners, we continue to remain hands-on within the business,” said Cobb. “While we may not work on the cars directly, we are involved in the day-to-day running of all aspects of the company. We continue to remain involved and focus on staying current on trends in the industry and change as the industry changes.” Today’s four locations are I-CAR Gold Class. They have put in the work to achieve certification from several OEMs, including Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Acura, Subaru and Tesla. In 2020, Today’s Collision Malden was ranked among the top seven Tesla Certified Collision Centers nationwide. Though DRPs are not permitted in Massachusetts, Today’s Collision has partnerships with sev-
Location: Chelsea, Malden, Stoneham and Danvers, MA (781) 321-6080 ext. 310 todayscollision.com/
Today’s Collision Repair Center’s Malden, MA, location is so pleased with the Car Bench Muraena’s versatility and ease of use, it is planning to buy more.
eral insurance providers. The independently owned shops have also partnered with several area dealerships to provide collision repair services. Most OEMs require collision centers to purchase and use specific equipment in order to be certified to service their vehicles. “We specialize in high-end OEM certifications and prioritize investing in state-of-the-art equipment and facilities,” Cobb said. In 2019, Today’s Malden location began the chase to become certified with Jaguar and Land Rover. The main piece of equipment Today’s invested in for this certification is the Car Bench Muraena. Cobb said although they needed to upgrade to the larger bench as part of the certification process, they quickly found it to be user-friendly and, best of all, universal. According to Cobb, the Muraena is a great piece of equipment. They’re beyond happy with it. It’s also beneficial that it’s approved for multiple OEM certifications. Today’s Collision purchased the drive-on version, which is also mobile. This allows technicians to move a vehicle from one department to another within the 23,000-square foot Malden collision center. The Car Bench Muraena is the only bench in the industry that has a lift, as well as the mobile configuration. “It’s very versatile, which makes it easy for a shop our size to use it,” Cobb said. Car Bench says all bench models including the Muraena can be combined with a special scissor lift, making them inclinable on both ends. The Muraena’s dimensions
have been optimized to allow maximum accessibility from both inside and outside the frame. This allows technicians during the entire repair process to work comfortably, in an ergonomic and efficient position. Cobb said the Car Bench Muraena allows technicians to do repairs without having to remove the suspension—not possible with some other manufacturers’ frame machines, which require the suspension to be removed for any repair. Car Benchs’ universal jig system is the most flexible system on the market for vehicle makes, Cobb said. The technicians at Today’s Collision Malden love the mobile Car Bench machine so much, the shop is getting ready to buy more. Cobb said the shop bought the Italian-made equipment through U.S. importer and distributor Pinnacle Collision Repair Equipment. Today’s relies on Pinnacle for all state-of-the-art and new equipment for OEM certification specified equipment, from welders to specialty tools. Pinnacle provides the technicians all the necessary training on OEM-approved equipment, including the Car Bench Muraena at Today’s Collision Malden. Pinnacle is always on top of getting the team necessary data to repair new models on the Muraena. “Their representation is superb,” Cobb said, praising in particular the Pinnacle representative the shops most closely work with, Josh Cobb. “They’re easy to get in touch with and always attentive to our needs. I feel very confident in their team and dealing with them.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 72 In Business Since: 1989 Number of Locations: Four Combined Production Space: 45,000 square feet
Owner Bobby Cobb said the Car Bench Muraena is a great piece of equipment, and appreciates the fact it’s approved for multiple OEM certifications.
Today’s Collision Repair Centers’ four locations repair a combined 375 vehicles a month, of all makes, imported and domestic.
Car Bench of America 100 Melrich Road Cranbury, NJ 08512 (609) 662-4000 carbenchofamerica.com email@example.com Instagram: @carbenchofamerica
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 17
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18 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Making Smart Business Decisions, Like Switching to Car-O-Liner®, Helps Texas Collision Repair Leader Expand Frank’s Collision Repair
by Autobody News Staff
Frank McClosky of Frank’s Collision Repair in Baytown, TX, turned one location into six in under 20 years, partly by keeping up with the latest technology. This helps explain why, about a year ago, he switched all of Frank’s Collision Repair frame machines to Car-O-Liner. Also, with business partner Ben Kasper taking over the day-today functions, McClosky can concentrate on finding ways to improve operations. “Without that, I might not have found Car-O-Liner,” said McClosky. “I’d have been in the weeds every day trying to run a body shop.” Besides keeping employee turnover low and repeat business high, McClosky said he strives to have a collaborative, and not an adversarial, relationship with his customers and insurance partners. “We’re all trying to solve the same problem, and keeping that in mind helps things go more smoothly.” Growing up as a mechanic’s son, McClosky, 51, spent a lot of time around cars as a kid, though he thought he’d go a different route himself. “I have always liked cars. I like all kinds. Fast, slow, big, small. I grew up working on cars with my dad, but I wanted to go to college and get a nice white-collar job. That seemed like more fun,” he said. McClosky worked at body shops while earning his bachelor’s degree in business and learned to communicate equally well with technicians and owners. This brought him to the attention of an industry leader. “I was recruited by (paint manufacturer) PPG, and I did that for six years,” he said. “After that, I went back to the last place I worked in the collision industry and the owner was ready to step aside.” So, he bought the shop and the company. “Martha Barnett didn’t want to be the owner anymore,” said McClosky. “She enjoyed the industry but didn’t like the rest of it. She still works for me 18 years later. I worked for her and now she works for me.” He now runs shops in Crosby, Dayton, LaPorte and Webster, and a second, larger shop in Baytown will function as the Complex Repair Center. Most of his approximately 100 employees are local and longterm.
Location: Baytown, TX (281) 427-8508 www.frankscr.com
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 95 to 100 In Business Since: 2003 Number of Locations: Six Combined Production Space: 125,687 square feet Frank’s Collision Repair unveiled its New Complex Repair Center in Baytown, TX, on Opening Day, June 17. This is the centralized location where all the extensive repairs needed—for clients in all locations—will be done.
“I don’t know what it is, but, for some reason, I like fixing things up. I feel this way about dilapidated buildings and cars,” said McClosky. “I like the changing technology and adapting and learning.” He said he plans to teach his children how to run a business and then let them follow their own passions, whether that leads to running a body shop or somewhere else entirely. McClosky credits outside sales calls with helping him exponentially grow Frank’s Collision Repair. Keeping up with the latest industry innovations, like Car-O-Liner, is also a major contributor to his success. “Keeping up with the times is critical in a changing industry,” McClosky said. “Vehicles aren’t going to get less complex; they’re going to get more complex,” he said. “We had to up our game; get better at identifying damage and doing the structural repair and do a higher quality job so all the parts fit correctly and the safety options function correctly.” Car-O-Liner, a brand of Snapon Equipment, is a 40-year-old global provider of high-quality, technologically advanced collision repair and training solutions for automotive body shops and OEMs, the company website says. Created in 1973, “the world’s most advanced alignment bench systems” now include a “range of benches to meet any collision repair workshop’s needs – from heavy-duty to quick and flexible,” it says. “My interest in the paint side of the business led me to make the switch to Car-O-Liner,” he said. “I did some research for the best
equipment and theirs was by far the best. We can do a much better job now with the Car-O-Liner equipment. We got all their frame machines installed in-ground, all their electronic measuring, spot welders, rivet guns. With our industry being under heavy consolidation, our niche is to do all extensive repairs in one place, in the Complex Repair Center. That’s what sets us apart and that is our goal and our mission at this site.” McClosky said he changed out the equipment at all his locations to create consistency. “I followed the repair process with other equipment and with Car-O-Liner, and the other system seemed antiquated and I wanted to make sure our customers have the same level of service at all of our locations,” he said. “I attended a national peer group meeting, and many other owner-operators that I respect, specifically Jim Guthrie of Car Crafters in Albuquerque, recommended it, and I went out there and took a look, and that made me know I had to get my hands on it.” With Car-O-Liner, Frank’s Collision Repair technicians are better able “to identify any structural damage to the vehicle and then repair it better,” he said. “Their clamping system and rack enables us to fix damage faster and the measuring system is more accurate.” Car-O-Liner has also made sure Frank’s Collision Repair employees received the training and support they needed. “So far, it’s been an excellent company to work with,” McClosky concluded.
A Car-O-Liner machine at the Complex Repair Center in Baytown is set up to take measurements of the frame.
Frank’s Collision Repair owner Frank McClosky in front of the new shop, the Complex Repair Center, in Baytown, where the most serious repairs will be done in a one-stop shop.
Car-O-Liner-North America firstname.lastname@example.org (800) 521-9696 www.car-o-liner.com LinkedIn: @car-o-liner-hq
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 19
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20 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
8/3/21 10:58 AM
Chesapeake Collision Uses ELEVATE Services from CCC to Improve Processes and CSI Chesapeake Collision
by Autobody News Staff
CCC is well known in the collision repair industry for helping auto body shops by providing robust data and technology they can use to improve their businesses and succeed at a high level. From the minute a customer calls or walks into a shop to when the customer receives the vehicle back in pre-accident condition, CCC’s software plays a role in almost every aspect of every repair. However, what many in the collision repair industry don’t know is CCC offers consulting services outside of technology. CCC’s ELEVATE Services is like having an expert consultant on your team dedicated to making you a better company. Since 1990, collision professionals have used CCC technology to run a shop, but now ELEVATE is teaching them how to succeed by driving meaningful, sustainable outcomes. Chesapeake Collision, a mini MSO with four locations in the Baltimore, Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland areas, has been using CCC’s ELEVATE for the past year. Chesapeake Collision is highly regarded for being a veteran-owned company that runs its facilities as a well-oiled team. Its owner, John Botek, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. The company proudly calls itself “Collision Heroes” and actively supports the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, Wounded Warrior Project and Hero Dogs (Service Dogs for America’s Heroes), among others. Another graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy is Lyle Burnham, the go-to guy at Chesapeake Collision when it comes to coordinating the overall ELEVATE program. To keep everyone in the loop and tap into all of the program’s benefits, Burnham holds weekly meetings to discuss ELEVATE and how his management team can optimize it. ELEVATE offers a highly personalized, practical consultation service to help reach business goals and optimize shop operations, as well as improving customer satisfaction, according to CCC’s website. Advisors complete a comprehensive analysis to identify unique challenges for individual shops and strategies to address them. Their formula includes reviewing staff roles and responsibilities, standard-
Location: Randallstown, Huntingtown, Pasadena and Glen Burnie, MD (410) 414-2177 www.chesapeakecollision.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair & Custom Paint Facility Employees: 50 In Business Since: 1999 Number of Locations: Four Combined Production Space: 50,000 square feet Chesapeake Collision with three locations in the Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. area uses CCC’s ELEVATE to improve every aspect of their customer service.
izing and improving processes and documentation and finding ways for each shop to deliver an excellent customer experience. One of the best parts of using CCC ONE is being able to work with CCC’s local representative, Kevin Bennett, Burnham said. “As a former body shop owner, he’s about as real as they come,” said Burnham. “I could tell right away Kevin is not just another software salesman, but he knows this industry inside and out. We sat down and concluded our company was using only 30% of the tools provided by CCC ONE, so we began talking about how to do more with the program. Kevin then mentioned ELEVATE and we were instantly interested.” Another major advantage of using ELEVATE is the fact Burnham and his management team receive advice and direction from Neal Bobzin, one of CCC ONE’s ELEVATE advisors. “It’s like having your very own in-house expert,” Burnham said. “Tapping into Neal’s knowledge is invaluable and is why we access it as often as we can. He’s committed to making us a better company and knows how to do it. Neal is very direct and if something we’re doing does not work or needs improvement, he’s not afraid to tell us about it. “The best part is he brings us great ideas and solutions designed specifically for us because he realizes every shop has different needs and different goals. It helps to be able to review our procedures with someone who will bring an outside perspective to the process and
then identify ways where we can streamline our operations.” Bobzin is delighted to work with Burnham and his management team because he can clearly see the MSO wants to improve, especially in the area of customer service. “Most of my ELEVATE clients are already on the right path, and usually just need a little direction to get where they want to be,” Bobzin said. “When I work with a client, I take it personally and become emotionally entrenched. I have held this position as an ELEVATE consultant on and off for the past four years, and every time I see a shop improving their CSI score or succeeding in some area we’re focusing on, it’s very satisfying.” Burnham said, “Within a very short period of time, our CSI numbers at Chesapeake Collision increased 2.5% just by doing a few of the things Neal suggested.” The CSI improvement coincides with a 7% increase in the number of surveys returned since Chesapeake Collision began working with the ELEVATE team. Chesapeake Collision has grown its bottom-line gross profit margin thanks in part to more than $136,000 in opportunities from photo estimating, as advised by Bobzin. By using CCC’s three most important assets—its people, technology and network—Bobzin has been able to define Chesapeake Collision’s expectations through ELEVATE and then measure its performance. They are reaching their goals and exceeding their expectations, and credit much of this to ELEVATE by CCC.
Chesapeake Collision knows that every vehicle in each of their locations is an important part of the big picture and CCC’s ELEVATE is a part of it.
Chesapeake Collision receives outstanding reviews for its customer service and credits a portion of it to CCC’s ELEVATE.
CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. Company Contact: Kelly Grossenbaugh (877) 208-6155 www.cccis.com/elevate
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 21
ENGINEERING MEETS ARTISTRY
A New Generation of Spray Guns
Professional painters understand they are a direct reflection of their work. It is critical to have tools that are engineered for their craft and deliver optimal performance. The DV1 spray gun family revolutionized the spraying process using superior atomization for ease of application and reduced paint consumption.
22 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing Wows Collision Repair Instructor with New Lineup of DV1 Spray Guns Applied Technology Center
by Autobody News Staff
When Mark Dellinger graduated from the collision repair and refinish program at the Applied Technology Center in Rock Hill, SC, in 1991, it turned out it was not the last time he would see it. After working in dealership and independent auto body shops for 12 years, Dellinger returned to the program in 2003 as its new instructor. “It’s kinda odd that I’m on the other side of the desk,” Dellinger said. Dellinger said he left the lucrative auto body shop technician life for the high school teacher one— the Applied Technology Center is a technical high school for students in ninth through 12th grades—because he wanted to spend more time with his growing family. “Working in a shop can be time-consuming,” Dellinger said. There was an opening in the district for a new instructor in the program Dellinger had completed. Dellinger said he had enrolled in the program as a student because his older cousin had done it and was making good money painting cars after high school. “I thought it was fun,” Dellinger said of the program. “I guess I got bit by that bug.” But he also felt he hadn’t been totally prepared to work in an auto body shop when he had graduated, so he made it his mission to better equip his students. “I knew it could be a whole lot more than when I was in it,” Dellinger said. Dellinger updated the curriculum—the school was one of the first in the country to pilot I-CAR’s Professional Development Program-Education Edition for career and technical schools—and brought in newer vehicles for students to work on. In 2011, he applied for and won the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s (CREF) annual school makeover grant—a $50,000 grant he used to buy and set up four identical Mac Tools workstations. In each class, he then assigned a “manager” to each workstation, and divvied up the rest of the students into teams under those managers. Dellinger also looks to CREF’s
Location: Rock Hill, SC (803) 981-1100 www.rock-hill.k12.sc.us/Domain/30
Samuel Bermudez, a student in the collision repair and refinish program at the Applied Technology Center in Rock Hill, SC, uses the DeVilbiss DV1-C on a trainer.
annual survey of auto body shops, to find out what employers are looking for in entry-level technicians, so he can hone in on those skills. His students learn how to paint, fix small dents and repair non-structural components and plastic. Some of the more advanced students also learn MIG welding. Among the painting equipment Dellingers’ students use to learn are several pieces of DeVilbiss’s automotive refinishing tools, including their new DV1 spray guns. Dellinger said he makes his students use guns from several manufacturers, even if they think they are most comfortable with the first one they try, so they learn painting is a skill, independent of the tool. But, as an industry professional, he has his favorites—and DeVilbiss’s DV1 series is now one. Dellinger said he first tried the DV1-B, for basecoats, at Axalta’s training center in Concord, NC. “I was like, ‘Holy smokes,’” Dellinger said. He then got to try the DV1-C, for clearcoats. “Game changer,” Dellinger said. And near the end of the 202021 school year, a friend who works for DeVilbiss brought by the new DV1-S spot gun, and Dellinger sprayed three fenders, one with it and the other two with competitors’ guns. “It was telling,” he said. “I told him it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Dellinger said the DV1-S is sold as a mini gun, but it does not spray like one.
“It has a full trigger and really puts out a nice pattern, nice and smooth,” Dellinger said. He said the whole DV-1 lineup produces impressive results, especially compared to past high volume, low pressure (HVLP) guns. “Years past, if you tried to spray clear with an HVLP gun, it was not good; it looked like orange peel because it sprayed very slow,” Dellinger said. “These guns can spray regular speed; the air consumption on these guns is mind-blowing. “They’ve stumbled onto something,” he said. Dellinger said in addition to the spray guns, his program uses DeVilbiss paint booth exhaust filters, shim masks, prep rags, anti-static wipes, lab coats, spray suits and the Snap N Flow, the company’s new disposable spray cup system. “That’s a really good system,” Dellinger said. Dellinger said collision repair instructors should never be afraid to ask manufacturers to donate tools, materials or training time, because so many are willing to step up and help. And while he said he misses the camaraderie of working in an auto body shop, he said he loves working with students and seeing them go on to successful careers in the industry, as techs, managers, estimators and even business owners. “I easily have 20-plus people working in local shops, which is a substantial number from a high school program,” Dellinger said. “They’re making a living. That’s a good feeling.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Education Program Facility Employees: One In Business Since: 1973 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 6,000 square feet
This Nissan 370Z hood was refinished with the DeVilbiss DV1-C.
Students Corbin Lennon and Christian Smrekar practice their metal work and and dent repair skills.
DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing 16430 N Scottsdale Road, Suite 450 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (800) 445-3988 Autorefinishdevilbiss.com Twitter: @DeVilbissAR YouTube: @DeVilbiss AR
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 23
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24 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
MSO Embraces Elitek Services to Improve Processes and Cycle Time Inter-Tech Collision Centers
by Autobody News Staff
Scanning a vehicle is only the beginning whenever an auto body shop performs diagnostics on any vehicle. Finding out what’s wrong with the car is just the first step. How long did it take for you to do the diagnosis? Do you have the right documentation to prove you did it, so you can get paid by the insurance company? Also, did you perform a diagnostics service that uses OEM tooling, to return the vehicle back to the customer in a safe, pre-accident condition? Shops have to answer these questions every time they scan a car, and that is surely no exception for the people at Inter-Tech Collision Centers, an MSO with six locations in Nebraska. To streamline its diagnostics and assure it’s done at a high level, Inter-Tech recently entered into a contract to work exclusively with Elitek Vehicle Services, an LKQ company. To audition Elitek’s diagnostic capabilities and make sure they were a good match for their specific needs, General Manager Mike Boehmer at Inter-Tech initially tried Elitek’s system at its busiest shop in Elkhorn. When Body Shop Manager Luke Bockbrader showed the system to his estimators for the first time, he was surprised by its simplicity and accuracy. “The people from Elitek came here and within two hours, it was set up and we were using it,” Bockbrader said. “It went from being a secondary tool to becoming our primary device for doing diagnostics on every car that comes through the door. “We do all of our scans when the car comes in and then again when it’s ready to go back to the customer. It also provides us with accurate documentation, which enables us to get paid by the insurance company on every procedure we perform.” After rolling out the system earlier this year and using it for just a short time, Bockbrader gave it his blessing, and now Elitek’s scanners are in all locations and being used every day. Boehmer likes everything about Elitek, but the peace of mind he and his crew get by using the system is a big part of the entire picture, he said. “They have the technology
Location: Omaha, NE (402) 763-9940 Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 74 In Business Since: 2004 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 92,000 square feet Inter-Tech Collision Centers streamlined its diagnostics when it recently entered into a contract to work exclusively with Elitek Vehicle Services, an LKQ company.
to ensure that every car we repair goes back to the customer in its pre-accident condition and safe to drive. As a collision repair company, we have an obligation to our customers and performing accurate diagnoses is huge.” Other aspects of the Elitek system Boehmer appreciates include the way it affects his bottom line. “By using these scanners, we are able to improve our cycle time, which makes our DRPs obviously happy,” he said. “In the end, we can make more money on each repair by diagnosing the cars more quickly. Also, Elitek provides us with all of the paperwork that’s needed to document every aspect of the diagnoses. So, we are getting paid, and featuring Elitek is also an excellent selling point for us.” Speed is essential when you fix approximately 7,000 cars annually, and by using the Elitek system, Bockbrader is avoiding unnecessary delays and bottlenecks. “We plug into the vehicle’s OBD2 port, and then connect to their website. We confirm the vehicle, then receive the report. Unless we run into anything unexpected, the entire process is 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish.” When you work with Elitek, you also get access to all its extensive knowledge and some of the top diagnosticians in the country. “If we ever have any concerns or questions, they have some great people working there,” Bockbrader said. “They are all master technicians who work directly for Elitek, but it feels like they’re our
employees sometimes. If we can’t get things solved over the phone, they have techs on the ground with OEM equipment to help us.” Even though he and his estimators have only been using the Elitek scanning for a short time, Bockbrader has seen several significant changes he believes will become more prevalent the more they use it. “We could tell right away that we were going to reduce our cycle time and become so much more efficient by using Elitek,” he said. “It is like having an expert diagnostician on staff, but without having to hire one. Diagnostics can potentially be a time killer, so rather than play a guessing game, we use the Elitek system and get precise data almost immediately.” Automotive diagnostics is something the people at Inter-Tech Collision Centers now feel comfortable with despite today’s vehicles having more technology than the original lunar landing capsule. But they’re not fazed by it, thanks to Elitek. They also appreciate the peace of mind they get from Elitek’s industry-exclusive “Promise of Calibration,” which states every calibration is guaranteed and applies to both the actual diagnostic and the labor involved. “The system works incredibly well, and they back it with some amazing knowledge and expertise,” Bockbrader said. “When you work with Elitek, it’s like having a whole team of seasoned diagnosticians right here in-house, which really makes the process so easier and trouble-free.”
Body Shop Manager Luke Bockbrader appreciates Elitek’s system for both its simplicity and accuracy.
Inter-Tech Collision Centers play a positive role in every community where they do business.
Elitek 888-8-ELITEK www.ElitekAuto.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 25
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Equalizer® Keeps Caliber Auto Glass on the Cutting Edge of Technology, Training Caliber Auto Glass/Protech
by Autobody News Staff
When a company is growing at the rate Caliber is, good tools and the training to use them for teammates—both new and existing—is key. That’s why Caliber Auto Glass, a division of the Caliber Family of brands, uses Equalizer® for all of its glass replacement tool and training needs. Mitch Becker, director of training for Caliber Auto Glass, called Equalizer® a top-notch company that provides a “one-stop shop.” “Equalizer® is one of the most versatile companies you’ll meet,” Becker said. “They make the entire business process simple for both large and small organizations, and they know their job better than anyone.” Becker, originally from North Dakota, was 15 years old when he started hanging around body shops. “I just really enjoyed working on cars,” he said. He started as a body technician before branching off into glass replacement, and after 41 years total in the auto body and glass repair industry, he rose to the rank of senior technical instructor. Then in April 2019, Becker was named director of training for Caliber Auto Glass. When he joined Caliber Auto Glass, headquartered in Lewisville, TX, Becker brought his appreciation for Equalizer® with him. “We use the entire lineup,” Becker said. “Equalizer® is now the main supplier of auto glass tools to the Caliber organization.” That includes Caliber Auto Glass and any of the 1,300-plus Caliber locations in 36 states that also offer glass replacement services. Together, the Caliber Family repairs more than 850,000 vehicles a year. “The quality of their tools, warranty and their service is the best out there. We are able to partner with Equalizer®, restore the rhythm of our customers’ lives, and get them back on the road safely,” Becker said.
Location: Lewisville, TX (888) 461-0010 www.caliberautoglass.com
Company At A Glance... Type: Auto Glass Replacement Facility Employees: 20,516 In Business Since: 1997 Number of Locations: 1,300+ The Caliber Family, which includes Caliber Collision, like the one seen here in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, CO, and Caliber Auto Glass relies on Equalizer for all of its glass replacement tools and the training to use them.
Becker added Equalizer® produces and distributes a variety of tools that limit the damage, particularly to pinch welds and paint, that could be caused by older glass replacement tools. “Everyone thought they could just throw some primer over any pinch weld damage and not have an issue,” Becker said. “The problem was that didn’t always work.” In addition, Becker said the newer tools, which use string and wire—like Equalizer®’s Raptor™ tool—limit that damage, making for a much higher quality replacement. “Especially in states that use a lot of salt on roadways, like Minnesota, rust is prevalent,” Becker said. “You might not have seen the damage [caused by older tools] for months down the road until the rust and corrosion are visible.” Besides making superior tools, Equalizer® also makes it easier for new technicians to learn how to use them and for experienced ones to stay up to date on the newest technology. It’s the training—particularly at Equalizer®’s Auto Glass Academy, in Round Rock, TX—that gives the company’s tools so much credibility, Becker said. “[Global Education Director] Gilbert Gutierrez has put together a school that does top notch training,” Becker said. According to Becker, the Caliber Family is looking to hire new teammates, and is willing to train
them to learn the ins and outs of the industry. “That’s where Equalizer® comes in,” Becker said. “Their academy is important, and their tools are so much easier to use than the older tools. What used to be such a difficult process to learn is now easier to grasp.” Becker said Equalizer® also makes it easy to purchase its tools, either online, over the phone or in person at auto glass vendors, and, if needed, return them for warranty and service quickly. “They’re like a one-stop shop—you get your training, get your tool, get your warranty, get your service, get everything all in one place,” Becker said. “In a world of trying to find a better price, it’s nice to have one vendor that can handle all your glass repair needs.” Becker likes that Equalizer® will help anyone with an idea for a new tool get it patented and add it to its lineup. “I know two friends who’ve done very well with that,” Becker said. It also keeps Equalizer® on the cutting edge of new tools for the auto glass industry and is why, according to Becker, it has led the industry for years, which is important as vehicles are produced with new technology. “Equalizer® is a company that makes sure everyone has the tools they need to get it done right and safely,” Becker said.
Joseph Boshart, a glass technician with Caliber, uses Equalizer tools to complete a windshield replacement.
A new van for a Caliber Auto Glass technician is fully equipped with Equalizer auto glass replacement tools.
Equalizer® Industries, Inc. 2611 Oakmont Drive, Round Rock, TX 78665 (512) 388-7715 www.equalizer.com Facebook: @equalizertools Instagram: @equalizertools/ Twitter: @equalizertools LinkedIn: @equalizertools YouTube: @equalizervideo
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 27
TRAIN EVERYONE IN THE SHOP WITH A
PROVIDES TRAINING FOR THE WHOLE SHOP, REGARDLESS OF ROLE
INCLUDES UNLIMITED LIVE*, ONLINE AND VIRTUAL TRAINING
MAKES IT EASIER TO MANAGE AND BUDGET TRAINING EXPENSES WITH MONTHLY OR ANNUAL PAYMENT OPTIONS EXCLUSIVE TO GOLD CLASS SHOPS
Visit www.I-CARTrainToGain. com/Subscription-Calculator to estimate costs for a subscription at your shop.
CROSS -TRAIN AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO REDUCE NEGATIVE IMPACTS FROM TURNOVER
*Applies to live & virtual classes posted through National Annual Scheduling. ©2019 Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair
28 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
I-CAR Training Subscription Guides Texas Body Shop into the Future Gullo Ford
by Autobody News Staff
If you take the time and effort to recruit only the best employees to work for your auto body shop, you want to keep that “talent edge” over the competition. That’s why it was such an easy decision for Gullo Ford Collision Center in Conroe, TX, to sign up for an I-CAR training subscription. Every Gullo Ford employee, including front office staff, has access to unlimited live, online and virtual I-CAR training through this program. In 1996, Tony Gullo Sr. purchased the small Ford dealership, and over the next two years, he built a brand new 100,000-square foot dealership, along with a 22,000-square foot, state-of-theart collision center, on a 25-acre parcel of land off I-45, outside Conroe. Opening in 1998, Gullo Ford of Conroe and the Gullo Ford of Conroe Collision Center quickly grew due to the customer service provided and high-quality repairs delivered. Over the years, Gullo Sr. expanded his legacy to open Gullo Toyota and Gullo Mazda, and the family’s three dealerships are now run by his three sons: Tony Gullo Jr., Sparky Gullo and Corky Gullo. Gullo Ford Collision Center has acquired OEM certifications from Ford, Nissan/Infiniti and Hyundai, in addition to achieving aluminum welding certification. Seventeen collision professionals repair an average of 120 vehicles each month, a feat only possible because of the caliber of personnel employed at the shop. Billy Coleman, Gullo Ford Collision Center manager, credits his team for making all the difference: “When you compare our shop with other local shops, the thing that stands out most is our people. I’ve run the shop for 22 years, and the average tenure in the collision center is nine years. We hire the best---and then we provide training to help make them even better!” An I-CAR Gold Class shop for the past 18 years, Gullo Ford Collision Center acquired an I-CAR training subscription at the beginning of 2020 because “the subscription makes the most sense to keep costs down while
Location: Conroe, TX (936) 756-8855 www.gulloford.com
In 1996, Tony Gullo Sr. purchased the 25-acre property in downtown Conroe, TX, that would become Gullo Ford of Conroe and the Gullo Ford of Conroe Collision Center.
maintaining the best training for our employees,” Coleman said, noting it also helps lower training costs related to technician turnover, since “our employees know we are serious about maintaining the best in training, equipment and technology.” Implementing the training posed no challenge at Gullo Ford Collision Center. “We’ve been an I-CAR Gold Class shop for a long time now, and our employees know training is just part of what we do to stay current in the collision repair industry since it’s constantly changing,” Coleman noted. “We value our customers, our staff and our excellent community reputation.” The Gullo Automotive Group has earned that reputation by supporting a vast number of local and national charities and by ensuring customer satisfaction always remains its top priority. “We’re committed to customer service; we treat each customer as part of our extended family, and we try to develop relationships with each of them,” Coleman said. “That personal touch is vital in customer service.” Access to I-CAR’s customer care department has been a major benefit for Gullo Ford Collision Center, especially since the shop has its own account manager it can turn to when it has a need. “It’s great having an actual person who is in charge of your account,” Coleman said. “Whenever we have a question or need assistance, we can simply call their direct phone number, and they always get us the answer or help that we need.”
Repairability Technical Support® (RTS) and Ask I-CAR™ are also included in I-CAR’s Gold Class benefits package. I-CAR offers its training subscription benefit to all Gold Class shops, with subscription pricing based on the number of required role representatives declared to be Gold Class for each shop, available through an annual fee or monthly installments. The subscription model makes it easier for shops to manage their budgets, while I-CAR’s new online payment system simplifies financial transactions, all while encouraging real-time training. “With knowing what my training costs are going to be each month, the I-CAR training subscription gives me extra incentive to get the most out of it by encouraging everyone to take as many classes as they want,” Coleman said. While I-CAR’s training subscription protects Gullo Ford Collision Center from turnover costs, it also helps the auto body shop build bench strength by providing unlimited access to live, online and virtual training for all shop employees, regardless of their role, including an Intro Series that provides the ability to train front office staff on the basics of collision repair. “We all love the online training because you can work it around each person’s schedule,” Coleman said. “Our team has learned a lot through the I-CAR training, and we’ve even seen some of our office staff take courses that opened their eyes to future job possibilities!”
Company At A Glance... Type: Dealership Collision Repair Shop Facility Employees: 17 In Business Since: 1998 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Nine Production Space: 22,000 square feet
“Training is just part of what we do,” according to Gullo Ford Collision Center Manager Billy Coleman.
I-CAR’s training subscription provides Gullo Ford Collision Center with unlimited access to live, online and virtual training for all shop employees, regardless of their role.
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 October 2021 29
GAS-CATALYTIC INFRARED CURING FROM US AUTOCURE IS HERE. DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND.
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800-531-1305 • WWW.INDUSTRIALFINISHES.COM
30 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Industrial Finishes & Systems Perfects the ‘Personal Touch’ with Auto Art Collision Specialists Auto Art Collision Specialists
by Autobody News Staff
Founded in 1978, Auto Art Collision Specialists is a family-owned and operated auto body shop in Escondido, CA. Over the past four decades, owners Moses and Barbara Novikoff have built a reputation based on integrity, quality repairs and personalized service. “When our customers come here to have their vehicles serviced, they experience a superior level of customer service as well as a high-quality repair,” said Melanie King-Salgado, general manager at Auto Art Collision. “That’s what sets us apart from the competition: We genuinely care about each and every one of our clients. They become a part of the Auto Art Family!” In August 2020, Auto Art found a kindred spirit in the form of its new distributor, Industrial Finishes & Systems. “The customer service and business support we receive from Industrial Finishes & Systems are exceptional,” King-Salgado said. “When it comes to our representative, Cy Avila, I cannot say enough good things about him. If we need anything, a simple phone call is all it takes. He genuinely cares for his shops and does everything he can to ensure that top-of-the-line service is always provided. Cy’s supervisor, Derrik King, is also great. If something needs his attention or assistance, he is right there to help.” Industrial Finishes & Systems services all liquid and allied products for Auto Art Collision Specialists, including its paint line, Sikkens by AkzoNobel. “Spraying with Sikkens is similar from a procedural standpoint, but the product is superior to what we were using before; it’s definitely an upgrade,” King-Salgado said. “The UV Primer has been a big hit in the paint department and has really helped expedite productivity. The paint has a gloss finish, and the finished product looks fantastic. Everyone is satisfied with the product. “Converting to Sikkens was not difficult at all. The transition was surprisingly smooth and painless,” King-Salgado continued. “Several representatives were here during the installation to walk our staff through the conversion. Our AkzoNobel representative, Steve Baran, works closely with Cy, and they are
Location: Escondido, CA (760) 747-1161 www.autoartcollision.com
Auto Art Collision Specialists enjoys superior customer service from its distributor, Industrial Finishes & Systems.
both extremely supportive of their shops. If we have color match or product questions, Steve does not hesitate to come right over and lend us a hand.” Since entering the automotive industry in 1968, Industrial Finishes & Systems has made it a mission to go above and beyond what the typical distributor does for its body shop clients. Like most distributors, it provides product training, installation, maintenance and support services, but Industrial Finishes & Systems also offers business intelligence and KPI analytics. By offering solutions that enhance efficiency while maintaining a high level of quality, Industrial Finishes & Systems helps shops optimize labor and improve cycle times. The distributor’s website boasts, “We do what others don’t, won’t or can’t.” Auto Art Collision Specialists also implemented an inventory management system through Industrial Finishes & Systems. Combined with online and mobile ordering, “These tools have been most helpful. Both productivity and profitability have improved,” King-Salgado said. “Cesar and Adan run the new supply location in Escondido, and those two are amazing. Anytime we need or ask for a product, they are sure to figure out how to get it to us in an expedited manner!” Efficiency plays a large role in successfully managing a fastpaced auto body repair shop like Auto Art Collision Specialists. A member of the Assured Performance Network, the 7,500-square
foot facility is an I-CAR Gold and ASE-certified shop, and has received OEM certifications from Hyundai, Kia and FCA. The 15 collision repair professionals employed at Auto Art repair an average of 125 vehicles each month, maintaining DRP relationships with seven insurers. The shop is actively involved with the local community. In addition to sponsoring several sports teams and hosting fundraisers, the collision repair business is a sponsor of Cruisin’ Grand, a local car show that runs weekly from April through September. Recently, the shop gifted a vehicle to a family who lost their home in a fire. In addition to spraying with the low-VOC Sikkens paint line, Auto Art Collision Specialists relies on two low emission paint booths to help reduce their carbon footprint and stay on the cutting edge of technology. “Technology is key, and it’s changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Scanning and ADAS systems are becoming the standard,” King-Salgado said. “As vehicles become more advanced, the repairs become more complicated, and the technicians performing them must keep pace. That requires proper documentation regarding the parts and procedures required by the vehicle manufacturers to ensure the shops are adequately compensated for performing safe and proper repairs. Any auto body shop that hopes to have a future in this industry knows that maintaining constant and adequate training is imperative.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 15 In Business Since: 1978 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Seven Production Space: 7,500 square feet
Over the past four decades, Moses and Barbara Novikoff, owners of Auto Art Collision Specialists, have built a reputation based on integrity, quality repairs and personalized service.
“The customer service and business support we receive from Industrial Finishes & Systems are exceptional,” said General Manager Melanie King-Salgado.
Industrial Finishes & Systems (800) 531-1305 www.industrialfinishes.com Facebook: @industrialfinishes Twitter: @indfinishes
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 31
Simple. Quick. Precise. One System for All of Your ADAS Calibration Needs Mitchell’s MD-TS21 target system helps you quickly and precisely calibrate the front-facing cameras, blind-spot monitors and radar sensors in popular ADAS-equipped automobiles. The MD-TS21 and MD-500—along with Mitchell’s cloud-based software—provide a complete solution for: • Static Calibration
• Diagnostic Scanning
• Dynamic Calibration
Call 1.800.238.9111 | Visit m.mitchell.com/adas See us at SEMA to learn how you can save up to $1,000.
32 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Larry H. Miller Collision Center ‘Gains Control of the Repair’ with Mitchell Diagnostics Larry H. Miller Collision
by Autobody News Staff
As a dealership-owned collision repair shop, Larry H. Miller Collision Center in Boise, ID strives to be “forward-thinking. We always want to be on the forefront of innovations in the collision repair industry,” said James Clark, body shop manager. When Clark joined Larry H. Miller Collision in 2008, “We were just getting by. Our workload wasn’t the best, and the shop was struggling for an identity in the market,” he recalled. “We began working with more insurance companies and looking at OE certifications to see what they could do for our business and growth. After 13 years, we have increased our sales by over 125%.” One of the tools Clark largely credits for those successes is the Mitchell RepairCenter™ shop management solution from Mitchell International, Inc. Larry H. Miller Collision Center began using RepairCenter in its efforts to enhance its professionalism as the business grew. “Mitchell and Larry H. Miller worked hard and put this together collaboratively. We use the scheduling feature daily to note the date and time for the car’s arrival, repair processes, completion and delivery, so we can compare our cycle times,” Clark said. “The scheduling function is useful during our production meetings with the technicians and as we move cars throughout the day, so we always know where they’re at during production. We’ve also been using the accounting side of RepairCenter, which connects with CDK for our financial statement. This product has been immensely helpful with growing our collision center and with our daily operations.” Customers at Larry H. Miller Collision know “that we keep up on the latest technology so that there is no doubt that their vehicles are being repaired correctly,” Clark said. “Our estimators and technicians are I-CAR Gold Class certified and take all training due from our OE certifications so that we know what is needed to repair the vehicles back to pre-accident condition and to also have all the vehicles’ technology working properly
Location: Boise, ID (208) 947-6578 www.lhmauto.com
Mitchell’s diagnostic scanning and calibration solutions have helped Larry H. Miller Collision Center “gain control of the repair.”
at delivery; however, technology is changing with each make and model, and keeping up on it has had its challenges.” ADAS calibration presented a variety of complications for Larry H. Miller Collision. “We were sending it out to the dealers and losing the control of the repair. We couldn’t control cycle time or really even the cost of the calibration,” Clark noted. “Offering ADAS calibrations in-house with diagnostic solutions from Mitchell was a no-brainer. Having the prescan, post-scan and calibration reports uploaded in RepairCenter allows easy access for the tech and estimator to review them.” Investing in Mitchell’s MD-500 and MD-TS21 target system allowed the repair facility to manage its own calibrations, increasing efficiencies and profit. “Once the vehicle is prescanned and our scan tech notes if there are any codes in the system or if there are any ADAS components on the vehicle, it is noted on the windows so that the technician is aware that it will need some sort of calibration,” Clark said. “Having the information at our fingertips is nice. The scan tech performs the pre-scan and notes any DTCs and also looks up OEM repair information, if needed, before handing it off to the body man or letting shop management decide what to do next. “The MD-500 will automatically upload the pre-scan, postscan and calibration reports to the open RO in Mitchell RepairCenter, where the estimator can see and
review them. “Having the OEM repair information at post scan is crucial because sometimes a code may be for a sensor that was not plugged in or something that may have been missed,” Clark continued. “With the MD-500 scanning vehicles, we are able to access Mitchell TechAdvisor from the device and look at integrated repair procedures in the technician’s stall if needed.” “Having access to that device in the shop has been a game changer. This allows a higher quality repair and increased efficiency. In the first two months after implementing Mitchell’s diagnostics tools, we generated significant additional revenue. We have also seen a reduction in cycle time by approximately one day, which means we are controlling the repair and cycle time.” Larry H. Miller Collision Center relies on Mitchell technology to streamline repair workflows and improve the shop’s efficiency, profitability and cycle time. Most importantly, Mitchell solutions have helped Larry H. Miller Collision Center gain control of the repair. “It’s beneficial to be able to trust one provider to meet so many needs, because communication is always open,” Clark noted. “I know that I can reach out and get any questions resolved in a timely manner. Larry H. Miller and Mitchell have had a long-term commitment to make our jobs as easy as possible, and through our collaborative efforts, it has worked for both of us.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair, Auto Group Facility Employees: 27 In Business Since: 1996 Number of Locations: 10 DRP Programs: 10 Combined Production Space: 25,000 square feet
Larry H. Miller Collision Center relies on Mitchell’s technology to streamline repair workflows and improve the shop’s efficiency, profitability and cycle time.
Customers of Larry H. Miller Collision Center have no doubt their vehicles are being repaired correctly since the body shop uses the latest technology, allowing for a higher quality repair and increased efficiency.
Mitchell International, Inc. 6220 Greenwich Drive San Diego, CA 92122 www.mitchell.com Twitter: @MitchellRepair LinkedIn: @mitchell-international/ YouTube: @MitchellIntl
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 33
SOME SEE ONLY PAINT. WE SEE A REFLECTION OF WHO WE ARE. Every vehicle finish mirrors what we value most as a company—our commitment to delivering the industry’s most advanced coatings that meet the demands of an ever-changing marketplace. And a passion for partnering with our customers to help them succeed at every level of their business. Our values have been guiding us for more than 115 years running, so our dedication is always there for the world to see.
The PPG Logo and We protect and beautify the world are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc. ©2021 PPG Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.
34 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
PPG Took MSO’s Paint Department from a Loss to Profit Frank’s Collision Center
by Autobody News Staff
Frank Wilcox, owner of Frank’s Collision Center with four locations in Georgia and Alabama, doesn’t cut corners when it comes to having the newest, cutting-edge tools and equipment coupled with industry-leading training and processes. As a lifelong combination technician who entered the collision industry 30-plus years ago, Frank knows his business is only as good as the tools he uses and the people he hires to use them. Three years ago, Frank witnessed a bad situation in which he was losing money on his paint department, with a plethora of products, materials and time being wasted. So, he asked himself how he could take control of the numbers, and luckily PPG changed his world in 2019. When Frank began his body shop in the early ‘90s, his paint booth consisted of a “wall, a sheet of plastic, an exhaust fan and four fluorescent lights.” One of the very first vehicles he ever worked on was a 1937 Plymouth he painted burgundy. Pretty soon, people saw Frank’s work and brought their cars to him for repairs and restorations. To accommodate his company’s growth, he got a small loan and hired his cousin Gerald Wilcox, from Northern California, to help. Frank was strapped for cash like anyone who starts a shop, and it got a little scary at the beginning, he said. “I remember one day I needed some money to pay for parts, so that I could finish a job and return the car to the customer. So, I went down to one of those check cashing places and got the money,” he said. “I got the parts, did the repair, got paid and then went back to the quick loan place and paid them off. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that ever again.” Today, Frank does not have cash flow issues because he has been doing things right since opening his doors three decades ago. When he learned a few years ago he wasn’t hitting his numbers when it came to his paint depart-
Location: Columbus, GA (706) 565.7171
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 50 In Business Since: 1992 Number of Locations: Four Combined Production Space: 50,000 square feet The people at Frank’s Collision Center receive great support from PPG and their jobber Painters Supply in Columbus, GA.
ment, it surely got his attention. It was one of those scenarios where what you don’t know can hurt you and, in this case, it was also crippling. “PPG put a software program together for us that enables us to track everything we do that is paint-related, and it’s now a huge part of our production and how to manage it,” he said. “Now I always know exactly what my painters are doing all the time—how much product they’re using and how much are we making. Before we had this system, we were guessing, and now we know precisely where we stand every day.” The reports generated by PPG’s PAINTMANAGER® XI system are gold for Frank and his crew. Every day, his front office people print out a report that tells every manager and painter where they stand. “It’s become a great tool and is now a permanent part of our production,” he said. “We meet every quarter with all of our painters, estimators and managers and drill down on the numbers. If our guys hit or exceed their production goals, they get a nice bonus, which motivates them to do even better.” Frank could see by tracking all his paint numbers, he was starting to be more profitable. But when he saw the actual figure, he almost dropped his coffee. “In the first year, we saved approximately $200,000; it’s amazing,” he said. “I thought we were
running efficiently and in many ways, we were, but by staying on top of it and watching it every day, we’ve been able to turn our paint department into a money-making department!” With a great product backed by a money-saving solution, if Frank decides to expand further, he’s in a prime position to take on the post-pandemic world. The fact his company receives full support from his jobber, Painters Supply in Columbus, GA, provides him with that much-needed peace of mind. “You can have a great product that works well like the PPG ENVIROBASE® system, but if you run into issues and you can’t get anyone on the phone, it doesn’t matter how good it works,” he said. “The people at Painters Supply know everything they need to know, and if we have any more specific questions, our PPG guy is always available. Our contact is Sam Thompson, and we have known him for a long time. In fact, he was our first PPG instructor and now he’s our area manager.” Frank is 53, but he has no plans to retire. In fact, he still yearns for the early years when he would sometimes work until 6 a.m., take a nap and get back to work in order to meet deadlines. “There are a lot of companies out there who want to buy us, but that’s not going to happen,” he said. “I still really like running a shop as a production manager because producing a good product is really satisfying.”
Owner Frank Wilcox was losing major money until PPG stepped up and showed him how to save $200,000 on paint and materials.
Frank’s Collision Center can now track everything that’s paint-related, thanks to PPG.
PPG Company Contact: Cathy Rusnak (440) 572-6916 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ppgrefinish.com
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 35
A MIG Welding Solution For Any Body Shop. Explore all of the Pro Spot MIG Welding options that we offer. We have OEM Approved, Double Pulse and Single Pulse Welders with Synergic Program Options and Multiple Welding Processes. The most versatile pulse MIG welders available, starting as low as $4,230. Talk to a Pro Spot Distributor today. www.prospot.com 877-PRO-SPOT
36 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Request a demo.
Ray Skillman Collision Centers Speed Up the Process with Pro Spot Welders Ray Skillman Collision Center
by Autobody News Staff
Operating four successful auto body shops in the greater Indianapolis market is no easy feat—following OEM requirements, delivering high-quality repairs and ensuring superior customer service requires skilled technicians with access to the correct tools and equipment to restore vehicles to their pre-accident condition accurately and efficiently. Part of the Ray Skillman Auto Group, Ray Skillman Collision Centers employ 55 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 600 vehicles each month at their Shadeland, Avon, Westside and Southern locations, which are all I-CAR Gold Class shops. “Everybody in central Indiana knows the name ‘Ray Skillman,’” according to Heath Miner, general manager of Ray Skillman Collision Centers. When the Avon body shop was acquired in 2018, Miner used the opportunity to equip the newest Ray Skillman Collision Center with state-of-the-art welding equipment from Pro Spot. “We’d tried a lot of other brands, but I kept hearing tons of positive feedback about Pro Spot’s welders and wanted to give them a chance,” Miner recalled. “We purchased Pro Spot’s Inverter Resistance Welder, along with the SP-5 DP Single Phase Double Pulse MIG Welder and PR-205MV Synergic MIG Welders. “Ray Skillman does a great job of reinvesting in his body shops as long as it will benefit the business, so he supported the installation of Pro Spot welders in both the Avon and Eastside shops due to the myriad benefits offered,” Miner continued. “All our technicians in both shops loved the Pro Spot equipment, so we purchased the welders for our Greenwood shop, too. “Our lead tech loves the i4 Inverter Spot Welder. He says it’s the best resistance welder he’s ever used. Resistance welders have been around for a long time, but Pro Spot’s i4 is far superior to every piece of similar equipment we’ve tried.” In addition to offering an OEM-programmable feature with detailed repair illustrations and customized weld programs, the
Location: Greenwood, IN (317) 885-9800 www.rayskillman.net
“Everybody in central Indiana knows the name ‘Ray Skillman,’” according to Heath Miner, general manager of Ray Skillman Collision Centers.
Pro Spot i4 Inverter Resistance Welder is designed to handle difficult-to-weld materials, like boron steels and advanced high strength steels. Many modern cars don’t allow for plug welds without ruining the inner panels, while punching and drilling holes takes time a busy shop cannot afford. “We don’t have to grind anything down after using Pro Spot’s i4 Spot Welder,” Miner said. “Our welds look identical to factory welds, allowing us to keep moving along with the repair process. This equipment speeds up the whole welding process immensely.” Automatic adjustments based on welding parameters are a main draw of Pro Spot’s PR-205MV Synergic MIG Welder. Compact and lightweight, the microprocessor-controlled welding inverter is suitable for MIG/MAG, MMA and TIG welding processes, providing users with the option to exert complete control in manual mode or choose synergic mode to allow the machine to make adjustments based on wire diameter, gas type and thickness to be welded. Because the Greenwood auto body shop is Ford Aluminum certified, Ray Skillman Collision invested in equipment specifically designed for that material. Pro Spot’s SP-5 DP Single Phase Double Pulse Smart MIG Welder features three MIG touches designed to weld aluminum, silicon bronze and steel. “The speed of the SP-5 and how it actually lays down the welds is impressive,” Miner said. “It does a better job of welding with silicon bronze than anything else we’ve used. We also invested in Pro Spot’s AL-MWS Aluminum Weld Station
with the Pro Spot AL-5 Capacitor Discharge Stud Welder, which helps with dent pulling and welding aluminum and UHSS components.” Additional features on Pro Spot’s welders offer beneficial efficiencies as well. “There are so many positive benefits with Pro Spot’s welders,” Miner said. “The equipment immediately tells you whether the weld was good, so we save time in reworks. Our guys really like the fact that there’s a second screen on the handle; being able to read everything right there, without moving back to the machine, makes the job easier and quicker, increasing productivity.” Productivity increases positively affect profitability by providing more time to complete additional repairs, but that’s not the only financial impact Ray Skillman Collision Centers have seen since switching to Pro Spot’s welders. “Since we’re not grinding down the welds, we use fewer disks and save on consumables,” Miner said. “Pro Spot welders benefit our bottom line in multiple ways.” Learning to use the new equipment was quick and easy, too. “JR, our sales representative, came out and trained us on the new Pro Spot welders, and then he checked on us after 30 days, but switching equipment was extremely easy,” Miner said. “We quit using our old equipment one evening, received training the next morning and went live right then and there. JR has called a few times to make sure all is well, but we haven’t had any issues because Pro Spot manufactures phenomenal machines!”
Company At A Glance... Type: Auto Group Collision Centers Facility Employees: 55 In Business Since: 1980 Number of Locations: Four DRP Programs: 12 Combined Production Space: 116,000 square feet
“With the i4 from Pro Spot, our welds look identical to factory welds. This equipment speeds up the whole welding process immensely,” Miner said.
“The speed of the SP-5 and how it actually lays down the welds is impressive. It does a better job of welding with silicon bronze than anything else we’ve used,” Miner said. 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 October 2021 37
* 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 Booth #31017 South Hall
38 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Head Painter Guns for Spectacular Reviews Using His SATA Guns LJI Collision Center
by Autobody News Staff
Some people collect stamps, coins or baseball cards, but many automotive refinishers are known to hoard their spray guns—primarily those made by SATA. There are stories about painters who own more than 40 SATA guns, and many of them have admitted acquiring new ones can be highly addictive. In this particular case, Head Painter Greg Smith at LJI Collision Center, with two body shops in the Cleveland, OH area, is a simple man with simple needs, and that is why he owns only four SATA guns, each with its own specific role to play. Smith has been painting vehicles for 15 years and works at a very busy shop, so he doesn’t have time to switch guns or complicate things. From the highly positive reviews he has received for his pristine work over the years, Smith’s system seems to work, and that’s why we’re giving him this four-gun salute. Twenty years ago, Smith stumbled upon a gig that turned into a job and eventually became a career painting vehicles. “I ran into a buddy of mine one day and he told me he was making some major bucks painting cars,” he said. “I thought, if he can do it, why can’t I, so I took a few I-CAR classes and landed a job as a detailer. Three years later, I was knocking out three to four cars every day and getting better and better the more I painted.” When another shop he was working for more than a decade ago suggested he switch to another spray gun to allegedly accommodate waterborne paint, Smith went with the plan. But it was a short relationship, to say the least. “The other gun was way too finicky and it didn’t feel right in my hand,” he said. “I gave it a try, but the other gun had issues and it was very touchy, so I had to keep re-checking the settings. I wasn’t comfortable using it, so I went back to SATA and I haven’t even considered using any other type of gun since then.” A perfectionist who carefully maintains his SATA guns, Smith painstakingly dissembles his guns
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH (216) 364-7100 www.ljicollisioncenter.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 Head Painter Greg Smith at LJI Collision Center treats his SATA guns like old friends that help him to create eye-popping finishes.
and cleans them from tip to handle after every paint job. “I compare my SATA guns to Glocks because they will never fail and are very easy to clean. It’s like having a new, fresh gun to use every time, and that is the way I prefer working.” In the collision repair industry off and on since 1959, industry veteran Mike Giarrizzo founded LJI Collision, and opened a second state-of-the-art environmentally-friendly location just four years ago, spraying waterborne paint even though it’s not mandated in Ohio. Today, Giarrizzo’s, daughters, Lauren Angie and Jill Strauss, co-own and operate both locations. To create an amazing finished product at this high-volume shop, Smith uses his SATAjet® 5000 B to seal the primer, followed by the application of the basecoat using one of his two SATAjet® X 5500 HVLP guns. Finally, the clearcoat goes over everything with help from his SATAjet® X 5500 RP. Smith’s painting style involves an overlapping technique he said is ideal for his style, and the fact he’s lefthanded does not get in the way, he said. “I make a fan pattern spray out card and with the SATA guns it is easy for me to keep track of what I’m doing, because the gun isn’t heavy and it feels great in my hands. I was originally taught how to paint this way back when I started, and I haven’t changed my style because it allows me to get
full coverage while working quickly and efficiently.” While some painters are still happy to be using a solvent product, Smith and the crew at LJI spray a waterborne paint on the 160 cars they paint monthly at both locations. It’s a win-win for Smith because the quality is still high and his SATA guns work extremely well with waterborne. “Both solvent and waterborne have their own characteristics and the spraying techniques are a little different,” he said. “We could use solvent here, but we choose to spray a product that is better for the environment, including our staff and our customers as well.” For product support, Smith calls upon Dan-Am’s National Accounts and Industry Relations Manager Chris Springer and his Sherwin-Williams jobber, Mike Leidy. “Between the two, I get great customer service, from both SATA and my paint jobber,” he said. “It’s nice to know I can go right to the manufacturer if needed and I have developed a good rapport with both of them. Mike will come down here to deal with any issue we might encounter, but they are rare. “The product is easy to use, it’s reliable and their guns are priced right. I know every painter has its own preferences, but when I look at the whole package—the equipment and the support— sticking to my SATA guns is an easy decision.”
With two locations in the Cleveland, OH, area, LJI Collision paints roughly 160 vehicles every month, so Smith and his paint crew need spray guns that are reliable and easy to maintain.
With SATA in his arsenal, Smith can consistently wow LJI’s customers.
Dan-Am Company One Sata Drive P.O. Box 46 Spring Valley, MN 55975 (800) 533-8016 www.satausa.com Facebook: @SATAUSA Instagram: @sata_by_dan_am Twitter: @SATA_DanAm YouTube: @SATAbyDanAmCo
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 39
PAINT MORE. MIX LESS.
European-designed, this solvent system makes a color statement with 65 toners— paired with our most trusted primer surfacers/sealers and high-production and showquality clears. Supported by our world class global resources, technical service and business consultants, Ultra BC8 will take your shop to the next level with this system. Delivering on our repair promise. We are Sherwin-Williams®.
40 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Sherwin-Williams® Ultra BC8™ Refinish System Delivers Reliable Color Matching for PA Auto Body Shop Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center
by Autobody News Staff
Like most collision repair shops these days, the Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center in Monroeville, PA, contends with the daily challenges of meeting consumer expectations, OEM requirements and insurer demands. Balancing quality, cost and cycle time creates many hurdles during different stages of the repair process, but refinishing became significantly easier with Ultra BC8™, a solventborne refinish system manufactured by Sherwin-Williams®. “Everything we do is driven by our desire to serve our customers, which means we use high-quality products, tools and equipment, in addition to employing the most qualified collision repair professionals,” said Ron Patton, general manager at Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center. “Ultra BC8 provides superior color-matching, plus it’s so easy to spray that we’ve seen higher productivity and lower cycle times. Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center belongs to an automotive dealer group, owned by Michael Auffenberg and his brothers. The Auffenbergs purchased the Dodge dealership in 1993, adding Monroeville Kia in 2004 and Monroeville Chrysler Jeep in 2012. Boasting 15,000 square feet of production space, the I-CAR Gold certified collision repair facility employs 12 collision professionals who repair nearly 100 vehicles each month. Participating in five DRP relationships means the shop must be in tune with each insurer’s KPIs. “Constantly advancing technology requires tooling investments to keep up with the current trends, and when combined with the absence of insurer adjusters, which requires more administrative work on our part, this creates an environment where we’re consistently focused on producing high-quality repairs as quickly as we can,” Patton said. Fortunately, Ultra BC8 from Sherwin-Williams promises exactly that. “Sherwin-Williams has a reliable reputation for quality and efficiency—and it’s well-earned! The basecoats flow nicely, and the clear-
Location: Monroeville, PA (412) 397-7811 www.monroevilledodgeram.com/ body-shop.html
Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center has earned a reputation for providing high-quality repairs, and Ultra BC8 guarantees its refinish department produces a beautiful end-product for its customers.
coats dry quickly,” Patton said. The quality of the product has allowed us to reduce basecoat usage, requiring less overhead for materials, without compromising on the quality refinish that the Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center is known for providing.” Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center has earned a reputation in its market, not only for providing high-quality repairs, but also for its community involvement. The shop’s leadership and employees participate in the annual Jack Sedlak Memorial Clean-Up Day each year, and the shop donates its services to repair service vehicles for the local police department. They provide A/C and coolant recovery, and they respect the environment with proper disposal of all hazardous materials, including paint waste. Because the auto body shop services all three manufacturers’ lines, the facility’s factory-trained refinish technicians need access to a large database of colors to ensure they can deliver the high-quality finish customers have come to expect of the brand. Ultra BC8 features 65 toners, including four specialty toners, and the system also comes with the support from its manufacturer. The simplistic mix bank promises comprehensiveness, and the color system is complemented by Sherwin-Williams’ premium brand of Ultra System™ primer surfacers, sealers and clearcoats. Sherwin-Williams also offers a full suite of color tools and service, such as its five-angle spectropho-
tometer, color retrieval software and a global color box with more than 8,000 OEM standards and variances. “The Ultra BC8 line allows us to better serve our customers by returning their vehicles with the same color intensity and brilliance as when they purchased it,” Patton said. “With the color retrieval software being available 24/7, it grants us access to every color formula we need, when we need it. Even better, the mixing bank is user-friendly and versatile, allowing us to mix the right shade for our customers’ vehicles efficiently so we can continue processing the next vehicle.” Sherwin-Williams’ FormulaExpress® GP color retrieval software receives monthly OEM color updates to ensure painters have access to the most recent color formulas they need, but the company doesn’t stop there in its drive to provide body shops with the easiest and best options for mixing and spraying paint—the platform also provides instant connectivity to the five-angle spectrophotometer. “Everybody has been amazed by the color matching we’re able to achieve consistently with our products from Sherwin-Williams,” Patton said. “We love knowing exactly what to expect from each paint job. “And they’re so easy to use! Spraying with Sherwin-Williams products allows us to be confident that we’re doing the best job possible while boosting efficiency and minimizing costs. What more could we ask?”
Company At A Glance... Type: Dealership Collision Repair Shop Facility Employees: 12 In Business Since: 1993 Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Five Production Space: 15,000 square feet
The Ultra BC8 solvent refinish system features 65 toners, including four specialty toners, and the system also comes with support from Sherwin-Williams.
“Ultra BC8 provides superior color-matching, plus it’s so easy to spray that we’ve seen higher productivity and lower cycle times” according to Ron Patton, general manager at Monroeville Dodge RAM Collision Center.
Sherwin-Williams® 4440 Warrensville Center Road Warrensville Hts., OH 44124 (800) 798-5872 www.sherwin-automotive.com Facebook: @SherwinWilliamsAutomotive Instagram: @swrefinish YouTube: @SWAFC LinkedIn: @Sherwin-Williams AutomotiveFinishes
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 41
WE ARE REDEFINING REFINISHING
With Ultra 9K™, we connect color performance with labor optimization and deliver on productivity. Ultra 9K is innovative and compact with 62 toners rich in pigments, intensity and effect driving color accuracy for first-time repairs of today’s complex colors. Painters love it because it is easy-to-use, requiring minimum training and more important, they see quality and speed-to-color. Shop owners and managers see the month-overmonth upticks in production and profitability. Ultra 9K is the complete package. OEM approved. Delivering on our repair promise. We are Sherwin-Williams®.
42 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Sherwin-Williams® Ultra 9K™ Waterborne Basecoat System Drives Quality at LJI Collision Center LJI Collision Center
by Autobody News Staff
LJI Collision Center in Beachwood, OH, was founded by managing partners Lauren Angie and Jill Strauss, two sisters whose father, Mike Giarrizzo Sr., acts as their business advisor. “We focus on providing superior customer service and high-quality repairs, and we treat every customer as if they were our only customer,” Angie said. LJI Collision Center offers a boutique auto body repair experience, complete with a section of the waiting area dedicated to an assortment of artwork for sale by local artisans. They service clients further with a lifetime warranty on parts and labor, rental car assistance, towing assistance, pick-up and delivery, and 24-hour live assistance. “We work on all makes and model vehicles and work with all insurance companies and several dealerships. LJI Collision Center has second-, third- and fourth-generation collision repair professionals working in the business. We all have the same passion and energy for paying attention to the details that matter most and honoring our customers’ requests.” In order to deliver that level of customer service, Angie and Strauss sought a paint product that came backed by a company with those same values: the Ultra 9K™ waterborne basecoat system, manufactured by Sherwin-Williams®. “Sherwin-Williams customer service parallels our own: they are attentive to our needs and requests, and they provide timely answers to our questions,” Angie said. “Sherwin-Williams technical staff is prompt and informative, and they offer hands-on assistance when necessary—plus they offer continuous education and training,” an important consideration for the I-CAR Gold and ASE-certified shop. As an independent auto body shop reliant primarily on customer referrals for business, LJI Collision Center emphasizes the importance of doing it right the first time. “Our technicians work as a team in a directional pull production flow as internal customers checking quality and passing the vehicle to the next repair process. Our focus is on first-time quality and predictable completion dates,” Angie said.
Location: Beachwood & Cleveland Heights, OH (216) 932-7100 (216) 364-7100 www.ljicollisioncenter.com
The Ultra 9K™ waterborne basecoat system drives productivity and efficiency at LJI Collision Center, because its color matching ability eliminates the need for many paint corrections and reduces production time, making both LJI Collision Center locations more profitable.
Ultra 9K minimizes cycle times and enhances overall efficiencies by incorporating Sherwin- Williams’ Ultra System™ premium undercoats and clearcoats, while allowing for repeatable performance by shops. “Sherwin-Williams manufactures a high-quality refinish basecoat system that requires fewer corrections. Our painters have a high regard for the product and its color matching capabilities. Ultra 9K is a superior product,” Angie said. Safety and concern for their well-being are additional promises LJI Collision makes to customers. “Our culture is a safe and clean environment. Our technicians clean the repair space when a vehicle advances and before the next vehicle occupies the repair space. When the car is ready for delivery, it has been detailed inside and out,” said Angie. “Health and safety concerns are also why we spray with the low VOC Ultra 9K waterborne basecoat system, which is better for our employees and for the environment.” Since running one busy shop wasn’t enough for Angie and Strauss, the sisters decided to expand in 2019, returning “home” to open a new location in Cleveland Heights—in the shop where their family business ran from 1959 until 1999. Running two busy shops in which 26 employees repair nearly 300 vehicles each month allows for little downtime, making the idea of switching paint brands less than ideal. But change waits for no woman, and Angie acknowledged, “The industry is changing every day, and
we must keep up with equipment and education.” In an effort to improve efficiency, LJI Collision Center decided to convert to the Sherwin-Williams Ultra 9K refinish system in 2020 to stay on the cutting edge. “Sherwin-Williams made the implementation process seamless with preparations made upfront and physical support provided, which allowed us to make the transition with no loss in production; in fact, the product has enhanced production,” Angie said. “Sherwin-Williams’ ordering process is very efficient and easy to track, and they deliver products daily—or even twice a day!” It’s also easy to use. Ultra 9K is one of the most user-friendly refinishing systems on the market. The non-stirring mixing system is comprised of 62 toners and a single reducer, promising shops will receive dependable color and reliable application properties. LJI Collision Center has also enjoyed increases in shop productivity and efficiency as a result of Ultra9K’s color retrieval experience and spectrophotometer; a global color box also makes it easy to match even the most challenging colors. “Beyond everything else offered by Sherwin-Williams, Ultra 9K drives productivity and efficiency in the shop,” Angie said. “Ultra 9K’s color match, combined with the clearcoat, eliminates the need for many paint corrections and reduces production time, increasing efficiencies and making LJI Collision Center more profitable.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 26 In Business Since: 2010 Number of Locations: Two DRP Programs: One Combined Production Space: 24,000 square feet
LJI Collision Center in Beachwood, OH, was founded by managing partners Lauren Angie and Jill Strauss, two sisters whose father, Mike Giarrizzo Sr., acts as their business advisor.
“LJI Collision Center has second-, third- and fourth-generation collision repair professionals working in the business. We all have the same passion and energy for paying attention to the details that matter most and honoring our customers’ requests,” Lauren Angie said.
Sherwin-Williams® 4440 Warrensville Center Road Warrensville Hts., OH 44128 (800) 798-5872 www.sherwin-automotive.com Facebook: @SherwinWilliamsAutomotive YouTube: @SWAFC Instagram: @swrefinish LinkedIn: @Sherwin-WilliamsAutomotiveFinishes
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 43
Nov. 2-5, 2021
Starring Booth 31145
South hall Level 2
Glue Pulling Systems • Measuring Systems • Spray Booths • Structural Benches • Vacuum Systems • Welders
Spanesi Americas, Inc. 123 Ambassador Dr. STE 107 Naperville, IL 60540
2021 - 10 - Autobody News SPS Spanesi Ad REV1.indd 1
44 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
224-SPANESI (224-772-6374) www.spanesi-americas.com facebook.com/spanesiamericas
8/4/21 4:51 PM
Morrow Collision Center’s Measurements Spot-On with Touch Electronic Measuring System from Spanesi Morrow Collision Center
by Autobody News Staff
At 24 years old, Dan Morrow was an auto body technology graduate, working as a refinish technician at a local body shop. Although he was excelling in that role, he had the drive and desire to do more with his talent. Taking a leap and following his heart, Morrow founded Morrow Collision Center on N. 22nd St. in Lincoln, NE. The shop grew quickly over the next decade, and after eight years of planning, Morrow’s second location opened in February 2020. “The N. 83rd St. location is a custom-built shop designed around a more efficient repair process,” Morrow said. “We’re equipment heavy and employee light. We provide our employees with the best tools, equipment and environment possible, so they can perform their best and reach their professional goals.” With that in mind, Morrow equipped the new collision facility with “sleek and modern” equipment and tools from Spanesi Americas. “We’d just built a brand-new, state-of-the-art body shop, and the equipment had to be equally up to par," he said. "While planning the shop, we left space for these products because we’re constantly evaluating ways to make our unique repair process more efficient.” The I-CAR Gold certified shop has grown to 21 employees who average 140 vehicle repairs monthly, making efficiency a top priority, along with quality. The tools Morrow purchased from Spanesi Americas include self-piercing riveters, a 106 EXT structural straightening bench, a 14,500A SMART squeeze-type resistance spot welder, a Q5.2 three torch MIG/MAG welder and a Multibench workstation repair machine. “The advanced welders are easy to set up, allowing our technicians to get more work done in a day,” Morrow said. “The Touch electronic measuring system really gives us a competitive edge. We use that machine all over the shop and can easily transfer it between locations. It’s extremely intelligent and accurate. If there’s a custom measurement we want to record, it’s simple. With the Touch electronic measuring system from Spanesi Americas, we aren’t getting frames measured ‘close enough;’ we’re measuring them spot-on!” Morrow’s Collision Center uses
Location: Lincoln, NE (402) 477-2224 www.morrowcollision.com
Dan Morrow invested in the 106 EXT structural straightening bench and Multibench from Spanesi Americas because “we had just built a brand-new, state-of-the-art body shop, and the equipment had to be equally up to par.”
the Multibench “every single day. It’s so fast to get the vehicle set up and measured, too,” Morrow said. Although transitioning from a 30-year-old frame machine to the modern equipment manufactured by Spanesi Americas was “a drastic change,” implementation was “very easy” since Spanesi sent a representative to train Morrow’s team. “The entire team at Spanesi Americas is really helpful. Whenever we need to contact customer service, someone is immediately available to answer our question,” Morrow said. “Our Spanesi representative formerly worked as a technician, so he has significant collision industry background and provides our team with appropriate training. He visits our shop in-person several times each year to answer questions and train new employees, and if we ever need new parts, he drives more than four hours, so we receive them quickly. “No one on my team has complained about any of the products from Spanesi Americas,” Morrow continued. “In fact, some of our experienced techs, who are accustomed to doing things in the traditional way, have caught on to the benefits of these products. They’ve even commented that they don’t know how they did it before we started using Spanesi’s equipment. “These products are a necessity. We live in a world where cars must be repaired perfectly, and Spanesi equipment allows us to do exactly that.” By enhancing efficiencies in the collision repair process, the equipment and tools from Spanesi Americas help Morrow Collision Center lower its carbon footprint. Morrow designed his second facility with efficiency in mind, building the
auto body shop entirely from concrete. “Our building is more efficient overall, allowing us to use less energy than a standard building of the same size, and vacuum extraction sanding creates a safer, cleaner work environment for our employees,” Morrow said. The City of Lincoln has recognized Morrow Collision Center’s recycling efforts. Yet, even as Morrow designed his second location with efficiency in mind, he’s continuously recognized the value of community. “Our N. 83rd location was uniquely designed with a large, open, drive-in estimating area. Nonprofit and youth groups consistently use this space for meetings and events, free of charge. We also host several free, public events every year to bring our neighbors together—tailgate parties, garage sales and yoga-brunch,” Morrow said. “We want our locations to be viewed as positive additions to the community, not just large industrial buildings that moved into the neighborhood.” Morrow’s efforts have led to the continued growth of Morrow Collision Center. “Today, Morrow Collision Center consists of two locations with numerous direct repair relationships and a growing book of satisfied customers," Morrow said. "We’ve created a highly efficient repair system in which all vehicles move in a cycle, eliminating much of the normal body shop waste, and we’re always forward-thinking. “It’s important to remain agile in an industry where many auto body shops are stuck in the past, sticking with what’s comfortable and familiar.”
Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 21 In Business Since: 2002 Number of Locations: Two DRP Programs: Five Combined Production Space: 31,500 square feet
After noticing “a ton of inefficiencies in the traditional body shop, I knew there had to be a better way,” said Morrow.
According to Morrow, “With the Touch measuring system from Spanesi Americas, we aren’t getting frames measured ‘close enough;’ we’re measuring them spot-on!”
Spanesi Americas Inc. Timothy W. Morgan (224) SPANESI (224-772-6374) www.spanesi-americas.com Facebook: @spanesiamericas LinkedIn: @spanesi-americas Twitter: @spanesiamericas Instagram: @spanesiamericas YouTube: @SpanesiAmericas
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 45
SHIELD BED LINERS blow away
the competition in every important category. They feature the shortest flash times in the industry, 20 minutes at 70 degrees. Ready for Heavy Duty use in as little as 48 hours instead of 5-7 days for competitive products. Shield cured film build is over 30% thicker than competitive products.
Top of the line Kevlar® Infused Bed Liner Made in the USA.
Shield is formulated with the highest quality resins to provide superior performance and enhanced gloss. Infused with Kevlar® pulp for unmatched quality and durability.
TCI Products 2216 North Broadway Saint Louis, MO 63102 (888) TCI-5060 www.tciproducts.com
Manufacturer of PBE Products • Clear Coats • Binders • Thinners • Primers • Reducers • Activators
46 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
• Surface Cleaners • Detailing Supplies • Car Wash Chemicals
Bronco Restoration Shop Uses SHIELD Bedliner from TCI Products to Earn its Badass Name Badass Broncos
by Autobody News Staff
People who drive restored vehicles love the adulation and attention they get when they cruise on the avenue or hit the highway for an epic road trip. If you own a classic car that turns heads and elicits praise, you will often hear adjectives like “sweet”, “cherry” or “pristine”. But if you get a Bronco restored by Badass Broncos, a company in Texas, your vehicle will forever be known as “badass.” Opened in 2017, Badass Broncos in New Braunfels, TX, is owned and operated by Woody Ferrebee and his wife, Colleen. Over the years, they’ve created a brand wellknown amongst Bronco lovers all over the world due to their ability to translate their passion into the finished product each and every time. Ferrebee has a long relationship with Broncos that goes back to his early childhood. “My dad must have owned 10 to 15 Broncos over the years and he had his own body shop,” he said. “After a stint in the military and working as a contractor overseas (Special Forces in Afghanistan and Dubai), I came home and looked for the next thing for me to do. I saw that the Bronco market was hot, and I just had a hunch, so we started Badass Broncos. “It’s been a great business and it keeps growing. Right now, we have a waiting list and there are currently 30 to 35 Broncos in the shop at any given time.” To make sure every restored Bronco that Badass Broncos touches is at an award-winning level, Ferrebee and his crew always use the finest tools, products and equipment he can find. One of his go-to products is SHIELD, a 2K spray-on bedliner that uses a protective tough and durable urethane coating to provide a protective barrier that won’t degrade or crack. Cracking and chipping were an issue Ferrebee encountered with another spray-on bedliner he used previously, so he was delighted when the people at his jobber, Tasco Auto Color, suggested SHIELD. “The SHIELD bedliner suffers
Location: New Braunfels, TX (830) 358-1002 www.badassbroncos.com Company At A Glance... Type: Vehicle Restoration Facility Employees: 12 In Business Since: 2017 Number of Locations: One Production Space: 15,000 square feet By using cutting-edge products like SHIELD, Woody and Colleen Ferrebee at Badass Broncos create amazing vehicles for Bronco lovers nationwide.
from far less shrinking as opposed to some of the other leading brands we tried,” he said. “We’re really happy with the SHIELD product. We used another brand for many years but we discovered that it was brittle with a lot of shrinkage. They have their special nozzle system for the Schutz gun that are disposable, which is good.” The application process is easy and the crew at Badass Broncos took to it quickly, Ferrebee said. First, mix the activator into the bedliner container, shaking it vigorously for three minutes, and then spray it at 30-65 psi after attaching the Schutz gun. Different textures can be achieved by varying distance and air pressure. Always spray test a test panel first to achieve desired results. The old Broncos were essentially paint on metal, so Ferrebee and his crew need a product like SHIELD to protect the vehicle’s bed as part of any restoration. They also spray the complete underside of the body for any typical build. “We take the entire body down to bare metal, acid treat it, epoxy it, paint it and then SHIELD it. It keeps rocks from damaging the bed and if someone throws some tools back there, it won’t scratch the paint because it’s quite durable.” “If people want the original color to match, all we have to do is tint it using the tintable version, and we’re good to go.” If you compare SHIELD to the competition, there really is no comparison. According to data provided by TCI Products, SHIELD
is tougher because they use the highest quality resins available on the market today that provide a much-needed dense crosslink. They also use Kevlar for maximum strength. SHIELD also blows away the competition in every other important category. It features the shortest flash times in the industry, 20 minutes at 70 degrees. For heavy use, it can take up to 48 hours. If you’re using one of SHIELD’s competing brands, you better be ready to wait and wait because its flash time is an hour, and if it’s a big job, you might have to be patient for a full seven days for heavy duty use. In addition, SHIELD shrinks 15-17% and the competition shrinks upwards of 37%. Ferrebee loves his SHIELD Bedliner and Protective Coating and is also enamored with TCI Products in St. Louis, MO, where the product is manufactured, as well as his jobber, Tasco Auto Color. “TCI Products is an amazing company,” he said. “They provide us with all of the training we need, and if there are any issues with the product, they are right there to help us. That enables us to get working and still produce a five-star job. And Tasco gets us everything we need, from sandpaper to paint and all paint supplies.” Ferrebee will undoubtedly succeed because he has great relationships with both TCI Products and Tasco Auto Color, providing awesome products backed with customer service that is also badass.
SHIELD is tougher because it uses the highest quality resins available on the market today that provide a much-needed dense crosslink.
Woody Ferrebee loves his SHIELD Bedliner and Protective Coating and is also enamored with TCI Products in St. Louis, MO, where the product is manufactured, as well as his jobber, Tasco Auto Color.
TCI Products 420 De Soto Ave. St. Louis, MO 63147 (888) 824-5060 www.tciproducts.com Facebook: @tciproducts Instagram: @tci_product
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 47
USI SPRAY BOOTHS
The future of Body Shop is here!
NO BLOWERS LIKE A DOWNDRAFT IS INTENDED
FAST AND HIGH QUALITY STANDARD PROCESS WITH THE BEST RESULT
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For more information www.usius.com 48 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Fourth Generation Auto Body Shop Owner Calls USI ITALIA Booth His Daily ‘Workhorse’ Mountain View Auto Body
by Autobody News Staff
When Mike Daniel was a teenager growing up in the Garden State, he was always told he would go to college and enter a more white-collar career; the family auto body shop was not the route his parents thought was best. He was also told to keep out of the collision repair industry altogether. Dad wanted his son to pursue a career that would allow him to avoid the wear and tear of being a tech, so Daniel got a college degree and became a CPA. After years of working at one of the “Big 4” CPA firms in mergers and acquisitions, Daniel runs a highly successful three-shop MSO and has doubled its profits. Currently, one of his locations uses oversized paint booths and prep stations designed by USI ITALIA to accommodate Sprinter vans. Mike Daniel’s great grandfather, Leslie, started Mountain View Auto Body in New Jersey in 1957, when they were repairing Ford Fairlanes and Chevy Bel Airs. Back then, there were no DRPs or waterborne paint, and auto diagnostics sounded like something out of a science fiction novel. If you mentioned aluminum, it was about beer cans or the siding on your house— not automobiles! As the years went on, it was time to decide whether to run the single-store shop status quo until retirement or to grow. Comfortably working for a large financial institution, Daniel decided to enter the family business. “My father said he had reached a point where he was going to either sell the business or help me grow it until he fully retired, if I wanted it,” he said. “I thought about it a lot and started getting excited. I liked the idea of keeping my family’s legacy alive. It was a lifechanging decision but I haven’t regretted it for one minute since I said yes to my father.” Since taking over the business, Daniel, 30, has doubled revenues by focusing on OE certifications—20 to date with Tesla in the mix—stressing training and staying up on the technology. With an eye on expansion in the very near future, the post-pandemic world looks bright for this young entre-
Location: Wayne, NJ (762) 821.3294 Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair Facility Employees: 44 In Business Since: 1957 Number of Locations: Three Combined Production Space: 65,000 square feet To keep their quality high while painting more than 300 vehicles monthly, Mountain View Auto Body acquired two 11’ x 30’ paint booths manufactured by USI ITALIA.
preneur. To keep his quality high while painting more than 300 vehicles monthly, Daniel acquired two 11-by-30-foot paint booths manufactured seven years ago by USI ITALIA. The booths are oversized to accommodate large Sprinter vehicles and were installed in such a configuration that allows Daniel’s crew to drive cars in and out easily. In addition, he bought a double heated finishing station and a three-bay prep station from USI ITALIA in 2019. Previously, his shops were using a 35-year-old booth limping along and ready for retirement. Because he was spraying a waterborne product, air movement became a big deal for Daniel and his painters. “Our USI booth has a waterborne cycle built-in during the flash cycle, so we don’t ever encounter problems with the air movement,” Daniel said. “The USI ITALIA booths are made specifically to be used with waterborne paint, which is perfect for us. I have never used a solvent product here, so we don’t know anything different. But, when we saw the first few cars when they came out of that USI booth, we know we had made a good decision, which is reinforced every day we use them.” Daniel’s paint department now runs like a Swiss watch with an Italian booth in the middle of it all. He has worked hard to set up a production process that is efficient without ever sacrificing quality.
“The rundown with USI ITALIA is simple—best heat, best air movement, best procedures, superior customer service and support—what more can you say?” Daniel said. “These booths are workhorses for us and they need so little maintenance, plus now that we are painting more and more Sprinter vans, we love the fact we can drive them in and out at either end.” At only 30 years old, Daniel is going to be able to witness some monumental changes within the collision repair industry in the next three to four decades as the owner of an MSO. What does he think it will be like? “Autonomous vehicles will be huge, even though the infrastructure will be way behind,” he said. “Car-to-car communication will be significant, too. If you think these cars are complex, get ready for the next stage.” At some point, will self-driving cars be able to drive in and out of body shops after repairing and painting themselves? No one, including Daniel, can read the future, but if it does happen, he knows his customers’ cars will be able to drive in and out of his USI ITALIA paint booth conveniently and in style. With a couple big booths and some big plans for new certifications down the road, Daniel is always searching for the best way to fix cars and please his insurance companies, employees and customers. Acquiring two paint booths manufactured by USA ITALIA, Daniel is in a primo position to continue his legacy in collision repair.
In 2019, Mountain View Auto Body also bought a double heated finishing station and a three-bay prep station from USI ITALIA.
Mountain View Auto Body sprays waterborne paint, because it’s ideal for its USI ITALIA booths as well as being better for the environment.
USI of North America Company Contact: Stefano Moretto (201) 405-7760 email@example.com www.usius.com Facebook: @USI-of-North-America Instagram: @usi_refinish
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 49
WD-40® BRAND/SEMA CARES CUSTOM 1951 CHEVROLET 3100
Drive-in movies, Friday night football, and an open bed in the back for hauling around memories, the Chevrolet 3100 is a symbol of American freedom. See the vehicle – built in partnership with off-road racer Trad Ronfeldt – and learn how WD-40® Brand products like WD-40 EZ-REACH® and WD-40 Specialist® Gel Lube were used in the rebuild of an American classic by visiting WD-40 Brand at SEMA. SEMA BOOTH #50109 LOCATED IN WEST HALL Visit www.wd40.com/custombuild/.
50 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
SEMA Cares and So Does WD-40 Brand with its 1951 Chevrolet 3100 T.R.A.D.—Team Racing and Development
by Autobody News Staff
Every time WD-40® Brand partners with one of the world’s finest car rebuilders as part of the annual SEMA Cares program, you can hear the accolades all the way from NYC to LA, with a little stop along the way in Las Vegas. The SEMA Show is a perfect platform for amazing vehicles and this year it will undoubtedly delight car aficionados in a big way, with WD-40 Brand sharing the spotlight with a 1951 Chevrolet 3100 truck. This year, WD-40 Brand partnered with off-road crew chief Trad Ronfeldt, seeking an “authentic time-capsule aesthetic without sacrificing performance on the road.” By fabricating new parts to match the year and model of the 1951 Chevrolet 3100, this classic truck is now born again in all of its former glory—and ready to work and perform as a modern-day automobile once it’s auctioned to its new owner. Throughout the build, Ronfeldt called upon his amazing skillset and experience as the crew chief for seven-time off-road racing champion Kyle LeDuc and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Extreme E all electric rally car, to bring the cutting-edge of fabrication and racing development to this build. Ronfeldt has high expectations for the 1951 Chevrolet 3100 and can’t wait for its appearance at SEMA. “Before I started the build, I told myself that I want this to look like it rolled off the factory line,” he said. “Early on I got excited, not only to build a SEMA vehicle but also about the opportunity to partner with a brand like WD-40 Brand. When I learned about the company’s long history with SEMA and supporting SEMA Cares, the project became even more compelling. "After finding the truck on Craigslist, the rebuild took what seems like countless hours; I didn’t keep track. My shop has only one part-time employee in addition to myself, so the rebuild was very hands-on.” Ronfeldt used several WD-40 Brand products during the restoration and building process of the 1951 Chevrolet 3100, including the classic multi-use formula now housed in the WD-40® EZ-REACH® delivery system—a favorite among
Location: McCloud, CA (715) 610-5028
Company At A Glance... Type: Fabrication and Off-Road Race Mechanic Facility Employees: One In Business Since: 2017 Number of Locations: One This 1951 Chevrolet 3100 will be appearing at SEMA this year as part of WD-40 Brand’s participation in the SEMA Cares Program.
car mechanics for its 8-inch flexible straw. Several formulas from the WD-40 Specialist® line—which provides specialized, heavy-duty solutions for industry professionals worldwide—also proved invaluable, since the build called for a completely new drivetrain and transmission system. “I also constantly use the WD40 Specialist Carb/Throttle Body Cleaner on any metal parts, to remove grease and dirt. I use WD-40 Specialist Silicone as a must for anything with a hinge—and there are a lot of hinges on this truck. And you can’t go wrong with WD-40 EZREACH. I use it every day for everything from reaming and drilling holes for the utility bed to lubricating bolts that have galled threads when removing nuts.” One of the truck’s most notable features is its eye-catching bed. “The truck bed was fabricated and designed to match the truck’s year and model so that it could handle on the road like a modern vehicle and maintain its classic look,” Ronfeldt said. “I was able to stamp, bend and cut the bed to mimic the truck’s body lines to make it look like a Chevrolet production piece from 1951. Other than the truck bed, the rebuild has a custom four-link low pinion 60 Currie rear axle that we custom ordered the width so we can make it a dually and a custom one-off patina paint job.” Ronfeldt knows the importance of any WD-40 Brand/SEMA Cares build and this one is surely no exception.
“It’s great to partner with WD40 Brand and SEMA Cares,” he said. “WD-40 Brand has built and auctioned off more than 10 vehicles for the charity raising more than $1 million for ChildHelp, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse, through restoration and auctions. It’s awesome to have the 1951 Chevrolet 3100 be one of the rebuilds in long line of vehicles used to support a great cause.” The master builder and an iconic brand like WD-40 Brand have a history that spans many years. “I always remember seeing the blue and yellow cans on the shelf at my grandpa’s garage,” he said. “Growing up, we used WD-40® Multi-Use Product on everything from lubricating bike chains to removing stickers. I later learned that the company offers so much more. Its WD-40 Specialist line provides specialized, heavy-duty formulas for lubricants, penetrants, greases, cleaners and degreasers and rust management solutions. The ones that stand out to me are the ones that make my job easier.” If you’re going to attend the SEMA Show this year, visit WD-40 Brand’s booth and check out this incredible truck, built by one of the best rebuilders in the country today, Trad Ronfeldt. He used a wide range of WD-40 Brand products to achieve these amazing results, so why can’t you do it too? WD40 Brand sets up body shops and vehicle restoration companies for success every time they put one of those blue and yellow cans in their hands.
Trad Ronfeldt, crew chief for seven-time off-road racing champion Kyle LeDuc and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Extreme E all electric rally car, is building the vehicle for WD-40 Brand.
WD-40 Brand never cuts corners when it builds iconic vehicles at SEMA supporting SEMA Cares and raising money through auctions.
WD-40 Brand (888) 324-7569 www.wd40.com Facebook: @OriginalWD40 Instagram: @wd40brand Twitter: @originalwd40 YouTube: @OriginalWD40
SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE / Autobody News October 2021 51
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52 October 2021 Autobody News / SHOP AND PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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