colorexpert Product Systems • Colors • Training • Marketing
Hollister‘s builds superlative motorcycles
High Performance Innovative materials Leasing & Fleets Long-term benefits Cleaning & Care A clean change of color Marketing Better advertising 2013 Spies Hecker – simply closer.
Innovation for motivation Joachim Hinz, Brand Manager Spies Hecker
Time flies, as the saying goes. And in everyday work, speed is of the essence. Typical of the present day is that everything has to be done faster and to ever higher standards. The demands on the refinishing trade are constantly growing. Today, bodyshops have to do much more in order to survive in the marketplace. Despite the pressure, the customer expects an expert repair and impeccable service.
Professional product use is also an important aspect of bodyshop work. We support you in the use of new technologies as well as in the establishment of professional color management. At the Training Center and on your site, our specialists share their technical expertise with you. Business owners are just as welcome as young trainees.
Trends of tomorrow – solutions today Whatever the issue – deadline pressure, new materials or the growing number of special colors – it has always been an important principle of Spies Hecker to respond to present and future trends and come up with appropriate solutions. The new Performance System is a modern product solution that displays reliability in vehicle refinishing while also boosting efficiency. The new ColorDialog Delta-Scan spectrophotometer and the new CRplus software with visual color comparison also stand for innovation in the vehicle repair sector.
We attach great importance to encouraging the younger generation. A worldwide highlight in the trade this year was undoubtedly WorldSkills in Leipzig in July. The competition clearly illustrated the potential of the refinishing trade. Young people are proud of their skills and their jobs. From their craftsmanship they gain recognition, and there is a future for the automotive professions – a source of motivation for everyday work. I wish you an enjoyable read of the new issue.
Joachim Hinz Brand Manager Spies Hecker
colorexpert – Tips and information for bodyshops • © Spies Hecker GmbH, 50858 Köln, Germany • Horbeller Str. 17 • Email: Patrick.Kreuz@deu.spieshecker.com • Internet: www.spieshecker.com • Responsible under the German Press Act: Karsten Jürs • Editors: Patrick Kreuz, Christian Simmert • Layout: Adfactory GmbH, Düsseldorf • Text: Mediaservice GmbH, Neuss • Reader: LLINGUA, Gelsenkirchen • Images: Spies Hecker, CH Coatings AG, ITW Finishing Systems and Products, Hedson Technologies AB, Metalak B.V. • Reproduction, even in part, only by permission of the editors. The data and information on the suitability and usage of our products are not binding and do not release the user from his responsibility to carry out his own tests on their suitability for the intended purposes and processes. The product names mentioned in the articles are predominantly registered trademarks.re
Hi-TEC Performance System
Hi-TEC Performance System – a system to rely on Refinishers who use the Hi-TEC Performance System are definitely at an advantage. Refinishers from different countries report. The purpose of innovative paint products is to boost the efficiency of the work process. The mutually adapted Hi-TEC Performance System consists of Permasolid® HS Performance Surfacer 5320, Hi-TEC Base Coat 480 and HS Clear Coats 8034, 8055 and 8650. “This system helps to optimise processes in the bodyshop,” explains Frank Barduna, head of Technical Service International. “With products that are perfectly adapted to each other, paint defects can be reduced.” Many Spies Hecker bodyshops throughout the world have already switched to the new Performance System.
Firm foundation A perfect basis is provided by new Permasolid ® HS Performance Surfacer 5320. “The product is easy to apply and also offers excellent vertical stability and outstanding sanding properties,” refinisher Holger Regel from Germany reports.
Professional from the substrate to the top coat Alexander Dehnert also appreciates the positive properties of the Hi-TEC Performance system. No major acclimatisation was necessary when introducing the new paint system in his bodyshop. “Hi-TEC is
marvellously easy to apply and is particularly dependable for blending in.” Gary Almond from the UK is also impressed: “I’m now thinking about introducing Hi-TEC in my second bodyshop.”
Cost-effective clear coats The Hi-TEC Performance System includes three clear coats. For rapid drying and optimal results even in less-than-perfect spray booth conditions, Permasolid® HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650 is available. It is ideal both for Speed Repairs and for personalised full resprays.
HS Perfomance- Mixing Colour 480 Surfacer 5320
Universal and flexible application – the clear coat for everyday use. These are the strengths of Permasolid® HS Clear Coat 8055. Whether for the front of a car or for full resprays, it demonstrates its potential as an all-round paint with reliable application and rapid drying. Permasolid® HS Clear Coat 8034 is distinguished by its ease of application and is particularly suited to large-surface application, such as full resprays or the painting of whole sides of vehicles. If high gloss or even exclusivity is called for, Permasolid® HS Clear Coat 8034 is the ideal solution. Customers that use the new system are unanimous: all three clear coats show good build, excellent gloss and easy polishing. They can be applied as required in 1.5 or 2 coats. The introduction of the system is supported by Spies Hecker technicians, on site or at one of the 55 Training Centers – for everything from a grounding in paint technology through to modern color management. So that bodyshops are perfectly equipped for the future. HS Clear Coat 8034 or HS Clear Coat 8055 or HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650
Riding to fame Cobras, Phantoms and Pink Panthers – Hollister’s builds superlative motorcycles. Abounding with chrome and steel, the design of the chopper really stands out. The bike has its own aura. Anyone who gets onto a motorcycle from Hollister’s is in store for a new biking experience. In the Black Forest, Germany, Volker Sichler’s team crafts one-offs and small series by hand. The hallmarks are a low-riding machine with dramatically curving handlebars. Hollister’s bikes ooze excellence and finesse.
Searching for the perfect form Everything – frames, parts and wheels – are produced in-house and assembled by hand. It’s quality that counts. The success story of the first German maker of hand-crafted motorcycles started with the reconstruction of a Harley in 1986. “We developed our own style 25 years ago and are constantly searching for the perfect form,” says owner and passionate biker Sichler, outlining his philosophy. The graduate mechanical engineer’s obsession with motorbikes and their design goes back to his earliest childhood. “With our customary attention to detail, we build special one-off models, our Twins and Classics – a blend of nostalgia and customising.”
Crafted by hand Perfection is the principle, from the idea for the cycle through to the finishing touches. At Hollister’s, three experts and idealists build these extraordinary machines. They go about it with passion. “The trick is to convert the idea for a machine into reality so that the rider can directly experience what the bike is all about,” Sichler stresses. “We create a very special ride experience.” In addition to bike design and performance, the mechatronics experts and panel beaters also focus on safety. “Hollister’s is one of the few motorcycle makers to have a Europe-wide EC type-approval.” This facilitates admission to Europe’s roads.
Bikers are bewitched The strategy has paid off. In 2002, Hollister’s Phantom was hailed by the Daytona Bike Week as the World’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle. Since then, business has taken off, with a growing throng of customers showing interest in its hand-crafted bikes. “We now sell our vehicles to many countries of Europe and worldwide to as far away as India, Saudi Arabia and
Australia,” says Hollister’s. In the biking world, Sichler and his team rank as one of the world’s most creative and reliable motorcycle builders. “Easy riders” can find their own special bikes here with personalised rims, bespoke colors and unique leather seats. And all this with almost obsessive attention to detail.
Cobra! Hollister’s loves challenging projects. The Cobra was developed especially for Spies Hecker, with the idea for the design inspired by nature. “The design finish is based on the scales of a snake,” Sichler explains. The frame, steel parts and Hollister’s typical swing arm are all made on-site. Even the aluminium wheels and spokes are hand-crafted and elaborately painted.
Hi-TEC for extra brilliance The Cobra is noted for its ample chrome, wide and deep handlebars and deep-red, transparent design finish. “To achieve such a brilliant finish, we applied several coats of clear. For the paintwork, we resorted to the new Hi-TEC Performance System from Spies Hecker – this way we were able to achieve the desired quality. To achieve perfection, there’s no alternative to the best materials and craftsmanship,” says Sichler.
Cobra in the Spies Hecker Calendar 2014 The “Passions 2014” calendar project was exciting for Sichler, as was the production of a separate video. Spies Hecker descended on the production shop and showroom with a photographer and a film team. “It’s rare to have so much going on here when it’s otherwise so peaceful,” the 48-year-old explains, tonguein-cheek. “This is a marvellous tribute to our work. I’m already looking forward to the 2014 calendar.” Technical data Engine: Performance: Weight: Wheels:
TP 121, 2.1 L displacement 90 kW / 120 hp 285 kg 11 inch (front), 11.5 inch (rear)
Complex technology Three-stage finishes, tinted clear coat and matt finishes – the list of colors and special finishes is constantly growing. What does this mean for the refinisher? “On the production line there is a trend towards special pigments ranging from Chromaflair, pearl and Xirallic effects through to matt clear coat. Three-stage finishes, in some cases with tinted clear coat, are also available,” explains Frank Barduna of Technical Service International. This poses new challenges for vehicle refinishing. According to the expert, “the vast majority of the paint systems used for these new series finishes can be repaired in the bodyshop with conventional methods – in compliance with the refinishing instructions.” Specialists anticipate extra work mainly with matt clear coat. For the matt clear coat itself, the cost-effective refinishing methods to restrict the size of the repair cannot be employed at present. The effort involved in executing such a refinish is thus considerably greater than for conventional clear coat. The same principle applies to multistage paintwork. Barduna explains: “If vehicles are given a three-stage finish on the production line, a three-stage finish always has to be applied in the bodyshop as well. For tinted clear coat, in addition to the color and effect, the number of coats has to be determined with sample panels.”
But has this trend reached the bodyshop? Barduna: “Obviously hardly anything in the bodyshop is going to change overnight.” All the same, the Cologne company is more frequently developing repair instructions and mixing formulas for special finishes. The demand for them has grown markedly. Midnight Sky, Ultimate Green, Hot Magenta and Rouge Flamme – the list of repair systems for special color effects is getting longer and longer.
What does the refinisher have to know? For the refinishing process with tinted clear coat, special steps have to be taken to repair the paintwork. Let’s take the example of Ford: “For the color Hot Magenta, we have developed our own special repair instructions,” Barduna explains. “A true-to-original repair is only possible if the refinisher sticks to these guidelines.” For colors with tinted clear coat, Spies Hecker is making special Permasolid Clear Coat Color Additives available to customers. For Ford’s Hot Magenta, for example, Permasolid Clear Coat Color Additive 9042 is used.
For the repair of special colors, refinishers have extra mixing colors at their disposal in addition. For Ford’s Midnight Sky, Permahyd Hi-TEC mixing color WT312 Magic Fire is required. For Chevrolet’s Dynamic Orange, for instance, Hi-TEC mixing
Matt finishes color WT383 Brillant Orange is employed. The special colors with highly specialised pigments can be ordered ready-mixed from Spies Hecker dealers, so there is no need for bodyshops to stock up with products that they may not need. What is particularly important is that the color is identified as soon as the vehicle is brought in so as to ensure a trouble-free repair process and transparent costing.
To repair matt finishes, precise planning of the process and extreme neatness are necessary. The products used for the refinish should be reduced to spray viscosity only shortly before application. “Care must be taken that this mixture is very evenly stirred,” Barduna stresses. “Application is basically comparable to that of a clear coat – the paint film must be applied extremely uniformly.” With its Permasolid Matt Component MA 110, Spies Hecker makes it possible to adapt the clear coat’s gloss to that of the original paintwork.
Expertise for advanced technology More often from now on, refinishers can expect to apply three- or multi-stage colors and repair tinted clear coat and special finishes by using adapted refinishing processes. On top of this, there’s the pressure of costs in bodyshops. Businesses can only cope with this by working efficiently and using advanced technology. In Barduna’s view, “Digital color management, the latest mixing formulas from the Internet and properly organised processes will enable the bodyshop to reconcile high technical standards with efficient operations.”
The benefits of digital technology Progress in electronic color measurement is rapid – and gives refinishers the chance to work even more efficiently. Two firms report on their initial experience with the ColorDialog Delta-Scan. Everyday bodyshop work is dictated increasingly by hardware and software. But what exactly does this technology do? What are the benefits for the refinisher? Stefan Klein is the shop manager at the E. Kranz bodyshop in southern
Germany. He tried out the new Spies Hecker ColorDialog Delta-Scan spectrophotometer before market launch. His verdict: “With the newly developed measuring instrument, effect colours are much easier to identify, as the new ColorDialog Delta-Scan autonomously measures the degree of effect of the original color.” At E. Kranz, the spectrophotometer is used on all vehicles. The bodyshop repairs an average of 40 cars with accident damage per week. Mario Wiesner also sees the laboursaving potential of innovative technology in the work process. The refinisher at the Brechlin bodyshop in eastern Germany has been using the spectrophotometer and CRplus color software for some time now. “In view of the growing deadline pressure, the technology is dependable and guides me to the right mixing formula faster,” he stresses, adding: “Only by consistently using the instrument and the software is it possible to work reliably and reap the benefits.”
Simply closer No less important than the electronic spectrophotometer is the software. Once the original color has been measured by the electronic measuring device at the vehicle, the instrument transfers the data in a matter of seconds to the ColorTint HD PC system with the Spies Hecker CRplus software. On the screen, the refinisher compares the measured color with the search results from the formula database. From the results, you can quickly arrive at the matching color formula. Another advantage: “As a result of the ‘suggested quantity’ function, no more material is wasted,” Wiesner explains. All the same, it is still advisable to spray a sample panel.
A look ahead “Looking ahead, I can see mixing rooms fully linked up to the Web,” says color specialist Dietmar Wegener. Even now, the Spies Hecker ColorTint HD PC system and its software are already WiFi-compatible. It is conceivable that, in the future, our customers’ experience with mixing formulas will also be logged in an Internet database so that the connected bodyshops can access other refinishers’ evaluations of individual formulas – and thus arrive at the right color formula faster.” “Our customers’ trust is rooted in the simple and reliable application of these systems – an important factor in view of the growing complexity of technology,” says Wegener summing up.
White in the overtaking lane According to the Global Color Popularity Report, most of the cars in Europe are painted, as in previous years, in neutral colors. White has put its foot down, overtaken black and is now heading the field for the first time. Grey occupies third place, ahead of silver in fourth.
Automotive Color Popularity 2012.
Neutral colors also predominate worldwide. White, just like last year, is still top of the list. At the same time, the relative positions have changed in 2012 over 2011, with black wresting second place from silver. Another remarkable fact is that effect finishes in black have risen from 11 to 15 per cent.
Gray 15 %
Top Vehicle Colors – Europe.
White 24 % (Solid 2 % / Pearl 22 %) Black 23 % (Solid 4 % / Effect 19 %)
Silver 14 %
Blue 8 %
Red 6 %
Brown / Beige 6 %
Green 1 %
Yellow / Gold 1 %
Others 2 %
What effects will these developments in the color sector have on refinishers? Frank Barduna of Technical Service International at Spies Hecker explains: “White is proving more and more to be a trendsetter. This is where effect colors are much in demand. A glance at the production line continues to reveal light-colored pearl-effect coats. Tinted clear coat on reds and blues is also on the up.”
Outlook for 2014 For the coming year, Spies Hecker has again invited bodyshops to submit their best work for the paint manufacturer’s new calendar. “The response was again overwhelming,” says Peter Wingen of Marketing International summing up. Spectacular entries were sent in from numerous countries. The Spies Hecker team visited bodyshops all over Europe and took pictures of a huge variety of vehicles, ranging from a Corvette Sting Ray to a Seventies bus. “The timetable was very tight. We covered 4,200 kilometres in just a week,” Wingen recalls. Calling in on the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland, distance was no object for the paint manufacturer in pursuit of out-of-the-ordinary calendar images. But what exactly can bodyshops expect in the 2014 Calendar? “On the current calendar, we were soon aware of the great interest stimulated by classic vehicles, young and old,” Wingen explains, adding: “This time we have deliberately focused on Sixties and Seventies vehicles.” We can look forward to the coming year with great anticipation.
New challenges The growing use of innovative materials such as aluminium alloys, carbon fibre, fibre composites and hard-ened steel in vehicle construction has consequences for repairs and refinishing.
“The bodyshops of the future will be confronted with materials differing from those encountered today. On vehicles we shall see materials that are at present unknown to us,” says a convinced Frank Barduna of Technical Service International. And this has effects on repair methods and bodyshop equipment. Some trends are already identifiable today, he believes. These include 0.4 millimetre thick bonnets of high-strength steel – dent removal calls for an elaborate process. Ultra-thin hybrid sheet metal with bonded adhesive – for this, heat must not be applied during repairs and dents are difficult to remove.
Carbon fibre – a material of the future Carbon fibre, plastic, a huge range of metal alloys and, on top of this, an increasingly varied array of models – all this demands greater versatility of bodyshops. Perhaps the most important change for bodyshops will come with the growing use of carbon fibre. Nothing is as light and strong as carbon fibre. “This is why the automotive industry will tend to resort to this material increasingly, particularly in connection with low-emis-
sion, alternative drives. But this change will only take effect gradually over the next few years,” says Barduna. However, those bodyshops that adjust early on to these more complex repair methods will definitely be at an advantage.
New repair methods But can modern materials like fibre composites or carbon fibre be repaired? Or is it better to replace such parts? “Whether a repair is possible depends on the material employed and the size of the damage. Important here are the manufacturer’s repair instructions. Fundamentally, for GRP (glass-fibre-reinforced plastic) we still see a considerable need for information on damage assessment and possible repairs,” the expert reckons. For other materials, such as short-fibre GRP for bumpers, there are very good repair methods. Repair shops are increasingly encountering vehicle parts made of aluminium. And there are strong reservations about repairing them. What points have to be considered when removing dents from aluminium body parts? Four points are all-important: 1. Sufficient space. 2. The right tools. 3. The matching dent removal
equipment. 4. The requisite knowledge and skills for professional dent removal.
Caution when repairing aluminium
want to remove dents from aluminium, you also need a dent removal device that is used exclusively for this.
When repairing aluminium body parts, the panel beater must make sure that no steel dust or sparks are generated and contaminate the aluminium parts, as this can cause contact corrosion. Consistent separation is necessary. Separate tools are also required. Hammers, planes, braces, blocks and files used for repairing aluminium must not come into contact with steel particles. This is why separate dent removal tools are important. “In addition, the grinder and dust extractor may only be used for aluminium,” the expert stresses. Fibre discs and stainless steel plates are ideal here. The obvious message is that if you
Growing need for training
When it comes to aluminium, it is a question in particular of applying heat. This is because dent removal is only possible with induction heat or naked flames. “This is the only way to remove dents from sheet metal that are deeper than in steel,” Barduna explains. “What counts here is the right combination of heat, tension and dent removal equipment”. Workforce structure in bodyshops will change as well. “Even today, bodyshops should start thinking about adding a specialist for aluminium or, for example, vehicle electronics to the bodyshop team so as to be ready for existing challenges and particularly for those yet to come,” is Barduna’s final piece of advice.
Even more important than the equipment, however, is the expertise. The new technical challenges will certainly call for extra training in refinishing businesses.
HS Premium Surfacer 5310
Mixing Colour 280
HS Clear Coat 8030 or
HS Clear Coat 8055 or HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650
The Spies Hecker Classic System The Spies Hecker Classic System: a reliable solution for the bodyshop. Proven quality and reliability are what the Spies Hecker Classic System is all about. It consists of Permasolid ® HS Premium Surfacer 5310, Waterborne Base Coat Series 280/285, HS Clear Coats 8030 and 8055 and HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650. All the products are mutually adapted and contribute to a reliable painting process. “With its quality attributes, this universal system yields dependable results in car painting – from the substrate through to the top coat,” stresses Frank Barduna from Technical Service International. Proven 2K HS Sanding Surfacer 5310 serves as the perfect substrate “with its extremely long pot-life, outstanding sanding properties, excellent vertical stability and high yield,” says Barduna listing a number of the product’s key features.
Simple application Classic VOC-compliant Waterborne Base Coat 280/285 is based on a special PU dispersion technology. It can be used for all solid color and effect finishes and displays high coverage. Application is simple – the material is reduced
to spraying viscosity with Permahyd® Demineralised Water. The material has no pot-life, so any material left can be used at a later date.Thanks to its exceptional coverage, the Permahyd® Base Coat Series 280/285 enhances the bodyshop’s operational efficiency.
Efficient and environmentally compatible Conditions vary from one bodyshop to the next – only precisely adapted high solids clear coats satisfy the prerequisites for a dazzling paint finish and can be efficiently applied. Spies Hecker’s range of Classic clear coats consists of products that can be adjusted precisely to bodyshop conditions. “Permasolid ® HS Clear Coat 8030 displays brilliant gloss and good build,” the Spies Hecker expert explains, adding: “HS Clear Coat 8055 can be used for any type of repair.” It also strikes a good balance between fast drying and high gloss. Permasolid® HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650 is a high-grade high solids clear coat. It permits optimum
application even in unfavourable spray booth conditions, such as low drying temperature.
High color accuracy Spies Hecker’s ColorDialog spectro is the ideal device for introducing refinishers to digital color measurement. Quick, straightforward and accurate, the process makes the search for the right color formula easier. Modern solutions for all painting work – the Spies Hecker Classic System creates the best conditions for reliable refinishing results.
Masking the right way There are few work steps that have such a huge impact on the quality of the paint finish as masking. This is why refinishers should carefully scrutinise the masking process. One of the most labour-intensive processes in the bodyshop is masking. Only after unmasking can you tell whether the surface has been carefully masked. Deadline pressure or simply incorrect routines are the causes of flawed paintwork. “Take the time you need and examine the entire masking process,” is the advice of Frank Barduna of Technical Service International. “Then optimise each step in the process. What is important is using the right materials in the right places, suitable work processes and the careful application of masking materials and adhesive tapes.”
Thorough masking Process optimisation means preventing the duplication of tasks, as this costs time and hence money. Valuable working time can even be saved during rough masking if one uses the right masking film. “A masking film that cuts
well, hugs the vehicle’s contours and displays high paint adhesion lightens the refinisher’s workload,” says Barduna. The complete masking of the vehicle and retaining the entire masking until all the work has been completed is a big help for those who routinely have to remove overspray. For only thorough masking ensures complete protection. The masking requirements are constantly changing due to the multitude of vehicle models. “The contours and geometries vary much more today from model to model than they used to,” says the expert speaking from experience. Adhesive tapes today have to be much more adaptable. “To achieve the best-possible results, care should be taken that the right tape is chosen for the application in question,” Barduna advises. To obtain a soft edge, for example, tubular foam tape should be used that causes the paint to be distributed better at the edges.
Caution when unmasking Good preparation also pays off when it comes to subsequent unmasking. Here again, a number of points should be borne in mind. When removing adhesive tape, it is important to proceed correctly. Barduna: “The tape is best pulled away from the painted surface at an angle of 90° across the unpainted surface in order to prevent adhesive residues. The temperature is also important – slightly warmed, the adhesive is more flexible and easier to remove.”
Leasing & Fleets
New strings to the bow Anyone offering services tailored to leasing companies and fleet managers will benefit in the long run. Why should bodyshops be interested in business with vehicle fleets? Well, the market is growing and good repair shops are in demand. Not only private customers and insurers, but also leasing companies and fleet operators depend on professional and quick accident and body repairs and efficient vehicle care.
Professional repairs “Short distances, rapid service and immediate repairs” is the principle. However, “Only businesses that can truly sustain high standards will be successful.” Because fleet customers attach huge importance to professional repairs, guaranteed mobility and professional support.
Professional accident repairs “For fleet managers it is important that accident repairs are professionally carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, as the fleet has to furnish proof of this to the leasing company,” says Esther Baumhoff of Spies Hecker Bodyshop Management International.
Mobility for motorists In the event of an accident, the replacement car should be driven on request straight to the scene and the fleet vehicle towed away. This way the motorist stays mobile. Repair times should also be kept as short as possible. What is important for fleet managers is that the ordering of original parts, panel-beating and painting work, and vehicle cleaning should all be performed to predefined rules.
Servicing Fleet operators and vehicle lessees are attaching growing importance to the servicing of returned leased vehicles. This is because this process often generates high extra costs that are subsequently charged to the lessee or burden the budget.
Spot repairs Large dents, minor bumps, scratched paint and stubborn stains on the upholstery: “If the bodyshop services the car expertly, quickly and also thoroughly, it demonstrates its ability to provide a professional all-round service.”
Investing in equipment Many fleet businesses place the emphasis on good equipment. Many bodyshops therefore invest, for example, in aluminium workstations or in spot repairs so as to be equipped to remedy minor damage. In addition, documentation of the work done is also important. Fleet drivers’ satisfaction with many bodyshops can be evaluated by fleet operators and leasing companies via the Internet. This improves transparency and clarity. Fleet managers can thus precisely analyse the process, damage elimination and repair times.
High performance, high potential If you want to build up fleet business, you have to be efficient, communicative and industrious. The equipment, skills and service should be perfectly attuned to the needs of drivers and managers. But the effort is worth it, Baumhoff stresses. “This line of business has huge potential and can give you a real competitive edge.”
The Porsche Centre in Johannesburg was one of the first bodyshops in South Africa to successfully introduce the Spies Hecker Permahyd® Hi-TEC 480 waterborne base coat system last year. “In everything we do, quality comes first,” says Porsche Body Shop Manager Owen Roberts, explaining his decision. “All our expectations have been satisfied. We can now guarantee that each vehicle refinish is a flawless masterpiece,” Roberts enthuses. From his experience so far, touching-up is rarely necessary with the new system. The Porsche team very soon realised that the product is extremely easy to apply and displays high color accuracy. “With the Hi-TEC Blend-in Additives, blending-in is really simple,” the manager reports. During introduction, the team was given full support by Spies Hecker. “One of our refinishers spent a week at the Training Center in Johannesburg, and then the paint manufacturer introduced the system on our premises.” Thanks to reduced process times during paint application and rapid drying of the materials, the productivity of Roberts’ team has improved noticeably with the new waterborne base coat. They used to repair about 130 cars per month, and now it is about 20 per cent more.
Porsche in South Africa
Keeping costs in check Where does the bodyshop consume most energy? What savings can be achieved with modern technology and changes in the work process? The compressor chugs away from early morning to late in the evening. In the spray booth, fans whir, and the heating system is on the whole day. Everything is in a state of constant readiness. However, the continuous use of pneumatic tools, spray guns or spray booth installations costs valuable money – for electricity, gas and oil. The consequence is that soaring energy costs erode the return on investment.
To put this into perspective: the same amount of energy would be sufficient to operate a spray gun for 220 hours. Energy-conscious operations also involve making efficient use of hoses. This is because the smaller the diameter, the higher the energy input. “Therefore use hoses with an inner diameter of 9 millimetres. This reduces pressure loss considerably and lowers compressor output. And this also cuts energy costs.”
Time-consuming but effective
A keen eye on processes
High time for the bodyshop operator to put a damper on spiralling costs. “First of all, you should carefully analyse your bodyshop’s actual energy consumption,” is the advice of Wolfgang Feyrer, Spies Hecker specialist in energy efficiency in bodyshops. In concrete terms, this means “investigating consumption in each area of the bodyshop and at each work step”.
Small causes, big effects: this principle also applies to the optimisation of certain work processes. Because the systematic planning of bodyshop processes can often yield significant savings. The repair of minor damage is a good example. Carrying out Speed Repairs at the surfacer work station takes pressure off the spray booth and reduces energy consumption when small surfaces are dried with infrared or ultraviolet light. “The application of primer, surfacer and base and clear coat call for a technically effective extraction system at the work station,” explains Frank Barduna of Technical Service International. “The professional elimination of minor damage can then be organised entirely outside the spray booth.”
Pinning down the savings potential The focus should be above all on compressed air generation, painting and drying equipment, and bodyshop lighting and heating. Let’s start with compressed air management. Energy consumption can be reduced dramatically by stopping leaks in the system. The consequences of a leak can be disastrous. A hole three millimetres in diameter in the compressed air network at a service pressure of 6 bar allows about 660 litres of compressed air to escape per minute,” warns Feyrer. “This amounts to over 30,000 litres per working day, which is equivalent to well over 6 million litres per year, given 200 working days.”
A principle that yields multiple benefits, as the spray booth is reserved exclusively for partial and full resprays. This boosts throughput. The bodyshop dries spot repairs with UV or IR technology. “By using IR technology, energy consumption, depending on the drying system employed, is about two thirds lower than in the spray booth.” The expert’s recommendation: “Take a close look at your processes and calculate your actual potential for savings.”
Energy-saving tips Service the filters regularly. With increasing contamination of the filters in the spray booth, power consumption steadily increases and results inevitably in higher energy costs. Use lights only when you need them. We’re all familiar with motion detectors, but often there isn’t the time to install them. However, in parts of the bodyshop that are rarely used, this technology can reduce power consumption appreciably. As can compact fluorescent and LED lamps.
Check the compressed air. The biggest energy guzzler is the compressed air system. What can you do about this? Look for and eliminate leakages, and repair or replace faulty pneumatic tools. In addition, always switch off the compressor when it is no longer needed and do not use compressed air either for drying or cooling. Think about areas where pneumatic tools can be replaced with their electric equivalents. Advanced spray booth controls save energy. According to spray booth manufacturers, if a booth system with only painting and drying modes is equipped with an advanced booth control system, the savings of heating energy and electricity come to roughly 25 per cent.
Spray Gun Cleaning & Care
A clean change of color Immaculate paint finishes are only possible from clean spray guns. Everything has to be done quickly. Frequent color changes are part of the everyday process in the spray booth. “When changing colors, the spray gun has to be cleaned thoroughly,” explains Jörg Sandner of Technical Service International. Because color residues in the nozzle, channels and air cap can cause impaired quality and faulty colors when painting. The use of an automatic washer is advisable if reusable cups are employed. “If you use disposable cups, it makes more sense to clean the gun manually.”
Cleaning the fluid tip First rinse the fluid tip with a suitable cleaning fluid. Caution is advised when using water-based cleaners: “The refinisher should make sure that they have a neutral pH,” the expert stresses.
If the paint residues have not yet dried, cleaning the fluid tip is not a problem. In the case of partially dried paint residues, solvent-based cleaner must always be used. To prevent cleaning agent entering the air channels of the gun body, the refinisher should leave the spray gun connected to the compressed air system, set to minimum air flow, throughout cleaning.
Remove and clean nozzle elements First of all remove the fluid needle. To this end, unscrew the material flow control and extract the needle from the gun body. Then remove the fluid nozzle. Sandner warns: “Be careful here. The fluid nozzle is delicate. Any clumsiness when removing or fitting the nozzle can damage it.” The brushes used should not
be too hard nor contain any metal wire. Stubborn contamination in the bores of the fluid nozzle should be carefully removed with special cleaning brushes or needles. Then rinse the fluid tip and nozzle elements clean and blow them dry with a blowing gun. “It is extremely important to remove the cleaning agent in its entirety and dry the various parts to exclude the risk of corrosion.”
A question of practice Cleaning the parts of a spray gun calls for a few skilful manipulations. However, once you have mastered them, cleaning takes only a few minutes. And it’s worth it. Because tool maintenance is a key to reliable processes in the spray booth.
8330 / Wash Primer
New clear coat for commercial vehicle finishing Maximum flexibility in the painting of commercial vehicles is assured by VOC-compliant Permafleet® HS Clear Coat 8330. “What make this innovative product different are its high vertical stability and anti-graffiti properties,” says Arno Steyns, Spies Hecker commercial vehicle expert. The paint contains a special binder from series finishing. Its excellent vertical stability is particularly noticeable on difficult geometries like those of tanker add-on parts. Thanks to its anti-graffiti properties, the paintwork’s appearance remains unchanged even after multiple cleans with aggressive graffiti removers – an important factor for buses in particular.
Flexible and simple For graffiti protection, the mixing ratio with Permafleet® VHS Hardeners is 5:3. For standard finishes, the ratio should be 3:1. By using different VHS hardeners, the clear coat can be adjusted highly flexibly – to suit different object sizes, for instance. The clear coat is applied in 1.5 coats or in 2 coats with 10 to 15 minutes’ flash-off between coats. New Permafleet® HS Clear Coat 8330 makes commercial vehicle finishing more reliable and contributes appreciably to vehicle value retention.
System solution from the spray can When it comes to the painting and repair of small objects such as exterior rear-view mirrors, plastic parts and tank lids, a quick and inexpensive application method is needed. For this Spies Hecker offers a complete vehicle refinish system in spray cans – plus Priomat Wash Primer 4075 as of now, in addition. “We have extended our SprayMax range of vehicle refinishes so that we can provide bodyshops with a complete system of 2K products in spray cans,” says Frank Barduna of Technical Service International. The new product features a long pot-life and excellent corrosion protection. “The wash primer also accelerates the process by achieving good atomisation combined with minimal overspray,” the expert adds.
Better advertising With recommendation, cooperation or geomarketing, you can skilfully target your advertising to draw more attention to your business. “The best advertisement is recommendation from a customer.” For many business owners, this claim is confirmed day after
day. High customer satisfaction is the bodyshop’s biggest asset. If a motorist is satisfied, has confidence in the bodyshop manager and is impressed by the helpfulness of staff, he is happy to pass on the business’s name and address to his friends and workmates.
Rely on recommendation marketing Business owners should exploit this by improving their recommendation or word-of-mouth marketing. Bodyshops with a large proportion of private customers should actively build up networks and treat their regulars well. Business owners often spend a lot of money on attracting new custom. However, huge potential can be found in existing customers. Since most customers choose a bodyshop through personal contacts, i.e. in their home town, at the club, through the fire service, at the church etc., building networks is important. Make yourself known and talk to people. Bodyshops can make use of their satisfied existing customers for establishing contacts with new customers. The bodyshop not only acquires new work in this way, but can also use the new customer as a stepping-stone to further new customers. But this will only be possible if he is satisfied with the work and the service. The bodyshop should therefore always aim to make a positive impression. This includes an open, welcoming reception area, a trouble-free repair process and a clear and comprehensible explanation of the price.
Strength in numbers To outwardly communicate the bodyshop’s strengths even more effectively, it is often worthwhile seeking cooperation. The business owner should look around locally for firms or organisations with which cooperation would make sense. For instance, you could leave leaflets on vehicle repair in a local fashion shop. Or in a fitness studio. The scope for this is endless.
Cooperation and social involvement Also conceivable is cooperation in connection with local events. For example, a bodyshop could support a local youth project in which a bus is embellished by young sprayers. The paint material is sponsored by the bodyshop that aims to strengthen youth culture by doing so. Anyone who gets involved locally will bolster his image. It is important with such activities, however, that the project should have a good deal to do with painting or the subject of color and that the involvement is publicised in press releases. Customers, clubs or firms can then instantly identify the bodyshop’s technical expertise and social involvement.
The trend towards geomarketing With the aid of geomarketing, it is possible to more precisely define customer groups on the regional level and thus appeal to them more specifically. The identification of one’s own customers on a large map can often be very revealing. Areas can be additionally subdivided according to sales in order to find out where it is most worthwhile going after new customers. How to proceed • Take a closer look at your bodyshop’s catchment area. How many potential customers are there? Useful here is a breakdown of registration figures per postcode area.
• If you know how many vehicles are registered in the region, residents’ purchasing power is then important. The higher the average income, the greater the potential for the bodyshop. • By using modern software systems, it possible to process and evaluate this information down to neighbourhood level. • Supplement this information with data on the competition. How many rival bodyshops are there? How big are they? • Include such factors as motorways and dual carriageways in your investigation. Rivers, mountains and motorways can also delimit the catchment area.
In economically depressed areas, you will probably have more success with the advertising of low-priced offers than in areas dominated by prestigious vehicles. In price-sensitive regions, you can advertise offers of keenly priced Spot Repairs. Geomarketing is not a cure-all, but it can help bodyshops to attune what they offer to the region they serve.
Spies Hecker in Dubai As a forum for establishing contacts, finding out about trends and experiencing products at first hand, Automechanika in Dubai presented innovations from the auto parts and aftermarket sector from 11 to 13 June 2013. Also taking part was Spies Hecker, with quality and innovative technology from Germany. “At our 100 square metre stand, bodyshops had the chance to inspect our latest products – ranging from the ColorDialog Delta-Scan spectrophotometer to the innovative Permahyd Hi-TEC 480 waterborne base coat system. We held many promising talks,” says Clive Gray, Business Manager Middle East & Pakistan.
Forward-looking products With its powerful presence and a clear message at the flagship fair for bodyshop equippers in Dubai, Spies Hecker offered bodyshops worldwide a forward-looking product range with customised services.
Keeping the cash flowing Payments in arrears, reminders and cash collection: bodyshops are often faced with delays in the payment of their invoices. How can the business stay solvent?
Delays in payment are almost a routine occurrence for bodyshops nowadays. For the business, it means extra work and cost and can develop into a serious economic burden. “In their own interests, bodyshops should take a more systematic approach,” is the advice of management consultant Herbert Prigge. It is important for the business that the invoice is issued as soon as the work is completed. For time is money. On each invoice it should be clearly stated by when it is to be paid. Ultimately, given the threat of insolvency, the bank will cancel any loans.
in writing so that the outstanding sums can be reduced at least step-by-step at defined intervals.
the debts or shifting the credit line.” At any rate, regular talks with the bank are helpful in such situations. “Provide them with your balance sheets or the managerial analysis – before things get critical,” says the management consultant in conclusion.
“Outstanding debts should never exceed a month’s sales,” is the expert’s hard-and-fast rule. “Write reminders in good time. Actively chasing up debtors shows that the owner has a keen eye on his business processes. The customer is more likely to appreciate the reminder to pay up if it arrives promptly.”
Be consistent But how do bodyshops deal with sluggish payers among insurance companies? “Talking always helps. Discuss the situation with your customer and present it clearly,” says Prigge. Default on payment must always be followed up. It’s a question of talking to the debtor to arrange realistic payment schedules and negotiate instalments – and to lay them down
Taking alarm signals seriously Things can get tight for the business when there is a decline in incoming orders, a fall in profits or deterioration in the ratio of accounts receivable to accounts payable. When the scope for an overdraught on the current account is pretty well exploited, it is almost too late. “Then you have to consider rescheduling
Sale of debts Failure to keep abreast of outstanding debts and neglecting to write invoices may also be a cause of liquidity bottlenecks. This is where bodyshop owners should ask themselves whether it might be much better to outsource the bookkeeping and the monitoring of incoming payments. “This costs between 2 and 3 per cent of the invoice sum in question. Perhaps you could also consider granting a cash discount to accelerate incoming payments. Both of these measures are effective,” says Prigge. What is more, it is also possible for bodyshops to sell their debts.
Summing up, we can say that properly organised debt management combined with systematic accounting can prevent financial difficulties and stimulate cash flow.
Quiz / Social Media
You’re the paint expert! Test your paint knowledge by answering the following questions:
1. The brightness of a metallic can be affected by
7. What is it important to do when applying wet-on-wet surfacer?
applying it in a thick coat. applying it in a moderate coat. Nothing affects it.
Apply the top coat as soon as the surfacer has flashed off to a matt finish. Always use the same nozzle size (spray gun) for the wet-onwet surface and top coat. Always choose the fastest hardener for the surfacer so that you can continue the process sooner.
2. When a waterborne base coat has flashed off, solid colors become more intense. metallic colors become brighter. solid colors become darker.
8. Can I accelerate surfacer flash-off by blowing it? To achieve higher productivity, yes. This is possible with a smaller nozzle size. The surfacer’s solvent release should not be affected by blowing.
3. How can you identify an aluminium substrate?
4. How can you identify a galvanised surface?
From the clogging of the sandpaper From the silvery edge of the through-sanded metal surface From the dark edge of the through-sanded metal surface.
5. Does a mask with an activated charcoal filter always have to be worn when applying waterborne base coat? Yes. No. Only for full resprays.
6. Sanding and overspray particles can enter the body … by inhalation. by contact with the eyes. by contact with the skin.
9. What should be borne in mind when adding peroxide to putty? Too little peroxide weakens the putty’s adhesion to galvanised substrates. Overdosage of peroxide should be avoided. The more peroxide, the higher the productivity.
10. The new Permasolid VHS Hardeners are distinguished by their... reactivity. high solids content of over 70%. lower crosslinking density and elasticity.
Answers: 1. Thick coat, moderate coat of paint 2. Metallic colors become brighter. 3. By using a magnet 4. From the silvery edge of the through-sanded metal surface 5. Yes. 6. By inhalation, contact with the eyes, contact with the skin 7. Always use the same nozzle size (spray gun) for the wet-on-wet surface and top coat. 8. The surfacer’s solvent release should not be affected by blowing. 9. Overdosage of peroxide should be avoided. 10. High solids content of over 70%
By scratching it with a knife. By using a magnet. By sanding it gently with coarse sandpaper.
Spies Hecker – simply closer online as well
Everything in motion
Most people nowadays are active in social networks where they share their experiences and views with others and swap comments. Spies Hecker also shares its practical paint expertise, reports on exciting projects like Hollister’s Spies Hecker Cobra or simply presents the magnificent masterpieces of its customers from the calendar. “We’re delighted when refinishers show us pictures of their latest painting jobs – particularly if they’ve been executed with Permahyd Hi-TEC 480. It shows, firstly, the passion that exists in the refinishing trade and, secondly, what is possible with our waterborne base coats. This serves as inspiration for future projects,” explains Monika Fehn, eMarketing Lead EMEA at Spies Hecker.
Spies Hecker is also active on YouTube. The short videos on its own channel demonstrate the application of Hi-TEC, Speed Repair and digital color management briefly and straightforwardly. “The feedback and questions from subscribers show that our videos strike a chord with refinishers – professionally and emotionally. So Spies Hecker really is simply closer,” Monika Fehn believes. Spies Hecker on the Web: www.spieshecker.com www.facebook.com/spieshecker www.youtube.com/spiesheckercenter
A faster finish
with Permahyd® Hi-TEC.
Innovative Permahyd(r)® Hi-TEC 480 waterborne base coat helps you finish faster. An opaque film of Hi-TEC base coat is applied in a single spray pass, i.e. without flash-off between coats. The clear coat can be applied after a brief final flash-off. The advantages are obvious. Unnecessary waiting is eliminated and the process is accelerated.
Spies Hecker - simply closer.
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