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How to Choose the Right Paint Equipment for Your Body Shop

Post by Pat O'Neill, March 1, 2019, Tips

paint booth

Chesapeake Automotive Equipment offers a variety of equipment to assist with your automotive paint needs, but how do you know what equipment is right for your shop?

Different types of equipment have varying impacts on the number of booth cycles an auto body repair shop is capable of performing. These variances will directly affect your shops bottom line. For example, production levels in a downdraft paint booth will be notably higher than in a semi-downdraft booth. By selecting the right equipment, along with streamlining the layout and workstations in your shop and providing flexibility as technology evolves, will increase your profitability without adding labor.

First and foremost, body shop owners contemplating equipment upgrades need to take into consideration space and layout of their shop. If your shop needs to get more vehicles through but does not have room to expand, you should upgrade your equipment or modify your shop’s layout. Our experienced team can assist you with both!

When it comes to your automotive paint needs, adding a drive-thru configuration to a booth is a good way to increase efficiency, with minimal expenses and only require minor changes to your shop layout. Shops should be organized so that a vehicle can be staged while another is being painted for a streamlined workflow.

Down Draft vs. Semi Down Draft
With a semi-downdraft paint booth, a standard collision repair facility can generally produce three to five vehicles in an eight-hour shift. Finishing five vehicles in one day with a semi-downdraft booth, however, requires precise use of space inside and outside the booth and offers little-to-no room for error.

Increase your production with a downdraft paint booth, capable of producing four to six vehicles a day, with less hassles for your paint techs, better quality for your customers and increased growth opportunities for you, the shop owner.

In addition to your paint cycle time, prep time is much longer with a semi-downdraft booth than a downdraft booth. As you may be well aware, in order to withstand the airflow in a semi-downdraft booth, plastic must be placed and taped around the entire vehicle before the automotive paint process unfolds.

With a downdraft booth, technicians can simply place the plastic; they do not need to tape it around the entire vehicle, saving them time and saving you money! The airflow in a downdraft booth will draw the plastic tight to the vehicle for safe painting.

If you have a semi downdraft booth, your automotive paint technicians will need to be extra cautious to ensure they do not overspray the vehicle. If you are painting in the front of a semi downdraft booth, overspray drifts over the vehicle to the exhaust filters at the rear of the booth.

However, keep in mind, parts in the booth could be contaminated with overspray, so if you have a full booth load, you may not be able to spray more than one color at once.
With a downdraft booth the flow of air provides your techs with excellent overspray and contamination control for cleaner paint jobs.

No matter where you are painting in a downdraft booth the overspray is directed downward through a filtered exhaust pit in the floor and you can spray multiple colors simultaneously. If you choose a downdraft booths you will also find there are far more upgrade options, including an expanded exhaust pit, to enhance airflow.

If your operation is solely for automotive restorations, a semi-downdraft booth may be your best option. A high-end downdraft booth may be more of a luxury than a necessity. Often times, restoration shops are not working on strict deadlines and have a smaller volume of autos as opposed to auto body repair shops. If you find that your operations often paints full bodies of vehicles, including roofs of trucks and vans, you may want to consider purchasing an oversized paint booth to provide the space needed to get the job done more efficiently.

For all of your questions regarding which paint equipment is right for you, turn to Chesapeake Automotive Equipment or visit our USI Spray Booths page online.

Chesapeake Automotive Equipment provides top-of-the-line general shop and automotive equipment to commercial automotive-related businesses ranging from independent mom and pop auto collision and repair shops to heavy-duty repair facilities to auto dealership groups along the East Coast. Contact our sales team at 800.604.9653 to find the right solution for your business.

Chesapeake Automotive Equipment