Shops Need to Transition for Today’s Vehicle Refinishing
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007
By Angie Kilbourne, AutoInc. Correspondent
At last year’s International Autobody Congress and Exhibition (NACE), I-CAR presented its first Technology Showcase to introduce technicians and shop employees to new technologies, processes and procedures in an easily digestible one-hour session format with practical information to take back to their shops. According to Joel McClung, the response they received was so positive, they came back again this year.
McClung, a trainer with I-CAR, spent an hour with attendees on the show floor talking about refinishing methods used by the various automakers and what challenges the collision industry is facing with today’s refinishing products and processes.
He also talked about surface preparation steps required for the proper application of today’s topcoats, as well as trends in specialty painting and other refinishing methods, and ultraviolet products recently introduced to the repair sector that can help with shop efficiency practices.
Today’s attendees learned about:
• Evolution of the automotive refinishing process.
• VOC regulations and how the industry is gearing up to address them.
• UV coatings for the collision industry.
• Future trends for automotive refinishing.
One subject of great importance to shops, says McClung, is how they will need to address the tightening VOC regulations. With the transition to waterborne products, many shops will need to possibly upgrade their equipment, as well as invest in the training to use it.
“When we teach someone, we are teaching the way the automaker wants it done or the best possible solution,” said McClung. Not every student agrees with these methods, he says, because it could be more time-consuming. “There is going to be an issue of who is going to pay for this [repair], but we don’t get involved with labor times. We just want to make sure that we are training properly [for the processes].”