TomTom Announces Ground-Breaking Insurance Partnership

TomTom has made a move into the insurance market by providing the technology behind a new insurance product, which bases premiums on driving behaviour.
TomTom has teamed up with insurance broker Motaquote for the launch of Fair Pay Insurance – a product that rewards ‘good’ drivers with lower premiums.
“Our entry in the insurance market with our proven fleet management technology puts us at the forefront of a move that could help to revolutionise the motor insurance industry,” said Thomas Schmidt, Managing Director TomTom Business Solutions.
“We offer a unique combination of navigation, traffic information and telematics which opens up great opportunities for insurance companies to promote greener, safer driving and create a ground breaking portfolio of new insurance products.”
“We are delighted Motaquote have recognised this potential in the launch of such an innovative product.”
Fair Pay Insurance gives drivers control over their own policy by using driving ability and behaviour to allocate premiums, rather than so-called risk factors such as postcode, gender, and age or vehicle type.
“We’ve dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you’re a good driver, we’ll believe you and we’ll even give you the benefit up front,” said Nigel Lombard, Managing Director of Fair Pay Insurance.
“This is unlike some other telematics-based schemes where you may have to prove your ability over a number of months. So if you think of your insurance as your car’s MPG – the better you drive, the longer your fuel will last. It’s the same with Fair Pay Insurance, good drivers get more for their money and in that sense they will pay ultimately less.”
Drivers who sign up for Fair Pay will benefit from a specially-developed TomTom PRO 3100 navigation device, which includes Active Driver Feedback and LIVE Services. This means policy-holders can be alerted to driving events, such as harsh cornering and sharp braking, and benefit from accurate traffic information updated every two minutes.
They will also have a LINK tracking unit fitted in their vehicles, allowing driver behaviour and habits to be monitored. This information can then be viewed by the policy-holder in their driver dashboard, an online tool that details journey and driver behaviour data, and in regular email bulletins.

Collision Hub Partners with BASF on LIVE Waterborne Panel Broadcast

Collision Hub announced a partnership with BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions for the LIVE video broadcasting of BASF’s Waterborne Panel Discussion at this year’s AASP Northeast Tradeshow.

Collision Hub announced a partnership with BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions for the LIVE video broadcasting of BASF’s Waterborne Panel Discussion at this year’s AASP Northeast Tradeshow.
The Waterborne Panel Discussion is scheduled to air LIVE Friday, March 18, 8PM EST (SATURDAY MIDDAY AUSTRALIAN EASTERN DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME) on CollisionHub.com. The program will be presented by Tom Hoerner, Strategic Initiatives, BASF Refinish, and is set to feature some of BASF’s current waterborne partners for an informative and enthusiastic panel discussion about the easy and cost-effective transition to a waterborne paint system.
BASF’s presentation of this information to a LIVE audience through Collision Hub’s multiple media channels is in line with an ongoing attempt to educate the industry as a whole on a sustainable approach to collision repair. The broadcast also continues BASF’s push to provide cost effective programs for knowledge sharing in an open forum such as the one Collision Hub provides.   
“BASF Automotive Refinish is very pleased to have the opportunity to spread the word about waterborne paint systems to attendees at the AASP Northeast Tradeshow,” said Darlene Eilenberger, Director of Marketing for BASF Automotive Refinish in North America. “And thanks to Collision Hub, BASF can now share its waterborne panel discussion with the entire nation via a live Web cast.”
“Collision Hub is excited about another opportunity to provide a much-needed educational service to the Collision Repair Industry”, stated Collision Hub Founder and CEO Kristen Felder, “and with the help of BASF Refinish we look forward to making waterborne education increasingly accessible and affordable as we move into 2011.”

About Collision Hub
Collision Hub is the premier networking and multi-media marketing website created for the Collision Repair Industry. Collision Hub’s mission is to provide a central network for all participants in collision repair and related industries. The site encourages participation of all parties including: technicians, shop owners, suppliers, insurance companies, auto glass installers, towing companies and rental car agencies. For more information, visit www.collisionhub.com or contact Elizabeth Blackman at [email protected] .

About BASF
BASF offers intelligent solutions based on innovative products and tailor-made services. They create opportunities for success through trusted and reliable partnerships and support Their Glasurit®, R-M® and Limco® systems with advanced color information, business management solutions, and technical training. Dedication to the customer’s success is fundamental to BASF; it is what drives the business. This is why they’re always ready to help you find the best way to use our paints. For more information, visit www.basfrefinish.com.

 

 

AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Puts Colour Retrieval In Your Pocket

AkzoNobel Car Refinishes has gone mobile and brought the convenience of its industry-leading Mixit Online colour retrieval system to mobile phones. Mixit Online can now be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any mobile phone that connects to the Internet and is available free of charge to AkzoNobel Car Refinishes customers.

AkzoNobel Car Refinishes has gone mobile and brought the convenience of its industry-leading Mixit Online colour retrieval system to mobile phones. Mixit Online can now be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any mobile phone that connects to the Internet and is available free of charge to AkzoNobel Car Refinishes customers.

With the new mobile online option, it’s no longer necessary to request formula information from a laptop or desktop. All the customer needs to do to obtain colour formulations for the premium Sikkens and Lesonal products is to enter simple, straightforward search criteria (such as make, year, colour code and/or colour group) via the mobile phone and the AkzoNobel colour retrieval system provides the formula for a perfect colour match. AkzoNobel’s software designers have developed a friendly, easy-to-use interface that adjusts the layout to the size and shape of the user’s smartphone screen. The mobile online technology delivers clear, crisp, highly readable web pages on smartphones like Blackberries, the HTC HD2, the Nokia N900 and dozens of others, and is compatible with the Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, and Android mobile operating systems. The same information is also available on older web-enabled mobile phones, but it is then delivered as text instead of web pages.

“We’ve always tried to give our customers a little bit more,” commented Ralf Schueler, Marketing Director for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes. “What we are doing here is to exploit state-of-the art information technologies to provide the added flexibility of mobile phone functionality to what is already an outstanding colour retrieval system. That flexibility, I believe, will mean greater efficiency and faster throughput for our Sikkens and Lesonal customers.”

iPhone app

Along with the smartphone application, AkzoNobel is offering iMatchColor for customers with an Apple iPhone (OS level 3.1.3 or higher), iPod Touch or iPad. The app can be downloaded free of charge from Apple’s App store, and delivers even more convenience by taking advantage of the iPhone interface and tools for an even better user experience.

AkzoNobel has been delivering online colour retrieval solutions to its customers since 1997, drawing on the most complete and up-to-date database of car colours available. That means that you have access to the very latest formulas for the full range of AkzoNobel Car Refinishes products straight from the mobile phone in your shirt pocket.
“Delivering colour information to mobile phones is just the latest example of the colour solutions AkzoNobel Car Refinishes offers its customers,” said Ben Zweers, Colour Marketing Director for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes. “We are asserting our leadership in colour by example. When it comes to innovative colour solutions and a commitment to the highest quality, AkzoNobel is truly living up to its brand promise to deliver Tomorrow’s Answers Today.”

Welding Safety With Sperian Protection

Whether welding or grinding, it is important welders wear appropriate head and facial protective equipment advises Sperian Protection, the worldwide leader in personal protective equipment (PPE). With welding and grinding responsible for over 29 per cent of all eye injuries both at home and in the workplace, the use of suitable protective welding headwear is essential to minimise these preventable injuries. Offering welders the ultimate in face and head protection, the Sperian Protection range of high impact welding helmets and accessories protects welders against injuries like flash burns, UV / IR radiation as well as fine particles and vapours. Designed with a range of safety features including a sensor bar and slide, sensitivity function, delay function, shade level and girding mode, the Sperian range of welding helmets provide outstanding comfort and on-the-job performance for the professional welder. Engineered to meet the demands of professional welders, the Sperian Optrel ® Galaxy High Impact Welding Helmet is the only passive flip front, high impact approved welding helmet on the market. Rigorously tested to Australian Standards, the helmet is approved by SAI Global.

Providing welders with a complete safety solution, the Sperian Optrel ® Galaxy High Impact Welding Helmet now comes in a hard hat adaptor version to suit PA620V and

MSA V-Guard Elite hard hats, and provides maximum protection and comfort for the head without the need to switch helmets and hardhats. To eliminate the need for the welder to switch from a welding helmet to a visor when grinding, the Sperian Optrel ® Galaxy High Impact Welding Helmet features a passive Shade 10 welding filter in a flip up adaptor. Approved to High Impact AS/NZS1337:1992 for increased safety during grinding and welding applications, the Sperian Optrel ® Galaxy High Impact Welding Helmet is Sperian protection at its best.

For further information on welding and grinding PPE and the Sperian Optrel ® Galaxy High Impact Welding Helmet, contact Sperian Protection on 1300 139 166 or visit www.sperian.com

Pro Quality Body Repair

Professional quality tools supplier Kincrome has released a new Hydraulic Body Repair Kit designed for the professional panel beater.

This 15 piece body repair kit has been designed with the pro panel beater specifically in mind.  Featuring an assortment of attachments such as a 10 Tonne Pump Unit, Cleft Toe, V base, hydraulic hose, extension bars, serrated cap, spreading wedge, rubber head, toes and Base Plate all conveniently stored in a easy to carry case with castors.

The Kincrome 15 Piece Hydraulic Body Repair Kit is now available from leading automotive stores across Australia and New Zealand with a recommended retail price of $299.00*.

For more information and details of your nearest stockist visit the Kincrome website www.kincrome.com.au

Waterborne Paint: The Big Conversion – Part 1

Like it or not, a low VOC refinish world is coming. How will you deal with it, what are the issues and what’s the best way forward? BodyShop News examines the sometimes difficult aspects of making the switch to waterborne.

Waterborne paint. It’s one of the most spoken about and written about topics in the collision repair industry at the moment, and also one of the least understood, and that’s why there’s a degree of caution and/or suspicion about its use. And if it’s to be adopted by a body shop it means a complete change of approach and mindset by a painter or painters who have been deeply ingrained with the regimes of solvent-based paints.
So, why would you even be talking about changing everything you know, and starting pretty much from scratch again?
Well, probably the simplest answer to that is that if you don’t choose to swap over at some time, it’s inevitable that you will be forced to make the change, sooner or later. It’s better to be in the door earlier, when there’s room in the system to properly train you and your staff, than to be stuck with minimal training opportunities when there’s a deadline to convert everyone.
Many countries have already made the change, compulsorily, and many more are looking at it. Even China is considering mandating a change away from the current crop of high VOC (volatile organic compound)-based paints. And if China makes such a move we will be seen to be a long way behind, and the Australian government will not want to be seen to be behind China on a significant environmental issue.
So what are VOCs?
Wikipedia defines it as: “organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapour pressures under normal conditions to significantly vaporise and enter the atmosphere. A wide range of carbon-based molecules . . . are VOCs. The term often is used in a legal or regulatory context and in such cases the precise definition is a matter of law.”
While VOCs accidentally released into the environment can damage soil and groundwater it is the vapours of VOCs escaping into the ambient air which are deemed to be the significant risk from the application and drying of paint.
VOCs are an important outdoor air pollutant. In this field they are often divided into the separate categories of methane (CH4) and non-methane (NMVOCs). Methane is an extremely efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming. Other hydrocarbon VOCs are also significant greenhouse gases via their role in creating ozone and in prolonging the life of methane in the atmosphere. Within the NMVOCs, the aromatic compounds benzene, a carcinogen, and suspected carcinogens toluene and xylene, may lead to leukaemia through prolonged exposure.
Some VOCs also react with nitrogen oxides in the air in the presence of sunlight to form ozone. Although ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere because it absorbs UV and thus protecting humans, plants and animals from exposure to dangerous forms of solar radiation, it poses a health threat in the lower atmosphere by causing respiratory problems. In addition high concentrations of low level ozone can damage crops and buildings.
In other words, these are substances which these days are deemed to be unhealthy to an environmentally stressed planet. Regulatory agencies are looking at all of these compounds to determine methods of reducing the degree of release of these substances into our environment, and, you guessed it, the refinish automotive industry is seen as one of the significant targets since paint manufacturers make up 46 per cent of organic solvent users, the largest single sector.
The obvious solution is to use paint that does not depend on high levels of VOCs as solvents. BASF introduced waterborne paint in the early 1970s and this has been growing as a preferred option for many countries, while others have accepted low VOC paints as a better alternative.
Many see an enforced conversion to waterborne as completely unacceptable. “Why fix it if it aint broke” is the attitude, except that those who are responsible for preserving our health and our environment will tell you that it is well on its way to being “broke”, and unless we do something about it the consequences will be disastrous. And since these are the people who write the rules we don’t get a choice.
This won’t be the first time this industry has had to change its technology involved with painting. First it was a switch from nitrocellulose lacquer to acrylic lacquer, then it was a change to acrylic enamel, then to acrylic enamel with isocyanate catalysts, and on to acrylic urethane enamel and the current basecoat/clearcoat systems. In each case doomsayers predicted the end of the world as we knew it. We adapted each time in the past and we will adapt again.
There are financial costs and necessary changes to the way you do things. Despite what some might say, waterborne isn’t a straight forward step that will answer all your problems. It will solve some issues for you, and give you an edge in other areas, but it will also create some problems and require the introduction of management issues that you don’t deal with now.
The point is that a switch of paint technology is going to become compulsory at some time. It’s better to be at the front of the queue, having made the decision when there is time to train your guys and resolve the problems, than to be stuck with inadequate training and insoluble issues down the line when all the other tardy shops which didn’t want to make the switch are all competing for the paint companies’ time for training.
This is the reason why all the paint companies are promoting waterborne or low VOC. They want you to change now, not when they are hit with a tsunami of shops all clamouring for attention.
Training appears to be the significant issue. Imparting the right techniques and regimes is the linchpin to success with waterborne. While each paint company has a slightly different approach and timeline, the general idea is the same. Waterborne paints handle, tint and spray differently to solventborne paints. Manufacturers build their specific training programmes to teach their shop customers what to do and what not to do with the new colour systems.
And it can be something more basic but completely unexpected. For example, a shop in Perth which converted to Glasurit waterborne last year found that the dry, low humidity air in WA resulted in the paint drying too quickly and prevented its proper application. BASF had to re-engineer their paint for this ,market to suit this totally unexpected circumstance, slowing the drying process so that the painter could control the drying rate.
There will be a cost factor to be overcome in terms of equipment changes, but you simply don’t get a choice in this matter. You either meet these cost hurdles now or at some point in the future.
Yes, this will definitely come into force. Both Federal and State governments are accumulating data now on the amounts of paint being sold, the amount of solvent used, the number of vehicles painted and so on. They are well aware of the legislation introduced in various overseas markets and the impacts of the VOCs and the options available in both low VOC and waterborne technologies. There is no indication of time frames or the nature of possible regulations, but don’t expect it to be too far away. The examples overseas are all along the lines of an 18 month to two years change-over period after which the use of normal solventborne paint is simply prohibited.
It’s not as bad as you might suppose, as you still get to use solvent-based primers and for the moment at least solventborne clearcoats as the waterborne clearcoats are basically too slow in drying.
Over the coming months ABN will be looking at all the issues of converting to waterborne paints, warts and all, so that you get to understand what you are dealing with. With the assistance of BASF Paints and Glasurit we’ll look at the pros and the cons, the good and the bad, to enable you to make an educated decision of how you can go about the conversion with the least possible grief.

Glasurit 90 Line Waterborne

Glasurit 90 Line waterborne technology has been in the refinish market for more than 17 years and this same technology is chosen by prestige OEMs such as Rolls Royce and Maybach so users can rest assure that 90 Line will not only give a quality finish, but also has a proven track record.
Glasurit 90 Line is waterborne technology, is not water base, which means frost sensitivity is not an issue and no special heated storage is required. The product also offers a five year shelf life so back up stock is not an issue.
Although the mind set of the entire staff in a body shop would need to change when switching from solvent to waterborne technology, Glasurit 90 Line makes the transition easy. With its extremely good hiding power, fast flash off and ease of use, any spray painter who is comfortable with spraying solvent basecoat will find the switch easy.
BASF Coatings conducts Waterborne VIP days which explains and validates the advantages and efficiencies of using 90 Line. There is also a 90 Line demonstration which allows the VIP to touch and feel the product, providing all the necessary information to help the decision process of when to change.

Colad 100% Synthetic Paint Strainers

The innovative Colad synthetic paint strainers are manufactured from 100 per cent synthetic material without adhesive application.
The synthetic composition ensures they are suitable for straining all kinds of conventional paints and water-based paints in particular. The nylon element and strainer are carefully welded together and are fibre free.
As no adhesives are used no separation can occur when in contact with solvents or water. A large, rounded filter area ensures quick straining and time saving.
In contrast to conventional paper paint strainers, the 100 per cent synthetic material ensures that no pigments or water in water-based paints are absorbed. Colad paint strainers are light, easy to handle and compactly packed in plastic bags or specially designed dispenser boxes.
The strainers are colour coded, for easy mesh choice:
•    90 microns (transparent);
•    130 microns (blue);
•    190 microns (green); and
•    280 microns (red).
Colad synthetic paint strainers are marketed with the following accessories:
•    Ring with funnel to hold the strainer (no. 103505);
•    Strong spray gun holder (no. 103511); and
•    Separate dispenser box for efficient storage (no. 103506).
For more information contact the sole Australian Colad agent, Grech Sales & Marketing, on Tel: 0401 918 501 or email [email protected]

Waterborne Paint: The Beginner’s Guide – Part 8

CONVERTING TO WATERBORNE

Before a body shop makes the final decision to change to waterborne they should be aware of not only the advantages of using waterborne technology, but also the points of difference from their current solventborne system.
All suppliers have a different change-over strategy, this should be made very clear and the body shop should ensure it suits them. The shop management needs to check off a number of points.
Are there systems in place to measure the KPI’s (key performance indicators) of the products so the body shop can get a true comparison between their current solvent and the new waterbase systems?
Does the shop plan to run a waterbase system alongside its current solvent (and thus incur the extra cost of running two systems)?
Are colours accurate, especially local manufacturers’ colours, as most systems are developed in Europe?
Are all staff aware of the differences and willing to accept the change?
What is the cost relating to the change? Is the paint shop equipped for the change over? This will depend on a range of factors, such as the type of work, throughput, equipment needed, staff, location of shop, etc.
How many systems are in the relevant market?
Heat and humidity affect the drying of waterborne and it may be a good idea to speak to body shops which are currently using the products. Waterborne systems are generally reduced using deionized water so drying can’t be influenced without the use of a drying system. Glasurit has viscosity reducers which gives the waterbase system drying characteristics similar to solventborne systems.
The shop needs to be aware that waterborne technology is – litre for litre – dearer than solvent, but how much varies between brands. All should balance out as waterborne has better covering power than solvent. The body shop should look at not only the cost of the mixing base but also the RFU (ready for use) cost as some systems use 100 per cent mixing base for mixing a colour, while Glasurit uses only 30 per cent mixing base (the other 70 per cent is a type of binder).
Shelf life should be considered. The average waterborne mixing base has a shelf life of 12 to 24 months; Glasurit is 60 months. Shelf life not only affects how long a mixing base stays on system in the body shop but also supply, as most systems are imported. The questions needing answers include: When was the batch produced? How long did it take to arrive? How long has it been stored prior to delivery? And what time is left until expiry?
OH&S is a big part of an employer’s responsibility. The use of waterbase reduces the risks associated with continual use of solvent.
Training is a big part of the success of a change-over. How competent are the paint brand’s field technicians? Do they run a successful training programme? This could be answered by discussion with shops currently using the relevant brand of waterbase. A lot of waterbase systems are painted in an unconventional way. Glasurit 90 line is painted the same way as solvent.
Although there is as yet no legislation to drive the change from solvent to water, the benefits of using the product should be considered:
•    The majority of OEMs now produce vehicles in waterbase.
•    The way in which effect pigments (metallic) lays in the paint film will more closely replicate OEM.
•    Waterbased paint is a non-aggressive basecoat.
•    The painting of solvent-sensitive OEM waterbase finishes will no longer be an issue, eliminating the need for rework relating to ring-up or fry-up.
•    OH&S benefits from less solvent used in processing and equipment clean-up.
•    A unique way to market your business.
•    Environmentally friendly.
•    Easy to use.
Don’t be afraid to ask the questions and seriously consider this major step in the evolution of your business and your shop.

Waterborne Paint: The Beginner’s Guide – Part 7

TRAINING

Adopting a new product and new techniques is never going to be easy, especially with staff that may be rigidly stuck in systems that have been successfully doing the job for many years. Converting to waterborne paint is going to mean training for everyone involved, from the top to the bottom, so if you are looking to make the switch, plan it in as importantly as any piece of hardware you’re proposing to buy to go with the move.
The key to a successful transition is awareness. Everyone involved in the paint repair process should have a good understanding of what is going to change relating to product and process procedures prior to the change over. This also includes office staff and management. As it takes a number of years for a spray painter to perfect not only application technique but also problem solving, it could be said “it would be unrealistic to expect the change over from solvent to waterborne to be hassle free.” However this is not the case, as the repair process is virtually identical and most painters would find the transition easy with some basic training and awareness.
Thirteen years ago when Aquabase came into the repair industry it didn’t work because the industry wasn’t ready for it, the acceptance wasn’t there. The message has to be driven home, that people have to change the way they think.
“Spray painters are practical people and therefore think visually,” explained Glasurit’s Technical Sales Support Manager, Ian Johnson. “To become efficient in waterborne it requires not only a theoretical awareness as mentioned above but also a process of hands-on, practical lessons. Before a shop makes up its mind to go to waterborne the senior staff should go and see the product, in application and in a finished form. Most paint companies run evaluation days of some form to allow the customer to come and have a look at the product.
“You’ll want to see the product being used in a typical repair scenario, not just painting a small panel or area showing how quick waterborne can dry. Ideally look for a paint job to the front end of a vehicle, or a three-panel repair or in a blend scenario, then you can see how it works and how you might use it in your shop.”
Having seen it in use, then consider the implications of the change. Do not proceed with the idea unless everyone involved – management and staff – is one hundred per cent committed to the process. Any resistance will lead to problems.
Once your mind is made up that you are going to make the change it is recommended that some form of formal training take place. “Any reputable paint company will give you the level of training required,” said Johnson. Ensure your paint supplier has a credible change over programme, this will ensure down time is keep to a minimum. Part of that is ensuring your painters follow recommended procedures and are efficient in the way they’re using solvent product, because if they’re not, or if they’re into taking shortcuts. If so they will more than likely have problems resulting in rectification.
A competent painter ought to require about four to five days of training, partly in-house at the paint company and partly on-sight.
A worst case scenario is that a waterborne paint system is just dropped off and left to the painter to find his own way. All that will do is leave another bad taste in the painter’s mouth and he’ll never want to touch it again.

Waterborne Paint: The Beginner’s Guide – Part 6

FINANCIAL ISSUES

It has to be said right at the beginning that kilo for kilo, litre for litre, waterborne paint is more expensive. However, like all things there are other factors that work to make it cheaper, especially once you’ve had experience with it and know how to use it.
Every manufacturer’s paint will vary, and one way to assess it is by theoretical spread rate. Each manufacturer’s spread rate will be different, but in essence waterborne paint, with its higher level of solids, will cover more area per litre, and the reality will be that to paint a given surface area will require less paint. The result is often that the cost is about the same or even less for any given job. It is also advisable to ask your paint manufacturer to demonstrate the product so you can get a first hand look at what water can really do.
As stated in this series of articles before, it’s a common problem for a painter, when first converting to water, to still mix his paint in the proportions he’s used to with solventborne and to end up with paint left over, which he throws away.
“Also note that many water-based systems are 100 per cent product usage, meaning, 100% tinting base is used when mixing formulation, so they could be quite expensive if you don’t get your quantities right,” said Glasurit’s Technical Sales Support Manager, Ian Johnson, “but a true waterborne paint, such as Glasurit, you convert to water and you’re only using 30 per cent tinting base in the mix and your costs should be lower.”
If you’re not putting through a lot of work, or you’re in an area of a lot of temperature change you can add cost because there are factors related to shelf life limitations with waterbase paint. Most waterbase tinting system have a shelf life of 12 months. Glasurit waterborne tinting bases, have a shelf life of five years, but like all ancillary products such as the viscosity adjusters or the reducer shelf life is limited to 12 months, but since these are used in everyday applications,they are in constant use and are quickly consumed.
This compares to a solvent paint shelf life of three to five years.
When it comes to equipment it will pay to have your current set-up assessed by someone who knows what they’re looking for. There are several areas which will need to be addressed.
Your current compressor and attachments will need to be examined. Is it large enough to meet the needs of the extra air which might be required for spraying or drying? If the compressor seems large enough but the supplied volume is struggling you could be losing air though fractures or faulty fittings in the hoses, or have air lines which are too small. Is the supplied air clean enough, as waterborne paint is more prone to defects related to unwanted oil or other foreign material in the air.
Is the filtration system of your spray booth adequate to provide you with clean air? Is the booth air flow adequate? Does it need to be upgraded? You will need a minimum drying system such as a hand held or air diffuser type.
“To keep costs down and to suit the characteristics of waterborne paint you would be strongly advised to go to HVLP spray guns, if you don’t already have them,” stated Johnson. “This will mean the transfer efficiency of the gun is at a premium, therefore getting the most out of the product.”
There are other drying systems, such as the Junair QADS or the Garmat systems, which can make a big difference in terms of the time a job is in the booth, and your decision on these will be based on throughput or how many painters or booths you have.
“If you’re only doing small jobs, and your average repair is two to three panels or small rapid repairs your hand held blower or air diffuser will probably be sufficient,” Johnson continued, “but if you’re pumping the work through, or you’re in a cold climate area, or you have a lot of painters and only one booth then you can improve your drying time with an air movement system. Some claim efficiencies in drying time for solvent paints and clearcoats, and reductions of up to 10 minutes in bake cycles, and if you’re putting through five cars a day that can add up to another car through the booth each day.”
You may find that with waterborne there will be happier customers with better paint jobs, and even happier painters, because approximately 70 per cent of vehicles today are painted in water-based paints by the OEM factories, and blends or matching paint will become easier. There will be a reduction in problems associated with using solventborne paint for a repair on a water-painted vehicle, including solvent sensitivity caused by the solvent biting into the waterborne coating causing “ring-up” and “fry-up” and similar issues. As more manufacturers switch to waterborne it will become a basic requirement to repair their vehicles.
Also look at the cost of training: Is it part of the package or will it be charged? What down-time might it cause in the shop? Normally with a change-over there is some training involved, partly in-house and partly in a training centre. It is advisable to speak to your paint supplier in relation to this.

Waterborne Paint: The Beginner’s Guide – Part 5

THE LIMITATIONS OF WATER

This month we will look at the “limitations of waterborne paint”, but the difficulty is that there aren’t that many limitations outside of the changes in techniques and work patterns to which you have already become accustomed.
Anything that you can do with a solvent paint you should be able to do with water. The processes may be different, but the outcomes will be the same.
An example is the painting of engine bays. Some of the industry short cuts which have been employed with solvent won’t be available to you with water. The hardening of solvent basecoat – instead of applying your basecoat and a matt clear – to achieve a higher level of gloss can’t be done. Some companies have a converter for that process, and Glasurit has a product to achieve a similar result, but it is a limitation.
The view of “limitations” will also depend on your definition of the word. For example, if yours is a high production shop then you are going to need some form of retrofitted ancillary air movement/drying system in your spray booth, such as a set of Junair QADS, and that will come at a cost. Without this the paint will dry, but it will take longer than a solvent-based paint, especially if it’s cold or humid. If you have a shop which does not depend on rapid throughput of work then this will not be an issue for you, and there will be no “limitation” on that score.
“Some waterborne systems have limitations in regards to colour,” explained Glasurit’s Technical Sales Support Manager, Ian Johnson. “Glasurit isn’t one of them – any colour which can be mixed in our solvent line can be mixed with our waterborne line – but there are some limitations with some waterborne technologies in terms of colours. This would mostly apply in metallic and ‘effect’ type colours.”
Johnson continued, “This whole topic of ‘limitations’ is often brought up and discussed. There’s an expectation that there will be limitations; that water can’t be as good or as efficient as a solvent paint. The only real problem is one of education, and the body shops just need to be educated that there are no real limitations to waterborne.”
One of the expectations of a change to waterborne is that it will cost more: A new technology will cost more is the belief. And pound for pound, gram for gram, litre for litre it will cost more, but if used correctly you will use less paint per job and thus you will save money.
While jobs will vary, and brands will vary, you should use up to only half as much paint per job, and while the price per litre might be up to 20 to 30 per cent dearer, the net saving is significant. This might only become apparent once you have properly adapted to the product, technology and the volumes required per job, as the common response from painters new to the paint is to prepare too much paint per job initially until they become familiar with the requirements.
“The change to waterborne is all about mindset,” said Johnson. “Forget about what you’ve learned in the past, this is a new technology. You need to accept and adopt that technology and techniques and move forwards or else you’re going to have problems and limitations in the way it’s used.
“There are more advantages in using water than solvent these days. With the majority of OEMs painting their cars in waterborne it’s preferable to be refinishing cars in water.”
Johnson pointed out that a lot of waterborne paints have a limited shelf life, with a lot of the tinters having a limit of 12 months, though some, like Glasurit, have a limit of five years, because it’s a true waterborne system as compared to a water-based system. Ancillary products, such as reducers or viscosity adjusters have a limit of 12 months. True waterborne primers which can be used with these systems have a life of 12 months.
Water-based paint systems can have troubles with cold weather – a potential problem in colder regions during winter – that will require heated storage and warmed air systems. Similar problems can apply in extreme heat, where the paint can start to thicken through the rapid loss of water, requiring the use of a lot of viscosity adjuster.
Issues such as the required use of different paint strainers or masking tapes are not limitations but more points of difference.
On the issue of masking tapes, Johnson pointed out that while most masking tapes on the market today are suitable for use with waterborne paint, there are still some around which will start to lift if they are used with water-based paints. Make sure you choose an appropriate brand.
Most equipment will require no change.

Attending training with the manufacturer of your chosen brand of paint is a significant and necessary step in adopting waterborne paint. The whole shop needs to be prepared for and enthusiastic about the change or it’s unlikely to be a successful move.

While you can use any spray gun, HVLP is preferred simply because it will limit the application of too much paint and result in excess drying time, as discussed previously. HVLP has been around for years, and some older painters don’t like it because it requires a change in techniques and they prefer to continue to stick with what they learned decades ago. This attitude is the very problem which will limit the successful adoption of waterborne paint, which requires a similar preparedness to accept change in a number of areas.
“For a conversion to waterborne to be successful, everybody’s attitude needs to be right,” reiterated Johnson, stressing a point he’d made to ABN before. “It’s not just the body shop owner, but also the painters and technicians who must be enthusiastic for the change, and to achieve that it is all about education. There are different methods that all paint companies employ, but education is the key and is very necessary.”