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We have ten working bays two bays for each repair technician and two bays specifically assigned to the Chief Frame Machines and Chief Laser Measuring systems. These are vehicles in various stages of the repair process. Some are waiting for Insurance Companies, some for parts. All vehicles are kept inside a fenced secure area with 24-hour active video surveillance.
The Quality Paint Shop building was specifically designed for automotive refinishing. All jobs move in a forward motion through the building allowing for increased productivity. The vehicles begin the refinish process in the preparation stalls and move forward through 2 Garmat Downdraft drive-thru Spray Booths. Because the Paint shop is a separate building from our collision repair shop, dust, and airborne contaminants are kept to a minimum, allowing for a cleaner refinishing environment. Robert Jojola our head painter for over 20 years and his staff clean the inside of the refinish shop every Friday afternoon before closing. This is one of the cleanest if not the cleanest refinish facilities in the entire southwest.
Vehicles that have experienced structural damage are attached to the Chief Five Tower Frame Machines, these machines for accurate measurement and so the impact damage can be pulled back into place. Each tower has the ability to pull the damaged areas from different directions and at varying pull pressures. Simply put these machines pull out the impact damage in reverse of the direction of the actual impact. All pulling is done at a very slow and controlled rate. Five tower machines are not common in all shops. The importance of having five tower machines is, if a vehicle is hit in the side it usually shortens the length of the vehicle on the side that is hit. In order to return the vehicle to accurate length specifications, the vehicle needs to be pulled from each end and pulled outward at the impact site at the same time. Three tower machines can only pull from one end and outward at the impact site leaving one end short.
We have two measuring devices and two frame machines which allow for increased production time. Higher production equals shorter repair times for our customer’s vehicles.
Inside the Refinish shop we have preparation areas leading into the two Garmat Downdraft Spray Booths. The Computerized Paint Mixing area is located between the two booths for easy access during the actual refinishing process. Located directly behind the drive-through spray booths are the cooldown areas. Cooldown area refers to the area that the vehicle is moved to after the bake cycle in the spray booth. Normally the vehicle will stay in the cool down area overnight for final curing of the painted surfaces.
There are two primary advantages of using Downdraft Paint booths to refinish Automobiles. One is the temperature inside the booth is completely controlled both during the refinishing process and after. During the refinish process the temperature must remain consistent. Today’s paints are catalyzed which means that hardeners are mixed into the paint for proper curing. If the temperature fluctuates during the refinish process the chemical actions of the products will hinder application. Secondly, after the refinish process the booth goes into a Bake Cycle that allows the chemical hardeners to set faster. A typical bake cycle is 140 F. for a period of forty minutes.
The second advantage of these booths is because the booths are pressurized it helps to keep airborne contamination out of the booth. Using older technology or cross-draft booths, if the door was opened during the refinish process, contamination in the air would be sucked into the booth and onto the freshly painted surface of the vehicle being painted. In a pressurized environment, if a door was opened, outside contaminated air cannot be drawn into the refinish environment.
In the preparation area in the refinishing shop that leads into the paint booths. The repaired areas of the vehicle are primed and block sanded before paint is applied in the booth. New parts come with a primer coat from the factory and must be properly prepped for refinishing. Careful masking of the interior and other non-removable items ensures that no overspray damage will occur to those parts during the refinish process. There are many steps in the preparation and refinishing process. Every step must be taken before any paint is applied. If you get in a hurry and leave out one step the finished product will not pass our stringent quality control standards.
Inside the re-spray booth we will cover your vehicle plastic in plastic. This is used as a second measure to protect the unpainted areas of the vehicle from any over spray during the refinishing process. The first measure we use is a product called Slime. Slime is a liquid product that is sprayed over all unpainted areas of the vehicle again to keep over spray from settling on the vehicle. The slime comes off the vehicle as it is being washed and made ready for customer pickup. Slime is biodegradable and does not harm the environment. Quality is concerned with the environment and uses special hazardous waste recycling equipment to recycle hazardous waste generated during the refinish process.
At the completion of the repair process each vehicle is vacuumed, hand washed and rinsed using soft water. Every vehicle is quality checked after the detailing process to insure that all work was completed to our exacting standards.