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CARSTAR Fredericton opens new location utilizing Symach equipment

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 06:00
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Symach announced that CARSTAR Fredericton in New Brunswick, Canada has opened a new location utilizing Symach’s complete body shop solution. This includes the FixLine equipment repair process and Spraytron paint booth.

“When you make a deal with Symach, you’re not just buying body shop equipment,” said Steve Knox, general manager of CARSTAR Fredericton. “You are buying an entirely different business model.”

“Symach equipment is designed to drastically reduce the cost of repairs and increase efficiency,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, CEO of Symach. “We helped CARSTAR Fredericton set up a new body shop using the FixLine repair process, which will help the business increase throughput and reduce labor cost per repair.”

CARSTAR Fredericton operates two locations and is owned by Roy Kennedy. Since installing the Symach equipment at their new location in July, Knox said they’ve already experienced more efficiency at the repair facility.

“One of the biggest benefits is time,” said Knox. “A conventional shop might schedule two-and-a-half to three days to complete a 10- to 11-hour job. With Symach equipment, that same vehicle can now be repaired by lunchtime the day it’s dropped off.”

He said every step of the repair process is accelerated.

“It’s not through harder work or more labor-intensive ways of doing things, but through the smart use of their equipment. It’s incredible,” he said.

Knox said that cars built today are not the same as the ones built 20 or 30 years ago. Because they are so much more sophisticated, he said it’s important to set up a repair facility that can meet those needs and Symach equipment has helped them do that.

The CARSTAR Fredericton team has been especially impressed with Symach’s Spraytron paint booth, which helps pull everything through the paint booth rather than having everything pushed toward the booth.

“The SprayTron is one of the industry’s newest generations of spray booths on the market,” said Bergaglio. “It is high-performing, automated and it is built with the best burner, the best fans and the best material available. It can work as a conventional spray booth using hot air from the burner or with radiant waves using a robot and will typically produce 8-10 paint cycles per day.”

CARSTAR Fredericton has also found that customers are impressed with how clean and professional the facility looks.

“It’s when they see the shop that they really get ‘wowed’ and they feel confident and excited about their car being there compared to what a shop would normally look like,” he said. “It looks like a hospital operating room; it’s so clean, lighting is good, and everything is bright.”

Knox said there’s a finish to every surface that makes you want to run your finger along it.

“When you deal with Symach, they build a shop that is so visually beautiful that you want every customer to come in through the back door, rather than the front,” said Knox. “It’s gorgeous; it looks like a showroom of their equipment but at the same time, it’s our actually functioning shop!”

He said it even smells good due to the Symach vacuum system they installed.

By setting up a super clean, beautiful environment that is also ergonomic, Knox said they have had no problem hiring new employees.

Every stall has its own hoist that is flush with the floor. When it is raised, the car is at chest-level, so technicians no longer have to kneel during a repair.

“Many of the older guys in this industry have problems with their knees and backs,” said Knox. “The Symach equipment allows technicians to work at a comfortable level so this is no longer an issue.”

The original CARSTAR Fredericton location was opened in the late 1980s. Knox said it was one of the first CARSTARs in Canada. As the business grew over the years, they realized the need to expand the business to support the volume of business.

The opening of the second location on the opposite side of Fredericton provides the business good geographical coverage.

Roy Kennedy first learned about Symach equipment two years ago from some CARSTAR business associates. They shared the benefits of the Symach system including how it helped with production.

When Knox joined the company shortly after, Kennedy asked him to manage the existing and new locations. Recognizing the industry was changing, Knox said that he was glad to join a progressive company.

He traveled to Toronto to tour some other body shops utilizing the Symach equipment.

“While I was there, I interviewed the owners and asked what their successes or failures were,” said Knox. “I soon learned that it was pure success. Both of the shops I talked to said if they had it to do over again, they wouldn’t hesitate.”

That was a big endorsement for the team at CARSTAR Fredericton and they decided to invest in the full suite of products. Once the building was prepared, it took less than a month to set up the new 10,000-square-foot shop.

Over the last month, the team has been in training mode and becoming more comfortable with the equipment and the business flow.

“I can see now why those shops we talked to have that outlook,” said Knox. “It’s true. Everything Symach’s marketing says it can do, it can.”

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