In some previous columns (“Use a paint list, right vehicle prep to boost throughput,” February 2019; “Maximize your paint shop performance,” January 2019; and “Track and improve these numbers in your refinish department,” December 2018) I outlined some of the factors that can have an impact on your paint shop’s performance. Here are a couple more.
Create and follow a maintenance schedule
Whenever I’m in a shop struggling with die-back, especially on horizontal vehicle panels, I immediately make a beeline for the spray booth to examine the floor filter. Chances are, it’s filled with sandpaper, dirt and razor blades, so I know it wasn’t changed as recently as it should have been.
That’s a shop that needs a clearly defined maintenance schedule that designates, for example, how often that filter must be changed, who is responsible for doing it and when it was last done.
Booth filter changes are a key element of such a schedule. The floor filter in particular impacts air flow, curing time and dirt issues. How often filters need to be changed can be based in part on volume, but make sure the booth manufacturer recommendations for filter changes are followed.
The maintenance list should also include things like draining the compressor water. “Oh, the automatic release valve does that,” shops sometimes tell me. Yeah, but when was the last time you checked to make sure that was working?
Checking and replacing compressed air lines should be done on a scheduled basis. Any airline in the spray booth during the bake cycle, for example, will start to deteriorate earlier than most others and will need to be replaced more frequently.
Cleaning lighting fixtures and replacing bulbs is another maintenance issue I often see neglected.
So work with your team to create and post a maintenance schedule that enables this important work to be managed.
Manage your inventory
Materials profit and paint shop production can be significantly impacted by something as mundane seeming as good inventory management.