How To Buy A Paint Booth For Your Auto Body Shop
There are many moving parts when running an auto body shop. Whether it's your prep station or your paint booth, there's typically always room for improvement. However, it's also good to know what works best with the space you have. Paint booths are a great way to improve on bottlenecks in your shop, and beyond that, the best manufacturers will actually put in the work for you (for installations, such as, but not limited to, plumbing) so that you're ready to paint the second construction is done. If you're looking to purchase a paint booth and increase your body shop's cycle time and throughput, here are a few simple facts you should know before choosing.
Downdraft or Modified-Downdraft
When it comes to buying the best paint booths for an auto body shop, modified-downdraft and downdraft are the way to go. Both downdraft and modified-downdraft offer the cleanest finishes with fewer flaws. This is because the air flow moves all of the contaminants downward into a pit (downdraft) as well as downward into vents in the walls (modified-downdraft). However, before you commit yourself to a full-on downdraft setup, it's important to know the space you're working with. Downdraft paint booths are either elevated with a steel pit beneath, or require a concrete hole to be dug below– which means extra space above and below are needed to install (depending on the choice you make). Beyond that, depending on the paint booth manufacturer, they can create a floor plan that would maximize not only your paint booth's location and efficiency, but also the rest of your shop.
Heated Paint Booths
Depending on your shop and location, there are heated and non-heated paint booths. In some instances, non-heated paint booths are the standard for base-level purchases. However, the manufacturer also plays a role. While not all standard booth models have heaters, they do have the option to add them in.
In most cases, heated paint booths are the best way to go. For example, if your business uses waterborne paint (which provides the best color matching & requires more air flow than heat for drying), the ideal temperature is 70–75° F (21–24° C). However, outside temperatures change depending on the season. If you’re in an area where it’s not uncommon for temperatures to be lower than the ones we said above, then you definitely want to have a heated booth. Beyond that, let’s say you’re in an area where the outside temperature is 90° F (32° C), you’ll want the booth to be slightly hotter at 95° F (35° C). As for solvent-based paint/clear-coat (which relies more on heat to dry), it’s important your booth doesn’t exceed outside ambient temperatures. So, if you’re in an 80° F (27° C) area, you want to make sure your booth is exactly the same temperature.
Drive-In-Back-Out & Drive-Through Paint Booth
Some paint booths require you to drive in and back out while others you can drive straight through. With drive-in-back-out (DIBO) paint booths, you’re much l less likely have contaminants enter the booth since there is only one way to enter. However, with drive-through booths, it is easier to drive a vehicle in one end out of the other (more efficient). In both cases, a good paint booth manufacturer will help draft up a floor plan for you for whichever variant you choose.
Single-Skin & Dual-Skin Paint Booth
A single-skin paint booth has walls that consist of one layer of steel. The booths themselves don’t necessarily retain heat as well as dual-skin paint booths. However, they’re great for low volume shops, smaller objects, and are typically much more affordable.
On the other hand, dual-skin paint booths have two layers of steel walls. This makes them more efficient at insulating heat and provides overall better temperature control. This is especially useful for shops that operate at a high volume.
Attached Paint Mix Room, Not Attached, Single-Skin, Dual-Skin, & ETL
When it comes down to it, every paint booth should have a mixing room. However, you can either have them attached or unattached to the booth itself, it ultimately comes down to space and how cost-effective it is for you. If the mixing room is attached, there’s an added benefit of organization and operational efficiency (meaning more vehicles worked on per day).
As for single-skin or dual-skin, dual-skin mix rooms are designed to provide well-illuminated and contaminant-free ventilation. They utilize negative pressure to ensure code compliance and keep everything as safe as possible. In comparison, single-skin mix rooms also provide a clean, , illuminated, and ventilated work-area. Beyond that, the units use positive pressure to eliminate contaminants in the mixing process.
Auxiliary Air Movement & An Accelerated Curing System For Waterborne Paint Drying
Auxiliary air movement systems (accelerated curing systems) are great for any business using waterborne paint. This system pushes out air at a higher velocity in order to accelerate the drying process (and the flow of air is extremely important for drying). It does so by breaking the micro-climate around the paint surface, allowing for water evaporation to happen much more quickly.
Garmat Can Help!
At Garmat USA, we are all about production efficiencies both for your shop, and for our operation.
We thrive on coming up with new methods to address the needs of our customers while meeting their budgets.
We are also dedicated to helping you save on your cost of operation. Garmat USA equipment is designed to reduce energy consumption, giving you the best possible return on your investment.
Every product and every improvement is developed with your business goals in mind- Lowering your operating costs and Increasing your production.