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Paint booth preventative maintenance for your repair shop

One of the simplest ways for a heavy-duty repair shop to maintain, if not improve, the productivity of its paint booth is to keep it clean by establishing a preventative maintenance schedule.

“Like changing the oil in your vehicle, it’s just something that has to be done,” says, Troy Volbrecht, senior territory manager, Global Finishing Solutions (GFS), during HD Repair Forum’s monthly webinar series for the heavy-duty collision repair industry.

“Preventative maintenance decrease the likelihood of your equipment failing, helps keep your booth producing efficiently and reduces production costs,” Volbrecht says, adding PM to parts and filters is important to a shop’s success.

Part of maintaining the paint booth is choosing the right intake and exhaust filter.

“Invest in high quality products. Cheap filters load with paint more quickly, causing more frequent filter changes. Low cost alternatives have a lower capture efficiency, leading to a higher expense of replacing other parts such as fans, motors and duct work,” he says.

Filter replacement protocols need to be carefully managed so painters and service personnel know when it’s time to change filters. The booth’s differential pressure gauge should be monitored and its readings should be compared with paint booth manufacturer specifications, Volbrecht says.

“If your paint booth does not have a differential pressure gauge, it is best to establish a strict maintenance schedule based on the volume of spraying taking place in the booth on a day-to-day basis,” he says.

Another reason for proper filter replacement is fire prevention.

“Clogged filters may create flammable or explosive conditions in your paint booth,” he says. “With so many different styles and brands, filters will reach their target reading and require replacement at various rates depending on the paint type, booth design, fans speed, temperature and spray equipment.”

Volbrecht cautions shop owners about disposing filters properly as some states allow filters simply to be thrown in the trash. For states that don’t allow that, he says his distributors in certain areas will dispose of service shops’ filters properly.

In addition to filters, proper fan inspection and maintenance should be established.

Because fans can get covered with overspray, proper fan inspection and maintenance helps guard against future problems or issues with the exhaust system. Volbrecht says a regular routine must be kept to prevent additional maintenance and possible damage to equipment.

“If you have dampers, you probably have a recirc cycle with 80 percent of your air supposed to come back in during the bake cycle. If your dampers are stuck open, your booth might think it’s in the recirc but it’s really not because the dampers are stuck as well,” he says.

Volbrecht also advises using a strippable protective coating for the walls and floor of the paint booth, such as Booth Shield from GFS.

According to the company, the protective coatings are easier to use than traditional paper wrap and create less mess. Once dry, the floor and wall coatings can stand up to heavy use. Booth Shield Peelable White brightens galvanized booths, giving them a white finish, providing good visibility for working inside the booth, the company says.

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