A new, state-of-the-art portable spraybooth facility was introduced to students participating in the collision repair portion of the 46th annual SkillsUSA Leadership Conference held in Kansas City, Mo., June 20-25.
Alan Craighead, national automotive refinishing technology chairman for Skills USA, led the vision and implementation to build a new spray unit. Craighead is also Eastern Market technical manager for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas. The design was approved for construction in fourth quarter 2009. Funding and construction were made possible by the contributions of AkzoNobel, State Farm, 3M, SATA and Global Finishing Systems.
“It was a privilege to be able to share in the development of this worthy project,” said Rick Farnan, Facility Design Manager for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas. “Each of the nine stations has noise levels of approximately 72 dBa. Air flow around each painter is around 100 FPM. Compressed air (grade D) was fed through a factory-installed loop system providing both spray and breathable air. For evaluation, scoring and audience viewing, video cameras were set up to project to widescreen televisions outside of the spray units. Without question, this new spray unit provides students competing in the spraying event portion of the competition the most favorable conditions possible to demonstrate their skills and talents.”
A total of 15,000 people, with approximately 5,000 students, converged in Kansas City, which has hosted the competition for the past 17 years. The competitions involve multiple industries. They enable the students to not only exhibit their talents in a competitive format but more importantly, to make valuable networking connections to lead to future employment.
BodyShop Business Editor Jason Stahl’s recap of his trip to SkillsUSA