Buying Tips: Spraybooths - BodyShop Business

Buying Tips: Spraybooths

Several spraybooth manufacturers offer their advice on how to get the most out of your search and purchase.

If you’re shopping for a spraybooth, make sure you look for these key energy-saving features:

  • Variable frequency drives (VFDs) – These not only allow users to save on electrical energy, but users also can add a number of energy-saving process features to control panels. They should either be on only the exhaust or on both intake or exhaust if the system has an intake.
  • Direct fire – The industry standard for heated systems. Indirect fire heat should only be a last resort if the only available fuel is oil. Any booth that’s heated should recycle a minimum of 80 percent of the heated air when in the bake cycle, saving a lot of energy that would otherwise be wasted. Adding a non-recycling heater to a spraybooth is a short-term gain and a long-term loss.

While the technology, design and construction of the paint booth are crucial factors to consider, the need for after-sales support for shops to get the return on investment from their booth cannot be emphasized enough. Once you commit to a piece of capital equipment, you want to be sure that the manufacturer has the resources and network in place to service and support that equipment. For example, GFS’ nationwide distribution network doesn’t just handle sales of paint booths, but also installs the products, provides service, assists with facility planning, code compliance, startup and training. In addition, having the ability to obtain service and support direct from the manufacturer is extremely important. OEM parts and filters from the original manufacturer of your paint booth will ensure that it operates as it was designed to, and will help ensure that your booth delivers the productivity your shop needs it to provide.

When buying a spraybooth, everyone wants the best product for their money. However, the upfront price of the booth is only half the equation.  Look for other costs associated with a spraybooth installation. These include concrete, permits, gas and electrical. These often get overlooked and can cost as much as the booth.  Make sure you work with an experienced manufacturer that can guide you through the installation. You also want a manufacturer who will be with you long after the initial sale. A spraybooth is a long-term investment and you need a partner who has a great track record.

Finally, look at the serviceability of the product. Many booths are imported and so are the service parts.  Some products require a special technician to perform the service work. You need a product that can be quickly repaired. Learn to ask questions like, “How long have you been in business?” “Do you have direct installation crews?” “Do you have parts readily available for service and can an electrician install them?” These questions will ensure that your purchase will last for the long haul and bring you the right return on investment.

Auto Body Toolmart
Automotive paint booths are available in many different configurations. Here are a few very important things that should be considered up-front:

  • Are you having your booth installed, or will you be assembling it yourself? Installing a booth yourself is much easier than it looks and can save you thousands. Nut and bolt booths are sturdier and easier to install than zip screw booths.
  • What is the largest vehicle you will be painting? There is no need to get a booth to hold larger vehicles that you won’t be painting.
  • Are bulbs included, and do the light fixtures have inside access?
  • Is the booth legal? Make sure your booth meets all national and local codes.
  • Is it American-made?

When buying spraybooths, economic efficiency and cost of operation are important to consider. Maintenance costs include air filters, lightbulbs, and general wear and tear. Filters can be
expensive to replace, especially intake filters. Energy costs to consider are electrical usage and fuel consumption of the air make-up system.

AFC Finishing Systems
A spraybooth is a significant investment for any body shop, and it’s important to make an informed purchase decision. The first thing to consider is the experience of the manufacturer. Second, what support before and after the sale does the company offer? Third, make sure you know what you’re buying. Understanding your spraybooth manufacturer is  the key to making an informed purchase decision.

Making the choice of what to purchase is critical to your business success.

  1. Distribution – Do they offer support before, during and after the sale?
  2. Performance – Look for features that enhance productivity.
  3. Installation – Be aware of hidden costs, and also be cognizant that you’re not trading a lower equipment price for higher installation costs.
  4. Reputation – Get an unbiased opinion from your peers. Talk to other shop owners and ask what equipment they recommend.
  5. Ease of Maintenance – Longevity of your equipment is tied to preventative maintenance. Simplified procedures can lengthen its lifespan.

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