What better way to kick off a conference than a party? And BodyShop Business did just that Aug. 13 with a luau-themed bash held right on Lake Erie that set the tone for a fun and informative Waterborne Conference.
Over 100 collision repair industry professionals poured into Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio, to learn more about low-VOC refinishes and check out the latest products and equipment aimed at easing their transition from solvent-based to waterborne coatings.
“Based on the feedback we received from vendors and attendees alike, the conference was a huge success,” said BodyShop Business Publisher Scott Shriber. “Thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors, our speakers, I-CAR, the entire BodyShop Business team and Mother Nature, a good time was had by all and much progress was made toward educating the industry on the next revolution in the collision repair industry.”
Soaking Up the Sun
On a picture-perfect Thursday evening, guests at the AkzoNobel-sponsored party tried their hand at a golf skills competition that saw them take aim at a floating target from 70 yards out. Other guests played a beanbag toss and networked with their industry colleagues while enjoying cool beverages and a huge buffet. Noted speaker and 20-plus year BodyShop Business contributor Mark Clark wrapped up the evening with an overview of the waterborne movement.
Earlier the same day, a rapt crowd watched Tom Horvath of SYSTEM ONE give a hands-on demonstration on expert detailing using the same products that Horvath uses on Jay Leno’s extensive car collection.
Many attendees also took part in I-CAR training by attending the Waterborne Products, Systems, and Application (REF07) class.
Everyone also enjoyed a first look at low-VOC product and equipment offerings at a trade show that featured 25 different companies, including conference sponsors AkzoNobel, BASF, DuPont, Garmat, Global
Finishing Solutions, Junair Americas and Sherwin-Williams Automotive
Holly Wilson, lead for the EPA’s Community Air Program, kicked off a day’s worth of educational sessions on Friday by discussing the Collision Repair Campaign, which provides repairers with free training, technical assistance and tools for compliance with the 6H Rule.
The 6H Rule applies to all body shops and to many other small shops that paint metal and/or plastic parts. It also includes separate requirements for businesses that use chemical paint strippers containing methylene chloride (MeCl).
Wilson explained that the rule requires the use of specified equipment and management practices. Shops must also keep records of training and compliance activities, and must submit reports and notifications to the EPA or other designated agencies. Existing shops have up to three years to comply; new shops must comply upon start-up.
Wilson also explained that shops that conduct the following practices and use the following equipment may already comply with many of the requirements:
• Apply spray coatings in a booth, prep station or mobile enclosure; all with exhaust filters that capture at least 98 percent of the paint overspray.
• Use HVLP spray guns (or other application equipment with high transfer efficiencies).
• Use enclosed gun washers (or other methods that reduce emissions of cleaning solvent).
• Use low-VOC or waterborne paint.
Naveen Berry, planning and rules manager for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), followed up Wilson’s presentation by sharing details of the successful transition to low-VOC coatings that shops in Southern California recently underwent. Those shops reside in Orange County, Calif., and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties – the smoggiest region of the U.S. They had to switch to low-VOC basecoats and clearcoats effective July 1, 2008 to comply with the district’s Rule 1151.
Berry said that applying waterborne basecoats requires a different technique, specifically a high-volume, low-pressure technique and one or two “grip” coats following by a high-volume “full” coat. Also, for those shops needing more high volume air flow, an initial capital expenditure will be required but the result will be that process time is the same or less than it was with solvent-based coatings.
Telling It Like It Is
Mike Anderson, well known in the industry as a successful shop owner and dynamic speaker, kept the audience on their toes after lunch by discussing the “good, the bad, and the ugly” of his shops’ conversion to low-VOC basecoats.
Addressing efficiency, Anderson said that most shops could hope for painting one or two more vehicles a day, but no more.
He also said spray-out cards are an absolute must and that it is crucial to increase air movement within the spraybooth. Also, that prep work has to be extra thorough.
Between the informative conference sessions, attendees were treated to refreshments courtesy of Sherwin-Williams and ChemSpec USA.
Full video coverage of the conference will be available soon at www.bodyshopbusiness.com. Stay tuned!