A paint technician that can keep up with demanding production needs will be one of the most valuable employees to any high production repair facility. To be successful in this type of environment, here are a few tips for maximizing the jobs that go through your paint booth:
Use Dry Time Efficiently – The best paint techs know that the application of paint is one the easiest part of the job, most people can be taught how to spray product with a paint gun. Organizing your day is what’s key to maximizing productivity. A good paint tech will use this time to color match any potential job that will make its way to the booth, this way any potential problems can be identified well in advance. You should also use this time to mix color, check prep work, and make sure all parts on the work order will arrive in the booth with the job. The most successful paint techs do not take breaks with the rest of the shop, but instead, coordinate them around a bake cycle to minimize the impact on production.
Maintain Spray Equipment – There is never a good time for rework! Always take the time to properly clean your spray equipment after each job and dry it thoroughly afterward. This may sound obvious, but this process breaks down more often than you might think. An improperly functioning gun will make paint application much more challenging and lead to more time spent in the booth correcting an application gone wrong. You should also monitor your air filtration system and make sure you’re spraying with clean, dry air.
Know Your Products – Paint manufacturers are all continuing to innovate and find ways to help you get the most out of your day. Most manufacturers offer high production clears that can shorten or eliminate bake cycles, these clears may be a preferred solution for your shop. Other innovative products might include direct to plastic or direct to e-coat sealers, single-step under-hood additives, metal breakthrough wipes, etc. Your paint manufacturers website can be an excellent resource for this information along with product data sheets that ensure it’s used correctly.
Invest in Good Stands – Sometimes shops are reluctant to invest in proper parts stands, but they can add a great deal of value to production. Quality hood, door, and bumper stands can help speed up paint application and allow for cutting in and painting the exterior all in one booth visit. Be sure to keep prep stands on the production floor and try to reserve paint stands for only the booth.
Build a Spray-out Library – Many successful paint techs have this in common, a well organized spray-out library. With almost every job you paint, a spray-out card should be automatic. Creating a good reference library, especially for frequent colors you might encounter, can drastically increase the time you spend matching color on the jobs down the road. You should also re-spray colors occasionally as sometimes variants are reformulated due to raw material/toner changes, this can slightly change the color. A wall mounted cabinet works best to help keep you organized.