Building a Better Finishing Classroom for SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA had a unique problem facing them for the 46th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference which took place last year. Their collision repair students were desperately in need of a better facility in which to learn the essential techniques of proper paint finishing. The spray booths they’d used in the past were getting very ‘worn’ through many years of use as well as repeated assembly and disassembly. They needed a solution that not only provided a safe, clean paint environment, but it was critical that it be portable as well, and simple to setup.

Working together with Akzo Nobel, GFS engineers set to work designing a custom portable paint booth for SkillsUSA. Starting with a trailer supplied by Stoughton Trailer, GFS’ design team incorporated 9 open-face stalls in to the trailer, each with its own fresh air supply, spray system air supply, and special racking to support the panel being sprayed.

Over the course of the week-long conference, 5,600 outstanding career and technical education students (all state contest winners) had competed hands-on in 96 different trade, technical and leadership fields. The response to the new paint booth trailer was phenomenal, with the students being extremely happy with their new training equipment.

Designing the equipment was not without its challenges. Some of the issues GFS engineers solved were minimizing noise from the multiple fans required in the system, ensuring that all components were fully compliant with all safety codes, designing a shadow-free lighting system with spray-booth specific explosion-proof lighting, and high-efficiency filtration to maximize air quality and overspray capture.

GFS is proud to have participated in this project, as we feel that SkillsUSA provides an invaluable service to the youth of America in their pursuit of learning new skills and becoming highly-trained members of the workforce.

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