Problem Solved — Ohio Body Shop Improves Efficiency With the Help of Air Quality Grant

Automotive paint booth

A new paint booth can significantly increase throughput — from providing more working area in the booth to shortening cycle times and allowing more cycles to run per day. It can also lead to improvements in paint finish quality and shop efficiency, as well as the invisible benefits of cleaner air in the body shop and surrounding community.

One body shop that has benefitted from adding a new paint booth is K-Ceps Auto Body, a family-owned business in Johnstown, Ohio. Established in 1993 by the current owner, Ray Speck, K-Ceps has since grown to operate in two locations with 12 employees, providing collision repair and service to the Licking County area.

With a spray booth that included a 200,000 BTU furnace, K-Ceps Auto Body was essentially operating at zero percent heat efficiency. Interested in protecting the environment for customers, employees and the community, the family at K-Ceps started looking into other paint booth options.

“It’s a good time to be a consumer in the booth market,” says Chris Speck, manager of K-Ceps Auto Body, “but it really came down to service — at some point I am going to need it. I was leery about purchasing an Italian booth, as I may not have access to local service and maintenance. Who’s going to help me? I liked that GFS is based right here in the U.S.”

With the help of their paint supplier, Ohio Auto Kolor, and GFS distributor, Tim Fondy of Midwest Spray Booths, K-Ceps learned about financing assistance through the Clean Air Resource Center (CARC) program that could help offset the cost of purchasing a new paint booth. Run by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA), the Clean Air Resource Center is a program developed to help make clean air compliance more affordable for small businesses. The program offers financing for eligible small businesses to assist in preventing air pollution with new, more environmentally-friendly capital equipment.

Upon completing the necessary application procedures, K-Ceps was approved for financing from the Clean Air Resource Center to purchase and install a new, heated, downdraft paint booth. The shop selected and later purchased an air regulation compliant Ultra® XD Paint Booth with eco-options and LOGIC control panel from Global Finishing Solutions® (GFS).

Since the paint booth was installed in May, Chris said that production has nearly doubled, with K-Ceps putting four to five cars per day through the booth and 20 or more each week. When asked about the production, Chris said, “It’s super efficient. Once it gets hot, it stays hot. I was skeptical about the waterborne drying capabilities at first, but it’s faster than our painter — it’s incredible. We could not be happier.”

GFS is passionate about preventing air pollution and helping small businesses meet or exceed air quality requirements. Auto body shops in Ohio may qualify for financing and are encouraged to research this opportunity to apply for assistance in the process of buying or replacing a paint booth.

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