Abra Auto Body
Upgrading his existing GFS equipment, General Manager, Dennis Auld, decided to enclose his Closed-Top Open-Front (CTOF) Booth to increase finish quality and decrease energy costs.
Please introduce your business and tell us your story:
Mark Swelland, owner of Hudson Ford, wanted to branch out and offer body shop services to more vehicles, so he became an Abra franchisee seven years ago. There was often a barrier in some people’s minds that said you can’t get your car fixed at a Ford garage if it’s not a Ford vehicle. We’re owned by Ford, but we fix everything, and we’ve been operating as an Abra franchise since. Shortly after it became affiliated with Abra, production significantly increased, and that’s when we started using our prep station more.
What GFS equipment did you purchase?
We purchased a dual-bay CTOF Booth, Ultra XD Paint Booth and Ultra XD Mix Room, as well as an Aluminum Repair Station Plus to repair Ford aluminum-body trucks. Our CTOF Booth was originally put in just to be a prep station, but now we are using it as a complete paint booth.
How has the equipment changed your processes and impacted your business?
Our CTOF Booth is situated by a set of garage doors, and since the CTOF has a positive draw, all of the particles from the outdoors were coming in through the curtain walls and into the booth. Additionally, it was taking us longer to hit cure cycle temperatures because it was losing all that heat.
After about a year, we upgraded our equipment, added a heat exchanger and put doors on our dual-bay CTOF Booth. It has enabled us to have better contamination control, reduce buffing and cure vehicles much faster. Now it’s not uncommon to walk past and have my painter be painting six different colors in one booth cycle. Our process has really improved.
I ran the numbers, and it took only six months to pay for the doors with the heat and labor savings.