Choosing Between a CTOF Booth and a Paint Booth

For collision repair centers in need of new equipment, the choice between a Closed-Top Open-Front (CTOF) Booth and a standard paint booth is largely predicated by a shop’s budget and the type of repair work they plan on performing in the booth.

A CTOF Booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) provides versatility for shops at a less expensive price point, with the ability to perform small repairs in a controlled, code-compliant environment. More extensive paint jobs are more easily performed in a standard paint booth, which offers better contamination control for higher-quality finishes.

Versatility of CTOF Booths

A CTOF Booth presents a versatile working environment for auto body shops seeking a more affordable option. The upfront cost of a CTOF Booth is significantly less, and moving vehicles and parts in and out of a CTOF Booth can be easier since it is enclosed by curtains, rather than doors.

With CTOF Booths, vehicles can be filled, primed, sealed, painted and cured in one location. They are increasingly being paired with standard paint booths as part of a Side-Load Finishing System, in which vehicles move quickly between work bays on an integrated track and dolly system, improving productivity and maximizing shop space.

One of the biggest benefits of CTOF Booths is a dual-bay option, which enables two vehicles to be worked on simultaneous side by side. This can provide a big boost for shops trying to speed their cycle times and can help prevent vehicles from getting backlogged in the repair process.

CTOF Booths come standard with curtains instead of product doors. When curtains are placed on a CTOF Booth, most of the opening through which fresh air enters the booth is closed off. The booth must still be pressurized to prevent the curtains from being sucked into the booth when the exhaust system is turned on. Because of the presence of gaps around the curtains through which air could escape, the booth is maintained at a slightly negative pressure, ensuring overspray and vapors are confined to the booth.

Doing More with Paint Booths

Unlike CTOF Booths, standard paint booths always come with doors in a single-bay configuration. If a shop regularly paints four or more panels, a standard paint booth, such as the Ultra Paint Booth line from GFS, checks more boxes from a quality standpoint. Finish quality is a top priority for many shops, especially when spraying expensive paint on high-end vehicles.

In general, paint booths provide the best airflow and performance for achieving premium finishes. The biggest advantages of a paint booth include:

  • Sidewall lights that provide better visibility and minimize shadows
  • Optimal airflow with single-bay booths (dual-bay CTOF Booths share a single air make-up unit)
  • The ability to recirculate air for energy savings (because paint booths have doors)

Ultra Paint Booths offer more precise contamination control for high-quality paint finishes. The patented ceiling design on the Ultra XD Paint Booth, the Controlled Airflow Ceiling (CAF), maximizes the effectiveness of downdraft airflow and increases the booth’s overall spray zone — eliminating dead air zones and allowing technicians to paint more parts in each booth cycle. Secondary airflow zones keep contaminants away from the paint job and prevent overspray from collecting on the booth’s walls.

“The CAF ceiling results in high-quality paint finishes and less booth cleanup,” said Jason Garfoot, senior technical advisor for GFS. “Your shop will benefit from cleaner paint jobs, a more efficient booth and an overall better painting environment.”

Integrating Accelerated Curing

Standard paint booths and CTOF Booths can both be integrated with accelerated infrared curing, such as REVO Systems from GFS. The fast-positioning REVO Speed is best suited for standard paint booths for repairs on one to four panels, whereas the two-cassette REVO Rapid is perfect for smaller, quick repairs of one to two panels in CTOF Booths.

Whether your shop chooses a CTOF Booth or a standard paint booth from GFS, being able to spray in a controlled environment is essential to meeting quality standards demanded by customers and insurance companies. And CTOF Booths and standard paint booths from GFS are code compliant, ensuring your equipment, facility and workers are protected.

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