“Potential is There for More Throughput” with Dual-Bay CTOF Booth at ABRA Faribault

With a shop expansion underway at ABRA Auto Body Repair of America in Faribault, Minnesota, three things were priorities for body shop general manager Aaron Kasparek — increased flexibility, more space and better contamination control. Check, check and check, mostly thanks to a dual-bay Ultra XD Closed-Top Open-Front (CTOF) Booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) and local distributor Platinum Equipment that was paired with an Ultra XD Paint Booth and Ultra XD Paint Mix Room in hopes maximized productivity boosts the bottom line.

Please introduce your business and tell us your story.

“This ABRA franchise has been here for 15 years, and I’ve been here for 14 years. It’s owned by Harry Brown’s, which is a family-owned GM and Chrysler dealership. They’ve been in business since 1968. They had a body shop prior to the ABRA franchise, then closed it down and brought back the body shop as an ABRA franchise in 2008.”

How did you decide on GFS equipment?

“We previously sprayed in a semi-downdraft paint booth with a double-curtained prep deck. We had a very small paint mix room that could only fit one person at a time, and airflow was an issue in the paint booth. We needed to upgrade based on the size of our shop.

“A few years ago, we toured GFS’ manufacturing facility and training center (in Osseo, Wisconsin). GFS is regional to us, and they have a good relationship with ABRA corporate. We liked GFS’ products and their proximity versus an Italian manufacturer that is across the ocean. If we need a replacement part, we are able to get it quick.”

What do you like most about your GFS equipment?

“Having a downdraft paint booth, rather than a semi-downdraft booth, we have much better airflow and less overspray. With the semi-downdraft booth, it created turbulence in the air that would push overspray underneath the plastic that’s taped on vehicles. We don’t have any issues with that anymore. The overspray now flows straight down into the exhaust pit.

“With an improved workflow — getting vehicles in and out of the booths — and the increased space in front of the booths, we are dialed in. The potential is there for more throughput. We can definitely turn more out than we did with our previous booths.”

How has your GFS equipment benefited your business?

“It’s like having three paint booths. If we have a big job, painting a lot of parts off, it may take up the entire prep booth, so it’s nice to have another booth to spray in. Our prep booth is a little bigger, so we have extra room for taller vehicles, and it’s a little deeper, and that gives us extra space as well. We paint a lot of parts off, so a lot of times, we utilize both those bays. Having a sealed, hard-sided prep booth versus curtains also makes a massive difference for contamination control.”

What is the plan for the future of your business?

“We’re still working on some remodeling in the body shop. We plan to wrap that up in the next 60 days, then work on process. We have great people — from the front office to the paint shop — that work well together and work hard. We hope to get to $600,000 to $700,000 a month in sales, but we need to have a really tight process to be able to do that.”

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