Stefan Gesterkamp

Thursday, 25 October 2012 17:56

E-Coated Parts Procedure

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

For some months now, people keep asking me why I haven’t recently contributed to Autobody News. The answer is simple, I didn’t feel I had anything interesting or of value to write about. This changed a few weeks ago.


As a paint manufacturer’s rep, there is not a month that goes by without being put in the middle of collision repairers and insurers, expected to chime in on a dispute about what is necessary for a proper repair.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:13

How Lucky Do You Feel?—Durability of Back-Taped Edges

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

One of my customers asked me to provide feedback on an issue that I feel most collision repairers and insurance professionals would be interested in.

Thursday, 20 October 2011 17:42

Taking a Fresh Look at an Old Debate—Color Matching, Blending, or Both?

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

As a paint manufacturer’s rep, there is not a single month that goes by without being put in the middle of collision repairers and insurers; expected to chime in on a dispute about what is necessary for a proper repair. In the July 2010 edition of Autobody News, I wrote an article on the debate about Color Match, Blending or both and no matter how many industry experts since then have expressed a similar point of view—this debate never seems to loose momentum.

Thursday, 27 May 2010 21:05

Open Clearcoat Blends

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

Although I know better than being surprised about issues that never seem to go away, it still puzzles me how we can hold on to some for as long as we do.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 14:58

Is Waterborne Paint the Only Answer for Low VOC Requirements?

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

In an Autobody News column last issue, the point was made that Southern Califoria shops can still use a VOC compliant solvent-borne basecoat systems rather than a waterborne basecoat system.  Some of you may have read this and thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I thought in California’s Rule 1151 and other similar rules, water was the only game in town?’

Well, the rule asks for a 3.5 VOC basecoat. It does not specify that you have to use waterborne paint. How you get to 3.5 VOC is not the important thing. But there's another question: Why would a shop want to go waterborne if they don’t have to?

After my February column (see related here) on spray-gun choices appeared in Autobody News, I was asked to clarify a point I made on CFM availability in the shop during peak air consumption.

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and a spray gun’s peak performance is depending on proper air volume. Each spray gun is engineered and tuned, just like a carburetor, for a specific CFM consumption. Some spray guns ask for 8-9 CFM and others want 17 CFM or more for optimum performance. Less CFM consumption doesn’t automatically translate into a better quality spray gun; it simply means that it could be the better choice for your situation. Most manufacturers’ spray guns will consistently perform well and do exactly what they are designed to do, as long as you provide them with their basic pressure and volume requirements.

Tuesday, 09 February 2010 14:45

What is the Best Spray Gun on the Market? No Easy Answer...

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

A frequent question I get on an almost weekly basis is as old as our industry itself and the answer is still “it depends.”

Monday, 11 January 2010 14:31

Color Matching or Blending, or Both?

Written by Stefan Gesterkamp

Some things never change. It seems that every couple of months the insurance industry picks an aspect of the collision repair process and tries to change, alter, or ‘massage’ it. This is an obvious attempt to control costs and it is a challenge to the shops, continually justifying our repair methods and procedures. From a business perspective this is perfectly understandable and, depending on the issue, it may even lead to improvements for both parties.

It is easy for me to tell when the focus shifts to a new process. Within a couple of days I receive phone calls from several clients requesting my point of view on the new topic. The latest one that came up is an interesting question and as is often the case, there is no cut and dried answer to any part of it.