Wednesday, 19 September 2018 15:05

Sherwin-Williams Study Reveals Primary Reason Body Shops Prefer Waterborne Coatings

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Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes recently launched its new Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System. Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes recently launched its new Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System.


With the usage of waterborne coatings on the rise, a recent study conducted by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes found that quality was the primary reason collision repairers favor waterborne refinish coatings over traditional solvent systems.


The study was conducted in July, prior to the company launching its new Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System the following month.


“As we prepared to launch our new product, we were interested in finding out general user opinions about waterborne coatings and what is driving the change to use them,” said Brian Shenk, marketing director for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “The extensive market survey revealed a number of trends and information regarding the use and increased acceptance of waterborne systems.”


Out of the 250 survey respondents across the United States, the majority classified themselves as body shop owners or managers. Seventy-seven percent work for or own an independent body shop, and 60 percent have annual revenue of $1.5 million or less.


According to the survey, 64 percent of collision repair shops have used waterborne paint within the last year.


“When we first started manufacturing waterborne coatings for the refinish market, we expected that most people were going to want to use them because of changing [VOC] legislation and wanting to be ahead of the curve in regard to compliance,” said Shenk. "What we’re finding is that the technology behind waterborne paint is so superior today that shops are changing for a completely different set of reasons other than because they are required to do so.”

As a result of the study, Shenk said they learned the five key considerations from collision repairers when choosing a new waterborne system for their facility. Color match was at the top of the list followed closely by productivity and ease of system use. Price and OEM approvals were also factors in their decision-making process.


The number one reason shops aren’t using waterborne coatings, according to the study, is the cost of new equipment. However, more than half of those who currently don’t utilize them said that they plan to do so or at least look into it over the next year.

“There’s a reasonably big contingent of underinformed shop owners who have misconceptions about waterborne systems,” said Shenk.


Typically, he said those not using waterborne basecoats believe they are significantly slower than solvents and not going to provide the same color match or durability. They might have tried it years ago or heard mixed reviews.


“It surprises me that people make up their mind one way or another about waterborne coatings and then don’t consider them again,” said Shenk. “Today’s products are vastly different.”


Some of the recent innovations introduced to the market include increased production, quality of paint matching, better application equipment and supplier training.


“By today’s standards, all shops should be switching to water,” said Greg Weaver, co-owner of Acworth Collision in Acworth, GA. “Shops need to forget the water-based horror stories. Today’s systems provide better color match, better speed and are equal to, or even less, in overall expense compared to solvent.”


“We wanted to ensure our new product could perform in really busy collision shops,” said Shenk. “This research tells us that we’re on the right track. We’ve received an unwavering positive response from our customers, and it gives us confidence that the product is what our customers want.”


Sold exclusively through the Sherwin-Williams branch stores in North America, the Ultra 9K system is compact, requiring less than 70 toners and a single reducer.


Shenk said the new line was created to provide precise and quick color match to help shops improve cycle time and maximize throughput. It utilizes intuitive Color Retrieval Software and spectrophotometer as well as a wet-on-wet application. It is compliant in national rule and VOC-regulated areas and can be used in various climates in high or low humidity.


Steve Raines, manager for Acworth Collision, in Acworth, GA, said the shop’s painters love to spray Ultra 9K.


“It goes on wet-on-wet so it’s faster than other systems, the color match is outstanding, and it’s really more production-friendly,” he said. “It even reacts well to humidity, which is something we struggled with using other systems.”

“The new Ultra 9K system addresses what is most important to every collision center—productivity and efficiency,” said Rob Mowson, vice president of marketing for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “It utilizes the finest speed primers, color basecoat and fast glamour-producing clearcoats. We wanted this system to be a true change for the industry. We re-thought everything to make sure that the entire shop experience is best-in-class.”


Shenk said the bottom line is that there are two main considerations for a shop when considering a refinish system: color match and turnaround time, both of which Ultra 9K offers collision repairers.


“We’ve been very pleased with our customers’ reaction to the new product,” said Shenk. “It’s fun to connect with customers and introduce a product that is welcomed by those in the industry who need it. It’s really satisfying to have something so meaningful in the work lives of painters and people who run body shops.”


Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes manufactures and distributes a complete line of advanced technology paint and coating systems for automotive and fleet refinishing industries. The Automotive Finishes division is part of The Sherwin-Williams Performance Coatings Group, which supplies a broad range of highly engineered solutions in more than 120 countries around the world. Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution and sale of paints, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial and retail customers.