Location: Lockport, NY
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: Two
In Business Since: 2014
Number of Locations: One
Combined Production Space: 2,000 square feet
Diane Brunetta, co-owner of D&R Collision, said that about 80 percent of the shop’s business comes from potential customers noticing that sign.
Diane and her husband, Rich, opened D&R Collision in 2014. Their mission is to offer all of their customers personalized service and quality workmanship.
“We understand that customers’ vehicles are a major investment, and we strive to provide the best service available,” said Diane. “Customers can trust us to return their vehicles to new-looking, pre-accident condition.”
Although Diane has a background as a hairdresser, she has always had an interest in auto body repair. She eventually worked at an auto auction company and then a body shop, where she learned the trade. Diane also spent time helping her father in his garage.
Rich worked at his brothers’ collision repair shop from an early age and has been in the industry for more than 42 years.
The two met six years ago while employed together at another local auto body shop. Diane worked in the office, and Rich was a head technician.
After getting married in 2014, they decided to open a collision repair shop together. Diane manages the office, while Rich repairs vehicles. She often helps him with tear-down and reassembly as well.
They primarily focus on collision repair, and Diane said they have a good, solid wholesale business as well. A large part of their jobs includes insurance work. Whenever possible, Diane said they help customers save money on their deductible.
“We keep our overhead low, which helps keep the costs down for customers,” she said.
Earlier this year, the owner of NRD, Gary Moose, came into the shop to have some work done on his vehicle. His son, who had also had his car repaired at D&R, had referred his dad to the shop. Moose told Diane and Rich about the Neutralizer AC Auto Body Refinishing Anti-static Gun and recommended it as a great tool to have.
Established in 1969, NRD is a global supplier of devices that eliminate static charge that can result in damaging electrostatic discharge. The company also manufactures specialty ionizers for the auto body industry to eliminate surface contamination due to static charge. The products help keep the surface clean to avoid reworking and buffing.
Left: Owners Rich and Diane Brunetta opened their collision repair facility in 2014. Right: Rich Brunetta said NRD’s anti-static blow-off gun is great for all stages of paint while working on vehicles.
Over his career, Rich has found that electrostatic discharge is a constant challenge in auto body shops. With the amount of dust and other unwanted particles, he said it is very difficult to keep surfaces clean and can cause blemishes in paint finishes and other work surfaces. He has used other ionizer guns in the past but said NRD’s product has been a step ahead of the competition.
NRD’s anti-static blow-off gun incorporates the efficiency and power of an air amplifier with the technology of corona ionization. The lightweight gun offers a wide coverage area and has a rechargeable lithium ion battery. In addition, it incorporates a safety trigger key, hanging ring and an easily replaceable emitter pin and filter.
Since using the gun, Rich said it has increased productivity in the shop, which has helped with the business’s profitability.
“We have [much] cleaner paint jobs, and there is less sanding and buffing needed, which minimizes reworking,” explained Rich. “Dirt and other debris won’t stick to the vehicle while we are painting it.”
He has found there is shorter prep time and the anti-static blow-off gun is great for all stages of paint while working on vehicles.
“When I finish painting something, I can unmask it and send it out the door instead of unmasking it and then having to sand the dirt and then buff and clean it,” said Rich. “It probably saves me two or three hours on every job, and time is money. The quicker you can get cars in and out, the more money you are making.”
Prior to using the ionizer gun, NRD spent time with Rich over the phone to understand the shop’s unique goals and then made recommendations to meet its specifications based on airflow, location, safety considerations, power supply, environmental influences and cost. NRD also explained how to use and maintain the product in detail.
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To read more auto body shop profiles from the October 2018 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.