USI Paint Booths Play an Integral Role for 3 Auto Body Shops in NJ
Written by Autobody News Staff
Published May 18, 2022
Painters know a well-designed and well-built spray booth will set them up for ongoing success. “You’re only as good as your equipment,” a veteran refinisher said once, and it’s true.
A good paint booth will enable any painter to do a solid job, but a great piece of equipment is like a really smart and extremely talented painter’s helper on your crew. USI North America makes paint booths that allow painters to excel and create waterborne masterpieces that would impress even Leonardo da Vinci himself.
Best Management Services
Location: New Jersey
Company at a Glance…
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 44
In Business Since: 1988
Number of Locations: Three
Combined Production Space: 45,000 square feet
Sal Ferraro came from the dealership side to become the co-owner of three body shops---D&C Auto Body, Englewood Best and Paramus Best, all in New Jersey. He and his partner, James Best, have big plans to expand, but only when the situation is right on several levels. They have devised a strategic plan for finding shops to acquire and their formula is working well.
“We look for good shops that are in under-served locations and want a minimum of six bays, two prep bays and a paint booth,” Ferraro said. “We have great DRP relationships already in place, and we’re able to emulate our repair processes, customer service and overall approach. We have been able to double and triple revenues with every shop we acquire.”
To hit their numbers and build their business, Ferraro and Best bought several USI Chronotech paint booths, with plans to buy two more as they continue to expand. By painting a total of more than 300 cars every month out of the three locations, Best knows his USI booths need to be workhorses day in and day out.
“Other than changing the filters, we don’t have to think about our booths,” Best said. “Our painters love them and they’ve really helped our production because we can produce at least two additional vehicles every day. We can ride them hard and we know they’ll never let us down.”
Ferraro is also enamored with his Chronotechs.
"We love the waterborne feature of the USI North America booths, because we spray waterborne in all of our locations," he said. "With these booths, we're getting the shortest flash-off and curing times in the industry by far---it’s not even close. You push a button and it ramps up to cure the waterborne so fast; it is pretty amazing. With the Chronotechs, you don't need all of the fans to cure these vehicles. Plus, it saves us a ton on energy and we're keeping contaminants out of the paint."
With USI's Easy Paint System (EPS), the booth sets the working rhythm and parameters for each job, instead of it being performed by the painter.
"It's actually a button on the touch screen that we use in conjunction with the booth and it's a totally automated function," Best said. "It gives you the proper temperature, fan speed, duration, purge and proper bake and all you do is simply follow the instructions. You push the button and it tells you what to do---you really don't have to even think about it!
"They give you complete control with this feature, so that we can constantly have access to all of the data and parameters available about our energy consumption in real-time for each job, including time reports for the single cycles, operators and pieces,” Best said. “This way, we're not guessing; we're knowing."
Training for the USI spray booths was comprehensive and in-depth, with the help of Centerline Spraybooths, a jobber well-known for installing paint booths in body shops throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
"The people from USI and John Chafair Jr. from Centerline came in here and taught our painters how to use their system effectively and efficiently,” Best said.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to airflow, he said.
“We never need blowers or any additional air to cure these cars," Best said. "The fans in these Chronotechs are extraordinary because they feature variable speeds, so we can switch depending on the parameters of each job. Our painters are producing a remarkable product day after day, so these booths are saving us both time and money.”
Any issues Ferraro and Best have encountered with their USI booths have been easily solved. The co-owners feel good knowing if called upon, USI North America and Centerline Spraybooths will respond with solutions promptly and succinctly.
“If you do your scheduled maintenance and keep everything clean, these booths will last you 30 years and maybe even longer,” Ferraro said. “They’re an excellent investment and as we expand, we’ll be looking to get more USI booths.”
USI of North America
Company Contact: Stefano Moretto