Brett McNeil of 3M Automotive Aftermarket.
Constantino Uliano, Spanesi Americas
Gilbert Cormier, PPG Canada (right upper photo). Art Ewing, BETAG North America; Tom Bissonnette, SAAR; Scott Kucharyshen, Saskatchewan Polytechnic; Dave Flockhart, BETAG North America (right lower photo).
Latest in products, tools and training at the Auto Electric Service Show
Story by ALLISON ROGERS
Held every five years, the Regina Auto Electric Service Trade Show hosted its 80th event in mid-March, where more than 100 vendors gathered to show the latest products, tools and training the industry has to offer.
Collision companies in attendance included BETAG North America, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers (SAAR), PPG, 3M Automotive Aftermarket, Spanesi Americas and Specialty Product Sales.
BETAG took the opportunity to promote its Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) course offered through Sask Polytech, which instructor Scott Kucharyshen says, “takes repairs to the next level.” The course is designed to help collision centres repair more parts, rather than replace, and is said to drive production by increasing the technician’s capability and efficiency.
Given recent interest, Sask Polyech has upped its course offerings, with four separate classes set to run from August through December this year: two in Saskatoon, and two in Regina.
Brett McNeil was at the show representing 3M Automotive Aftermarket, where he demonstrated the company’s Cubitron II abrasive line and the Festool dustless sanding system.
Josh Stoez of Specialty Product Sales showed off some Canadian-made products, like Uniram’s best-selling UG5000W and UG2000DM gun washer models, as well as Dominion Sure Seal products and “classic equipment” from Innovative Tools, like the new Spray Gun Cabinet Deluxe and various stands.
Constantino Uliano, the Canadian rep for Spanesi Americas, was also in attendance to show off Spanesi’s “360” arsenal of products, from the FLASH pulling system to the Spanesi Touch 3D measuring system, the PULL UP! glue system and more.
PPG’s booth featured the exciting Moonwalk automated paint mixing machine. While popular in Europe, Gilbert Cormier of PPG Canada said the coatings giant is now ready to “get everyone in Canada excited about it.”
“It gives your painters the opportunity to go do something more productive than mixing paint. Mixing paint takes time, we can make mistakes, we can overmix, we have spillage—what this helps is do is stay accurate up to hundredth of a gram—compared to most conventional mixing systems, which stick to a tenth of a gram.
After the user fires a paint code, toner is manually loaded (in no specific order), and a “robot” scans all the barcodes to kickoff the mixing process.
“Me, as a painter—I can do something else. I can go prep, go mask; if I have another job going, I could go finish painting something while Moonwalk does my mixing for me.” Cormier says Moonwalk is highly efficient in large shops doing between six and eight mixes per day.
“If we look at the cost of a labour minute per technician; say it takes eight minutes to mix paint. Six mixes per day, times eight minutes each time,” explained Cormier.
PPG is offering a five-year lease program for the tool, at approximately US$750, or just over $1,000 per month.
“After that, [shops] have the option to purchase,” he added. “But the benefits of a lease versus a purchase—shops don’t own the maintenance. It’s PPG’s responsibility to fix it, and we will fix it.”
For more information on the Regina Auto Electric Service Trade Show, visit the SAAR Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saarsk for Tom Bissonnette’s exclusive coverage.