New Products Facilitate Productivity and Profitability
WILMINGTON, Del., October 4, 2006 - In the collision repair business , the key to profitability is fixing cars and then applying aesthetically superior finishes as quickly as possible. However, in 2009 California’s two largest air quality management districts will impose emissions regulations that shop owners fear will slow their paint operations, costing them efficiency and productivity.
When the new regulations take effect, collision repair shops in the South Coast and San Joaquin districts will have to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The only way to comply with the regulations is to substitute waterborne “base” coats that use water in place of much of the solvent in current paints. The base coat is the color component of an automotive painting system. DuPont™ Cromax® Pro is DuPont’s brand for its new water-based color coats.
“The trend toward sustainability is here to stay, so our objective is to help our customers not only cope with the new regulations, but actually improve their businesses in the process,” said John McCool , vice president and general manager of the refinish business in DuPont Performance Coatings. “Our new DuPont™ Cromax® Pro waterborne products represent a real technological breakthrough because they will help collision repair businesses comply with the new regulations while saving labor.”
When the new regulations were announced, some shop operators worried that waterborne finishes would add time and effort to the painting process. However, unlike solvent-based color coats that require painters to wait while solvent “flashes off” or evaporates, additional coats of water-based Cromax® Pro can be applied while the first coat is still wet, saving labor time. In addition, fewer layers of water-based color coats are required to achieve a high-quality automotive finish, saving more time and reducing the amount of paint used.
Traditional automotive base coats contain 6.2 pounds of solvent per gallon of product, while DuPont™ Cromax® Pro reduces its use of solvents nearly 50 percent. The new aftermarket paints will be introduced in California on March 1, 2007. Several major U.S. and European automakers already use waterborne paint systems in their assembly plants.
“More than 5,000 shops in the European Union have successfully converted over the last several years. DuPont science proved that waterborne finishes could deliver environmentally compliant products without requiring compromises in performance, price or productivity,” McCool said. “Shop owners in this country are understandably apprehensive about these new regulations and the shift to new products, but the reality is other jurisdictions in the United States, Canada and elsewhere are considering similar regulations.”
Conversion to waterborne paints requires relatively minor modifications to equipment and procedures. Factoring in productivity improvements, the new DuPont products are no more costly than their conventional counterparts.
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