Car Repair at an Automotive Bodyshop

Essential Car Body Shop Equipment & Repair Tools

Author:
Mark Boyle
Date:
Monday 10th January 2022
Category:

Car body shops and detailers are essential businesses within the automotive industry. Vehicles require regular maintenance to keep them in roadworthy condition, compliant with laws, and prevent breakdowns and accidents. An annual service at a professional garage, often paired with an MOT, is one of the best ways to maintain a car. If an accident occurs, a complete repair is recommended to avoid further issues down the line.

This is where body shops and detailers provide valuable services to drivers. Generally speaking, an auto body shop specialises in fixing significant damage to the car. Detailers are often associated with extensive cleaning and minor repairs such as dents and scratches. However, there is plenty of crossover between the two, and the type of services offered will depend on each business. Regardless, both types of businesses are vital for keeping vehicles in a safe and high-quality condition.

So, what types of car body repair tools and equipment do automotive businesses use to carry out repairs and maintenance jobs? From spray guns to heat lamps, there are several tools that body shops and detailers find essential. This guide will look at some of the essential body shop equipment…

What Does a Car Body Shop Need to Consider?

If you operate your own car body shop or are considering setting one up in the future, there are several considerations to take into account to ensure your operations run smoothly. Perhaps most importantly, you need to consider what services you want to offer and your maximum capacity. For instance, will you carry out advanced repairs, paint resprays and MOTs, or just a small selection of jobs? Will you need a SMART repair heat lamp, allowing you to complete minor repairs without replacing full panels? Do you intend to be able to work on multiple requests from customers at any single time, or will you be limited? Many of the answers to these questions will depend on the demand in your local area. The population, competing businesses and accident rate are just a few of the factors that will determine how busy your body shop will be.

For body shops and detailers, productivity, cost and time are three critically important elements to think about. Your business only makes money when a job is completed, and the vehicle is returned to the customer. As a body shop, you will want to swiftly move on from one car to another, while the customer will want their prized possession back in their hands as soon as possible. With that said, you cannot sacrifice quality for the sake of speed, and it’s essential to get the job done right, especially when customer retention and word of mouth is so crucial.

Investing in the right equipment will help you increase productivity, improve the smoothness of your operations, automate certain processes, and free up your staff’s time to work on other tasks. Ultimately, it will save you time and money and ensure that you can continually accept new work on an ongoing basis.

The Different Types of Body Shop Equipment

So let’s get into the thick of it! Below is a summary of just some of the different types of equipment that auto body shops may use. We will be updating this guide regularly, so keep checking back to discover more car body repair tools!

Body Repair Kit

First and foremost, a body repair kit should be the number one priority for any body shop. This piece of kit is a pack that contains some of the most essential stuff need to carry out a car body repair. The pack’s contents may vary, but typically, it will include a hand pump, extension tubes, attachments, a serrated saddle, and a hydraulic ram. It will often come with a carry case so that you can quickly and easily carry everything you need in one storage box.

Spray Guns

Paint Spray GunThere are several reasons why a vehicle’s bodywork may need a fresh lick of paint, such as if it has been involved in an accident. Even if a part is replaced, a paint job may be required if the colours do not match. Drivers may also opt for a respray if they fancy a change in style. Whatever the reason, it is highly recommended that car owners hire a professional to respray their car as DIY attempts can look shoddy and reduce the car’s value. One of the best ways to paint a car is with a dedicated spray gun built for the automotive industry. Spray guns are designed to achieve precise results, lightweight operation and fast cycle times.

Sanders

Before you apply paint to a car, it’s important to smooth the surface with an air sander. A sander helps to smooth the bodywork as well as to apply polish and buff and remove any old paint or varnish. There are several sanders that you can invest in, including an orbital sander, a belt sander, a straight line sander, and a mini sander. When finding the perfect sander, you will want to consider high manoeuvrability, precise performance and comfortable handling.

Infrared Heat Lamp

Infrared Heat LampWe are quite the experts when it comes to infrared heat lamps! One of the last parts of the car repair process is allowing time for the paint to dry and cure. However, air drying can take far too long, which is why most garages use a professional solution. Due to its powerful heat source, an infrared lamp can cure paint in just a matter of minutes compared to several hours. Infrared curing lamps are the optimal SMART repair equipment for body shops. They are designed with productivity and efficiency in mind, ensuring that vehicles are quickly returned to customers and work can commence on another job.

Bumper Racks

Body shop equipment is not just about functional tasks like painting and repairing. You also need to consider how to organise your working environment and maximise storage potential. Damage to a car’s bumper is one of the most common accidents that can occur, especially in parking incidents. Due to this, it’s highly likely that at some point you will need to store replacement bumpers until they can be fitted. The last thing you want is to carelessly place a car bumper only for it to become damaged and unusable. Bumper racks are designed to provide vertical storage, helping to keep bumpers off the ground, maintain a tidy environment, and prevent unnecessary damage

Spray Booth

Spray BoothLet’s face it, spraying paint can get extremely messy! You want to avoid getting paint on unintentional surfaces. But more than this, paint can also be a dangerous substance. Paint fumes can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and throat, as well as create a fire hazard. A spray booth is an excellent way to provide a controlled environment when painting a vehicle. Not to mention, the booths also prevent contamination from external particles such as dirt and dust. Last of all, the booth’s controlled environment ensures that paint is applied in a stable and durable way via a consistent air temperature.

Door Removal & Install Stand

Removing or installing a car door can be a highly sophisticated process and there’s no room for error. Getting the process wrong can lead to damage to the door or the vehicle’s interior. A dedicated door removal & install stand can be really useful for simplifying the process. The stand allows you to singlehandedly install and remove doors with ease. You can align the door and hold it in place while installing it to the hinge.

Paint Thickness Gauge

Paint Thickness GaugeAnother essential piece of body shop equipment when touching up or applying paint to a car is a paint thickness gauge. Getting the painting process exactly right is one of the most critical parts of the process. This paint gauge will help you measure the thickness of the car’s entire paint coating, letting you know how much paint you should apply. If a vehicle’s paintwork is too thick, it can cause several problems like cracks and bumpy surfaces. The gauge can also help you identify if there has been any damage or if the surface has previously been repainted.

Dent Pulling Kit

A dent pulling kit is a perfect product for repairing dents of all shapes and sizes. Without a dent repair kit, you can repair vehicle dents without the hassle of disassembling or replacing panels. Therefore, a pulling kit will help your bodyshop reduce downtime and increase productivity. Dent repair kits often include two main types of pullers, a suction puller and a glue puller. Suction pullers act like plungers by attaching to the surface and pulling outwards to remove the dent. Glue pullers, on the other hand, involve glueing a flat pulling tab onto the surface. You can then twist the handle to pull the tab up and away, fixing the dent. Dent pulling kits are best suited for minor dents. Otherwise, a more professional repair may be required. Repair kits will include everything you need to fix the dent, such as the glue gun, tabs, hammers, clothes, and alcohol bottles.

Shot Blasting Cabinet

Shot Blasting Cabinet

Shot blasting cabinets are another example of useful car body repair tools that can make the process simpler and quicker. Shot blasting, which is similar to sandblasting, is an abrasive technique used to smooth or roughen a surface, shape a surface, or remove contaminants such as paint, rust or coatings. A shot blasting cabinet makes it easier to grind, deburr or sand a vehicle’s bodywork. The cabinet usually consists of a metal box with openings, windows and attached gloves. An air or dry blast cabinet uses compressed air while suction or syphon cabinets use pressurised fluid, air or water.

Why You Should Invest in an InfraTech Curing Lamp

We sell cutting-edge infrared drying solutions worldwide, specialising in supplying automotive businesses such as car body shops and detailers. We are trusted by some of the biggest names in the industry, including McLaren, Nissan, Mercedes, Toyota, and BMW.

Our cost-effective lamps can help your business grow due to their many benefits. Infrared paint curing lamps are guaranteed to maximise your efficiency, improve finish quality, increase productivity, and save time and money. Due to their strong power and time-saving advantages, the lamps also make the perfect SMART repair equipment! Upgrade to an InfraTech lamp, and you will be on the way to offering customers the best possible service, allowing them to receive their vehicle in perfect condition in no time.

Click here to view the InfraTech range of paint curing lamps or contact us to find out more about how we can support your business.

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