Kevin Welling, Training Manager at the Axalta Refinish Academy in Hertfordshire, talks about the latest future-proofing products and services for professional bodyshops from Standox, one of the premium refinish brands of Axalta.
23 November 2021
Q: The needs of bodyshops are changing. How has Standox addressed those needs?
A: Bodyshops have faced huge challenges since the beginning of the pandemic, with changes to working practices, such as having to keep a safe distance from each other. Professional bodyshops were already in a good position to work this way, thanks to digitisation, as they saw the advantages digitisation brought in terms of saving time and speeding up processes. But for many others, digital transformation has been adopted more slowly.
Standox has been helping its customers to digitise their bodyshops for many years with its range of future-facing tools and products. The Genius iQ spectrophotometer and Standowin iQ app, for instance, are wireless colour management tools that connect to the online digital colour management system, Standowin iQ Cloud. Working together as a cohesive system, they enable refinishers to take colour measurements on the vehicle and to retrieve the most accurate colour matches and formulas digitally via WiFi-enabled smartphones or tablets, without having to go to the mixing room.
Digitisation helps bodyshops to work more efficiently, saving time and money, which is vitally important in today’s competitive marketplace. It also enables bodyshops to increase profit margins on minor repairs and SMART repairs, which are an increasingly important revenue stream, with digitisation enabling faster turnarounds and increased throughput.
Q: How is Standox responding to the increased interest in more eco-friendly refinish products?
A: There is a growing move towards sustainability in the bodyshop and a demand for more eco-friendly products. Standox has been championing energy-efficiency with its Xtreme System that has been specially developed for drying at low temperatures while guaranteeing quality. Using the fast-drying product range from the Xtreme System, a vehicle part can be fully repaired within 36 minutes, while still ensuring the right-first-time results expected from Standox.
Low-temperature repairs are also being driven by developments in electric and hybrid vehicles. The batteries and electrical components in these vehicles are very sensitive to heat, so drying temperatures of 60oC or above can significantly shorten the life of a lithium-ion battery. The low-temperature repairs with Standox Xtreme System enables bodyshops to carry out perfect repairs on electric and hybrid vehicles.
Q: Are there any issues with products that dry at low temperatures?
A: The different climatic conditions have a significant influence on the performance of paint products. Humidity combined with the prevailing outside temperature determines the performance of these products. For this reason, and to ensure the optimal performance of the products in the Xtreme System range, Standox offers special hardeners and thinners for every climatic condition.
Q: What products are available in the Xtreme System in the UK?
A: In the UK, the products that are available are:
- Standox Express Pre-Treatment Wipes U300 – developed to speed up the entire process of priming metal substrates, the wipes replace the primer while guaranteeing excellent adhesion and corrosion protection, with no flash-off time required.
- VOC-Xtreme Filler U7600 – a fast-drying filler that can be applied in a single spray process we call One Visit Application, up to a maximum of four layers and without flash-off times.
- VOC-Xtreme Wet-on-Wet Filler U7650 – the fastest wet-on-wet filler in the automotive paint industry using patented, innovative technology. It can be overcoated with Standoblue or Standohyd Plus basecoats after just five minutes.
- Standoblue Basecoat – with state-of-the-art pigment technology and outstanding flow properties, Standoblue Basecoat offers superior colour matching and outstanding colour accuracy. It is suitable for both solid and effect colours.
- Standocryl VOC-Xtreme Clear Coat K9580 – super-fast drying clear, which uses the humidity in the drying process and delivers outstanding gloss and flow, even with a single spray pass.
The application can vary from one product to another within the range, so we always advice refinishers to read the product information and technical data sheets carefully before using them.
Q: What are the key advantages of the Standox Xtreme System?
The Standox Xtreme System is perfect for bodyshops that want to future-proof their businesses, as well as reducing their operating costs. Because you use it at low temperatures, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 70 percent. And it is fast. Bodyshops can offer their customers a first-class SMART repair service, for example, returning the customer's vehicle within a day or even a few hours.
Typically, certain vehicle models require the removal of tyres prior to carrying out repairs due to their sensitivity to heat. With the Xtreme System this is no longer necessary with drying temperatures of 40°C or 20°C degrees, saving bodyshops even more time.
Q: How would you apply the Xtreme System to an electric or hybrid vehicle?
Each manufacturer will have its own specific process to follow but speaking generally, an electric or hybrid repair can be carried out in five simple steps. However, before starting work, the high-voltage system must be disconnected from the power supply and this should only be carried out by someone who is trained.
Step 1: Pre-treat the bare metal surfaces with Standox Express Pre-Treatment Wipes U300. Clean painted surfaces.
Step 2: Apply the VOC-Xtreme Filler U7600 in one application without flash-off time. If it must be sanded, this can be done after air drying for between 20 and 40 minutes.
Step 3: Apply the VOC-Xtreme Wet-on-Wet Filler U7650 with a maximum of two layers.
Step 4: After just five minutes, the Standoblue Basecoat can be applied with a quick application in a single spray pass.
Step 5: Apply the Standocryl VOC-Xtreme Clear K9580 in one spray pass. This will give an optimum topcoat appearance.
For more information about Standox products and services, contact your local distributor or visit www.standox.com/gb.
Standox, a global refinish coating brand from Axalta, is the best choice for professional refinishers. Customers can rely on Standox to achieve the best quality results, every time, accurately and quickly. As a brand manufactured in Wuppertal, Germany, Standox ensures our customers are ready for future digitalisation by improving workflow and work processes with digital tools. Standox further supports customers not only with relevant market insights but also work provision thanks to extensive approvals from car manufacturers as well as fleet, lease and insurance companies, which reflect the brand’s position as a leading partner to the automotive industry. Standox – the art of refinishing.