When Axalta Coating Systems drew up the plans for its new Training Academy in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, the company was confident Junair Spraybooths could help them create a state-of-the-art facility, as the two companies have a long-standing relationship.
Axalta wanted each of its three global refinishing brands – Cromax®, Spies Hecker and Standox – to have its own dedicated spraybooth, training room and mixing area, to offer refinishers the very best training experience. Reducing energy consumption and operating costs were also a key goal for the new facility.
Michael McInnes, Technical Manager, Low Bake Systems, for Axalta Coating Systems in the UK, says, “We have worked with Junair Spraybooths for many years. Their products are of the highest quality and the service they provide is second-to-none, so we knew Junair could help us create a dynamic, leading-edge training environment, while also making it as energy efficient as possible.”
Grahame Kitchin, Sales Director, Junair Spraybooths, comments, “From the onset of this exciting project we worked very closely with the team at Axalta to understand their specific requirements for this new installation. The overall design and the equipment that we recommended were all aimed at not only enhancing productivity and offering the highest quality paint finish but also reducing energy usage.”
“The beauty of the project was that we were working with a completely blank canvas. This gave us the freedom to create the optimum space for training, allowing easy access and unobstructed viewing into the spraybooths, paint mixing rooms and other work areas,” adds McInnes.
Each of the three large spraybooths that have been installed at the Training Academy is fitted with three leaf fully glazed door sets to provide an extra-wide opening. There are viewing galleries down the lengths of the booths, which offer a clear view of the activity within. The spraybooth floors are fully extracted and balanced, using Junair’s unique EVAC design, which sits flush with the building floor and ensures refinishers get the highest quality paint finish. For maximum energy efficiency, the spraybooths use Junair’s advanced auxiliary air movement system, called QADs, which supplies heated and filtered airflow from the corners of the booth. This system has been proven to speed up the drying process by up to 35 percent. The spraybooths are fitted with a fully automatic variable airflow system, which requires no operator selection. This automatically reduces the airflow through the booth in each operating mode resulting in reduced fuel and electricity usage. LED lighting has also been installed in the three spraybooths. The bright, clean light it produces replicates natural daylight while also being the most energy-efficient lighting method available.
Outside the spraybooths, two preparation stations have been created, providing a clean filtered workspace where refinishers can prepare the vehicles before they enter the spraybooths.
Each of the three brands has its own dedicated double-skin paint mixing room. These also incorporate viewing windows above the mixing benches, again to provide clear visibility into the rooms. Two separate gun-cleaning rooms have also been installed.
Junair has installed radiant heating throughout the bodyshop area of the Training Academy, along with more LED lighting, which results in an estimated energy saving of 80 percent to 90 percent when compared to traditional lighting and conventional light bulbs.
McInnes says, “Coordinating and implementing an installation of this magnitude takes up valuable time and resources. But Junair’s bespoke mechanical and electrical services package simplified the whole process for us. We moved into the premises just before Christmas 2013 and were able to start training courses in April 2014. What Junair achieved for us in that time was extraordinary.”
Kitchin concludes, “Over the years, we have developed a great relationship with Axalta. Being a leading global coatings company, Axalta is always prepared to invest in the best and most advanced equipment and technology on the market, and the Training Academy in Welwyn Garden City is no exception. The results are clear to see: Axalta now has a new training facility to match its outstanding products.”