New year, new ideas

Dec. 1, 2021
Check out the latest products and services from your paint supplier

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What a difference a year makes. 

If that saying isn’t part of your business thinking, maybe it should be. Changes in vehicle design and repair procedures occur annually (if not more often). Along with these changes come software upgrades to your management systems and yearly revised equipment requirements for your DRPs and certification programs.  

That should be an indication of the timeline of changes you install in other areas of your operations. One significant change you should consider making is putting to work the latest products and services from your paint company. Paint manufacturers have long positioned themselves to be more than just suppliers – they’re also your partners. They invest heavily in new offerings that can provide significant efficiencies and savings while boosting your revenue at the same time.  

Consider just a few that you can help make 2022 your best year yet. 


AkzoNobel welcomed in the new year with a SEMA 2021 launch of Wandabase WB Plus, a waterborne basecoat system the company says provides “superior coverage and control, and industry-leading color accuracy.” Wandabase WB Plus also is supported by AkzoNobel’s cloud-based color tool MIXIT Cloud (, promising a first-time, right color match, every time. 

“We’ve had a Wanda waterborne system in the market for several years now, but we’re very excited to launch an updated, more robust version to the market. It has the ease of use, performance and appearance painters are used to in a solventborne system, yet it’s water,” remarks Jim Pundt, sales leader at AkzoNobel. 

Another AkzoNobel offering, launched earlier in the year, is Sikkens Autoclear Xpress Clearcoat, featuring a hyper-cure resin technology, allowing it to cover in 1.5 coats with no flash in between. The clearcoat can be polished in 50 minutes. The company notes the product is designed to accelerate production and reduce cycle time, while offering flexibility and simplicity, since it does not require a flex additive for use on plastic parts. Once mixed at a 5:1:1 ratio, it's ready to spray.  


The journey from novice to professional painter can be a long and sometimes difficult one. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could fulfill an industry need by putting paint preppers on a direct path to be quality painters? 

Axalta has an answer. The company’s new Prepper to Painter Development training blends online and in-person learning to build just that path. The course focuses on skills development of surface preparation technicians to “elevate their ability to perform standard paint application tasks.”  

This course is aimed at preppers who have been in the refinish business for two years and have the aspiration and potential to become a painter.  

The class consists of three online sessions in preparation for the five-day in-person class, where time is mainly spent in the shop practicing hands-on application and blending processes and techniques. Completion of both eLearning modules on products used at the shop and a knowledge assessment are prerequisites. In the classroom, students learn color retrieval and color theory basics.  

Course objectives including helping trainees gain a better understanding of the different processes, products, and techniques in the refinish process, and attain a basic knowledge of: 

  • Color theory 
  • Axalta color tool 
  • Paint mixing 
  • Sealer application 
  • Basecoat application 
  • Basecoat blending 

Upon course completion, the graduate should be able to transition smoothly into a painting role that can help busy collision centers push more vehicles through their systems every day. 

Axalta says the training offers other benefits since it can be an “excellent way to stimulate aspiring technicians to acquire the knowledge to become a painter.” Further, it can allow technicians to handle smaller jobs, freeing up more experienced technicians for other work, and it permits a technician to fill in for a painter who is away from the shop. 

The course costs $1,000, and classes are enrolling now. Contact Axalta’s Learning Campus to enroll. 


BASF has added increased speed and efficiency to a number of its offerings. The company says its Glasurit 100 Line provides decreased booth cycle time, increased production capacity, and technician efficiency, as well as increased revenue and net profit potential. BASF also says the Glasurit 100 Line is the first basecoat line on the market with a VOC value of 250 g/l, which translates into a 40 percent reduction from traditional waterborne basecoats, and far lower than any global VOC requirements. 

The company’s R-M RMC2600 Production Baking Clear, a two-component acrylic urethane fast-drying high gloss clear designed for use over Diamont or Onyx HD basecoats, requires a bake time as short as 20 minutes, helping shops achieve quicker turnarounds. Meanwhile, its Glasurit 934-10 1K Plastic Primer is designed to provide high-level adhesion on paintable car plastics. The product additionally allows the use of 151-170 UV Primer on plastics, increasing productivity inside collision centers.  

Finally, BASF provides a cloud-based platform called Refinity that provides a suite of digital business solutions to shops. Customers have access to multiple apps exclusively powered by Refinity for color, business and training. BASF says Refinity is available on every device connected to the internet and is designed to offer easy use and better productivity while on the go.  


PPG recently launched OneChoice SU1280 UV-Cured Primer Surfacer, which “combines high-build performance of 2.0 to 2.5 mils per coat with exceptional UV-cured dry times, making it ideal for quickly performing small-to-medium spot repairs,” according to Pete Ragone, PPG solventborne brand marketing manager, automotive refinish. The product is compatible with all PPG topcoats and can be cured with a handheld UV LED lamp emitting a UVA wavelength of 395. The primer surfacer also can be cured by direct sunlight in 10 to 30 minutes, depending on UV intensity.  

The company also now offers its Knowledge College, a comprehensive online learning management system that allows students to choose the best time to undertake training and then learn at their own pace. The system requires only a computer and access to the internet. 

Providing both free and fee-based content, the PPG Knowledge College training catalog includes courses for automotive and commercial refinish training. Additional curriculum developed by PPG’s MVP Business Solutions team is designed to aimed at improving the productivity and profitability of shops with a number of collision repair topics and two specific learning paths – Collision Shop Estimating and Collision Shop Financials. 

The Knowledge College also allows certified paint technicians using PPG Deltron and Envirobase lines to recertify their status online instead of at required off-site training at a PPG business development center every two years. A recertification course comprises seven one-hour modules followed by a final exam that technicians must pass to renew certification status.  

Refinish technicians additionally can use the system to take a course on the EPA National Area Source Rule 6H in English or Spanish.  

Couple with these offerings, PPG will start 2022 with a phased launch of LINQ, a new end-to-end digital solution engineered to help shops streamline their entire repair process using a cloud-based platform. LINQ features digital tools designed to increase throughput and improve profitability by minimizing human error and increasing efficiency during the entire repair process. PPG says LINQ’s streamlined shop processes and communication tools can improve relationships with distributors, increase “customer intimacy” and enhance visibility with aftermarket partners, leading to more business opportunities. 

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes 

Sherwin-Williams has placed much of its focus on making some of its most highly touted products even better. The company upgraded and rebranded its Ultra-premium repair products and automotive coatings, including both its waterborne basecoat color system Ultra 9K and solvent basecoat color systems Ultra BC8 and Ultra 7000. Sherwin-Williams also updated its premium line of cleaners, additives, undercoats and clears – now called the Ultra System - to support its performance color systems.  

“With the addition of our best cleaners, additives, undercoats and clears – we now have a complete system,” says President and General Manager Brian Gallagher.  

The system also has been tweaked to be more user friendly. The color categories on the labels for Ultra System were redesigned for easier use since their new scheme differentiates cleaners from additives, from undercoats, and from clears. The updated design and prominent part numbers are intended to help painters identify products more easily when the mix bank is located several feet away, thereby accelerating the refinish process.  

About the Author

Tim Sramcik

Tim Sramcik began writing for ABRN over 20 years ago. He has produced numerous news, technical and feature articles covering virtually every aspect of the collision repair market. In 2004, the American Society of Business Publication Editors recognized his work with two awards. Srmcik also has written extensively for Motor Ageand Aftermarket Business. Connect with Sramcik on LinkedIn and see more of his work on Muck Rack. 

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