April 1, 2017

An MSO vice president of operations reviews a gun that eliminates surface static.

The Details: Stat-Gun from Pro-Stat LLC Website: Training: Limited in-person demonstrations Uses: Eliminates static on a vehicle surface Cost: $2,500 with a rental option of $160 per month

The Shop:

Lefler Collision & Glass is a family-owned MSO that has been around since 1952. The MSO has four shops in its network, three in Indiana and one in Kentucky. According to Dietz, the shop is always on the lookout for new technology, which is why the Stat-Gun from Pro-Stat LLC caught his eye. 

The Lefler team came across the Stat-Gun during a meeting with industry consultant and FenderBender columnist Mike Anderson. The product claimed to eliminate static on all substrates, allow metallics to lay down better, and achieve even coverage with less material. After the meeting, the staff decided to purchase a gun for one of its locations, but before it arrived, Dietz saw a live demonstration and decided to purchase three additional ones for the other locations because he was so impressed.

“Any time we can eliminate or reduce a step, like buffing, that’s another car we can turn,” Dietz says. “For a high-production shop like ours, that’s huge.”

The Reviewer:

Eddie Dietz is the vice president and director of operations at Lefler Collision & Glass. 

How it Works:

The Stat-Gun has two wires at the end of it, one for positive ions and one for negative. When sprayed, this combination eliminates the static on a vehicle surface. The gun is plugged into a charging station, from which it is removed and taken into the paint booth. An airline is plugged directly into the gun and the painter pulls the trigger to release ionisation that is carried by the compressed air. The ionized air is invisible so there is a laser that shoots out of the end of the gun to serve as a visual guide. The dot is displayed on the surface of the vehicle where the air is being sprayed. The coverage rate is 6–8 inches on either side of the laser. 

The Review: 

Dietz says the shop has played around with other methods of removing static over the years, like static chains, but that the Stat-Gun works better than any of those.

Dietz says that all four of his shops love it and that you would be hard pressed to find a painter in any of his locations that doesn’t take the Stat-Gun in the booth with them on every single job. 

The feature that has made the biggest difference to Dietz was the fact that using the gun results in better color matches—especially on plastic.

“Before, if we were working on a car that got hit in the rear, we’d have to work on the quarter panel and the bumper,” Dietz says. “Before the gun, a lot of times and especially with metallic paints, we would finish painting and the plastic part would be slightly darker or lighter than the metal panel—even if we painted at the same time.” 

Dietz explains that this was due to the metallic paint standing up due to static on the surface of the plastic. The Stat-Gun eliminates the static, which Dietz says has resulted in better color matches.  

The ROI: 

Dietz says that the results have varied from shop to shop, but between all of his locations, the Stat-Gun has reduced buffing by 30–60 percent. That’s not only a time savings for the shop, it also ends up saving money when it comes to materials. Dietz adds that better color matches also eliminate the need for re-dos, which again saves on material costs and allows more jobs to go through the shop. Dietz has been using the Stat-Gun for a few months now, and he expects it will pay for itself within the year.