Water-based paint in all our shops.
A lot of changes have occurred in the bodyshop business since we started Craftsman in 1977 – many initiated by Craftsman. Our commitment to leadership includes setting the standard for environmental friendliness. As a result, today, instead of high-VOC (volatile organic compound) solvent-based paint, we use only top-quality water-based paint at all our locations. The quality is equal or superior to the solvent-based paints of the past and to what was originally on your vehicle. Since it’s basically non-toxic, it’s also a lot easier on our painters.
More efficient lighting and heat.
Besides the obvious benefits of creating a cleaner environment and reducing waste, our membership in BC Hydro’s Product Incentive Plan gives us extra motivation to find ways to go green. One of the first things we did was to change our fluorescent lighting from older-style T12 to the more efficient new T8 and T5 lights, which use electronic ballast resistors instead of magnetic ones. At 320 watts per six-tube fixture, for example, the new T5 lights use 20% less energy than the standard 400-watt metal halide fixtures they replace, while providing better light output.
At our Calgary NW shop, we have gone even further by installing ultra-efficient new LED lighting in our awnings – resulting in a spectacular energy savings of up to 90%, and with no loss of luminance in colder temperatures as is often the case with fluorescents. There is little doubt that as prices drop and the variety of product offerings increases, LEDs will one day be lighting most of our shops inside and out.
Most of our shops also now use infrared tube heaters instead of the usual (and less efficient) suspended forced air furnaces. These new units radiate the heat down to the work areas instead of raising it to the high ceilings where it would go to waste.
At our West Kelowna and Kelowna shops, heat pump systems – in combination with well-insulated buildings – provide efficient heating and cooling from the same rooftop units.
All our new buildings are precast concrete insulated to a very respectable R-22 value. Added to their insulated roofs and overhead doors, our buildings easily exceed the latest building code requirements for insulation.
New NitroHeat system uses less paint and gives a better finish.
What happens when you take the oxygen and hydrogen out of the air you use to spray paint? Then preheat it to 54 degrees C?
We use the new nitrogen-powered NitroHeat paint system at Craftsman Collision locations, and the results bear out what the manufacturer promises. Supplying a constant flow of 98% pure, heated nitrogen to our paint guns – with almost all impurities and water particles removed – produces a smooth, steady stream with very little overspray, and reduces paint consumption by up to 30%. In our busy shops, that translates to a reduction of literally tens of thousands of litres of paint a year.
We’re equally delighted with the quality. The NitroHeat spray dramatically accelerates drying times and produces a glossier, better-quality finish.
It’s a win-win for the environment and for our customers.