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Jim's Auto Body Believes in USI Italia for All the Right Reasons

Jim's Auto Body Believes in USI Italia for All the Right Reasons | CleanRoom PaintShop

Jim's Auto Body, with three locations in Northern California's East Bay, has built a strong reputation since 1962 for embracing the finest tools, processes and equipment to repair more than 600 vehicles every month. By recently acquiring a USI Italia spray booth and integrating it into its production processes, Jim's has been saving time, money and energy while producing a high-quality finished product every time.

Using state-of-the-art equipment and consistently updating technical training for his staff, Jim's Auto Body is still thriving while hundreds of other Bay Area shops have come and gone. Its founder Jim Maltbie passed away several years ago and today, his wife Karen Cox runs the show, managing 99 employees and garnering top reviews for its exemplary work.

Jim's Auto Body 1

Perez with the shop's Operations Director Darren Maltbie rely on their USI Italia booth to paint the lion's share of 600 vehicles every month

Operations Manager Darren Maltbie is looking at the bottom line with his USI booth and more than pleased with the results, he expalined. "Depending on the situation, we are now painting one or two more cars every day using the USI booth and the numbers are going up. The air movement with this booth is amazing and we can clearly see that it enables us to cut down on our cycle times. We can also speed up the process if we need to, like when we're jammed and trying to get out some cars, or bumpers or whatever we're painting. We never need to use blowers, because the system will provide more air when it's needed. Also, the curing time with the USI booth is around 45-65 minutes, depending on what we're painting, so we're saving a ton of time and energy right there. With our other booths, it takes roughly 80-90 minutes to get the job done, so the time savings is evident."

By running 24 paint cycles five days a week with a paint crew consisting of three refinish technicians and seven preppers; Jim's relies on its USI Italia booth more all the time. "Our Head Painter Osvaldo Perez has learned the ins and outs of working with the booth's EPS System that gives him the most efficient way of painting each vehicle in real-time and automatically controlling the airflow and everything else. The EPS allows us to do the job in the shortest time possible, so we are saving energy. It's like a microwave oven, you just set the parameters and then the painter can concentrate more on things like spraying and getting a precise color match."

Jim's Auto Body 2

By using the USI Italia booth's EPS System, Perez can turn out 1-2 additional cars every day, because it determines the best way to paint every vehicle.

After finding out about USI Italia and learning about their line of quality spray booths, Maltbie contacted the company and introduced them to their local rep. "Our local USI rep Rob Dolezal showed us what the booth can do and we were immediately impressed," he said. "We visited a shop in San Francisco that is using a USI booth and saw it in action. It's so advanced and well-built and has so many great features--I was pretty much sold right away."

USI Italia's Stefano Moretto played an integral role at Jim's Auto Body when it came to properly training Maltbie's crew, he said. "Stefano came here once and my painters were able to learn everything they needed. We know that with the USI Italia booth, we don't need to do anything manually anymore.

Stefano clearly explained the different programs and it took some time to grasp them, but now our main painter Ozzie has really taken and run with it. Once our other painters start using it more and more, I'm confident that they will become comfortable with it and embrace the technology. They can do a better job using USI Italia's EPS System and save time by increasing productivity and efficiency."

Saving energy, cutting down on his cycle times and producing a quality product consistently, is a huge deal for a large, busy shop and that's why Maltbie is relying more on his USI Italia spray booth. "We paint a lot of sheet metal here, and with this system, we can bake the heck of it at 160 degrees and do it fast," he said. "Our other booths can't even come close to that."

Maintenance is also easy with his USI booth, Maltbie said. "We have our guys come in Saturday and wash down the booth and we are constantly monitoring the damper filters so that the air circulation is not being compromised. We change those every two weeks and the roof filters don't need to be replaced every 4-6 months, but that's it. Our USI booth doesn't need a lot of maintenance, which is huge for our paint department."

Darren Maltbie and the shop Owner's Karen Cox saw a great value in the USI Italia booth and are happy that they purchased it. "If we are going to stay ahead of the game in this business, we need to get the best products and equipment to do it, so investing in this equipment is a very smart move for us now and in the future."

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Client's Testimonial

I could clearly see that the air flow in those booths is impeccable and they’re very efficient as Well. These USI booths have a crazy amount of technology, and you can pick the control panel that works best for you.

Gabe's Collision
Jeff Mucciarelli
Buffalo, NY