Paint Department

USI Italia Master Series spray booth and mixing room 

At Bradan, our spray booth is considered one of the best in the world. We have a USI Italia Master Series heated downdraft spray booth, with a three sided mixing room attached. The three sided mixing room avoids contamination by eliminating the painter walking from the mixing room through the shop and into the spray booth. Now paint is mixed and directly enters the clean climate controlled spray booth. The downdraft design pulls clean air using industrial turbines, which are coupled directly to the motors to generate incredible air volume. This pulls the air from outside of the building through filters, and in a downward motion to pull all overspray and dirt down into the floor where it is filtered again. Once painted, the spray booth bakes the room at a set temperature to cure the paint to manufacturer specifications. Large area light reflectors are mounted in different locations around the booth to prevent the formation of glare and shadows, providing homogeneous light without altering the color.

We visited USI Italia in Verona Italy to see the manufacturing process and fully understand the quality and engineering of their products. The factory is modern and mostly operated by robots to eliminate operator error, allowing them to manufacture to consistently high tolerances. Each sheet is pulled from a automatic warehouse as raw material, where its laser cut and bent by a robot into shape. Even the fans and burners are manufactured in house and can be seen here firing to verify operational efficiency.

Sata Paint Guns

We're often asked what paint guns we use to achieve our concours winning paint jobs. We use Sanitaria ("Sata") spray guns which are manufactured in Germany for all sprayable finishes. Originally, it came from the recommendation of our paint supplier Glasurit, since most of their finishes are designed to be sprayed with specific Sata guns. After trying out a few different brands the difference was tremendous. In today's modern body shop we must always work to a level of perfection while being mindful of our environmental impact. HLVP paint guns and RP are the only legal paint guns to use in a body shop. HVLP stands for High-Volume/Low-Pressure, and spray guns with this type of material transfer give you better, more consistent coverage than conventional spray guns, with minimal overspray. Rp is a Sata specific acronym for “Reduced Pressure” which is rated at a minimum of 65% transfer efficiency. The origins of Sanitaria go back to the firm Gretsch & Cie. GmbH in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, which was established in 1863 by Friedrich Carl Bauer and now operates in Kitzingen, under the name of Gretsch-Unitas. In 1914 “Sata” was registered as a trademark. In 2007 Sata celebrated a century in business. We're proud to use their spray guns in our paint department and will continue to work with them with advanced materials in years to come.

For base coat finishes we use the Sata Jet 5000 HVLP Digital. This was designed by Porsche Design Studio in collaboration with Sata to produce a gun thats functional, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable for the operator to use. Painters are able to fine tune the spray fan control, material flow control, as well as the air micrometer. When spraying clear coat we switch to a Satajet 5000 RP which is similar but sprays slower using lower air consumption which is better for us when spraying clear coat.

When spraying primer we use a Satajet 100 B F HVLP gun. Most body shops use cheap guns and don't really care about the primer stages, but the paint jobs base is really what determines the longevity and quality of the overall paint job. When spraying with a HVLP primer gun it's not only environmentally friendly, but also saves a lot of material which reduces required sanding effort. The air micrometer with graduations allow us to adjust the air atomization. For polyester coatings normally sprayed over Fiberglass to do Gel coat repairs we us the Satajet 100 BF P polyester gun. To truly get a perfect finish, each stage from bare metal to a finished surface must be fine tuned and analyzed for perfection. Otherwise, it will tumble from one weak link in the chain.