Solvent/Waterborne System Cuts Repair Time for Collision Shops

Traffic accidents cause a lot of damage. After a crash, regardless of size or magnitude, most people's first instinct is to check if everyone's okay and the second, to check damage to the car.

If the vehicle incurred damage, it doesn't only cost money; it takes time to fix. For those who rely on their car to do their job, this is more than an inconvenience. It means time out of the office. In a study released in 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found lost productivity costs were $70.2 billion in 2010.

To help curb the loss in economic productivity, people need to get their vehicles back as quickly as possible. Collision repair shops and dealership owners have a large responsibility of continually optimizing processes to keep the repair time between vehicle drop-off and pick-up as minimal as possible, without sacrificing quality. Yet many still rely on multiple paint systems, which create inefficiencies. BASF's R-M® Onyx HD is the industry's first automotive refinish system that utilizes a single set of toners that can be mixed to create a solventborne or waterborne finish. Painters can select the type of finish depending upon the needs of the specific job, or environmental conditions.

"It really puts some flexibility into the shop and gives them the option to do what's right for their demands on a day-to-day or vehicle-to-vehicle basis."

The conventional method of having solventborne and waterborne formulas requires collision shops to install dual paint lines and mixing machines, creating additional costs for businesses. But with R-M Onyx HD, they only need one.

Onyx HD was launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2013 and meets the most stringent VOC regulations, enabling shops to reduce basecoat solvent emissions by up to 90 percent while still presenting the quality, uniform finish customers have come to rely upon from the R-M brand.

"It really puts some flexibility into the shop and gives them the option to do what's right for their demands on a day-to-day or vehicle-to-vehicle basis," said Mike Freeman, BASF's R-M Market Segment Manager.

"Some colors that require ground coats are much faster with the Onyx Low VOC system," says Greg Nantais, collision manager of Provincial Chrysler. "Even with transparent colors that need extra coats, the product dries faster - which means less time in the booth."

"For two-tones, the Onyx Low VOC is the best system I've ever used," says Henry Martinez, paint shop manager at Scott Robinson Honda.

The service department at Scott Robinson Honda covers the greater Los Angeles area, and pledges to "get your vehicle back on the road in its pre-accident condition or better - fast."

With a big territory to cover, Paint Shop Manager Henry Martinez said they rely on BASF's Onyx HD system to move vehicles through the shop.

"It just saves time," said Martinez, calling the system "very painter-friendly."


Using the same equipment for any waterborne basecoat system, the Onyx HD features two-tone and tri-coat processes where the painter can switch between water-borne and solventborne formulas. The system also fully aligns with the BASF COLOR-MAX® system - one of the fastest, most accurate color tools in the industry. Engineered to allow for more precise color matching, Onyx HD is able to handle an additional number of dark and grey toners and requires an average of one half fewer coats than some conventional finishes.

It's not just equipment efficiency, though. Onyx HD is up to five times faster than some conventional finishes, which helps increase vehicle turn over and boost profitability.

Onyx HD also isn't affected by the environmental conditions that can sometimes impact workflow and result in a slowdown of productivity. In a warm, often humid environment like Los Angeles, the system's reducers work consistently.

Not convinced? Look to well-known celebrity customizers and builders such as West Coast Customs and Petty's Garage and you'll find Onyx HD in their shops.