Jim's Auto Body Believes in its USI Italia for All the Right Reasons, with three locations in Northern California's East Bay, has built a strong reputation 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 is already saving time, money and energy while producing a high-quality finished product every time.
In 1962, Jim Maltbie was only 19, but he opened his own shop called Jim’s Auto Body, Inc. in Port Chicago, California right out of high school. Six months later, he moved the shop to Concord, California and began to expand the business at a steady rate. A born leader, Jim became known for breaking the mold and embracing new concepts about fixing cars. His reputation grew to the point where other collision repair professionals asked him for advice as he also mentored many of the body shop owners who went onto to success throughout the Bay Area.
With the demand for quality auto body work in Contra Costa County growing at a rapid rate in the 1970s and 1980s, Jim Maltbie opened his second shop in Antioch, California in 1986 and in 1992, he opened his third location in Walnut Creek, California. 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.
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. 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 paint cycle time with the USI booth is shorter, with our other booths, it takes roughly 80-90 minutes to get the job done, with the USI Chronotech we have been able to cut 20-25 minutes depending on what we're painting, so the time savings is evident. We're saving a ton of time and energy right there"
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."
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. “We know that with the USI Italia booth, we don't need to do anything manually anymore. Stefano clearly explained the different programs and 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 with Chronotech 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 the booth is constantly monitoring all the filters, letting us know when they need to be changed, so that the air circulation is not being compromised. 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."
USI REFINISH TECHNOLOGY,
Our products save shops money, time and energy and that's why we're one
of the premier manufacturers of spray booths in the world today.
USI Italia spray booths are carefully engineered, thoroughly tested and manufactured
to lead the market for these following reasons:
1. World's Fastest Painting Cycle: With the shortest flash-off and curing times on
the planet. You will never need additional tools in your booth such as blowers of any
kind, IR or compressed air heating systems with a USI Italia booth. By featuring shorter
curing times with the highest flow available anywhere provided by our exclusive turbofan
system, the energy savings are huge and the results are exceptional.
2. Standardized Quality Results: With a USI Italia spray booth, you can rely on the same
excellent results time and time again. Before we introduce a new model to the public,
strenuous testing with a select system of controls is conducted, ensuring that it will
perform at a high level in any shop environment. With all of the latest cutting-edge
products and components working together, the entire painting process is controlled
and fully automated through our Easy Paint System. It takes all of the guesswork out
of the process, because with every cycle, our E.P.S. suggests the most efficient process
with each vehicle in real-time and enables your crew to obtain the highest quality results
in the shortest time at the lowest cost overall.
3. Economy and Superior Technology: Especially ideal for waterborne products,
USI Italia spray booths are durable and reliable while saving collision repairers time,
energy and money by painting more cars with precision performance. Painters love USI
Italia booths because the finished product is exemplary and while enabling them to paint
more cars every day by tapping into our advanced technology.