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RE: Cost Calculator for Body Shops

Hi Sue,
I'm glad to see that the laser training system has reached commercial status.  >From my work in this area many years ago, I still believe that operator training is the number one way to minimize waste and emissions.  I was also very interested in the USEPA studies regarding HVLP guns.
I was hoping to see an accurate assessment of conventional versus HVLP methods, but these studies still fall short in their assessment of total impacts.  The USEPA bases their study results on the two criteria of transfer efficiency and finish quality.  The inclusion of finish quality is very important and they are absolutely correct in stating that a high TE is of no value if it results in an unacceptable finish.  Based on these two criteria, the results and conclusions of the USEPA reports are accurate.
However, you cannot use TE alone to calculate emissions from a given painting operation or method.  You must also include the DFT that is required to produce the acceptable finish.  While HVLP demonstrated a 37% improvement in TE over conventional air spray, it also applied a DFT that was 17% thicker (overall average).  In one case, the added coating was as much as 43%, offsetting any savings in increased TE.
This effect would be obvious if one were to calculate the pounds of VOC emitted per square foot of surface painted (assuming that the same paint was being applied).  I have yet to find a major benefit of HVLP over conventional air spray when one includes the applied DFT data.  Why is it we worry about paint overspray and not about the excess paint that leaves on the part?
Oh well, enough soapbox for a Friday afternoon.  Just wanted to say that I found the laser training system to be right "on target."  Keep up the good work.

Mike Callahan, PE
Jacobs Engineering Group
1111 S. Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena CA 91105
(626) 568-7005

-----Original Message-----
From: Sue Schauls [mailto:Sue.Schauls@uni.edu]
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 7:10 AM
To: P2 providers in Region 7; P2 Tech Listserve
Cc: Ana Maria Nanra; Ed Weiler
Subject: Cost Calculator for Body Shops

Cost Calculators for Body Shops were developed by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center's Small Business Pollution Prevention Center. The project's goal was to break down the barrier to implementation of equipment that is useful in waste reduction and pollution prevention. The project write up can be found at
The IWRC has developed three cost calculators to help the small auto body repair shop determine if it is beneficial for a facility to invest in equipment. The equipment evaluated are:

Sources of information used to develop the calculators can be found with each individual calculator. Information needed to use the calculators is limited to the amount of paint used per year, the average cost of paint used, and/or the amount of solvent/thinner used per year.

My apology for cross posting,


Sue Schauls
Program Manager
Small Business Pollution Prevention Center
Iowa Waste Reduction Center
1005 Technology Parkway
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613
Fax: 319/268-3733

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