CARSTAR Fredericton installs Symach equipment

Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada)

Symach announces that CARSTAR Fredericton has opened a new location in New Brunswick, Canada, installing their comprehensive body shop solution “FixLine Spraytron”.

“When you contract with Symach, you’re not just buying body shop equipment,” said Steve Knox, general manager of CARSTAR Fredericton. “You’re buying a completely different business model.”

“Symach equipment is designed to drastically reduce repair costs and increase body shop efficiency,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, CEO of Symach. “We’ve helped CARSTAR Fredericton create a new body shop using the FixLine repair process, which will help the company increase productivity and reduce labor costs per repair.”

Owned by Roy Kennedy, CARSTAR Fredericton operates two locations. Since installing Symach equipment in their new facility in July, Knox reported experiencing increased efficiency. “One of the biggest benefits is time savings,” Knox said. “A conventional body shop would typically schedule two and a half to three days to complete a 10- to 11-hour job. With Symach equipment, the same vehicle can now be ready by lunchtime on the same day it came in. This isn’t achieved through harder work or more demanding ways of doing things, but through smart use of their equipment. It’s incredible.”

Knox stated that cars built today are not the same as those built 20 or 30 years ago. As they are much more sophisticated, he said it’s important to create a repair structure that can meet the new demands, and Symach equipment does that.

The CARSTAR Fredericton team was particularly impressed with Symach’s Spraytron, which structures the workflow through the paint booth. “SprayTron is the most innovative among the new generations of paint booths on the market,” Bergaglio said. “It’s performant, automated, and built with the best burner, best fans, and best material available. It can function as a conventional paint booth using hot air from the burner or with radiant waves using a robot, and it can perform 8-10 paint cycles per day.”

CARSTAR Fredericton also found that customers were very impressed with how clean and professional the facility is.

It’s when they see the shop that they really get ‘wowed’ and they feel confident and excited about their car being there compared to what a shop would normally look like,” he said. “It looks like a hospital operating room; it’s so clean, lighting is good, and everything is bright.

Knox said there’s a finish to every surface that makes you want to run your finger along it.

When you deal with Symach, they build a shop that is so visually beautiful that you want every customer to come in through the back door, rather than the front,” said Knox. “It’s gorgeous; it looks like a showroom of their equipment but at the same time, it’s our actually functioning shop!

He said it even smells good due to the Symach vacuum system they installed.

By setting up a super clean, beautiful environment that is also ergonomic, Knox said they have had no problem hiring new employees.

Every stall has its own hoist that is flush with the floor. When it is raised, the car is at chest-level, so technicians no longer have to kneel during a repair.

Many of the older guys in this industry have problems with their knees and backs,” said Knox. “The Symach equipment allows technicians to work at a comfortable level so this is no longer an issue.

The original CARSTAR Fredericton location was opened in the late 1980s. Knox said it was one of the first CARSTARs in Canada. As the business grew over the years, they realized the need to expand the business to support the volume of business.

The opening of the second location on the opposite side of Fredericton provides the business good geographical coverage.

Roy Kennedy first learned about Symach equipment two years ago from some CARSTAR business associates. They shared the benefits of the Symach system including how it helped with production.

When Knox joined the company shortly after, Kennedy asked him to manage the existing and new locations. Recognizing the industry was changing, Knox said that he was glad to join a progressive company.

He traveled to Toronto to tour some other body shops utilizing the Symach equipment.

While I was there, I interviewed the owners and asked what their successes or failures were,” said Knox. “I soon learned that it was pure success. Both of the shops I talked to said if they had it to do over again, they wouldn’t hesitate.

That was a big endorsement for the team at CARSTAR Fredericton and they decided to invest in the full suite of products. Once the building was prepared, it took less than a month to set up the new 10,000-square-foot shop.

Over the last month, the team has been in training mode and becoming more comfortable with the equipment and the business flow.

I can see now why those shops we talked to have that outlook,” said Knox. “It’s true. Everything Symach’s marketing says it can do, it can.