Axalta Coating Systems recommends five easy-to-implement solutions to reduce energy consumption and cost in the bodyshop.

Energy expenditure is one of the main outgoings in any business with the cost component continuing to rise each year. The issue of energy efficiency needs to be addressed in any bodyshop operation.

Axalta Training Manager Paul Polverino explains that bodyshop energy saving measures don’t have to involve a large financial investment; energy can be saved by making a few simple changes, helping bodyshops even cut up to 30% off their energy bills.

Tip 1: Use the waste heat from the air compressor

Air compressors are known for their high energy consumption. Unfortunately, they only transform 10 to 15 per cent of the energy consumed into compressed air with the rest lost in the form of heat. However, the bodyshop can use the waste heat to heat up the interior. Additionally, the pressure system and all pressurised tools should be regularly checked and tested for leaks or damage.

Tip 2: Replace old light bulbs

It is very easy to underestimate the potential savings that can be made from lighting in Australia. The traditional fluorescent strip lighting still used in many large bodyshops consumes nearly as much energy as a 40-inch LCD television. Switching to the more economical LEDs will save energy for the bodyshop as they only consume 24W for a similar light output.

Tip 3: Check the paint booth

Modern paint booths are designed with energy saving features; however, older models are guzzlers, often accounting for a large proportion of the electricity bill. Instead of investing in new equipment, it is advisable to upgrade existing paint booths by installing a heat recovery system. The heat that would have been wasted otherwise would be recycled to heat the booth. Electronic heating controls can also be fitted in the booth to save up to 40 per cent energy.

Tip 4: Make changes throughout the bodyshop

Use the energy saving function while operating printers, computers and copiers, and avoid leaving the equipment on standby power overnight; energy can be saved by switching off equipment. Energy-saving ideas also include buying electronic equipment for the office by checking their energy efficiency ratings; using energy-efficient light bulbs in the office, staff areas and the reception; and installing lighting activated by motion sensors in areas such as the warehouse, corridors and changing rooms.

Tip 5: Get your employees on board

It has been established that a more efficient use of energy can save a 10-man bodyshop an average almost $2500 a year. Raising awareness amongst employees doesn’t cost anything, but can be very effective in any energy-saving initiative.