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Saunders Collision Centre going green

The friendly and talented staff at Saunders Collision Centre, from left, Allan Levy, John Garland, David Lohnes, David Bush, Gary Russell, Richard Hirtle, Belinda Slauenwhite and Daniel Jackson, have more than 100 years of professional experience.
 In an age dominated by growing environmental concerns, more and more customers are thinking green when they think about their vehicle.

 But the emphasis on making environmentally friendly choices doesn't end when your car leaves the lot.

 In fact, the green revolution has found its way into the world of the body shop, where new paints and processes have made repair work more environmentally friendly than ever - and the folks at Saunders Collision Centre in Hebbville are proud to be on the leading edge of the green technological front.

 "The old stuff was solvent-borne and it put a lot of volatile organic compounds [VOC] into the air," explained Gary Russell, the body shop manager at Saunders Collision Centre. "The water-borne process eliminates that."

 The end result is a paint job that is better for the ozone layer and for the health of employees working with the products.

 Plus, Mr. Russell added, the waterborne technology is an excellent, proven commodity.

 "It's been used by car manufacturers for 10-plus years," he said. "It [really is] well-proven technology. It's good for everybody."

 With the investment that the Saunders family has made in the renovated facility and the water-borne colour technology, Mr. Russell said the collision centre is now well ahead of the industry curve.

 "We wanted to make sure we did it right, with the systems and the paint and everything else," he said.

 And, thanks to the DuPont Performance water-borne paint, which dramatically reduces emissions of air pollutants and improves air quality, the process is geener than ever.

  So advanced is the water-borne technology that it's actually ahead of Environment Canada's VOC regulations which are set to take effect on January 1, 2010.

 In tandem with the ECO Concept spray booth, Saunders Collision Centre has effectively set a new standard of performance with its fast drying time, low energy consumption and amazing quality finishes.

 Beyond the technological leaps forward, Saunders Collision Centre has also had a facelift of its own.

 "We wanted to give the employees a good working space," Mr. Russell said - and that includes both on the shop floor and upstairs, where there's a new lunchroom.

 The renovated space, which includes the capacity to handle up to 20 vehicles, also makes for a better customer experience.

 "We had just a little entranceway and a small counter before," Mr. Russell recalled.

 Now, thanks to the redesign, the Saunders Collision Centre staff are prepared to handle everything as soon as someone reports a claim, he said.

 And that covers a lot - as a member of the Collision Solutions Network, Saunders Collision Centre guarantees on-site rental arrangements, free computerized estimates, a national lifetime warranty and that the staff are trained in the latest techniques.

 Mr. Russell and fellow painter David Bush alone have each been in the automotive body repair industry for more than 35 years and, in combination with the rest of the staff, Saunders Collision Centre boasts more than 120 years of total experience.

 In celebration of the arrival of the new green-friendly water-borne paint approach, Saunders Collision Centre will be hosting a special grand reopening and open house on August 21, from 3 to 7 p.m.

 "It's a chance for people to come in, and all the staff is going to be here," Mr. Russell said. "We'll show the new paint-mixing system and we've [even] got a special camera you can take and put on the car and it gives a paint code right off the bat, if you need to."

 Perhaps most importantly, the open house is a chance for potential new customers and old to experience why Saunders Collision Centre's dedication to service is a cut above the rest.

 "Our whole thing is driven by customer satisfaction," Mr. Russell added, "and giving everybody a good, down-home, comfortable feeling when they come in the door."

posted on 08/19/08
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