By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Automotive | Issue: August 2009
Ralph and Faye Higinbotham (standing behind the sign) and the team at Premier Collision are proud of their new Envirobase High Performance Paint System by PPG.
“Doing something good for our environment doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice quality or productivity,” says Ralph Higinbotham, owner of Premier Collision in Broken Arrow. Premier has just made the switch from urethane paints to a new waterborne system by PPG that is an effective solution for lowering volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, thus improving air quality and the environment.
To illustrate the impact on the environment, consider this: If a shop that mixes an average of one gallon of solvent-borne basecoat per week converted to waterborne basecoat, that shop alone could prevent over 300 pounds of VOCs from being emitted into the air we breathe. This is the equivalent to taking more than 1,000 vehicles off the road annually. Premier Collision uses an average of four gallons per week, or the equivalent of taking 4,000 vehicles off the road annually.
“Although the new system is a big change for our collision shop’s paint operation, the transition was really very simple,” said Higinbotham. “PPG has helped us implement the new waterborne system with education, training, and company experts at our shop.” Premier Collision is the first collision center in the metro Tulsa area to make the switch to PPG’s waterborne paint system.
VOCs are organic, carbon-based chemicals that evaporate at room temperature and directly affect air quality. They cause air pollution and may be harmful to human health. The VOC content of paint is usually indicated on the container. Paint manufacturers utilize a classification system that describes the VOC content from minimal to very high. Traditionally, emulsions that use water as a solvent – such as industry-leading PPG products – have a zero, minimum, or low VOC rating. Oil-based paints generally have medium, high or very high ratings.
The PPG Envirobase® High Performance method of waterborne painting has been the refinish system of choice throughout Europe for more than 15 years. As we enter into the era of green consciousness, it’s an interesting fact that over 17,000 shops in Europe and more than a thousand in North America have successfully converted to this system. “PPG has solidly led the way with their successful, proven system,” said Higinbotham. “Seventy percent of the world’s auto manufacturers have also gone to the waterborne paint system.”
The waterborne method has enabled Premier’s factory certified professionals to paint any car that comes through their door. “We now have a system capable of matching any color,” said Higinbotham. And it makes no difference whether the color was originally a solvent- or water-based coating.
Mil thickness of paint is a determining factor of success or failure. The thinner the application, the longer the finish will last. With the waterborne painting system, mil thickness is half of what it is with urethane paints.
Premier Collision has long been a member of the Better Business Bureau and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, as well as a Partner In Education with Broken Arrow schools. They like being known as your one-stop shop in products and services, offering auto collision repairs, window tinting, upholstery and auto accessories. And now, they are the only collision center in northeastern Oklahoma that has gone green with their new PPG waterborne paint system.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.