No ordinary paint shop
Spies Hecker took a behind the scenes look at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Paint Shop in Brackley, England, to get a masterclass on how it runs and how it varies to a regular bodyshop.
The brand was granted access to Andrew Moody, head of Paint and Graphics for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, to see how similar – or different – its challenges are compared to regular bodyshops.
Andrew’s team of ten painters in the Paint Shop has a massive amount of work to do on each component. ‘It takes about 150 hours to paint a race car, with the nose and rear wing each taking about 12 hours, so the speed of paint application and its reliability is essential. Add to that, there are around 100 different components in rotation at any given time, plus all the spares that go to each race, and we are faced with a unique set of challenges, not least of which is scale,’ said Andrew.
Each painter in Andrew’s team has four different spray guns – one for primers, one for basecoats, one for clears and one for spot repairs. The painters also work with Job Element Sheets, in effect the Paint Shop’s instruction manual, that detail the what, how and why of every single process. Each spray booth also has cure cycles pre-programmed for primers, basecoats and clearcoats, so that everything is handled in the same way, regardless of which painters are working on a given component.
Andrew concluded, ‘I am sure one important thing we share with many bodyshops across Europe is that we rely on the excellent reliability, consistency and speed of application from Spies Hecker. And all this regimented process is completely worthwhile when you see the two cars looking fantastic on track on a race weekend.’