Export Vehicle Contamination Event
Over a Thanksgiving weekend, Nationwide Auto Services (NAS) was contacted by a major global OEM to inspect and identify a process to remove paint overspray from 800 non- U.S. spec export vehicles destined for New Zealand/Australia customers. Objective was to complete all vehicles prior to next vessel loading.
Due to vessel loading interval being one/month, lead-time delay would have been 4-6 additional weeks if the vehicles were not ready by next vessel port call at Savannah.
NAS was on site in 24 hours to evaluate all vehicles, determine the source of contamination, and identify the remediation process. Fallout discovered was marine lacquer overspray from a nearby port contractor. As a result of this finding, NAS immediately advised the OEM who approved resolution to restore vehicles by implementing written process, including use of NAS specialized cleaning solution. All wrap guard and wheel film removed. A daily production goal of 40 units per day was established. Vehicles cleaned, re wrapped and wheel film reapplied, re-inspected then staged in time for next vessel loading at the Port of Savannah.
NAS managed the entire process for this Major Japanese export of right- hand drive, new 2wd and 4wd models. Vehicles were categorized into three groups based on overspray severity, light, moderate, heavy. Working with the OEM, vehicle repairs were based on first in first out port of entry arrival. NAS coordinated weekly calls and meetings with all stakeholders. Georgia Ports Authority, OEM, Port Contractor, port processor, and insurance carriers to keep the project on track.
NAS delivered vehicles to the customer in new vehicle factory condition without any negative impact on the end user.
This project is unique because of the holiday scramble to save non U.S. right hand drive vehicles going to New Zealand/Australia Distributors would have to wait 6-8 additional weeks for the hottest vehicle that were all sold orders.
NAS repair process made the difference and ship as planned on schedule without any complaints or OEM embarrassment.
“The source paint contained aluminum particles in it which means mechanical buffing could not be used or it would scratch the finish.” said Jim Gerencser, owner of Nationwide Overspray. “The original car paint is extremely soft. Our overspray removal techniques are designed to be gentle. We did not want to add to the damage.”
The cars were housed in a 50,000 square foot section of a large warehouse. The warehouse owners were repainting the ceiling and support poles in the vacant spaces for new tenants.
The paint contractor was using spray guns to apply the aluminum – based paint. The ceiling to wall junctions have small gaps along with rollup doors. In addition, the space housing the car collection was not climate controlled and because it was a very warm day the outside doors were opened and several large fans were in use to exhaust the warm air to the outside.
This created a suction that pulled a fine mist of paint through the tiny gaps and into the car collection space. The result was a fine mist that “rained” on the entire car collection. Analysis and liability determination of the paint at a lab was used to understand the makeup of the overspray.
Nationwide Overspray used special light tunnels allowing the tiniest speck of paint to be seen clearly and subsequently cleaned. The owner of the collection was understandably relieved that the cars were cleaned successfully.