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SCRS to conduct week-long study of blend, full refinish times

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Announcements | Collision Repair | Repair Operations
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The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has announced that it will conduct a week-long, audited research project in coordination with the major North American refinish companies to study the difference between the time necessary to perform a full refinish on an exterior panel, and the time needed to blend the same panel.

The test will begin on Monday, August 22, at the Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) Center for Excellence, at the GFS headquarters in Osseo, Wisconsin. Participating will be AkzoNobel Vehicle Refinishes, Axalta Coating Systems, BASF Automotive Refinish, PPG Industries, and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.

Blending is defined as the application of color to a portion of an undamaged adjacent panel for the purpose of facilitating the appearance of color match into the area, followed by an application of clearcoat to the entire blended panel.

The estimating databases produced by Audatex, Mitchell, and CCC (MOTOR) establish unique refinish values for collision parts. All three estimating products identify a formula for blending outer surfaces as 50%, or 0.5 per refinish hour, of the unique full refinish operation value they have developed on panels using 2-stage paint.

“As an organization, we’ve contended for a long time that blending a panel takes more skill and near-equal amounts of time as it does to apply refinish across an entire outer surface of a panel,” said Aaron Schulenburg, SCRS Executive Director. “Our members have similarly expressed to us that the 50% formula of the full refinish value is not reflective of the necessary tasks to prepare, apply product and facilitate an invisible transition. We’ve routinely communicated this on behalf of the industry to each of the information providers, and yet the 50% formula persists.”

SCRS Chairman Bruce Halcro said the study is believed to be a first for the industry.

“To our knowledge there has never been such a comprehensive industry-wide research project to evaluate blend requirements in contrast to full refinish operations, that has included all the major refinish manufacturers,” Halcro said. “SCRS is not looking to document or challenge the unique refinish values established by the information providers, but rather to study the percentage-based formula they’ve all selected, and the difference between those refinish operations and a corresponding blend operation on the same panel. We are studying the delta between the two, and if the time savings to blend is as significant as the IPs suggest it is.”

Research results are anticipated to be made available by the 2022 SEMA Show in November.

The GFS Center of Excellence, the site of the tests, features an automotive refinish training center, as well as a separate space dedicated to technical product training.

Each participating refinish company has agreed to provide its own basecoat, clearcoat, hardeners, and thinners, as well as allied products, abrasives, spray guns, and respirators. Each will also provide its own technical representatives to perform the panel preparation and refinish application in accordance with the necessary steps, as documented by manufacturer procedures.

SCRS said the 2018 Ford F-150 was selected as the test subject vehicle based on parts availability and its status as the most appraised truck in 2021, according to data provided by CCC. Three paint variations, chosen for their popularity among the F-150’s color options, will be included in the study: A white solid, a silver metallic, and a white tri-coat.

Ford Motor Company has donated new hoods, right fenders and right front door shells for the study. According to data from Mitchell, these are the most common blend panels.

SCRS has also employed DEKRA North America to serve as a third-party auditor to validate the protocol and process adherence. DEKRA, the world’s largest unlisted expert organization in the TIC (testing, inspection, certification) industry, will validate that the raw data aligns with reported values.

3M has loaned an additional Festool Automotive Sanding System, so that each work area is similarly equipped, and has donated additional part stands. These and other designated items donated by participating companies will be passed along to the Chippewa Valley Technical College, through the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).

For more information about SCRS, contact the SCRS office at or visit


Featured image by AzmanL/iStock.

The Automotive Refinish Training Center at the GFS Center of Excellence in Osseo, Wisconsin, where the blend study will be conducted. (Provided by GFS)

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