RelyOn Technologies Blog

110 E Wilshire Blvd G10, Fullerton, CA 92832
Phone: (562) 697-7095

Spray Booth & Finishing Systems Sales and Installations

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What You Need To Know About the 6H Rule

When RelyOn sells a spray booth, we make sure that the booth you buy is beneficial for your business. That means that our booths help you to maximize paint coverage, and they save your workers time when it comes to application and paint stripping. We also make sure that all of the booths we sell are compliant with the laws and guidelines that are in effect by the EPA. For any body shop in the country, that means making sure that our spray booths are 6H Rule compliant.

What Is The 6H Rule?

Officially, the 6H rule is subpart HHHHHH of EPA law 63.11169 titled “National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Coating Operations at Area Sources.” Basically what it means is that the EPA is trying to lower the instances of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as lead and methylene chloride by creating stricter rules for the application of these substances.

Area Source

At the end of that long title, you may have noticed the phrase “area source.” The EPA defines an area source as any facility that uses paints with HAPs in them that, if the application of the HAPs is not contained, could release at least 10 tons of HAPs each year into the atmosphere. This would include most of the medium to large body shops in the United States, which is why understanding the 6H Rule is so important.

The History Of The 6H Rule

The EPA officially launched the 6H Rule on January 10, 2011. By that date, any body shop that uses primers, paints or thinners that contain HAPs had to submit a three-page survey to their local EPA office to make sure that they were part of the regular inspections to maintain compliance.

Staying Compliant With The 6H Rule

In order to be compliant with the 6H Rule, a body shop must:

  • Have spray booths that meet the EPA’s requirements
  • Maintained a staff of certified spray booth employees who have valid EPA 6H certificates (these certificates must be updated every five years through training from the EPA)
  • Have training manuals for all spray guns on hand and available at all times
  • Have a valid state air permit

Are There Exceptions?

There are a few exceptions to the 6H Rule, but you will find that the exceptions are rare. The major exceptions include:

  • The United States Military
  • Any shop that does not use atomizing spray technology (check with your local EPA office to see if you are exempt)
  • Shops that use hand-held spray guns with a capacity of three fluid ounces or less
  • Shops that utilize powder coatings
  • Shops that utilize non-refillable aerosol spray cans
  • Shops that use metallic or non-metallic materials for thermal spray processes
  • Facility maintenance painting

What Are The Penalties?

The penalties are handed out directly by the EPA and can vary depending on the duration of the offense and how the volume of HAPs being released into the air. Shops that did not register as they were instructed can still be subject to fines if they are turned in by concerned residents.

The Clean Air Act gives the EPA the legal right to assess fines of up to $32,000 per day, per offense. The EPA also has the authority to pursue criminal charges, if they deem that necessary.

How RelyOn Can Help

RelyOn is a licensed installation and repair contractor for Garmat USA. All of the spray booths made by Garmat USA are designed to meet the requirements of the 6H Rule, and the installation work done by RelyOn also meets the EPA’s standards.

The fines for not complying with the 6H Rule are hefty, and the EPA is taking the elimination of HAPs very seriously. Give RelyOn a call and let us get you started on your 6H Rule compliant Garmat USA paint booth and do your part to keep the environment clean.


Green Service FAQ On The 6H Rule

EPA 6H Paint Rule – What You Need To Know

EPA Summary of Regulations Controlling Air Emissions from Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations

About Al Ortiz

President of Rely-On Technologies. We sell, install and service paint spray booth systems nationwide. We sell to the Aerospace, Automotive, Technology, Defense and industrial industries.

New Garmat AQMD Pre-Approved LoNox Burner for RelyOn Client Saves Years on Equipment

Repower Your Shop: The Rely On REPOWER Program takes existing spray booth equipment, and breathes new life into it by adding a Garmat AQMD Pre-Approved LoNox Burner in place of an old burner mechanical, and brings the performance of the spray booth to that of a new booth, without the heavy expense. All Garmat heaters come with the latest touchscreen technology, full bake cycle, VFD Variable Frequency Drives, and an AQMD Pre-Approved LoNox Burner. Having spent a year to get our burner pre-approved with the South Coast AQMD means you don’t have to spend the time & money to get a field test, for every burner “Repower” in your shop! Filing a standard AQMD Rule 1147 application is simple! And best part of the whole thing, is that Rely On Technologies will handle it all for you! Turn-key and Turned On! That’s the Rely On guarantee.

Our latest booth REPOWER was an interesting story, because our client wasn’t planning to do the burner upgrade. Rely On was tasked to do a full service maintenance of their two existing spray booths, per AQMD Rule 1147 guidelines, and found that their existing burners were completely charred and gutted from the inside, even though the booths were only 8 years old! The original owner had installed “budget equipment”, and now the heart of the spray booths needed to be replaced. So, with the opening of the shop less than a month away, Rely On went to work to quickly go through the AQMD permitting process, expedited with the help of installing “pre-approved” equipment, and meet the deadline for the Grand Opening. Our client is now REPOWERED, AQMD Rule 1147 compliant, and ready take in all the work from the family of dealerships!

Proper Spray Booth Maintenance

If you have a high quality spray booth, it is important to initiate a thorough system for maintaining the spray booth. Spray booth systems require regular maintenance, so developing a routine will allow you to properly care for your booth as well as identify any problems that may arise. There are certain tasks that need to be conducted every day, but some maintenance can be completed less frequently.

Before you even consider your daily maintenance task list, there are several habits that you can develop to protect and maintain the quality of your spray booth. For instance, the best way to prevent dust from building up in your spray booth is to simply keep the doors closed at all times. Before opening the doors to bring in an item to be sprayed, turn on the machine so that it will automatically suck any dust into the filters.

The tools and cleaning materials that you utilize are also a factor in your maintenance routine. When you select any extraneous tools that will be used with the spray booth, make sure to select non-sparking options. As for cleaners, only use cleaning solvents that have a flashpoint that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Routine Tasks

Each day, you should take the following steps to ensure that your spray booth is properly maintained:

  • Clean the surface of the booth. Wipe down the external surfaces to ensure that spray deposits don’t build up over time and begin to cause a problem. Any fire protection devices should be cleaned daily as well.
  • Dispose of residue. Don’t leave scrapings and sweepings sitting out. Once you’ve finished your daily cleaning routine, wet the residue with water and remove it from the building immediately.
  • Remove safety containers. Metal waste containers are a necessary part of most spray booth operations, but they should be emptied daily. Make sure that you have an appropriate system for disposing of this waste.

There are many other routine tasks that should be completed regularly as well:

  • Replace the filters. Depending on how frequently your spray booth is used, you may need to change the filters as often as once a week, although many manufacturers recommend once a month. Clean the filters out often, but consult with an experienced spray booth company like RelyOn to determine how often you need to completely replace each filter. If you choose to use higher quality filters, they will last longer and likely reduce your overall costs.
  • Evaluate airflow. At least once a year, you need to check the state of the airflow within your spray booth system. From the point where air enters the system to the place where it exits, follow the path of the airflow and make sure that there are no problem spots. If your spray booth is used frequently, you may want to check the airflow even more often.
  • Examining ducts. Ventilation ducts and fan blades need to be inspected regularly in order to prevent the accumulation of excessive paint residue. When you discover buildup, it’s important to remove it promptly.

A Legacy beyond Our Limits: SpaceX and the Falcon 9

Aerospace Finishing Systems for SpaceXOn September 29, 2013, SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 v1.1 Rocket, also known as “Grasshopper,” into orbit. The rocket carried the Cassiope payload in its bay and aimed to test the potential for reusable rockets. SpaceX used a Garmat USA spray booth to finish the outer aesthetics and protective layers of their rocket. The spray booth used to paint the rocket was designed, manufactured, and installed through a joint venture by RelyOn and Garmat. From the initial concept provided by the rocket scientists of SpaceX, RelyOn and Garmat designed a paint booth to better equip external coatings of rockets like the Grasshopper for an atmosphere above ground level and harsher than what we are used to. As a well-recognized customer of RelyOn, SpaceX demonstrates that we cater to your applicative finishing needs—whether for vehicles, industrial equipment, or something beyond known limits!

For more information on SpaceX and the work we conducted with them please follow the link below.

Finishing Systems for The Aerospace Industry


Finishing Systems for Aerospace

Who is the client:

SpaceX of Hawthorne, CA.

What is the challenge:

When the team at SpaceX came to RelyOn Technologies, they brought with them a unique set of requirements and challenges. To build the first rocket factory spray booth that would allow for a 128’ rocket barrel to be coated in 20’ sections, while additional 20’ sections were being welded in line to the length from an automatic circular welding machine. The paint booth had to be as close to the welding machine as possible and still remain code compliant.

Upon completion of the 128’ rocket, the whole unit would then need to be lifted up and set forward onto another set of tracks to make room for another rocket to begin production. This operation would require building a unique freestanding, one-walled spray booth that would allow for spray and heated dry cycles, as well as ensure full air circulation around the 12’ diameter rocket shell.

The ambitious of this project took a room full of “rocket scientists” as well as two “spray booth experts” to devise a machine that would fit all their needs. SpaceX’s aspirations of building the world’s first commercial production rocket finishing line combined with RelyOn’s and GARMAT USA’s experience in building custom spray booths led to the first ever, single wall rocket booth.

What is the “RelyOn” solution:

To build a single-walled freestanding semi downflow spray booth with remote exhaust fans, and then tunnel and duct 130’ away to exhaust through a 60’ high roof, and still remain code compliant.

The booth had to be engineered to allow for a 12’ diameter rocket barrel to transfer from one set of rail tracks to another, without any tie-in to the above ceiling.

RelyOn collaborated with the engineers from GARMAT USA and turned the client’s needs into a reality. Our solution was rather than to build a traditional spray booth tunnel with two sets of walls, we would build the booth with only one rear wall, and 3 custom roll up curtains that would allow for a semi-downdraft spraying environment.

The next challenge was to engineer how to support 6 tons of roof structure on the single rear wall. For this,Californiastructural engineers were brought in to review the design concept and engineer the structure. 20’ steel piers were sunk into the ground with 25’ x 36” diameter concrete footings to support them. A 5% pitch was designed into the cantilevered roof to allow for deflection to level for the overall structure..

Due to the clearance required by existing overhead cranes, the exhaust duct could not be ducted straight up. Rather, 48’ tunnels were installed from the booth to an area that could be ducted, then oversize ducts were installed offset 30’ and through the 60’ tall roof. Upon completion and adjustment, air flow was perfectly balanced.

Finally, the burners needed to meet South Coast AQMD’s new requirements for Low Nox burners (less than 30 ppm). Upon field analysis and testing, the units out performed the limits, and were rated below this specification.

Through the whole process, RelyOn handled all aspects of the engineering, permitting, monitored the manufacturing of the booth, and completed the final installation on time and on budget. Our installation was seamless, and, according to the “rocket scientists”, out-performed all their expectations.

Once the final custom SpaceX Falcon 9 logo curtain rolled down seamlessly from its landing, and the first rocket barrel was rolled into the paint booth for its aerospace coat of white paint, the installation was deemed complete.

What makes us different from other competitors?

SpaceX entrusted RelyOn Technologies (and its 35 years of experience) with this project to design and build a finishing system for aerospace. When there is a unique set of circumstances that a client may have, with RelyOn its not a matter of “if we can do it”, it becomes a matter of “when do you need it by?” Only a company with years of successful custom installations can make a bold statement like this. And every day, no matter who the client is, RelyOn Technologies continues to provide equipment and installations that are in a class of their own.

About Karen Mendez

I am marketing director at RelyOn Technologies Spray booth systems.

Why Using a Powder Coating System is Better than Painting

Powder coating uses a dry powder instead of a wet solvent to coat different materials. It is applied with an electrostatic process and then allowed to dry under heat. It has long been used for metal in household appliances, but it is now being used in other industries, including industrial, automotive, aerospace, and others.

Powder Coating Systems Use Less Product

Powder coating dries much thicker than regular liquid spray paint, up to 10 times thicker. This reduces the need for multiple coats and improves the durability of the product. It is also harder than wet paint to be better able to withstand chips and scratches. This is beneficial anytime you plan to use it for decorative purposes. It also has a smoother texture than wet paint.

Powder Coating Products Increase Durability

A powder coat will also adhere better than wet paint. This helps to prevent chips and corrosion, which is important for industrial equipment that needs functional coating. Even though it is strong, it also has flexibility to prevent cracking. Another benefit of this type of coverage is that it is resistant to corrosion so that even if it gets a scratch, it will not spread and ruin the entire paint job. This is an essential benefit to prevent rust of equipment and to reduce the time that the piece of equipment is out of commission or a touch-up or repaint job.

When powder coat is used on equipment, it can help those items last longer without needing new paint. It will reduce rust issues, which can result in a longer life for the equipment and reduce replacement costs. This is also an important factor when you think about taking a piece of equipment out of commission for a new paint job. Not only does traditional paint take longer to dry and allow use of the equipment again, but it has to be redone more often. Most companies realize that lost time means lost money and they try to utilize any procedure that saves money.

Powder Coating is Good to the Environment

Another benefit that many business owners will appreciate is the fact that powder coat is environmentally friendly. It does not pose a fire or health hazard and is not dangerous to the environment. Unlike wet paint that contains VOCs or volatile organic compounds, powder coat is a safer choice for companies. This is also a consideration when they make the claim publicly to be an eco-conscious company.

In addition, powder coat materials that are not used on the item can be reused, which results in less waste. When compared to wet paint that can lose up to 50% when sprayed on, this is a much more economical option and better for the environment.

When deciding between powder coat and wet paint, the powder coat has many advantages that benefit the business that uses it. Saving money, using less product, and utilizing a green product are the main reasons why you would want to consider this over the traditional option.

About Karen Mendez

I am marketing director at RelyOn Technologies Spray booth systems.