MN Shop Fishes Around for Top Waterborne Product, Catches PPG Envirobase HP

NOTE: This June SPS profile was originally published in print in June 2018 and online in May 2018.

It’s an exciting time for Dylan Maki, VP of Maki Body & Glass in Grand Rapids, MN, as he continues his family’s legacy by taking over the shop from his father, Brian, who is getting ready to retire.

In addition, Dylan and his fishing partner, Joe Bricko, recently won the Minnesota State Fishing Championship on Lake Vermilion and are currently preparing to compete in Nationals.  

There’s a lot going on for Dylan, 25, because the shop is constantly busy and he often wears several hats to keep things rolling along.

“I’m the head estimator here and I also act as the shop’s production manager,” he said. “I also do payroll and will pretty much do anything around here when needed. If we’re real busy, I’ll jump in and help with the production by fixing a bumper or whatever else it takes.”

Rayno Maki started the business 66 years ago, back when cars were not computers on wheels. Today, his grandson knows that to repair today’s vehicles correctly, it comes down to extensive training and using the finest tools and products available. 

“We stress training here a lot, and all of our techs frequently attend classes learning how to improve,” Dylan said. “Everyone here is I-CAR certified and two of our body men are I-CAR Platinum. We want to be at the forefront and ahead of the curve, because this industry is changing at a crazy rate.”  

Dylan learned that hard work pays off back when he was 9 years old and helping out at the shop when he wasn’t in school. 

“I was in the shop one day and announced that I needed a new bicycle because the other one was too small for me,” he said. “My father told me that if I wanted a new bike, I better get to work, so I came in every day for a while to sweep the floors, and that’s when I started realizing that I really like this business. I got my new bicycle, but most importantly, I found a career!”  

Almost two years ago, Dylan and his father decided to make the switch to PPG’s Envirobase® High Performance line, a waterborne basecoat system that has helped their entire operation in several important areas. 

“James Feickert, our local PPG Territory Manager, called us one day and then came here to do a demo of the PPG finishes,” Dylan said. “He gave us a great presentation and showed us how the system works from basecoat to clearcoat, and we were sold after that. After we signed the contract, PPG provided fantastic training. They showed us how to maximize the production out of our paint department, along with educating our painter about how to effectively spray the product. We were extremely impressed by the entire process.”

Dylan loves using a waterborne product and hasn’t encountered any issues, which has allowed him to concentrate on other important things, he said.  

“The quality of the Envirobase High Performance system is consistently excellent and we haven’t had any problems curing the vehicles either,” he said. “Even when it gets muggy here in Minnesota, our painter has been trained on how to deal with it, and we never need to re-paint a vehicle as a result.”

The color matching that Dylan is getting from his PPG system is also saving him time and of course, money.

“Our color matching now from PPG is second to none, especially when we’re dealing with tricky three-stages,” he said. “Our least favorite color used to be the Ford RR three-stage red that comes in about 12 different variances. It took us only two to three paint jobs with the PPG waterborne system to dial in this color.”

Dylan loves the product, but the knowledge he has received through the company is just as important, he said.

“James Feickert has really helped us organize our shop better and get things flowing by introducing us to the lean ‘5S’ system,” he said. “It contains five steps and we did them all, and we can see the results here every day. Flow is really critical, because we only have one booth. Last year, we set a goal to paint two more cars a week and we surpassed that number, so that proves that PPG is truly enabling us to be a more productive shop.”  

Now that his paint concerns have disappeared, Dylan can now focus on winning the Fishing Nationals later this year.

“Fishing is a lot like painting a car—there’s a science to it and you need to figure out patterns,” he said. “You have to develop a game plan, and PPG has exceeded our expectations in that area because their product is excellent and their advice has been amazing.”

Maki Body & Glass
Location: Grand Rapids, MN
(218) 910-1015

Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 14
In Business Since: 1952
Number of Locations: One
DRP Programs: 11
Largest Production Space: 40,000 square feet

Automotive Refinish 

Company Contact: Cathy Rusnak
(440) 572-2800

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Categories: Automotive, Regional Business News, Business News

Tags: Auto, auto body, body repair, body shop, collision repair, frame alignment, frame machine, framerack, Maki Body & Glass, repair equipment, repair technology

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