Painter of High-End Cars Works Efficiently With His 23 SATA Guns

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

Tony Rivera is the lead painter and paint shop foreman at Fields Collision Center, a high-end shop that repairs some of the finest luxury brands in the world.

By specializing in Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Land Rover, MINI and BMW, Rivera and his paint crew have to do an exemplary job, without exception, to please their astute customers.

“People who own these types of top-tier vehicles know a lot about them and expect only the best,” Rivera said. “We have had customers here who bring their own milspecs to check out how thick the paint is on their vehicles after we’ve painted them. We have even had some customers who ask us to put their cars on a rack so that they can inspect underneath the vehicle. They love their cars, and that’s why we can’t ever compromise the quality of our repairs and paint jobs.”

While the clients at Fields Collision Center are meticulous about their cars, Rivera is just as particular about his equipment—which is why he only uses SATA spray guns. It’s a productive and happy relationship that has spanned more than 12 years, he said.

“When I moved to the paint department, a painter by the name of Jason Phillips taught me how to paint,” he said. “That’s when he introduced me to SATA. He sold me my first three SATA guns (base, primer and clear). They were 15 years old at that time, but they’re still in great shape today.”

Since then, Rivera has been spraying high-end cars with strictly SATA guns, although he did experiment with a few others for a brief period of time.

A few years ago, I tried some other brands just to see what’s out there, but I sold them, and now I only use SATA guns,” he said. “Once you get accustomed to a SATA gun, it’s difficult to use another type of gun.”

Rivera began his career at the bottom, but was able to learn a lot about luxury cars every step of the way, he said.

“I started out as a detailer at a Lamborghini dealership, detailing the cars and taking many of them to out-of-town car shows,” he said. “One day, I painted my car, an old Impala, in my carport. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing, I watched the painters at work and imitated their mannerisms. I drove the car into work the next day, and they asked me who painted it. When I told them I did it, they were shocked, and two months later I was painting cars for them by myself.”

Over the years, Rivera has acquired new SATA guns for varied applications, and now he owns a grand total of 23.

“I love the way they atomize and the fact that their spray pattern just works for me as a painter,” he said. “With the other guns I’ve tried, you have to change your technique and slow down to accommodate the gun, but that’s just not for me. The amount of paint the SATA guns spray is ideal for my style and the type of work I’m doing.”

At a busy shop like Fields Collision Center, Rivera has to be fast and smart with his work, and his SATA guns help him achieve both.

“Sometimes we get so busy [that] I will load up the booth with five different bumpers that are five different colors, and just start spraying away,” he said. “With one booth load of bumpers, I can do 30 hours of work in just two hours. The fact that my SATA guns will never fail me allows me to work quickly and keep moving.”

Rivera is on a personal phone call basis with the people at SATA and values the company’s over-the-top customer support.

“Jason is my main guy at SATA by Dan-Am Company, and I talk to him all the time,” he said. “If I ever need any parts expedited, have any technical questions or want to talk about a new gun that I want to get my hands on, Jason is right there. Every time I want a new gun, I let him know, and he sends it to me right away—the support at SATA is the best.”

To improve himself as a painter, Rivera is always looking for the newest SATA gun on the market to add to his arsenal.

“Their new Phaser gun is by far the best one out there right now. In fact I now own two of them,” he said. “SATA is always developing new guns and coming out with amazing products, so I’m always anxious to see what they’re doing next.”

With sturdy construction and a limited amount of moving parts, Rivera has never had a SATA gun fail him, and he isn’t expecting that to change.

“If you clean them, they do the job, and that’s what you expect from any gun,” Rivera said. “I want tools that can help me do a better job, and that’s what I get from my SATA guns. It’s a great company to work with, and that’s why I was delighted when they asked us to be featured in this article.”

Fields Collision Center Orlando

Location: Orlando, FL

(407) 521-5882

Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 22

In Business Since: 1999

Number of Locations: Two

Combined Production Space: 50,000 square feet

Dan-Am Company

One Sata Drive

P.O. Box 46

Spring Valley, MN 55973

(800) 633-7282

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Tags: Auto, auto body, body repair, body shop, collision repair, Fields Collision Center Orlando, frame alignment, frame machine, framerack, repair equipment, repair technology

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