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JULY 2021

www.nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

THE

NATIONAL

CollisionRepairer News, views & information for the Collision Industry Professional ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE INDUSTRY AS THE LEADING MAGAZINE

Meet Paula Hilditch, Hella’s Head of Product Management and Marketing Plastfix’s Mario Dimovski celebrates 30 years in the collision repair industry We visit Gino’s Panel and Paint, a leading repairer in Fremantle, WA


E D I T O R I A L

with Joe McFadries

Life It’s about the journey, not the destination No doubt many of you will have heard of this all too familiar saying, but how many of us appreciate how profound it really is? Life is a journey filled with lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, celebrations and special moments that will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose. The road will not always be smooth, and in fact, throughout our travels we will encounter many challenges, and the unexpected may remind us – or even surprise us. We will be reminded when we recognise things that give us a good feeling, or surprised when we discover things that open a new perspective on the world and offer us a new experience. At any point in time, you may look back on your journey and think, “if only”. However, it’s worth remembering that if you had done anything differently, your journey would have taken a different path and you would be in a very different place. The motto is: “be careful what you wish for”. Far too many of us, including myself, particularly when we are (or were) in our younger years, rush through life towards what we see is the destination without giving thought to what we will do when we get there. Just think about that for a moment. Life is too short – as we were all reminded early last year – so let’s all stop, breathe and ask ourselves: “What’s it all about?” In this issue we meet several people

and discuss their journeys, beginning on page 14 where we speak with Paula Hilditch, Head of Product Management and Marketing, Hella Australia, and find a truly entrepreneurial woman who has enjoyed a global journey of discovery with a commitment to supporting and developing team success. Similarly, on page 18 we meet Aaron Scagliotta, Director of Gino’s Paint and Panel in Fremantle, whose journey has taken him from working in the business to working on the business, and taking the company to a whole new level. On page 30 we once again catch up with Plastfix’s Mario Dimovski who discusses his 30year journey in Australia and his grand plans to move to the US and replicate his success on the world stage. Technically speaking, on page 34 we review Axalta’s Automotive Colour Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey, on page 38 we hear from PPG, who share their tips on “prepping for blend”, and on page 42, Saint Gobain discusses the importance of using the correct wheel when cutting and grinding. On page 40, we visit the 2021 VW Nationals from New Zealand and look at the story behind the Beetle that won “Best in Show”, while on page 44 John gives us an insight into where the US collision industry’s Future Disruptions Committee expects to be in 2035. Finally, on page 36 we reflect on the Future Leaders of the Industry program and reinforce why it is more THE

important to our industry than ever before, and on page 39 we highlight the importance of ongoing training, supported by the 17 organisations running programs throughout the year. Of course, we also have all the latest local, global and product news to keep you up to date with what’s happening in our great industry.

Stay safe and well, and as always, happy to chat. The National Collision Repairer magazine – Making a difference in our industry

NATIONAL

CollisionRepairer To receive our weekly e-newsletter sign up at www.nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au or email: josephine@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

“Staying Connected”

The National Collision Repairer – 1


C O N T E N T S THE

NATIONAL

CollisionRepairer Latest News Local News

4

All the latest news from across the country as the industry is well and truly up and running.

Global News

26

Keeping you up to date with the latest news and information from around the world.

Tech Tip

PPG’s John Hristias shares the best-practice process for preparing a blend area.

Updated Events and Training Contacts

39

Symposium2021 Panorama Minis Downunder Red CentreNATS.

Product Showcase

Special Reports

Regular Features

Entrepreneurial Women

Talking Shop

Some of the latest products specifically designed to enhance your business.

22

The EU is facing the challenge of “who owns the data” in this highly connected environment.

Industry Milestone

30

34

EDITOR: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333 joe@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

ADVERTISING SALES ENQUIRIES: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333 joe@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

DIGITAL EDITOR: Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902 josephine@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902 josephine@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

SUB EDITOR: Joanna Dolan

PRINTED BY: Bright Print 02 9757 3000

ART CONSULTANT: Chris Stone (Stone Dezine) 0407 939 668 chris@stonie.com.au

PUBLISHED BY: JMF Solutions Pty Ltd PO Box 1258, Kyneton Victoria 3444 0458 588 333

40

From the 2021 VW Nationals in NZ, we look at the story behind the “Best in Show” Beetle

Tech Talk

We review Axalta’s Automotive Colour Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey.

36

We reflect on the importance of this long-running initiative.

Trans-Tasman

We catch up with Plastfix’s Mario Dimovski who celebrates 30 years and shares his plans for the US.

18

We visit Gino’s Panel and Paint in Fremantle and meet Aaron Scagliotta.

Future Leaders

Technology 46

14

We meet Paula Hilditch, Hella’s Head of Product Management and Marketing, who shares her journey.

Europe Insight 38

2021

42

Saint Gobain discusses the importance of using the correct wheel when cutting and grinding.

Stateside

44

John looks ahead to 2035 with the US collision industry’s Future Disruptions Committee.

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2 – CONTENTS


Stunning from every angle. The new 100 Line paint system. Brilliant pigments for a flawless finish.

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Norton PREP IT! apprenticeship competition As we move into the second half of the year, Norton provides this timely reminder about their 2021 PREP IT! apprentice competition. PREP IT! is designed to encourage, support and engage with the next generation of automotive talent by showcasing the skills that apprentices learn in perfect preparation, using sanding techniques such as manual blocking, machine sanding, wet sanding and de-nibbing and polishing. The competition requires the apprentice to show their preparation skills and knowledge in any process step (or combination), from bare metal through to final defect removal and polishing of paint work, using a Norton Abrasives products. Each month Saint-Gobain will judge the best entry and four runners-up entries: 1st place monthly prize – $200 voucher 4 x runners-up will each receive a $50 voucher.

At the end of the year all entries received will go into the major prize draw: 1st place – $2,000 voucher 2nd place – $500 voucher 3rd place – $250 voucher. Michelle Morgan, Business Development Manager Saint-Gobain, said: “We are so thrilled to launch this initiative in the collision repair industry. Not only does it showcase the wealth of young talent in the industry but it also aims to illustrate the extensive range of Norton products available for use in all repair processes.” The decades of innovation, product development and investment in the Norton brand have placed Saint-Gobain as a leader of the industry, a position established through reliability, consistency and quality. In addition, their support, training and technical expertise complement the product quality and their focus on the value-

added approach across the industry. The PREP IT! Competition runs until December 2021, so to enter or find out more, scan the QR code.

Book a Milwaukee test drive Experience the Milwaukee difference with Job Site Solutions specialists who will help improve your workshop productivity, efficiency and safety. Milwaukee Tool understands the day-to-day challenges automotive professionals face in their workshops. The company is committed to delivering a cordless, hose-free future by developing strong alternatives to pneumatic tools. Cordless solutions improve safety and eliminate the mess associated with cords and hoses being out on the shop floor. To support the collision repair industry, the Milwaukee Job Site Solutions (JSS) team of experienced transportation specialists bring the best advice and the best range of cordless power tools, hand tools, storage and accessories directly to your workshop. During the JSS visit, a transportation specialist will assess the way your workshop runs. From the job at hand to your existing inventory, the JSS team learns where your pain points are, then recommends the most appropriate

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product solutions; offers training and advice on how to optimise your processes; and helps you take advantage of Milwaukee’s cross-platform, cordless innovation across your workshop. Milwaukee products are Nothing but HEAVY DUTY, made to withstand the harshest, most demanding jobs in modern workshops. Working closely with the Australian transportation industry, Milwaukee Tool has managed to remain one step ahead of the everchanging demands placed on mechanics. This connection means that Milwaukee solutions are efficient, more productive, safer to use and, most importantly, geared for mechanics. Whether it’s repairs, maintenance or body work, the JSS team ensures that the tools you have on hand, your ways of working, and your workshop’s safety and efficiency are maximised. From cordless impact wrenches to under bonnet lighting, Milwaukee Tool has developed the power tools, hand tools, and accessories to help every mechanic build, repair and maintain

any vehicle. Milwaukee Tool offers complete workshop solutions that maximise safety and efficiency – from the M12, M18 and the high performance M12 FUEL and M18 FUEL platforms, to their growing range of hand tools, accessories and the expanding PACKOUT modular storage system. Experience the Milwaukee difference by booking a test drive with the Job Site Solutions team. Visit: www.milwaukeetool.com.au/ jobsite-solutions/


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Fix Auto expansion in NSW continues with Fix Auto Macarthur Fix Auto, the world’s largest network of independent repairers, has added another NSW-based shop, their second of the year. Fix Auto Macarthur, formerly known as AAA Malibu Paint & Panel, based in Ingleburn, is the latest repairer to join Australia’s leading independent repair network. The business has been in operation since 2000 and was purchased by Aaron Samphier in 2016. It was relocated to a new facility in 2019. The new facility provided the business with the much-needed space to facilitate Aaron’s aggressive growth plans as well as enabling an entire upgrading of tools, technology and resources to ensure they could deliver the highest levels of quality and service whilst managing this additional volume. Commenting on this latest partnership in NSW, Stuart Faid, VP of Fix Auto for Asia and head of the Australian business, said: “Aaron’s facility is outstanding. He has secured a great location with significant scale to grow his business and has spared no expense with equipping his people with all the tools and technology they need. Aaron has a passion for his business and a vision for continued growth. We look forward to achieving that together.” When asked what drove his decision to join Fix Auto, Aaron explained: “I realised my shop needed to be a part of something bigger. I wanted to continue to own my business and stay in control of it, but recognised that as a single shop in a consolidating market I needed to find a way of staying relevant. Fix Auto is an international brand with over 800

locations worldwide. With access to industry best practices, systems and processes to increase profitability and efficiencies, it also provides opportunities with potential work providers. Most importantly, they have been nothing but supportive of my vision and the direction I want to take the business. In fact, I am confident that this partnership will make that vision entirely possible.” Scott Holden, state general manager for NSW and QLD for Fix Auto added: “I am very excited about the potential for Fix Auto Macarthur. When selecting partners for our network it is vital that they have the type of attitude that Aaron demonstrates day in, day out with his team and his customers. I look forward to building on Aaron’s success and working with the business to achieve its full potential.”

Fix Auto Macarthur.

I-CAR announces Gold Class for Power Smash Repairs NSW I-CAR Australia recently announced that Power Smash Repairs in Mittagong NSW has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status. “We decided to enter the I-CAR Road to Gold program because we thought it would be a good way to maintain and further our skills with the latest technologies, which are ever-changing in the automotive industry. The online virtual training is an excellent option, especially as we are located in a rural area, where the closest major cities are an hour‘s drive away,” stated Tommy and Joe Martinovic, directors of Power Smash Repairs. “The experience was very good, and the whole process was very easy, from online enrolment to the online virtual training. It also helped when all training was able to be done from the comfort of our own workshop and not having to travel distances. The staff particularly enjoyed learning about the new technologies that are coming out on cars, such as their structure and the different steel strengths. Our refinishers were also involved in the program, receiving product-specific training from Glasurit that worked towards our Gold Class certification.” Gary Wood, I-CAR Australia Gold Class Co-ordinator added: “Power Smash Repairs is also part of the Suncorp Insurance Repairer Network. Congratulations to the entire team for joining the growing number of businesses that have recognised the benefits of regular training. They have proven that location isn’t a barrier when it comes to professional

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development for their team. Participation in online virtual training and working with an I-CAR Industry Training Alliance partner allowed them to complete the role relevant training required for the Gold Class accreditation. Power Smash Repairs’ commitment to professional development will ensure safety and quality for all their customers.” For further information, contact I-CAR Australia at goldclass@i-car.com.au or on (07) 3219 9088.

The Power Smash team.


5

Minutes with ...

Alana Reid Capricorn When did you join the industry: 2003 What was your first job in the industry: Working for a spare parts company called Marlows Auto Parts in WA What do you do now: Area Manager for Capricorn What do you like about the industry: I love the down to earth people I deal with every day. The passion, love and enthusiasm people have for their cars makes this industry very unique. What don’t you like about the industry: There is not much I don’t like about the industry, it’s always changing. What music do you like: I have a very broad taste in music, and my playlists consist of everything from Johnny Cash, Metallica, Meat Loaf, AC/DC, Queen right through to R&B and general pop.

L O C A L

Toyota’s state-of-the-art parts distribution delivers! Toyota Australia is delivering more parts faster and more efficiently than ever before with a new world-class warehousing and distribution centre in Melbourne. The new centre was opened last year, and together with existing facilities in Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin, provides Toyota with the largest automotive parts distribution operation in Australia, storing more than 4.6 million parts and shipping over 75,000 parts per day to dealers across country. Among the advanced technologies employed in Melbourne for safety, efficiency, and to assist with growing customer demand are automated guided vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and, in a global first for a Toyota warehouse, a zero-high rack. Toyota Australia General Manager, Aftersales Development and Distribution Division, Heather Box said the new technologies employed in both Melbourne and Sydney ensured customers were able to get fast, efficient delivery of parts through to 305 Toyota and Lexus dealer outlets across Australia, ensuring their cars were always fully maintained. “These technologies are truly state-of-the-art and enable us to not only provide a more efficient service but also ensure the safety of our workforce. In Melbourne, for example, we have been able to significantly improve delivery accuracy with the

Your favourite artist: Ed Sheeran Your favourite food: Thai Food Your favourite drink: Jack Daniels and Coke Your hobbies: Camping and anything to do with the water. Who in the world would you most like to meet: My Nanna (my dad’s Mum), everyone who knew her has told me how wonderful she was, and that her baking was “to die for”.

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The state-of-the-art Distribution Centre.

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right parts delivered where and when they are needed, while the separation of people and machine means that we have driven even more improvements to our safety environment,” she said. New zero-high racking reduces forklift usage by employees and keeps stock storage height below two metres, improving safety and eliminating stock falling hazards. In addition, autonomous vehicles have improved stock efficiencies within the warehouse by reducing manual conveyance of stock and eliminating manual processes and material handling. These technologies have helped improve efficiency in receiving operations compared with the previous parts centre in Melbourne, with an increase of up to 18% in the number of parts processed per hour through the system. The new technologies have also helped reduce mishaps that occur when an incorrect part or number of parts are distributed to a customer to a level of less than 10 parts per million. Both the 50,000 square metre facility in Melbourne and 38,000 square metre facility in Sydney have been designed with the latest environmental technologies in mind, with the Sydney facility incorporating a 605kW solar array that will help the centre achieve its goal of being a zero emission facility later this year.


Automotive Right to Repair passes the Senate and is now law! The Australian consumer is the big winner from the Senate’s passing of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Stuart Charity. Scheme Bill. Following nearly a decade of campaigning by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), the new law will make it illegal for car companies to withhold information from qualified independent mechanics, keeping the cost of replacement parts, vehicle maintenance and repair affordable. Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA, said the mandatory scheme will require all motor vehicle service and repair information to be made available for purchase by independent

repairers at a fair market price. “It has been a long time coming but will be welcome news for the automotive industry. We started campaigning for this law a decade ago and have been through two government inquiries, and even through a voluntary agreement in 2014 which was a complete failure.” The new law is designed to provide a fairer playing field for the repair and service of the 74 automotive brands available in Australia in an industry worth $23 billion annually. In Australia, the motor vehicle servicing and repair industry involves nearly 35,000 businesses employing more than 106,000 Australians. Charity said around one in 10 motor vehicles taken to repair workshops are affected by a lack of access to service and repair information. “This can often lead to higher service costs for consumers. What this law means is that the service and repair information that car

manufacturers share with their dealership network must also be made available to independent repairers.” Charity singled out the Federal Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar. “He has personally steered this through Government, and we thank him for his leadership.” This new law is the result of unprecedented industry cooperation, with over 75 workshops hosting visits from their local MPs to demonstrate what happens when vehicle manufacturers withhold software updates and technical service bulletins. “We don’t have a very politicised membership and for our small owneroperated workshops to get on board with direct emails and contact with their local MP is the best indicator we have that this is important to our members and to their customers,” concluded Charity. The new scheme will be monitored for compliance by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.


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Tickets on sale for Carmageddon auto innovation event The Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTA Queensland) is excited to announce tickets are now on sale for Carmageddon. This is the fourth event in the sell-out series and will be held on Thursday 22 July at the Sir Jack Brabham Automotive Centre of Excellence, Eight Mile Plains. The event has gained a reputation as one of the country’s best automotive innovation one-day conferences. Internationally recognised academic and industry experts will deliver keynotes and panel discussions on topics including new technology and the future of mobility, waste management and unlocking the circular economy for tyres, clean fuel and infrastructure, and innovation impact opportunities for business. The event will be opened by the Honourable Mick De Brenni MP, Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works. Some of the subject matter experts include: • Professor Peta Ashworth OAM, Director Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, Chair Sustainable Energy Futures, UQ & Chair Hydrogen Taskforce • Professor Michael Milford, Acting Director, QUT Centre for Robotics, Electrical Engineering and Robotics School, Faculty of Engineering, QUT • Dr Anna Kaksonen, Group Leader, Industrial Biotechnology, CSIRO • Dr Andrea Walton, Social Scientist and Research Team Leader, CSIRO • Behyad Jafari, CEO, Electric Vehicle Council • Dr Kellie Nuttall, Partner, Deloitte Australia – AI Lead • Mark Smith, CEO, Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland • Ben Warren, National Manager, Electrification and Mobility, Nissan. Attendees will also be treated to an amazing exhibition. On display will be an array of electric vehicles including an Audi E-Tron, a Nissan LEAF, a Renault Kangoo ZE, a Hyundai Kona,

and a Mini Cooper SE, as well as the latest e-bikes and e-vans. QUT will bring some mind-blowing technology that showcases sensor advancements and how to create carbon from tyres. Local businesses will exhibit their cutting-edge ideas on retrofitting cars with electric engines and high quality independent front-end suspension systems. MTA Queensland CEO Rod Camm said: “Carmageddon has become the signature event on the Australian automotive calendar and we are really excited about this year’s program. The event features a collaboration of highly respected experts to discuss the significant transformations occurring right now that will directly impact the future of our businesses in the automotive retail, repair and service sectors.” “With advancements in areas like automotive waste management and recycling, electric and autonomous vehicles, mobility as a service, clean fuels like hydrogen and its supporting infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle communication and advancements in sensor technology, it has never been more important to learn how these will shape future business models to exploit incredible opportunity,” added Camm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: www.mtaq.com.au/carmageddon-2021/

I-CAR announces Gold Class for Cambro Motors Vic I-CAR Australia has announced that Cambro Motors in Clayton, Victoria has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status. Cambro Motors is also part of the Suncorp Insurance repairer network and embarked on “The Road to Gold” program last year, opting for the selfmanaged training option. “During the 2020 Victorian lockdown, our employees had time to participate in online training, which was very flexible as we were able to access the training anytime throughout the day. The videos, followed by questions were helpful for employees to understand and memorise the topic,” said Giulio Saraullo, director of Cambro Motors. “Staff have enjoyed the online training. It was similar to previous

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training they had completed, where they had the option to do individual or group training. Most of the time I would pair up employees this way so they had the option to discuss the topics. Having the option to go back and check each topic was also helpful when they struggled with any of the answers. The completion certificates have been well received and have also boosted their confidence.” Gary Wood, I-CAR Australia Gold Class Co-ordinator, added: “Knowing that the team at Cambro Motors put in a great the effort to achieve Gold Class, it is a rewarding and proud feeling to have been involved. It is wonderful to see Cambro Motors achieve Gold Class status as their attitude and dedication towards training since joining the program has

been first class. The staff have embraced and enjoyed the training, which has developed their knowledge and understanding of modern vehicle repair. Congratulations to all involved!” For further information, contact I-CAR Australia at goldclass@ i-car.com.au or Tel (07) 3219 9088


We’ve W e’v ve e seen se een en th tthe he next next big b tthing hing a thousand tho ou usand ttimes. ime es. It’s It’s never never too too big. big. g We’ve been in the industry long g enough en to understand th hat change is inevitable. It’s why we identify fyy and develop se ervices so Members have the stren ngth to overcome toda o y’s challenges, as well as tomorr omor ow’s.

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Austra Join Australasia’s ala asiia’s lar largest gest aut automotive omotive tive c cooperative oo operative join@capri icor orn.c n.coop | capricorn.coop capricorn.coop p join@capricorn.coop


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Axalta’s bottleneck elimination program Is there a bottleneck in your body shop? Do you have so many cars on-site that you feel you will never catch up? Robin Taylor, Axalta Services Manager, comes across this issue all too often. Having worked closely with customers for over 30 years, he reminds shop owners and managers that they need to look at the whole process to determine where the congestion is occurring, not just focus on a tiny section of it. A few small changes can reap improvements in productivity and efficiency, and ultimately deliver increased throughput. The paint shop is often identified as one area where workflow is held up. Not being able to paint enough cars becomes the starting point of our journey to reduce the bottleneck and increase throughput. Flow through the paint shop is dependent upon upstream processes being carried out to the agreed quality standards. As with all the production processes, if the original estimate is not accurate, it dramatically impacts the efficiency and effectiveness of the downstream operations. It is timely to remember that the paint-shop is just one part of an integrated process, and the overall process is only as strong as the weakest link. To improve the overall performance of the paint shop, the process can be broken down into separate processes and further into smaller sub-processes, often grouping several steps into logical chunks. The illustration shows the typical steps in the painting process. Once the sub-process has been established, analysis is done to determine where the bottlenecks are, what is causing them and what can be undertaken to fix them. For simplicity, the primary bottleneck should be the main focus. When analysing each of the subprocesses in detail, the following should be considered: • The time it takes to complete the process. • How we can standardise the steps. • The quality standards required. • How to remove the waste from the process.

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Many body shop owners and managers identify the painting process, and specifically the booth cycle time, as the primary bottleneck that controls a shop’s throughput. It is important to define the shop throughput required – that is, jobs per day. This is measured as throughput dollars per day, and we encourage you to first focus on understanding the throughput required in both booth cycles per day and jobs per booth cycle. Once these requirements are recognised, the overall paint shop process can be looked at in detail to determine the process and sub-processes that are necessary to achieve this goal. Having identified the required throughput and process capability, the process improvement activity can begin, and to achieve these throughput goals, there may be a need to think and act differently. For example, if panels are painted off the car, this allows multiple jobs to be painted and baked simultaneously. Selecting the right paint product and paint process can significantly impact the baking cycle, reducing it from say, 30 minutes down to as low as 10 minutes. The reduction in bake time can allow for another booth cycle within the day, giving a potential 20% increase in capacity. The results from any improvement initiatives will only be fully realised after standardisation has occurred. A crucial part of standardisation is standard operating procedures (SOPs) designed to ensure that processes are carried out consistently whenever possible. In the format recommended, SOPs are not intended to teach the technician how to do a task but are designed to set the standard for how the task should be completed. Standardisation covers all aspects of the process, from grades of abrasives to the products used. If you are interested in learning more on how to eliminate paint shop bottlenecks, join Robin and the Axalta Services team for the latest training course on “Paintshop Optimisation”. For more information, visit www.axalta.com.au/axaltaservices

Colour Match.

Sanding for primer.

Masking.

Apply the primer.

Sanding for topcoat.

Painting.

Polishing.

Inspection.


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E N T R E P R E N E U R I A L

W O M E N

Paula Hilditch Head of Product Management and Marketing, Hella Australia WE CAUGHT UP WITH PAULA HILDITCH AND DISCOVERED AN INSPIRATIONAL MARKETING PROFESSIONAL WHO BRINGS EXTENSIVE GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE EXPERIENCE AND A PASSION FOR MENTORING NEW TALENT TO HER NEW ROLE. We got the discussion underway with a “walk down memory lane” as Paula took us back to where it all began, which interestingly is her university days back in the UK, where she studied materials engineering with a focus on glass and ceramics. Following her degree, Paula went to work for Pilkington, the British based multinational

glass manufacturing company, where she began her career in research and development in the building products division. “This role was multi-faceted as it gave me the opportunity to travel the world visiting mine sites, buying raw materials and designing glass

Paula Hilditch.

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compositions. It really was a very specialised and very technical role.” This also gave Paula exposure to capital projects, such as constructing processing plants around the world and working with the people who were putting the business cases together, a function that was to serve her well later in her career. After five years in the building products division, Paula secured a role in Pilkington’s automotive division as Business Planning Manager, Specialised Transport, supplying glass into the truck, bus and agricultural machinery sectors. “This was my first commercial role and my introduction to the automotive industry. However, I was only in the role two years before I moved to the Global Product Manager’s position in the OEM business unit, with responsibility for managing Pilkington’s windscreen portfolio across all major markets.” Paula speaks fondly of this period of her career as she got to work with designers, stylists and engineers at all the major car manufacturers around the world, to understand their needs and therefore prioritise Pilkington’s windscreen product development programs. “At the time, we were supplying approximately one third of the global windscreens, so it really was a key part of our business, and a testament to the strength of our engineering capabilities. I had access to the global design centres in North America, Japan and Europe, which gave me a fascinating insight into the OEM world and, in particular, what was coming next. It really was a very privileged position.” It was at this time that Paula first


became exposed to the then embryonic active and passive safety systems, the predecessors to the now omnipresent advanced driver assist systems, and their inextricable link to windscreen technology, which really did auger well for the next steps in her career. “Almost 10 years ago, my partner and I moved to Australia and, although I was initially focused on suppliers to the automotive sector, I was able to continue my automotive career at GM Holden in a newly-created role, Collision Business Manager.” From a blank canvas, Paula spent the next six years creating and developing Holden’s aftersales business, working with the various stakeholders, such as repairers, insurers, dealers and even industry associations. “The role had the level of complexity that I was looking for, and it gave me the opportunity to really build something from the ground up. It was fascinating to work with so many stakeholders whose interests were not always aligned, but it was in all of our best interests to make it work.” Paula was quick to realise that although the company’s objective was to maximise revenue, the enablers were much more subtle, particularly around engaging with those who were using the parts. She focused on providing the complete technical information to ensure the end user could deliver a safe and proper repair. It was at this time she

created the Holden Technical Hotline – but we will hear more on this later. After three years “in collision”, Paula went on to become Holden’s General Manager – Aftersales Parts, followed by a stint as General Manager – Retail and Dealer Marketing, focusing on GM’s sponsorship activities in motorsport, before, as we all know, GM wound up the business. After a short sabbatical – although this turned out to be longer than expected due to COVID-19 – Paula joined her current organisation, Hella Australia, just as Victoria was beginning to emerge from the extended lockdown of 2020. “I was really looking for an organisation with great values where I could work with a wonderful team and get back to product marketing. Of course, knowing the Hella brand, I really welcomed the opportunity to meet the team and the more I saw and heard, the more I became engaged in the process. Although we are part of a global organisation, the Australian business is a close, compact team underpinned by a great culture, so I have the opportunity to work across all of the moving parts in the business.” Paula went on to explain that there are two key aspects to her role. Firstly, the product management area means she has full responsibility for the product lifecycle management, including sourcing the right products

for our market, creating the business cases and, of course, new product introduction. “I have a team of four product managers supporting both the lighting, electrical and electronics divisions. We are so much more than the lighting business for which we are so well known.” The other key aspect of Paula’s role is the marketing function, which is fundamentally to ensure the that the value propositions of all the products are communicated effectively through the various print, digital and event management outlets. “My two marketers both have keys roles in ensuring we deliver the message effectively to both our existing and potential customers, especially when you consider we have a range of brands across various markets.” The extensive brand portfolio for which Paula and her team are responsible includes: the main Hella brand, Hella Marine, Hella-Gutmann Solutions in the automotive aftermarket, and Hella Pagid in the automotive braking market. In addition, Hella also distributes Scangrip handheld work lamps and Mahle thermal products, such as radiators and condensers. As a professional businesswoman with an extensive career predominately in the automotive sector, I asked Paula to discuss the

Paula with the Hella team.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 5


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achievements of which she is most proud. Interestingly, with a career that spans the globe, she speaks about the initial role at Holden. “As Collision Business Manager I had to engage the support of the broader Holden organisation for the technical aspect of repairing cars. The collision business within an OE is generally not well understood, so getting commitment and support can be extremely challenging. My plan was to set up a technical hotline, so I needed access to internal technical resources – and funds to communicate with the industry – so I built the business case and pitched the plan to some very senior technical people in Holden, some of whom had global responsibilities, to get access to their technical personnel for free. The outcome was growth in the sale of genuine parts, further building the Holden brand and, most importantly, doing the right thing by the customer. It actually became a bit of a case study within the GM organisation.” We turned our attention back to Hella and what differentiates the brand from its competitors. Paula points to the organisation’s pedigree as a Tier 1 supplier to OEMs across the globe, which represents 80% of the global business. “Although there is a huge range of Hella products on the car as it leaves the dealership, the brands are not so evident.” Ironically, Hella is better known for its presence in the automotive aftermarket, notwithstanding that it is the minor part of the business. As the manufacturer of so many original parts on so many global OEM makes and models, Hella is the source of so much of the innovation in the cars of today and the cars of tomorrow. “We see this as a real sustainable competitive advantage, which is backed up by our research and development and investment in product innovation, which clearly flows through to our aftermarket portfolio.” Paula also highlights that the diagnostics business has been well established in Europe for quite a long time, with extensive coverage in those markets. “The Hella-Gutmann launch journey in Australia is still less than two years old, but clearly the global capability

W O M E N

is there. The opportunity is therefore to enhance the message and improve the communication to build the scale here in this market. We need to show that not only do we have an exceptional understanding of how the electronic components work in a vehicle, but we also have the diagnostic and calibration capability.” Hella’s lighting capabilities are so well known around the world that it almost overshadows that the electronic business has a similar level of commitment. I then asked Paula who has been her greatest inspiration throughout her career, and she was quick to acknowledge that she has been inspired and mentored by several managers and leaders over the years. However, when I pressed her to be more specific, she singled out Jo Markham from her years at Holden. “Jo headed up the Aftersales business and was well regarded as someone who paid great attention to strategically managing her career. She was positive, assertive, and a person of the highest integrity who invested so much time into developing her team and even others in the broader Holden business. She really was an inspirational female leader who could empower people to be confident, think differently and really fight for people’s rights. I had the privilege to work with her on two separate occasions.” Paula added that she has learned so much from so many people in her journey and taps into

Really enjoying her time at Holden.

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the “patchwork quilt” of influencers on a regular basis as she manages the challenges she faces in both business and in life in general. It is evident that Paula is very passionate about the automotive industry, so I asked her what advice she would give young women considering a career in our industry. “This is an extraordinarily challenging and fascinating industry, full of so many opportunities. It is at the cutting edge of design, technology and innovation, with a great diversity of roles available across the entire supply chain. It’s important to point out that not everyone in the automotive industry is necessarily into cars. They are creative, innovative individuals with a passion to work with similar people, work in a collaborative culture and feel part of a community that adds so much value to society as a whole. If young women are looking for an industry in which they can learn and grow, the automotive industry has so many opportunities. It really is a great career option.” In closing, Paula wants to encourage all of us in the industry to share our experiences and – who knows? – it may well inspire the next generation of designers, engineers or technicians. “Take every opportunity to speak to people about what you do and how great an industry we work in. You just never know who’s listening and how you can influence the direction of someone’s career.”


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T A L K I N G

S H O P

Gino’s

Panel and Paint Immersed in the Fremantle community since 1960 WE MEET PASSIONATE BUSINESS OWNER AARON SCAGLIOTTA, WHO HAS EVOLVED FROM WORKING IN THE BUSINESS TO WORKING ON THE BUSINESS AND IS TAKING THIS FREMANTLE INSTITUTION TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. It all began when a young Basil Scagliotta came to Australia in 1962 and, not unlike many migrants in the 60s and 70s, went looking for a trade, initially as a mechanic, but as fate would have it, he secured a position as a painter at Gino’s Panel and Paint, where he worked for the best part of a decade. However, Gino got himself into a bit of financial trouble, and in the early 70s Basil was made an offer he couldn’t refuse: “either you buy the business, or you’ll need to find another job”. So, the newly married young father of one took the plunge and bought the business, notwithstanding his relative inexperience running a business.

Aaron with his dad, Basil.

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Basil learned a great deal in those early years. He was determined to succeed and always believed in himself. His motivation was not only his investment in the business but running a successful business that would ensure he could support his young family. Put simply, failure was not an option. Gino’s was such a wellknown business that Basil kept the name and under his leadership, Gino’s Panel and Paint has gone on to be a real institution in the Fremantle area. Things really picked up for Basil when he joined the embryonic Car Craft Group. His knowledge and skills really improved through his

Gino’s iconic frontage.

involvement with the other members of the group, in addition to his involvement with MTA WA. Basil stayed involved with Car Craft for many years and although Gino’s is no longer a member, Basil reflects fondly on the support he received when he needed it most. Aaron, a second-generation owner and director, tells us how he came to be in the business. “As I was approaching the end of high school, I really didn’t see myself going into the family business, so when I left school, I went straight into the hospitality sector, initially as a croupier at Burswood Casino, where I worked for


3 years. I then took up an opportunity to go to the then new Star City Casino in Sydney where I went on to become a floor manager. However, while I was still in my 20s, I decided to travel the world with a good mate before returning home to Perth.” Aaron found that Basil had begun to build a new facility, on the current site at South Fremantle, and asked him to oversee the building process whilst he continued to run the repair business. “When the new facility was up and running, I decided to try out ‘this automotive caper’ to see if it could work for me. I quickly realised that panel beating was not for me, so set out to become a spray painter. Dad initially encouraged me to go out and work at other shops to ‘look and learn’ how other businesses in the industry operated, before coming back to Gino’s, where I completed my apprenticeship.” Aaron had only just become a tradesman when circumstances led him into a role as an assessor, which then gave him a much broader perspective on how a successful workshop should operate. This was the foundation of his development as he took on more and more responsibility, by which time Basil gave him the opportunity to buy into the business. This coincided with insurers introducing what has been called “average cost models” or “fixed cost models” and so Basil and Aaron built

The extensive footprint from the air.

“Gino’s Rapid”, a separate business to allow them to assess the viability of the rapid-repair model. “We decided to go down this path and invested in a range of new equipment, although it was more of a challenge than we initially realised, especially as our volume grew rapidly and our understanding of the metrics just wasn’t where it needed to be.” Their largest insurance partner, RAC continued to work with them to help them understand what they needed to do to make it a win–win situation. In addition to RAC, they also have a very healthy relationship with Allianz and continue to receive work from several other insurers. Very early on in his journey, Basil realised the importance of the relationship with work providers, although he always believed that while there were many stakeholders in the process, the person who pays the bill is ultimately the customer. To take the business to the next level, Aaron implemented two key initiatives. The first of these was a change in paint supplier to AkzoNobel, who installed their premium brand Sikkens waterbased basecoat, Autowave 2.0. “We also took the bold step from a colour perspective and became a ‘spectroonly’ shop, which means we no longer rely on the traditional colour documentation. We also got involved

with the Acoat Selected program, which was a real eye-opener as we could now see a whole new array of key metrics, such as a WIP calculator, paint usage to paint labour splits and, of course, our paint spend, not just in real terms but as a percentage of sales. It really has helped me to be a better businessperson.” Jourdan Calvert, WA/SA State Manager at AkzoNobel added: “This second-generation family business is always pushing to be one of the most innovative and efficient independent body shops in Western Australia. They are pleasure to work with and we look forward to continuing to grow with Aaron and the entire team.” Aaron’s second initiative was to implement 1Q1’s innovative body shop management program. Combined with Acoat Selected, the comprehensive live data features had an immediate, positive impact on the management of key areas of the repair process and gave him the ability to improve scheduling to smooth over the peaks and troughs in workflow and, of course, their labour allocation. Aaron also engaged an HR company to introduce health and safety policies, KPIs and performance incentives, all of which led him to manage the business better. “In essence, I believe in the old adage: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Basil stepped back from the operation about four years ago. In addition to the relationships with these key business partners, Aaron highlights that although he has a range of different benches and welders, CarO-Liner is their main brand. They also use Symach gas fired infra-red spray booths that have served them well for the best part of a decade. Aaron goes on to say that although he is the eldest of three brothers, he is the only one in the collision repair industry. However, not unlike many long-standing family businesses, there are several long-term employees among the 35 staff. Of the three managers who run the business, both the panel shop manager and the front office manager began their careers at Gino’s as apprentices. As a team, they process an average of

The National Collision Repairer – 1 9


T A L K I N G

between 70 and 80 drivable and nondriveable repairs per week and the management team all understand what Aaron calls “the Gino’s way”, which gives him great confidence that the business is in safe hands. Aaron is also keen to highlight their commitment to developing new talent, with 12 apprentices currently in the business, two of whom are young women. “We proactively advertised on various digital platforms, focusing on those coming to the end of their schooling, followed by an open day. We engaged with the parents and put the students through an aptitude test – it was a real recruitment drive. Typically, we have approximately a 50% retention rate, which is not uncommon as young kids are still finding out about themselves, what they want to do and where they want to go. In addition, in WA the perennial challenge is competing with the mining companies’ cadetships which, to a young person, can be very attractive financially.” We turn to the impact of the external factors on the business, beginning with the consolidation trend. “Capital S.M.A.R.T was one of the first to have an impact, followed by the growth of the Gemini group, both of which influenced the way things were done. However, WA is a very parochial place and both RAC and Allianz understood this very well, which led them to work more collaboratively

Inside the expansive workshop.

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S H O P

with local repairers such as us and develop a sustainable model.” Aaron appreciates the growing influence of OEMs. Gino’s is a Subaru Approved Repairer and is also in the process of working to grow their certified approvals. However, the lack of certification has not been an impediment to repairing a wide variety of models in the Perth car parc. He also has a watching brief on the growing trend towards manufacturer-owned repair facilities. Aaron acknowledges that managing the changes in technology across the range of brands they repair is somewhat challenging. However, they fall back on the expertise within his wide network of dealerships. After all, it is the manufacturers who are best placed to understand the masses of information available in the motor vehicle. In addition, he sees this as the most cost-effective way to manage the variety of makes and models that they repair on a daily basis. From their very distinctive building facade to the welcoming customer reception, it is clear that Gino’s is not your average repairer. So, when I ask Aaron to put into words what makes them really stand out, he has no hesitation. “Gino’s has been a part of the Fremantle landscape from its very foundation, and I believe it’s a combination of our professional approach to business and the fact that we have retained the local

touch to which the community has become accustomed. We stay connected to, and support, the Fremantle community in several different ways. We also pride ourselves on our approach to customer service, which includes communication with our customers as their car moves through the repair process, and we are also an RAC Readydrive shop, which means RAC clients receive complimentary hire cars.” I ask Aaron to outline his vision of the future for Gino’s and he tells me about the current project, which is to get their accident-related mechanical repair business up and running. “We dipped our toe in the water about 12 months ago, with a focus on front-ofcar repairs, and we have a dedicated building on this site that is almost complete. We call it Repair Satellite Solutions, and we believe it will help us to control the quality of the repair and minimise the key-to-key time. It really will be a one stop shop for our customers.” In addition to diversification into mechanical repair, in the longerterm Aaron aspires to further expand the company as a whole, which he believes is likely to be growth-byacquisition. Time will tell. Editor: With the knowledge, experience and business skills that Aaron has developed over the years, I am sure he will continue to be successful and will find a way to make his vision a reality.

The AkzoNobel spectro in action.


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E U R O P E

I N S I G H T

Automechanika Experts discuss connectivity and data as a form of currency In a recent webinar held by the organisers of Automechanika, representatives from various sectors of the automotive industry got together to discuss “connectivity, data-based business models and the legal framework”. Forecasters expect one of every two cars in Europe to be connected by as early as 2025. As the number of connected cars increases, so too does the volume of data collected. This can include location data, information on the condition of the vehicle, and safety-related traffic data. But who can access the data, who owns the data, and will it change existing business models? Also, is there a need for European market regulations to ensure that everyone enjoys equal access to the data and to promote new databased business models? These are some of the questions concerning connectivity that were discussed by the panellists. “With our ‘Let’s talk business’ series, we want to do more than simply offer key stakeholders the chance to engage in dialogue – we want to tackle key issues for the broad audience served by our international Automechanika and Hypermotion platforms,” said Sarah Lindsey, Director Business Development Automotive, Transport and Logistics at Messe Frankfurt, who moderated the talk. Every industry segment represented agreed that connectivity would bring far-reaching changes for future business models throughout the automotive industry. Norbert Dohmen, Managing Director of Caruso Dataplace, said: “I think that connectivity has a high disruptive potential and can change the entire value chain in different industries. This opens up entirely new opportunities for us. As a result, I think that future business will be far more dependent on data access than ever before.”

2 2 – EUROPE INSIGHT

According to Gerd Preuss, Product Manager at ADAC, connectivity will also play a key role in roadside assistance: “This will change our business from top to bottom. That is because connectivity and the data that is evaluated in advance allow us to know beforehand which kind of breakdown we are dealing with, so we can offer much better services.”

From a parts distributor’s point of view, knowing in advance exactly which vehicle part needs to be replaced also has its advantages. “After all,” said Ronan McDonagh, Technical Director of Figiefa, “the logistics of the spare parts business are quite challenging. With new technologies such as data-based ‘predictive maintenance’, it is even possible to anticipate spare parts requirements and ensure that the right part arrives at the workshop at the right time. This would reduce or optimise the number of deliveries and help facilitate efficient and green logistics.” Frank Schlehuber, Senior Consultant Market Affairs at CLEPA, also sees new opportunities for the automotive industry resulting from connectivity: “As suppliers, we get more information on the use of

components, which means we can get field information on the behaviour of components and translate this into better designs. On the other hand, we also recognise the threat to an existing market, which is the repair and maintenance market, where connectivity is simply a game changer. Anyone who can access the data can also access the business.” All the participants believed that a legal framework was necessary to create transparency and offer equal access to data for all stakeholders, whether they are service providers, insurance companies or data platforms. “We need clear market regulations from the EU Commission. A few years ago, OEMs said that all data in the car are of technical nature and these data belong to the OEMs. But that has changed because of pressure from stakeholders who are saying that consumers should be able to decide for themselves,” said Dr Tibor Pataki, Head of Motor Insurance / Motor Vehicle Technology at the German Insurance Association. Ronan McDonagh agreed: “Today, vehicle manufacturers have positioned themselves as unique gatekeepers for access to the vehicle and its data resources through their unregulated control of the extended vehicle platform. They can decide what data is made available to which service provider at what cost – which is a clear impediment to effective competition in the market for automotive services.” According to Schlehuber, the solution to this dilemma may be at hand: “The EU Commission has added this important topic to their agenda, and they are clearly committed to coming up with a proposal for a legal framework by November this year.” To see the entire discussion, visit: www.automechanika.com/letstalk-business.


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N E W S

PPG products are officially “out of this world” As NASA’s Perseverance Rover expands our understanding of the Martian environment, it was a suite of PPG products that helped protect it on its journey to the “Red Planet”. In July 2020, one of the most powerful rockets in the United Launch Alliance (ULA) fleet lifted off, broke free of Earth’s atmosphere and propelled the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover on its almost seven-month journey to the fourth planet from the sun – Mars. Travelling through this harsh environment meant the ULA’s Atlas V 541 rocket required the best available protection, including a range of PPG Aerospace sealants, coatings and adhesives. PPG’s Application Support Center (ASC) in Atlanta, Georgia, worked closely with ULA to supply the products and provide technical support. After landing on the Red Planet in February 2021, NASA's Perseverance Rover has been sending back vast amounts of data that could one day pave the way for future human expeditions to Mars.

“Our aerospace sealants, coatings and adhesives helped ULA provide protection for the Atlas V 541 rocket that aided the Perseverance Rover in reaching its final destination,” said Sam Millikin, PPG Global Director, Coatings and Sealants, Aerospace. “We are proud to support this important and historic mission and look forward to a continued partnership with ULA for years to come.” With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the world’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully launched more than 140 missions that provide Earth observation capabilities, enable global communications, unlock the mysteries of our solar system and support life-saving technology. For more information visit: www.ulalaunch.com. For more information about PPG Aerospace coatings, sealants, adhesives, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armour, as well as chemical management and other services, visit www.ppgaerospace.com

PPG completes the Tikkurila acquisition The acquisition of Tikkurila, a leading Nordic paint and coatings company, has been completed with PPG announcing that, together with shares it previously acquired, it now controls 97.1% of Tikkurila’s issued and outstanding shares. Headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, Tikkurila was established in 1862 and is a leading producer and distributor of decorative paint and coatings, with operations in 11 countries and more than 80% of its revenue coming from Finland, Sweden, Russia, Poland, and the Baltic states. The company employs approximately 2,400 people globally and reported sales of approximately €582 million in 2020. “We are proud of the value we have created through this combination for employees, customers, investors and all other stakeholders,” said Jari Paasikivi, Chairman of the Board, Tikkurila Oyj. “With PPG, Tikkurila

2 6 – G LO B A L N E W S

employees will have access to additional growth opportunities, while customers will benefit from PPG’s focus on partnership, innovation and growth.” The combination of Tikkurila and PPG is set to provide even greater benefits for customers, according to Michael McGarry, PPG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to welcoming Tikkurila

employees and leveraging the company’s complementary geographic footprint and strong portfolio of decorative brands to drive future growth. Our teams will work as One PPG to provide customers with expanded paint and coatings options that will now include Tikkurila’s environmentally friendly decorative products and highquality industrial coatings.”


Ford receives award for AHSS innovation The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has awarded the “Automotive Excellence Award” to Ford Motor Company for their advanced highstrength steel (AHSS) innovations in the 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga. The award was presented by John Catterall, vice president of AISI’s automotive program at the 19th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) virtual symposium in Southfield, Michigan. Michael Kozak, global body structure manager at Ford, received the award for his GDIS 2019 presentation titled “The All New 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga.” Ford leveraged an efficient, scalable platform to deliver a global nameplate optimised for each market’s needs. The application of high strength and ultra-high strength steels allowed for optimal strength-toweight that delivers National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-Star Safety Ratings with an exciting driving dynamic. Optimised engineering sections and joints maximised occupant space

for improved accommodation and usage, ensuring people and their gear are comfortable. Regional tailoring of critical structural members avoided any scar mass or cost not necessary for unique market requirements.

Overall, the 2020 Escape/Kuga is a lighter vehicle performing to a higher customer standard while maintaining small SUV affordability. “Automotive Excellence Award winners use advanced high-strength steel in applications to provide the best value for consumers while also

improving vehicle performance and sustainability,” said Catterall. “Steel is driving innovation and Michael and the Ford team are a great example of the capability of these next generation steel grades.” The AISI Automotive Excellence Award is presented each year at GDIS. Individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive market are awarded for their innovation. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including challenges and benefits associated with cost; mass reduction and performance; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; and implementation in production. This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com

Massachusetts Right to Repair lawsuit An association representing vehicle manufacturers has filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The lawsuit seeks to prevent Massachusetts’ updated Right to Repair law from taking effect and went to trial in June. On 3 November 2020, more than 75% of voters in Massachusetts voted yes on Ballot Question 1, which proposed to amend the existing Right to Repair laws in the Commonwealth to expand access to mechanical data necessary to perform vehicle maintenance and repairs, including data transmitted wirelessly over telematics systems. The suit, Alliance for Automotive Innovation vs. Maura Healy, Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was filed in November and sought both preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the newly revised law that was approved by voters from taking effect as

scheduled. The revised law requires that manufacturers give consumers the ability to access the data and grant access to independent repair facilities. By Model Year 2022, the law requires vehicle manufacturers that have telematics systems to develop and install in all vehicles sold in the state a standardised, open-access, bi-directional platform allowing third parties unfettered access to use and alter the mechanical data emanating from the motor vehicle to the platform. Vehicle manufacturers raise numerous concerns with the new law, including cyber security concerns, insufficient time to comply with the data access requirements and that the state law is pre-empted by federal law. The Auto Care Association that represents the automotive aftermarket is a supporter of the ballot initiative and the revised law. “Auto Care is carefully following the trial as well as the verdict, which likely will occur sometime later in the [northern] summer. Obviously, we hope that the

court will uphold the will of the people of Massachusetts. However, no matter the result, the Association is committed to continuing the campaign to ensure that car owners, nationwide, have the ability to directly access their in-vehicle data in real time and to have that data available to the repair shop of their choice,” stated Bill Hanvey, President and CEO of the Auto Care Association. This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com

Auto Care's Bill Hanvey.

The National Collision Repairer – 2 7


G L O B A L

N E W S

AkzoNobel partners with TNW to Paint the Future Connecting with passionate tech innovators is the goal of a new Paint the Future partnership between AkzoNobel and the “heart of tech”, TNW (The Next Web). By joining forces on the Paint the Future 2021 Global Startup Challenge, the two companies will share the power of open innovation across their networks. The aim is to reach more start-ups before the 20 July submission deadline. “AkzoNobel’s innovation ecosystem combines the best of the start-up and corporate worlds: agility and innovative technology with experience and investment potential,” said Ally van der Boon, Paint the Future Program Manager at AkzoNobel. “We’re excited to collaborate with cutting-edge start-

ups in tech to bring surfaces to life – TNW is the perfect partner to help us do that.” TNW’s mission is to connect people who love tech. With extensive experience in media and events, the global digital brand will extend AkzoNobel’s invitation to join the largest collaborative innovation ecosystem in the paints and coatings industry. “Because AkzoNobel commits to working on sustainable business opportunities with challenge winners, being able to attract high quality submissions is critical,” said Wopke Dost, Head of Delivery, TNW Programs. “That’s why TNW’s in-house team of start-up scouts and research analysts are getting the word out to early-stage tech companies who meet the challenge criteria: tailor-made Paint the Future collaborations will

help them grow.” Paint the Future, launched by AkzoNobel in 2019, runs a variety of programs to accelerate innovation. The dynamic ecosystem includes start-ups, academia, research institutes and suppliers, and has resulted in 18 successful solutions to date. Are you ready to bring surfaces to life with AkzoNobel? Join the global start-up challenge at www.letspaintthefuture.com

Daimler recommends Car-O-Liner CDR Workstation Car-O-Liner has proudly announced that Daimler AG has given the CDR1 Cosmetic Dent Repair Workstation a global recommendation. The CDR1 is an all-in-one solution for light cosmetic dent repair and is designed for the repair of small to medium auto body damage. It is a value-packed repair cart that allows you to provide professional repairs of light cosmetic damage quickly and efficiently. These quick cosmetic collision repairs generate good margins, faster cycle times and a decreased need for investment in expensive, heavy equipment. With its small footprint, the CDR1 workstation is perfect for all workshops doing cosmetic repairs on aluminium and steel. The wide range of colour-coded tools are neatly arranged in the workstation, which can be rolled around the workshop as needed. It allows you to keep organised with the five drawers with custom, padded inserts: steel, aluminium, glue, holder and push-pull kits. You can offer more solutions to your current customers and gain new ones by providing quick, efficient professional repair of minor collision damage. Your bottom line is sure to grow.

2 8 – G LO B A L N E W S

Features and benefits All-in-one: The CDR1 contains all the equipment and materials needed to perform light cosmetic collision damage repair quickly and efficiently. Portable: Roll the workstation easily to wherever it needs to be. Versatile: CDR1’s small footprint makes it the perfect addition to any workshop and provides extended service to current customers and attracts new ones. 3 Versions: There is a CDR1 to meet any workshop’s needs. Upgrade and add more great repair solutions to your all-in-one workstation. • Basic kit: workstation, CR235 Combi Spotter, drawer 1 for steel and drawer 2 for aluminium • Advanced kit: basic kit + drawer 3 for glue • Master kit: advanced kit + drawer 4 for holding and drawer 5 for push-pull. The CR235 Combi Spotter is a unique spotter with two separate guns that can easily switch between steel and aluminium welding operations. It is efficient, quick and precise and can quickly switch between two dedicated guns. Disassembly of the panel is not required, reducing spare parts orders and saving up to 40% on

repair time. It also minimises welding and decreases the chance of altering panels through heat or burn-through and eliminates the risk for compromised corrosion protection. Car-O-Liner is proud of their close partnership with Daimler AG and other OEMs in the motor vehicle industry. For more information, contact www.car-o-liner.com.au or call Car-O-Liner Australia on Tel (02) 4271 6287.


Global chip shortage leading to 3.9 million less vehicles The global semiconductorsparked crisis in the automotive sector is now expected to lead to a loss of about $110 billion in revenue, equating to 3.9 million vehicle registrations, according to global consulting firm AlixPartners. This projection is significantly worse than the prediction in January of $61 billion and 2.2 million vehicle impact. “The pandemic-induced chip crisis has been intensified by events that are normally viewed as routine-like issues for the automotive industry, such as a fire at a major chip manufacturing plant or the drought in Taiwan,” said Dario Duse, managing director and EMEA co-leader for AlixPartners' Automotive and Industrial practice. “However, this has now become a major obstacle for the sector, which is partially recovering from the collapse of business volumes in 2020 and managing the crisis will not only be crucial in the short term. The entire supply chain needs to build resilience in the longer term, playing an active role in managing raw material supplies and logistics.” Corrado Belicchi, director of Automotive and Industrial practice, added: “As many as 1,400 chips can be found in modern vehicles, and this number will keep increasing as the industry continues its race towards an ever-increasing electric, connected and autonomous mobility model. However, the top priority for companies right now is to mitigate the short-term effects of this crisis using all possible levers, from contract renegotiation and production management to customer and

investor expectations. What matters is to be proactive and have good information and analysis.” This prediction underlines the fundamental requirement for a deep revision of the entire production chain that is no longer able to meet an ever-increasing demand. All this will grow exponentially as electric vehicles become increasingly popular. The reason lies in the number of components on board. For example, a hybrid vehicle requires up to 10 times more chips than a traditional ICE vehicle. The current situation has opened a window on a precarious scenario. The production of semiconductors lives in a constant state of emergency as it is often affected by sudden surges in demand due to new devices being launched on the market or unpredictable trends. COVID-19 played a major role in aggravating the current crisis, forcing a number of production plants to close during the most acute phase of the pandemic. In addition, the recent fire at the Renesas Electronics factory, a major producer of semiconductors for the automotive industry, and a “trade war” between manufacturers have made things considerably worse. Given the rapid deterioration from January to May, the sector cannot rule out the possibility of suffering even worse scenarios. In fact, several manufacturers have already announced a possible extension of the semiconductor crisis well into 2022. This article is courtesy of Simonluca Pini, Contributing Editor, Autopromotec. Check out the website at: www.autopromotec.com

Allstate partners with Opus IVS scanning service option Allstate, a US based insurance company is committed to ensuring that all customer vehicle repairs are completed safely and in a timely manner. As part of that commitment, Allstate has partnered with Opus IVS to offer their Good Hands Repair Network (GHRN) shops a new optional remote scan service. Opus IVS provides a unique scan tool offering both quality aftermarket and OEM scan capabilities utilising experienced technical support. It is also integrated with Allstate’s Customer Contact Centre for ease of file documentation. Whilst it is not mandatory for GHRN shops to use the services offered by Opus IVS, for those who are interested, Opus IVS has offered their unique scanning service with no upfront tool costs or monthly rental fee when the scanning kit is utilised each month. Scanning kit utilisation includes at least 10 paid quick scans with reports and an order of at least two paid premium services per kit, per month. These minimum kit requirements are not limited to Allstate-only business. This partnership will assist the GHRN shops with many of the challenges associated with the changing vehicle technology environment. For more information, visit: www.opusivs.com/allstate-ghrn

The National Collision Repairer – 2 9


I N D U S T R Y

M I L E S T O N E

Mario Dimovski 30 years and still going strong! AS MARIO DIMOVSKI CELEBRATES 30 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY, WE CATCH UP TO DISCUSS THE JOURNEY, HIS VIEWS ON PLASTIC REPAIRS, SUSTAINABILITY IN THE INDUSTRY, AND HIS UPCOMING MOVE TO THE US. The journey We kick things off with a reflection of the past 30 years to identify what have been the keys to Mario’s success. Mario considers that there have been three primary factors: people, timing and industry knowledge. We take each of these in turn. “Without doubt, the biggest single factor in our success has been the people. I am very focused on recruiting and surrounding myself with individuals who can add value to what I have to offer and to the business long term. I have been fortunate to have built a network of individuals that are loyal, driven and likeminded. As a unit, we have developed a strong passion for innovation and challenging the status quo, and as we’ve evolved, we have become a champion team that understands our place in the industry and where we can add value to our current and future customers. In terms of timing, Mario speaks about not only having the great idea, but that our industry needs to be ready. He recalls the early days when at times they were too early with new technologies or solutions. “The idea or the solution has to align with what the collision industry needs at that time – if you’re too early, perhaps you’re ahead of your time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the industry will embrace it until it is ready. Timing is particularly critical for we entrepreneurs and businesses that lead the way.” It may be self-evident but understanding the industry in which you operate is critical, especially when you are trying to innovate and initiate change. Mario says they have spent

3 0 – I N D U S T R Y M I L E S TO N E

an extraordinary amount of time and investment understanding where the industry is today, what it’s going through and where it is headed. “We then align our vision and strategy in such a way to ensure we are able to influence positive change to our business and the industry as a whole by adding value through innovation and collaboration.” So, we turn to the “if I knew then what I know now” question, and I ask Mario to tell us what he would do differently. The answer may surprise you. “I am where I am today as a direct result of all the decisions – good and bad – that I’ve made over the past 30 years. I never imagined that I

would be where I am now. Although I’m a dreamer, I always look at the big picture. The answer is that I would not change a single thing. If I did, who knows what the journey would have looked like and who knows where I would be today.” The COVID-19 effect Mario reflects on 2020 as one of the most challenging years for business, for people and for communities as a whole and really feels for those who did it tougher than he did. It will come as no surprise that when the coronavirus put the brakes on just about everything, he took the opportunity to stop, breathe and take


stock of what he and the business had achieved. “I was travelling a great deal to conferences and industry events and didn’t have the time to process all the information or the interest our business was generating. When all the activity stopped, I was able to spend quality time working on the business, rather than in the business, assessing what I had gathered over the previous two years, and exploring potential opportunities, partnerships, products and collaborations.” Some of the examples of these changes are that they have launched Plastfix Labs, their plastic repair tools and materials, a 3D Printing Division and their online training platforms have gone to a whole new level, with Plastfix TV on the way. They have also refocused Tradiebot on training and skills assessment. Mario also looked beyond our shores, seeking opportunities in the UK and the US as he looks to do more on a global level. It’s clear he has taken a helicopter view of the business, found the silver lining and came into 2021 the better for it. “One of the initiatives of which I am most proud is the well-being program that was borne from the COVID-19 crisis. I made

myself accessible to my staff and found that many of them were hurting and just needed someone to ask: RUOK? It reinforced that the health and well-being of our people is of utmost importance.” Plastic parts and the OEM More and more OEMs are taking positions that prohibit plastic repairs in areas around the radar systems, a position that Mario fully supports. “The OEMs are saying, enough is enough! The ‘traditional’ way of bumper repairs using fillers will not cut it anymore as they not only affect the performance of the radar system but also affect the performance of the bumper fascia. Over the years I have watched more and more of these commercial-driven, so-called plastic repair solutions flood the market and the sector has lost its way and the term ‘plastic repairs’ has been polluted. It was only a matter of time before the OEMs took a stand as radars ‘hit the car parc’. This is no longer acceptable.” Mario continues: “The Plastfix process is a restoration process, using the same material as the bumper facia and returning it to its original condition using no fillers, putty or

two-part glues. In addition, there is the joint obligation to minimise waste to landfill, and bumper fascia restoration using the correct technique diverts a significant amount of plastic from the waste stream, whilst being able to perform to manufacturer specifications.” Mario adds that they have started conversations with some OEMs to have the Plastfix plastic restoration process certified as the OEM standard for all plastic repairs, which will ensure plastic parts are repaired to standard. The US expansion We move on to Plastfix’s future and discuss some of the upcoming changes in the group. After 30 years on our shores, I ask Mario what it was that drove the decision to move to the US, and he is very candid. “It’s a combination of both the opportunities available to the business in the US market, where we are working through an agreement with a major collision repair chain, and the personal challenge to be able to perform and deliver on an elite stage. I don’t ever want to look back and wonder ‘what if’, so I’m starting a new chapter in my career and taking what has worked very well here into a bigger market.” As Mario will focus solely on the US venture, he reassures us that the current business will be in good hands and is growth focused. He has appointed Steve Hardy as the Managing Director of Plastfix Australia and New Zealand. Interestingly, it was Steve who first employed Mario as a 16-year-old apprentice, which set Mario on the path to where he is today. In addition, Dr Nikola Rendevski, Tradiebot Chief Information Officer has been appointed to the position of CEO and he will continue to drive this business, working on several global projects and, of course, provide the supporting technology platforms for Plastfix both here and in the US. Talent development So, as we start to get back to business, we discuss what the industry needs to do to take a quantum leap forward. Mario immediately focuses on

The National Collision Repairer – 3 1


5

Minutes with ...

Robby Mounfield U-POL Australia When did you join the industry? Spent plenty of time in panel shops with my father as a kid, but Apprentice from 2003 What was your first job in the industry? Panel Beater What do you do now? Sales Representative What do you like about the industry? The people, the ever-evolving products, and seeing vehicles that some would think destined for scrap bought back to life. What do you dislike about the industry? The way it’s becoming almost more economic to Replace, rather than Repair What music do you like? From R&B to Country, to Aussie 80s – The daily playlist is an assortment

I N D U S T R Y

talent development. “This is, without doubt, the single biggest issue we face as without a stronger and deeper talent pool we simply will not grow as an industry. We need to look at what technologies we can use to increase the attractiveness of our industry, and what channels we need to tap into to reach the technicians of the future. This may well mean upskilling mature candidates from declining industries or stimulating school-leavers to explore a career in collision repair. No one is going to come to us with a ready-made solution – we have to fix this long-standing issue ourselves.” Mario sees that the real challenge is getting the message out there: we need to do better at selling our industry and use new marketing tools to reach into the schools to get the kids thinking about automotive as a first preference, because once they show an interest, they, and their parents, will see there is potential for a great career path. “At Plastfix we ‘sell the dream’ and we have no issues attracting new talent to our business as they see that what we do and the tools and equipment we use are really innovative. We give them the training and in-house certification as a plastic repair technician and make them feel part of the journey. The challenge for the industry is to better market the entire sector. If it seems to work for individual businesses that have redefined their recruitment process and on a micro level, then it can work for the entire industry – we just

Who is your favourite artist? Brad Cox What is your favourite food? Bacon! And your favourite drink? Canadian Club and Dry Your hobbies? Motorsport – Speedway and building our Drag Car. Time out with friends and family Who in the world would you most like to meet? Jay Leno – I want a full garage tour!!!

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY

Mario presenting at SEMA 2019.

3 2 – I N D U S T R Y M I L E S TO N E

M I L E S T O N E

need industry-wide collaboration and one voice.” A global voice Earlier this year Mario was appointed by IBIS as their first Global Ambassador in recognition of his ongoing pioneering work in automotive plastic sustainability and digital transformation, so we wanted to find out a bit more about this. His online following and global reach have given him a voice that he aims to use for raising issue on matters that have significant meaning to him, and their industry. “As an ambassador, I wanted to focus on a couple of key issues that have meaning to me, not just in my career but in my life as a husband and father of three young girls. The first is the environment and sustainability, which, as we have already discussed, is one of my real passions and a primary driver of what we do at Plastfix. Secondly, and more importantly in today’s fragile environment, is wellbeing, with a special emphasis on how we can improve the mental health across our industry. We are in the early stages of developing a well-being program to take to the industry later this year. Working with IBIS, I want to champion this cause and do what I can to make a difference in this space, in my business and in the industry. Editor: We wish Mario every success on this move to the US and look forward to hearing about the ongoing growth and development of Plastfix.


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T E C H N O L O G Y

with Axalta Performance Coatings

Axalta survey reveals colour is a key decision factor Axalta has released its Automotive Colour Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey aimed at analysing the relationship between colour and vehicle purchasing decisions among consumers. More than 4,000 participants aged 25 to 60 in four of the largest vehicle-producing countries – China, Germany, Mexico and the US – responded that colour was a key factor in 88% of vehicle purchasing decisions. “The psychology of colour is

3 4 – T E C H N O LO G Y

a powerful influencing factor in automotive purchasing decisions. Frequently, colour reflects the personality of the vehicle owner,” said Nancy Lockhart, Global Colour Manager, Mobility Coatings at Axalta. “What’s interesting is that elegance, stability and positivity were predominant colour characteristics desired by respondents surveyed.” The survey analysed the colours consumers wanted on their vehicles to understand potential future trends.

While consumers may prefer or desire a variety of colours, individual preferences were different from country to country. The survey also explored paint finish and paint effect preferences and found that high-gloss finishes were clearly preferred by all markets surveyed except for China, where results showed a near-even split between high-gloss (48%) and matte finishes (52%). Paint effect preferences across the surveyed markets were not as similar as results for paint finish preferences. Solid effects were the top choice of respondents in the US and China, whereas German respondents chose pearlescent, and Mexico chose coarse metallic and pearlescent as their preferred paint effects. Axalta designs colours to meet the needs of automotive consumers around the world. The changing dynamics in colour preferences between countries and vehicle types are studied to best forecast for future models. “The development of unique and new colours that meet the needs of our customers’ brands and consumer preferences is a key factor in understanding market trends. It is exciting to see how bolder colours are becoming more and more popular in the minds of consumers. Reds and blues are clearly rising in preference. It’s possible we’ll see more colours on the road with brilliant effects in the not-too-distant future,” said Lockhart. For 68 years, Axalta has compiled and published the annual Colour Popularity Report, the auto industry’s bellwether of car colours on the road based on original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales. Axalta’s Consumer Automotive Colour Preferences Survey builds on that colour leadership and expertise, providing fresh perspectives and


insights from automotive consumers on colour and paint relevance. Survey highlights by country China: Colour is important for 99% of respondents in China when purchasing a vehicle. The preferred colours are white (29%) and black (26%), while red and blue ranked fifth and sixth. Of those surveyed, 64% would change manufacturers if they didn’t find their preferred colour. Among these respondents, 93% are the sole decision-maker of the vehicle colour purchased, while 7% rely on others to assist in the decision. Germany: Of those surveyed in Germany, 83% said colour is important when purchasing a vehicle. While 63% of respondents are the sole decisionmaker about the vehicle’s colour, 37% confer with family in the decisionmaking process. Black is the preferred colour with 32%, while blue came in second with 16%. German participants consider black as a colour that reflects elegance and blue reflects stability.

In this region of the world, slightly more than one-quarter of survey respondents (27%) own a black compact vehicle. Mexico: For 90% of respondents in Mexico, colour is a key factor when purchasing a vehicle. Red is the preferred colour with 22% and is the top selection for both genders. Four out of 10 people surveyed in Mexico mentioned they would change manufacturers if they didn’t find the colour they were looking for and 64% of the participants reported owning sedan model cars. According to survey respondents in Mexico, red reflects an elegant personality and blue reflects positivity. United States: Colour is an important factor when purchasing a vehicle for 79% of American respondents; nearly half of all respondents (46%) state colour is very or extremely important. Of those surveyed, 82% of respondents in the US say vehicle colour is an individual decision and 53% of households have more than one vehicle. Although black is an overall trend, truck owners are choosing more

colourful versions of blue (second choice) and red (third choice). Blue reflects positivity and red represents a sense of adventure in the minds of survey respondents in the US. For more information about Axalta’s Automotive Colour Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey or country-specific survey findings, please visit: www.axalta.com/colour


F U T U R E

L E A D E R S

Proudly sponsored by IAG

Future Leaders More important than ever THIS MONTH WE LOOK AT THE FUTURE LEADERS OF THE INDUSTRY PROGRAM, HOW IT CAME TO BE AND WHY WE BELIEVE IT’S STILL ONE OF THE MOST RELEVANT INITIATIVES IN OUR INDUSTRY.. Where it all began Approximately 10 years ago Newton International Marketing presented an industry forum where the discussion gravitated to what was happening in the industry at that time. It occurred to David NewtonRoss, who was the editor of the National Collision Repairer at that time, that without a focus on the future, the perennial challenge of

attracting and retaining new talent would continue to be a challenge. He knew we needed to change the conversation to take a more forward-looking approach. Following the event, David and Carl Tinsley, Head Teacher at TAFE NSW’s Campbelltown campus, were lamenting that there was little, if any, way to identify and recognise the young talent coming through the industry. This led to a decision to launch a program through the National Collision Repairer, and the concept of Future Leaders of the Industry was born. Serendipitously, David met with Roy Briggs, who at the time was with IAG, and he offered to sponsor the program from the very first inductee. IAG has been our sponsor ever since. Where we are now There are now 53 recipients of the Future Leaders of the Industry award from all facets of the industry. The majority are autobody repair or refinish technicians, many of whom have gone on to compete on the world stage, manage collision repair facilities, secure positions with global multinationals and even follow in the footsteps of their mentors and became TAFE teachers. In support of the long-standing relationship between IAG and the National Collision Repairer, Troy Johns, IAG Industry Relations Manager said:

3 6 – FUTURE LEADERS

“IAG is proud to work in partnership with the National Collision Repairer on the Future Leaders of the Industry initiative, as the recognition of our future talent is strongly aligned with IAG’s own core values.” Where we are going The Future Leaders of the Industry program will continue to evolve with the ongoing support of IAG and I-CAR Australia. Moving forward, we will further develop our relationship with the various training providers, suppliers and collision repairers around the country and work together to identify and recognise the talent of the future. Of course, the natural progression of the program is to find a way to reach the schools through their career advisors and to showcase the industry for what it is: a rapidly evolving, dynamic and hitech industry that provides a plethora of diverse career opportunities for young men and women. As today’s current leaders of our industry, I encourage you to invest some of your time, energy and knowledge to develop our next generation of leaders. IAG’s ongoing support and sponsorship of these awards is greatly appreciated, as is the support from I-CAR Australia, which donates two training courses valued at over $500 to each Future Leader of the Industry.


L I F E T I M E

A C H I E V E M E N T

Criteria for induction into the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll 1. 2. 3. 4.

A minimum of 10 years in the collision repair industry Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their local area Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their direct employment Nominations shall come from within the collision repair industry on the nomination form with supporting rationale.

A nomination form can be obtained from: The National Collision Repairer PO Box 1258, Kyneton Victoria 3444 Email: joe@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au Tel: +61 458 588 333

The National Collision Repairer thanks and acknowledges the ongoing support of our sponsors

GROUP

Honour Roll Richard Nathan ................................ David Weatherall ................................ Terry Flanagan OAM ................................ Marshall Duncan ................................ Graham Winter ................................ Jeff Hendler (Int) ................................ Max Chanter ................................ John Howes ................................ Robert Renwick (Int) ................................ David Newton-Ross ................................ Wayne Phipps ................................ Richard Pratt ................................ Bob Rees ................................ Lance Weiss ................................ Mark Brady ................................ Don Wait OAM ................................ Tony Farrugia ................................ Bob Christie ................................ John Zulian ................................ Tom Vukelic ................................ Robin Taylor ................................ Ray McMartin ................................ Colin Edwards ................................ Ian Wilkinson ................................ Julie Thomas ................................ Brian Johnson ................................ Terry Feehan ................................ Owen Webb OAM ................................ Phil Nixon ................................ Trevor Parkes ................................ Tony Warrener OAM ................................ Brenton Abbott ................................ Michael Killen ................................ Carl Tinsley ................................ Per Madsen (Int) ................................ Rex Crowther (Int) ................................ Michael Wilkinson ................................ Garry Clear ................................ Cec Simpson ................................ Mark Czvitkovits ................................ Martin Stone AM ................................ Julie Wadley ................................ Walter Zuber (Int) ................................ Brad Franklin ................................ Jeff Williams ................................ Jim Vais

The National Collision Repairer – 3 7


T E C H

T I P

with John Hristias

Prepping for blend with PPG learn to STOP! There is a best-practice, step-by-step process for preparing a blend area which, when done correctly, produces a nice, fine, even scratch pattern on the surface that is ideal for refinishing. However, for some technicians this doesn’t seem to be enough. All too often I have seen people get to the end of the recommended process and then pick up a scourer or an abrasive pad and go back over the panel to randomly hand sand it. However, all this does is put straight line gouges into the surface. When I ask why they do it, they typically don’t know! Issues The blend area is critical to the final appearance of the job. We want a nice, smooth, even scratch pattern and modern abrasives and random orbital sanding tools have been perfectly tuned to produce this type of finish. This ensures that when the refinish process is completed, the newly applied colour and clearcoat transitions seamlessly into the existing paintwork to create an invisible repair. Going back to randomly hand sand after the preparation process actually puts linear, straight-line scratches into the surface, which become highlighted when the basecoat and clearcoat are applied. If the painter notices it in the booth, they can fix it by re-sanding, but this just frustrates them because it will burn around 10 to 15 minutes and increase the pressure to get the job done on time. If the painter doesn’t notice and fix it, it becomes a rework, which is even worse in terms of wasting time and materials. Tips and techniques Follow the recommended preparation process and then STOP! Start with the areas that play hard to get Rather than starting with the machine, use a grey scourer combined with PPG SWX250 Water-Methylated Spirits Cleaner to clean and sand all the hard to get at places at the same time, such as door handles, belt mouldings, panel edges and the back edge of the blend. Clean with Prepsol and, if you can still see shiny spots, repeat the above step with a dry, clean scourer. Move on to the whole panel After cleaning the panel with PPG SWX250 WaterMethylated Spirits Cleaner, use a random orbital sanding

3 8 – TECH TIP

machine, fitted with a P800 disc, such as Mirka Iridium, and an interface pad. Afterwards, use a grey Mirka Mirlon disc or a scouring pad attached to the sander in order to vacuum off residual dust while also going back over the job to target any shiny areas, particularly around the edges. From there, do a final blow off (only minimal dust should remain), wipe the whole prepped area with PPG SWX250 Water-Methylated Spirits Cleaner and mask it up. Follow this process and you will finish with a nice smooth machinecreated scratch This article supplied pattern, not a courtesy of handmade John Hristias – PPG scratch pattern Business Support Manager Asia/Pacific that will ruin all your hard work!


E V E N T S

THE

&

T R A I N I N G

Training contacts

NATIONAL

CollisionRepairer

3M Australia George Di Scala Tel: 0400 382 649

Network Connect Recognise Calendar of events KNOWING WHEN IT’S ON AND WHAT’S COMING UP

Symposium2021 Panorama 15th July 2021 – Clayton, Victoria Minis Downunder 1st August 2021 – Rosehill Gardens, NSW Red CentreNATS 3rd-5th September 2021 – Alice Springs, NT

Why train? No doubt we are all familiar with the age-old concern about training: “What if I train my staff and they leave?” Of course, the real question should be: “What if I don’t train them and they stay?” It should be self-evident that a fully trained workforce is best for the technician, best for the business, best for you as a director and, of course, best for the customer. However, there are many more advantages to investing in training: people inherently seek to enhance their skills, be the best they can be and work in an environment that truly cares about them. As an employer the onus is always on you to provide the opportunity to support your staff’s self-development, however, the onus is on your staff to take advantage of the opportunity. This of course creates a win-win scenario. Now, there are no shortage of training courses available from a whole range of organisations, such as: I-CAR Australia, TAFE, MTAA, equipment suppliers and ancillary products suppliers. In addition, paint companies have provided refinishing programs and business services support for as long as I can remember. So, take a moment to look over the 17 organisations listed on this page, reach out and reap the rewards!

AkzoNobel Paul Horvath Tel: (03) 9644 1711 Axalta Coating Systems Product training Axalta services Tel: 1800 292 582 BASF Australia Ltd James Green Tel: 0402 110 378 Dents R Us Training Academy Laury Chibnall Tel: 0438 383 555 iBodyshop E: seminars@ibodyshop.com Tel: (03) 9548 7444 I-CAR Australia Brisbane Office Admin Tel: (07) 3219 9088 STORKAWD Pty Ltd (Fusor and Farecla) Tel: (03) 9560 6060 Mipa Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9739 8800 PPG Australia Pty Ltd www.ppgrefinish.com.au/training VIC/TAS: (03) 8586 0000 NSW/ACT: (02) 9854 6600 QLD/NT: (07) 3823 8000 SA: 0412 832 919 WA: 0437 902 125 Protec Tel: 1800 076 466 Saint Gobain Customer Service - 1300 007 650 Michelle Morgan - 0425 516 894 SAPE Automotive Training Academy Tel: (02) 9772 9000 sia Abrasives Tel: 1300 742 123 Thatcham-Escribe www.thatchamescribe.com.au 1300 769 348 U-pol Tel: 0400 366 483 Valspar Automotive Tel: (02) 4368 4054

The National Collision Repairer – 3 9


T R A N S

T A S M A N

Focus on Lifetime Achievement Award Inductee

The 2021 VW Nationals from New Zealand A former spray painter with a love for older generation Volkswagens recently earned “Best in Show” at the 2021 VW Nationals held in Kapiti, north of Wellington, New Zealand. His beloved Beetle features a unique finish with BASF’s premium refinish brand, Glasurit. Noel Williamson has been around Volkswagens for many years after what started as a bit of a hobby turned into a passion project. “I was away from Volkswagens for about 20 years, and about 12 years ago I re-kindled my love for them,” said Noel. With a few VW vehicles under his belt, Noel’s recent “Best in Show” success came from his iconic Beetle, known across the world for its shape and charm. “I bought the vehicle for the show about 20 months ago. We had a swap meet at my workshop and a chap that I had never met before had a bunch of photos of the car he was selling,” recalls Noel. “I thought it was a good car to buy and decided to put it back to how I wanted it to look.” The gentleman that Noel purchased the Beetle from was a very good VW mechanic, so a lot of the mechanical work had already been done, but the body was in a shocking state of disrepair and required a full

On arrival ready for some TLC.

4 0 – T R A N S TA S M A N

body restoration, which Noel completed over a 12-month period. “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I had a fair bit of time, so I did a hell of a lot of work on it during the lockdown in New Zealand, and Craig Walker, the Glasurit distributor from Specialised and Automotive Coatings Ltd, obviously has helped me a lot,” said Noel. “I’m an ex-spray painter who runs an automotive detailing company, so I got everything done in my workshop right up until final coats, which was done by one of Glasurit’s paint technicians.” With no intention of the car being a showpiece, Noel admits “it just got out of hand”. With a great eye for detail, his pursuit of perfection to finish the car to the standard of the vision he had set for himself may have been a blessing in disguise. When asked why he chose to refinish his beloved Beetle in BASF’s premium automotive refinish Glasurit brand, Noel simply said, “I am an old Glasurit painter from way back, and I love the fact that it now has Glasurit on the car. When Glasurit first came to New Zealand 30 something years ago, the person who actually brought it into New Zealand was a friend of mine and he got me to try it out. I used to paint AC Cobras, and it

was our ‘go to’ product just because of the versatility and the high-end finish. I know it’s only got better and better over the years. I’m a Glasurit guy through and through.” It was through his relationship with Craig Walker that Noel was directed to a quality paint technician using the brand he has grown to appreciate. “Craig has been extremely helpful right the way through with his exceptional product knowledge. I have been out of the trade so long, he helped me through quite a few things in regard to epoxy etch primers and to go through the process with the black primer on the car as well.” The decision to refinish the vehicle in a unique combination of half gloss, half satin black seemed to be easy for Noel. “People loved the finish with the combination of the two with all the trim that’s usually chrome also being blackened out.” The 2021 VW Nationals attracted 187 vehicles including Kombis, Beetles and everything VW. The event, which was supported with music events, food trucks, and sponsored by local craft brewery company “Panhead”, drew a large crowd of car lovers. “We had a lot of fun, it was more of a

The chassis was rebuilt from a zero base.


The spectacular end result.

casual coastal vibe,” said Noel. The main event was held at the Southward Car Museum, with an evening dinner attended by an estimated 270 people. It was at this event that Noel’s beloved Beetle was awarded Best in Show, an award decided by 10 judges from all around New Zealand. “We had contestants involved who were husband and wife teams, father and daughter, men and women, all of whom had been involved with VW for a long time.” Why VW’s? “They just put smiles on people’s faces. Whether you are old or young, people still know what a VW Beetle is.” Noel intends to continue to show the Beetle at as many shows as he can. Future projects

Stripped bare.

Awesome interior imported from San Diego.

are not far from the handiwork of Noel, his next being a VW Fastback Type 3 model he intends to refurbish with his daughter, with the intention

of continuing to use Glasurit paints. We look forward to seeing Noel’s next family passion project bring us more joy!

Fully primed.

The National Collision Repairer – 4 1


T E C H

T A L K

with Saint-Gobain

Grinding with a cutting wheel? There are many tools, such as a spanner, that are easy to use, not labelled and have no user manual. When it comes to cutting and grinding tools, the stakes are higher – including the attention to safety. An incorrectly selected cutting or grinding wheel or its improper operation poses a greater risk to the user, as a cutting wheel can spin up to 360km/h, which is as fast as an aeroplane turbine. Selecting the correct wheel for your project is important as the vast majority of products are made for a specific application or power tool. For example, you cannot grind with a cutting wheel, and you cannot cut with a grinding wheel. The top four reasons people get injured using thin wheels are: 1. Excessive side pressure on a cutting wheel, often referred to as leaning. 2. Jamming/pinching a cut-off wheel in the work piece. This happens because there is either poor control of the angle grinder, no handle is used, the work is being done above head height, or the work piece is moving. 3. Vibration of the work piece because it is moving or not secure. 4. Poor storage of the wheel. This could be that it is exposed to hightemperature variations, or excessive dry or humid storage conditions (damaged between uses). Selecting the correct wheel for job Wheels are categorised by type, which also reflects their profile: Type 41 and 42 cutting wheels – use at 90 degrees • used for cutting only • various thicknesses available 0.8mm to 3.4mm.

4 2 – T E C H TA L K

Type 27 grinding wheels – use at 30 degrees • used for grinding only • available thicknesses 4mm to 10mm • flexible wheels require a backing pad. Type 28 and 29 grinding wheels – use at 15 degrees • use for grinding, polishing, blending and cleaning. Use and safety steps • Always check product speed and machine are compatible; machine speed should NEVER be greater than speed marked on the product. • Examine wheel – make sure there are no faults. • Examine grinder – flanges correct, guard and handle are fitted. • Mount wheel correctly using flange as a guide. • Hand tighten – don't over tighten. • Make sure safety guard is in the right position for cutting or grinding. • Make sure safety gear is on – gloves, hearing protection, eye protection. • Plug grinder in and start grinder

away from self and anyone else and let it run at full speed without contact with anything. This ensures it’s mounted correctly and there’s no damage to the wheel that’s not seen by the naked eye. • Make sure work piece is secure. • Do not apply too much pressure – let the weight of the grinder do the cutting without force. • Always store wheels correctly. The variety of sizes, shapes and specifications of thin wheels requires clear labelling. Thin wheels that display the oSa trademark meet these high requirements, providing the best level of safety. All Saint-Gobain thin wheel products meet the Australian AS1788 Part 1 and 2, and the European EN12413 safety requirements for abrasive products. Saint-Gobain sites are also ISO9001 and ISO14001 accredited, and Saint-Gobain is a founding member of oSa and a member of FEPA. For more information, contact the Norton Experts on 1300 007 650.


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www.nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au


S T A T E S I D E

with John Yoswick

2035 Where will the collision repair industry be? This daunting question was tackled recently by the “Future Disruptions Committee” at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in the United States. As the panel discussion began, Sean Carey of SCG Management Consultants pointed to a weakness in the exercise itself. “Rather than take yourself forward 14 years, take yourself back 14 years,” Carey suggested. Think about comparing a 14-year-old Honda Accord to a current Honda Accord: the differences in the vehicle itself, in the repair procedures used, in how estimating is done and how the entire claim is settled. “It was vastly different from where we are today, and in 14 years it will be vastly different again. It’s not always easy to conceive what’s going to happen in the future. We’re guessing at best.” With that preface, Carey said he foresees “mass consolidation” in the industry, with the formation of crossfunctional entities that include an insurance company, technology companies and a large repairer group – its “own ecosystem”. “From a moment that vehicle is in an incident, this organisation, under one single ownership, takes care of everything,” Carey said. “Data is going to make that very, very possible.” Direct repair and OEM certified shop networks will give way to licensed shops, each “capable of repairing only particular types of vehicles,” he said. “This mainstream, ‘bring it all in on Monday, we’ll ship it all out by Friday’, will be a thing of the past. Vehicles will not be allowed to go to an unlicensed shop.” There will be far fewer vehicle repairs, but what there are, will be very costly, he predicted. “Severity will

4 4 – S TAT E S I D E

climb through the roof,” he said. “Severity today will seem laughable. Think tens of thousands of dollars, not two or three thousand. These things are going to cost a lot to repair.” Panellists agreed that the repairer-insurer-OEM dynamic will have changed significantly. Frank Terlep, co-chairman of the Future Disruptions Committee, added: “One of the things I foresee has been happening outside of our country for many years. When you buy a new vehicle in 2035, you will be getting your insurance with the vehicle. That’s going to change the model.” Jimmy Spears, a former insurance company executive at USAA who is now with Tractable, agreed that the line between automaker and insurer will blur or be eliminated entirely. “Look at how you have Tesla Insurance, or Onstar Insurance from General Motors,” he

Frank Terlep.

said. “You’ll probably have a vertical that will take care of that customer much, much better than separate companies that don’t have the incentives to work together.” Terlep said the added cost of vehicle safety systems will have led to more vehicles being declared total losses, with the repairable vehicle count dropping “as much as 30 or 40%”. “You’re going to have to be a licensed professional to get access to those safety systems,” he added. “A lot of people don’t want to hear that, but I just don’t see the OEMs and the government releasing direct access to all the safety systems.” Committee co-chairman Jake Rodenroth agreed: “You have to be licensed to cut hair but not to calibrate ADAS or cut panels off cars or work on electric vehicles – that’s got to change.” Terlep and Rodenroth agreed that accessing OEM repair information will

Jake Rodenroth.


be less “clunky” and time consuming, no longer requiring use of multiple websites. “So in 2035, my prediction is the procedures will be living with the vehicle,” said Terlep. “You’ll be looking in the vehicle for those procedures, not on someone else’s website. The repair procedures will be presented to you based on sensors in the vehicle that will know – these areas are damaged.” Rodenroth concurred, noting that collision repairers are not the only ones needing easier access to the information. “There are first responders who need to know where they can cut a vehicle, and where they can’t cut a vehicle. There are tow truck drivers who need to know how to safely tow a vehicle. They’re all in a race against time,” said Rodenroth. “They don’t have time to flip a book, or go through an app, or even to ask Siri. They need to have it easily accessible and immediate. Maybe it’s a combination of on the vehicle infotainment screen or on a handheld as they walk toward the car. But it’s got to be instant.” Also in the future, Terlep foresees more use of remote technicians, even those in other countries, for diagnosis

and electronic work, given the shortage of technicians in many markets. Rodenroth said he recommends the industry start recruiting “the tuner kids”, those who can customise a vehicle “to turbocharge it or create a bigger engine and push more fuel and air.” “They understand how the vehicle network works before they change it,” he said. “So when you bring them in, don’t ask them body shop questions. Ask them about how they feel about electronics and wiring diagrams, how immobilisers work and things like that. You’ll see some of them explode. I met one yesterday when I picked up a rental car. This kid was sharp. That’s the future technician right there.” Editor: although a very US centric discussion, perhaps a sign of things to come. John is a freelance writer based in the United States who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, he is also the editor of the weekly Crash Network www.CrashNetwork.com

Shops need to keep more work in-house After nearly two decades working in the automotive industry for German companies, including as a technical training specialist for Volkswagen, Dirk Fuchs was hired by I-CAR in the United States in late 2020 as director of technical programs and services. He said an English word he learned there in the last year is “subletting”, and he’s been amazed at how much diagnostic, electrical, calibration and programming work collision repairers turn over to other businesses. He thinks the industry needs to “lift our game”, and say, “No, I’m not subletting. I have to learn this. I want to do this. I want to be in charge of my own fate and not keep subletting those things out.” He acknowledged that one big hurdle for the industry will be having sufficient space in order to do such work and to address such issues as safely storing electrical vehicles while in-process. “Space will be the biggest problem in the next couple of years for our industry,” Fuchs said, noting that the space needed to work on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) can be 370 square metres or more. “It’s a huge problem, but this is where our industry is going.”

The National Collision Repairer – 4 5


P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E

The Wieländer+Schill Body Shop Bay Plus from SAPE Wieländer+Schill is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional car body repair tools. Founded over 45 years ago, it has developed into an internationally successful company through close cooperation with leading global car manufacturers. With the Body Shop Bay, you are ideally equipped for the repair of vehicles in mixed construction and can easily comply with safety requirements. The work area is separated from the surrounding area by a specially coated welding protection curtain, and the integrated green lamella ensures that uninvolved people are optimally protected from the dangers of welding. The curtain and a LED light system are attached to a highquality aluminium crossbeam system. The LED lighting system

provides optimal lighting conditions and is also characterised by high energy efficiency and robustness. The Mobile Supply Trolley, which is included, was designed specifically for use in the body shop workplace and offers practical features that make your work easier and saves

you time. The Body Shop Bay is 8m long, 6m wide and 3.5m high, and is Volkswagen approved – VAS 6571A. For further information, contact the SAPE Group on (02) 9772 9097 or visit https://shop.sape.com.au/

Award-winning tools from Mirka The prestigious World Tools Awards has confirmed what users already know: Mirka tools deliver an unmatched mix of functionality, quality, ergonomics and innovation. In October 2020, Mirka’s dedicated power tools division celebrated its 10th birthday. Built on the company’s incredible depth of knowledge of the sanding and surface finishing processes, this division set about using cutting edge technology and thinking outside the square to create advanced tools that took the market by storm from inception. Ten years later, it continues to get award winning recognition. In 2021, an expert jury honoured four of Mirka’s latest power tools with World Tool Awards: Mirka’s advanced battery powered tools, the ARP-B 77mm polisher and the AOS-B 33mm de-nibbing tool, along with the Mirka DEOS (direct electric orbital sander) and the Mirka DEROS (direct electric random orbital sander). The World Tool Awards are presented annually to provide reliable guidance for trade users, retailers and DIY consumers. A panel of expert judges assess each entry and single out those that stand out from the competition thanks to new ideas or technologies,

4 6 – P R O D U C T S H OW C A S E

precise and durable workmanship, and the use of high-quality materials, or an outstanding relationship between cost price and user value. A string of awards over the past decade confirmed that the Mirka power tools division has got the formula right and is very pleased to add to the trophy cabinet. Mats Bystedt, Portfolio Manager Power Tools, Mirka, said: “We are very

happy to accept these awards and to know that our efforts are appreciated. Thanks to our innovative R&D team, operators everywhere can perform faster and safer. Our power tools are setting new standards in the market.” A range of Mirka power tools are available from authorised Mirka distributors across Australia and New Zealand.


Power Booster from 333 power Solutions 333 Power Solutions manufactures quality automotive battery related products and not only understands their market but also provides great warranty options and excellent customer service. The company has decided to sell their Power Booster directly to the trade and consumer market across Australia. The newly updated Power Booster has the features many clients have asked for, making this product a robust commercial grade jump starter. The lithium battery is now larger, at 25,000mAH, and the smart electronics have also been improved. Even if the vehicle has no battery, you can hold the yellow “on” button in for 8 seconds, and the Booster will turn on and you can connect the clamps to the battery terminals. The new Anderson plug system allows more power through the leads, making for a more robust system. The LED display shows the voltage and indicates when the Booster is fully charged. There is also a marine grade cigarette charging port to allow for use of many 12-volt accessories, and

two USB ports for all your mobile device charging needs. An accessory port will also allow you to plug in a portable solar panel, so in remote areas you can charge the Booster and also use it for running 12-volt lights.

Power Booster Specifications: Weight: 1.5kg Battery capacity:25,000 mAH (92.5Wh) Output USB 5V – 2A /1A for mobile devices, 12 volt =10A. Start current: 800A Peak current: 1200A LED lights: 2 Battery standby: 6-month Warranty: 12 month limited 333 Power Solutions has recently relocated to new premises in Clayton as part of their growth plan, which includes a new product range that will be available soon. For more information, call 1300 843 266, email: sales@333powersolutions.com, or visit: www.333powersolutions.com,

DrivePro Collision from Opus IVS DrivePro Collision from Opus IVS provides a complete view of vehicle systems impacted by a collision. Confidently repair systems affected by collision with pre- and post-scanning, reprogramming, calibration and live repair guidance with this revolutionary all-in-one collision solution.

your IVS 360TM Live Diagnostic Support from both your DrivePro and Microsoft Surface Go. Follow the QR code to watch New Level Auto’s video on YouTube, which showcases DrivePro being used on a 2013 BMW 5-Series for collision and insurance purposes. DrivePro not only shows fault codes but identifies a

timeline of when a fault actually occurred in relation to the collision. Opus IVS provides the ultimate customised package for the collision repair industry readily available today. For more information, call +61 (03) 8561 7600, email sales-aus@OpusIVS.com or visit www.opusivs-au.com/ncr-contact-us

DrivePro Collision includes: • ADAS Calibration Rig (by Autocom) – mobile and flexible Autocom car calibration rig/targets. Including full setup training. • DrivePro Diagnostic Device – multi brand diagnostic solution allowing for easy identification of the root causes of issues for all major European, Asian, and US vehicles. • A second powerful Microsoft Surface GO tablet preinstalled with: • Autocom – multi-brand diagnostics for cars and light vans from 1988 onwards. Includes CDP+ wireless VCI for quick and reliable diagnostics. • PicoScope7 – the latest touchscreen and tablet-friendly software from Pico. • IVS 360TM – a quick link to access

The National Collision Repairer – 4 7


P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E

Get the award-winning CTR 9 from Car-O-Liner The CTR 9 fully automatic welder comes with a new, revolutionised light-weight transformer gun. With its 355° swivel handle and ergo-grip, it enables perfect working positions for anyone, for any job. The gun is supported by a telescopic arm in a durable and lightweight extruded aluminium that can be easily adjusted both vertically and horizontally. A compact power unit with a low centre of gravity gives mobility and stability, while a 16,000-amp transformer and CANBUS communication ensure a perfect weld every time. The telescopic support arm is designed to ensure maximum freedom of movement (from 1.9 to 2.4m). It’s made of robust yet lightweight extruded aluminium and is easy to adjust both vertically and horizontally for an optimum working position. The transformer gun, made of reinforced fibreglass, is designed for fast-paced activity, while at the same time reducing the strain on your body. It’s robust, yet among the lightest on the market, allowing you to work efficiently without fatigue. The fully closed ergo-grip handle fastened at both ends enhances manoeuvrability and allows you to hold the gun in a relaxed way in every working position. The 6m cable gives better accessibility and you can reach more parts and sections of the vehicle without

moving the machine. The robust and compact power unit with its solid, highstrength steel bottom plate features a low centre of gravity for superior stability and increased mobility. The control unit is easy and intuitive to use, ensuring fast paced accuracy with every welding spot. Car-O-Liner, when only the best will do! For more information, contact www.car-o-liner.com.au or call Car-O-Liner Australia on Tel: (02) 4271 6287.

New Spies Hecker app for refinishers on the GO! Spies Hecker recently launched its new Spies Hecker GO! mobile app for iOS and Android devices. This new app provides simple and quick access to product information, technical and safety data sheets and best practice training videos for Spies Hecker customers in Australia and New Zealand. “We’re excited to introduce our innovative Spies Hecker GO! app to our customers and other end users,” said Steven Brett, Managing Director of Axalta in Australia and New Zealand. “It provides a modern, easy-to-use digital experience. This new app allows customers to simply and quickly locate detailed product information that will assist them in selecting and capitalising on the value of Spies Hecker’s best-in-class products.” The Spies Hecker GO! app is divided into topics and resources designed to make life in the body shop easier and more efficient for users by providing quick and easy access to essential information. Topics include data sheets, colour retrieval, recent news and a distributor locator. Two features, a barcode scanner and a humidity indicator in the weather section, were well received by customers during the app’s trial period. The barcode scanner allows easy access to technical data sheets. By simply using the app in conjunction with the device’s camera, the user can scan the product barcode on the side of the can to retrieve application data such as mixing ratios, spray gun settings and number of coats required. The humidity indicator feature provides a useful and welcome addition to the app, giving users the ability to check local humidity and adapt paint application to the specific

4 8 – P R O D U C T S H OW C A S E

humidity conditions. “This new app is a step forward in showcasing the innovative, digital capabilities of Axalta and is just the beginning of what we can provide to the market,” said Brett. “We are very excited to offer this streamlined experience to our customers.” The Spies Hecker GO! mobile app is now available for free in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store To learn more about Spies Hecker refinish coatings, visit www.spieshecker.com.au


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