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JUNE 2019



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

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Meet DNS Technology’s Steve O’Brien, founder of iBodyshop Tradiebot’s Mario Dimovski demystifies Augmented Reality Talking Shop in Perth with business owner, Grant Johnstone

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Who’s on first? Many years ago, I read a book entitled “The Customer Comes Second” by Hal Rosenbluth and Diane McFerrin Peters, although as a young technical sales manager, I struggled to get my head around the concept as I was always taught that “the customer comes first”. So, which is correct? Well, the world has well and truly moved on since my early days, and the new generation has quite different expectations, whether as an employee or as a customer. However, there is no single answer to the question “who’s on first?” Rather than being mutually exclusive, the answers are, perhaps inter-connected. Fast forward several years (OK, decades) and all too often I hear: “we are customer-focused” or “our customers are our first priority” – or variations on the theme. When I look closely at the culture of the organisations that really do connect with their customer base, I see a common theme – the staff are engaged, committed and focused. Does it then follow that to be a truly customer-focused organisation, the real focus must first be internal to ensure you attract and retain the right team that can deliver what you ultimately aim to deliver – exceptional customer service? In this issue we have an in-depth interview with Steve O’Brien, founder of DNS Technology and creator of the iBodyshop estimating and body shop management system. Everything that DNS does is focused on improving the

lives of his clients, although this has its roots in Steve’s rigorous staff selection process. See Steve’s fascinating story on page 14. In a similar vein, Mario Dimovski, CEO of Tradiebot Industries, helps to demystify augmented reality, a technology that is already finding its way into the collision repair space. Once again, the foundations of this technology are based upon Mario building and developing his team to ensure they stay at the cutting edge. See what Mario has to say on Page 18. Globally, the fastest growing network, Fix Network World, held its annual conference in Cancun, Mexico with the theme “The Power of One”. This really does reinforce the importance of getting things right internally if you are to successfully differentiate yourself in our highly competitive industry. The summary of the event is on page 12. As if to reinforce the importance of “the staff come first”, regular columnists Mark Czvitkovits and John


Yoswick speak in detail about focusing on your own staff before you can focus on exceptional customer service. John’s overview of how this is being addressed in the USA is on page 42 and Mark’s column, “Shifting Your Focus” is on page 44. Perhaps, the customer does come second – and the staff come first. As always, we have a myriad of local and global news articles, together with all our regular columnists. John looks at the strategy in motorsport in 2019 on page 28, Owen and Josephine collaborate and report on Meguiar’s MotorEx on page 38 and we Talk Shop with long time Perth business owner Grant Johnstone on page 26.

As always, happy to chat. The National Collision Repairer magazine – Making a difference in our industry


CollisionRepairer To receive our weekly e-newsletter sign up at or email: For all the updates follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

“Staying connected” The National Collision Repairer – 1



CollisionRepairer Contents


Latest News Local news

Special Reports 4

Keep up to date with what’s happening in our industry around the country.

Global News



We re-issue Axalta’s Paul Polverino’s tips on dealing with winter temperatures.

Updated Events and Training Contacts

Movers and Shakers


We meet Steve O’Brien, CEO DNS Technology – self-confessed car nut and founder of iBodyshop.

Future Technology


Mario Dimovski, founder and CEO Tradiebot Industries demystifies Augmented Reality.


IBIS Global Summit CRC Speedshow Capricorn Forum

Product Showcase


We go behind the scenes at the global Fix Network World conference in Cancun, Mexico.

The latest developments in the industry from around the world.

Tech Tips

Global Conference

Regular Features


Talking Shop


Grant Johnstone of Freeway Smash Repairs in Perth discusses his success and association with Capricorn.


John takes us into the world of strategy in motorsport and draws parallels with the collision repair industry.

Future Leaders


We reflect on Maxine Colligan’s journey as she prepares for WorldSkills in Kazan later this year.

MotorEx 2019


Owen collaborates with Josephine as they review the event and go behind the scenes of the judging process.



John discusses how best to manage changing technology and the challenges of staff retention.

I-CAR Update


Mark explains how I-CAR can help you develop your business with a greater focus on your staff.

The latest overview of products specifically designed for your business.

EDITOR: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333


DIGITAL EDITOR: Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902

Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902

SUB EDITOR: Joanna Dolan

PRINTED BY: Bright Print 02 9757 3000

ART CONSULTANT: Chris Stone (Stone Dezine) 0407 939 668

The Car Guy

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


CollisionWeek HAMMER



Collision Repair A s s o c i a t i o n the benchmark for quality

DISCLAIMER The National Collision Repairer is published by JMF Solutions Pty Ltd, PO Box 1258, Kyneton Victoria 3444. This publication is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism and review under the Copyright Act (1968), no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher. The publisher believes all the information in this publication to be correct at the time of printing, however is not in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accepts no liability in event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigations and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing. It is also not feasible for the publisher to ensure that advertisements which appear in the publication comply with the Competition and Consumer Act (2010). The responsibility must therefore be on the individual, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement for publication. Whilst every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Copyright © JMF Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 117 914 235






Identifies the challenges and opportunities that will be upon us before the end of the decade â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just over 18 months away!

Sydney, Saturday 14th September 2019 The only Sydney-based collision industry event of 2019 Hear from keynote speakers and engage with our expert panellists We thank the following sponsors for their support

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Holden genuine parts – when only the best will do Holden is serious about the safety of its customers and their right to have their Holden vehicle repaired using the Holden “Safe, Proper Repair” methodology. “Safe, Proper Repair” will only be guaranteed when the following methodology is applied every time a Holden vehicle is repaired: • Using New Holden Genuine Parts. • Repairs by qualified, trained repairers with a culture of continuous training. • Use of Holden Genuine repair procedures. • Adhering to GM Holden Industry Position Statements.

• Using the correct repair equipment as validated by GM. There are many parts on sale in Australia that may fit a Holden vehicle, but only those sold through the GM Holden authorised supply chain are Genuine. To avoid any doubt, a Holden Genuine part is as follows:

“Holden Genuine Parts are parts that are designed, validated and engineered by General Motors or its associated entities, sourced through the GM Holden authorised supply chain and warranted by GM Holden.” Repairers should be wary of using parts sourced from outside the GM Holden authorised supply chain. Holden is also working alongside other OEMs as part of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ initiative, Genuine Is Best, to promote the importance and use of genuine parts. For more information on the Genuine Is Best campaign visit:

baslac launches technical online support tool baslac has launched a technical online support tool to assist customers to follow standard operating procedures for all baslac processes. The online support tool includes simple, step-by-step process instructions and videos, and is available to paint shop technicians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “The baslac online support tool was launched to provide body shops with access to knowledge and processes without any delay,” said Damien Badenoch, baslac Technical Services Coordinator. “While technicians may know the answer to a process, they may have doubts. Having the online tool available can alleviate any concerns, allowing them to identify the correct practice and get on with their work.” The online technical support tool is now available for

solvent (baslac 35) and waterborne (baslac 45) product lines on the baslac website To obtain access, just speak to your approved local baslac distributor.

Victoria’s best auto businesses unveiled Finalists have been announced for the 2019 VACC Industry Awards, the premier awards event dedicated to the Victorian automotive industry. VACC Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Gwilym, said that the VACC Industry Awards demonstrate VACC members’ commitment to quality. “This is a huge achievement. These businesses have proudly put themselves forward and have been named finalists in a very hotly contested year of awards.” Whilst there is once again a broad range of categories, new categories in this year’s Awards include Best Businesswoman in Automotive and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. “It’s fantastic to see our industry showing support for the VACC Industry Awards,

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and wanting to share their experiences and successes,” said Gwilym. Eight independent-audited expert judges evaluated entries based on business management, workplace practices, customer service and marketing and communication. The finalists are: Best Small PV Body Repairer: CAARS Smash Repairs, Dunkley Panels, Essendon Panels, Europanels EP and Showroom Finish Smash Repairs Best Large PV Body Repairer: Complete Body Craft, Cranbourne Body Works, Geelong Smash Repairs, Lyons Body Works, Prossers Panel Beating, Sheen Panel Service Bayswater, Sheen Panel Service Bulleen, Sheen Panel Service Frankston, Sheen Panel Service South Melbourne

and Super Tek Collision Repairs Best CV Body Repairer: Complete Truck Bodies and Royans Melbourne Instituted in 2016 in recognition of the many excellent businesses operating across the state, the VACC Industry Awards are recognised as the highest accolade a Victorian automotive business can achieve. Category winners will be announced at a black-tie gala evening on Saturday, 22 June, featuring master of ceremonies, Larry Emdur. “VACC wishes all of the finalists the best of luck and makes this recommendation to Victorian motorists: look for the famous orange VACC sign – the mark of the industry professional,” concluded Gwilym.

A brand of

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“Futures Collide” – Capricorn’s collision repair conference Australasia’s largest automotive cooperative, Capricorn, is hosting an information-filled, one day collision repair conference in Melbourne on Saturday 10 August, 2019. This detailed conference, titled “Futures Collide”, will connect collision repairers with a host of industry specialists and suppliers who will share their knowledge relating to current and topical local and international industry issues, technological advancements, product developments and the growth opportunities that exist for repairers and industry stakeholders. The “Futures Collide” conference has Mike Anderson as special guest speaker. Anderson is the former owner of United States-based Wagonwork Collision Centres and the current owner of CollisionAdvice, a leading industry research, reference and consulting business. Anderson’s shops held OEM certifications including Audi, VW, Porsche, Nissan GTR and many others. He is also an Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) and has served on numerous industry advisory committees. He is widely recognised by industry and received an award from the Governor of the State of the Virginia for his contribution to the

Virginia State Education System. Anderson is taking some time off from his in-demand teaching obligations and advisory board responsibilities across North America to play a major role in this Australian Capricorn collision repair conference. He will discuss cutting edge collision repair business management and operational techniques that every delegate is sure to learn something from.

This conference will include input and guidance from Capricorn’s women in collision, given their knowledge and involvement in the daily planning, negotiation and interaction with work providers, suppliers and customers. Located at the Novotel Melbourne on Collins in the heart fashionable Collins Street, the Capricorn collision repair conference is all about the sharing of information, business networking and education. The key focus of this event is to provide support

from the industry, for the industry. A cocktail reception and excellent value corporate accommodation rate will ensure that collision repairers enjoy a weekend in Melbourne while learning more about optimising their business operations. This Capricorn event also welcomes non-Capricorn members to learn more about becoming a part of Australasia’s most successful and rewarding automotive cooperative. “We look forward to welcoming collision repairers from across the country as well as our New Zealand industry colleagues to the conference. The rate of change taking place in our industry with technology, materials, techniques and management requires effective business operators to be informed and updated. This one-day event is all about achieving this with minimum business downtime,” said Rob Mildenhall, Capricorn National Panel Manager & Business Development Manager NSW. To register for the Futures Collide Collision Repair Conference in Melbourne on 10 August, Capricorn members can log in at, and nonCapricorn members and suppliers can visit

I-CAR Australia and Audi Australia announce training program Audi Australia recently announced a new training program for Australian body repair technicians. This new program provides an industry-leading development pathway for body technicians, as well as providing a local cost-effective training and certification program for the Audi Approved Repairer network. Audi Australia and AUDI AG, in partnership with I-CAR Australia and the SAPE Group, have co-developed

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a program that not only includes international Audi recognition, but also I-CAR international certification and accreditation. The program utilises a local state-of-the-art training facility in Sydney, with Audi-approved special tooling and equipment. “This partnership not only provides body technicians with the best platform to improve their knowledge and skills, but it also supports our Audi Approved Repairer network with a sophisticated program that ensures our team is equipped with skills that lead the industry,” said Jerome Figuiere, Aftersales Director at Audi Australia. “I-CAR Australia has a longstanding relationship with Audi and this recent announcement continues

to show our mutual commitment to delivering up-to-date, relevant body technician training to all Audi Approved Repairers,” said Mark Czvitkovits, CEO of I-CAR Australia. “3M Australia is proud to partner with Audi Australia, providing our support and globally endorsed tools and materials for use in this new training program for Australian Repairers and Technicians,” said, Andrew King, ANZ Business Manager, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. Upon completion of the program, technicians receive joint certifications from Audi and I-CAR Platinum Individual, which supports Audi Approved Repairers to fulfil the requirement to become an I-CAR Gold Class repairer.

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Toyota Community Trust announces new STEM grant recipients With a focus on inspiring young Australians to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), to date the Toyota Community Trust has provided grants of over $1 million. Seven new organisations focused on STEM-related projects in Melbourne's West are the lucky recipients of grants from the Toyota Community Trust, which was created by Toyota Australia in October 2017 to honour the legacy of its proud history of local manufacturing in Australia. Initiated through a $32 million endowment, the Trust aims to encourage young people in Melbourne's West to pursue further study and careers in STEM. "The future of mobility will be

determined by the next generation of STEM talent. Toyota Australia has played an integral role in Australian communities for more than 50 years and is proud to continue to support young Australians to pursue careers in STEM," said Mike Rausa, Chairman of the Toyota Community Trust. The grant recipients are: GTAC (Gene Technology Access Centre), which provides educational life science experiences to Victorian students and educators through engagement with practicing scientists, contemporary knowledge and technology. In2science, a La Trobe University-led collaboration with The University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University, places STEM

university students into high schools as peer mentors. Makers Empire offers 3D printing learning programs for elementary, primary and middle schools and makes STEM learning fun and engaging through real-world problemsolving and “design thinking”. Power of Engineering brings together universities, the engineering industry, and schools to provide opportunities for young people to better understand engineering and how it impacts our world. Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre promotes a greater understanding and awareness of science and technology within the community by making learning a fun, interactive and relevant experience. Spark Engineering Camp (Youth without Borders) is a volunteer run, week- long, residential camp held on university grounds, with activities focussed on STEM learning for year 10 to 12 high school students. Through the social setting, students will experience university life and discover what engineering has to offer. National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) runs a wide variety of engaging and rewarding residential programs to encourage young students in their passion for STEM and to inspire further study and careers in the field.



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Bradley Gannon appointed CEO Capricorn Automotive, effective 1st July Capricorn is delighted to announce the promotion of current Company Secretary and General Counsel – Legal Risk and Marketing, Bradley Gannon, to the role of Capricorn Automotive Chief Executive Officer from 1 July 2019. Gannon takes on this exciting new responsibility following the promotion of current Capricorn Automotive CEO, David Fraser, to the Capricorn Group Chief Executive Officer role on the same date. Gannon was appointed as Capricorn Company Secretary/General Counsel in 2008, managing various corporate functions including legal and risk management, working closely with the Capricorn Board of Directors and more recently overseeing Capricorn’s marketing functions. He has gained a wide and varied body of direct Capricorn business experience over the past 11 years, particularly within the company’s automotive aftermarket operations where he has been directly involved with key projects. Gannon has been admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the Supreme Court of Western Australia and the High Court of Australia. He has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia. The incoming Capricorn

Bradley Gannon .

Automotive CEO has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Course Diploma requirements, achieving Order of Merit status. In addition, Gannon has also successfully completed the Governance Institute of Australia Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance, receiving National Dux and State Dux accolades for Corporate Accountability along with Corporate Governance and Corporate Financial Management respectively. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. According to David Fraser,

outgoing Capricorn Automotive CEO, “Along with his outstanding qualifications, Brad takes on this role with an excellent understanding of our business following his impressive 11-year career with Capricorn. Our constantly growing automotive business and membership base could not be in better hands and we look forward to the progress that will continue to be made under his leadership and the support of the entire Capricorn management team and the Capricorn Board.” “I’m really excited about the opportunity entrusted to me. It is as an important time for Capricorn members and the broader automotive community. There are a number of opportunities and challenges accompanying the continued technological advancements of vehicles and evolution of industry practices,” said Gannon. “With strong foundations in place and the combined power of more than 20,000 automotive workshops, surviving and thriving as a member of Capricorn, with everything it has to offer, has never made more sense. I look forward to working with the entire Capricorn team to assist members and our relationship partners to grow and prosper,” he concluded.

I-CAR announces Gold Class for Leighton Panel and Paint I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood recently announced that Leighton Panel & Paint in Bicton, Western Australia has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

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“Congratulations to Mitchell and the team at Leighton Panel & Paint. Through a combination of virtual classroom sessions, ITA training, and participation in the I-CAR welding certification, they fully deserve the recognition of I-CAR Gold Class status,” said Wood. “Our industry is changing faster than ever before, so understanding how to estimate vehicle damage correctly and understanding the way repairs are to be undertaken and completed are now vitally important. I-CAR training has been a huge eyeopener in these areas of our business. As most would know, it can be very difficult to get the required information from manufacturers to

generate estimates in a timely manner. The knowledge we have picked up through the on-going training has been very beneficial to be able to tackle many large jobs with confidence. All of our staff are very happy to finally achieve Gold Class status with I-CAR. All of the late nights in front of a screen have paid off,” explained Mitchell Franks. “The Gold Class status is the highest level of accreditation within the I-CAR Professional Development Program. Leighton Panel & Paint has fully committed to developing their knowledge and understanding, which will ensure that they have the technology and capabilities to deliver on every repair,” concluded Wood.

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sia Abrasives centralises to Bosch’s Clayton facility Swiss Industrial Abrasives, better known around the world as simply “sia Abrasives”, is one of the world's leading suppliers of abrasives. sia Abrasives has more than 140 years of expertise, unsurpassed innovativeness and the most comprehensive ranges of products, including solutions for all materials and a wide range of applications and abrasives in all shapes and forms. As a company, sia Abrasives does not rest there. In April, the sia Abrasives Australian office relocated onto the state-of-the-art facilities at the Bosch Clayton campus and the sia Abrasives Australian warehouse relocated to the Bosch Logistics Centre in Dandenong. This relocation will allow sia Abrasives Australia to expand its ongoing improvements and efficiency to its service and supply within

Australia and New Zealand. The relocation to the Bosch Clayton campus will provide a great opportunity for sia Abrasives Australia to stand proudly alongside Bosch and support Bosch with its recently

announced plan to become carbon neutral by 2020. Bosch has over 400 locations worldwide and its engineering, manufacturing and administrative facilities will no longer leave a carbon footprint – Bosch announced it will be fully climate-neutral as early as next year, which will make Bosch the first major industrial enterprise to achieve this ambitious goal. In a bid to swiftly achieve carbon neutrality, Bosch will buy more green electricity in the near term and compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions with carbon offsets. In the years to 2030, the company will gradually increase the share of renewable energy in the power that it generates and buys and will invest a billion Euros to boost its locations’ energy efficiency. For further information, or phone 1300 sia 123

icare partners with MTA NSW on workers compensation The Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW), an Employers Association representing thousands of automotive businesses in NSW, has welcomed the announcement by icare of their partnering with MTA NSW through Motor Trades Cover, as part of their commitment to supporting an industry-led approach to improve worker outcomes. This partnership will pioneer a new way of working that aims to achieve better safety outcomes in the automotive industry. “We’ve been listening to employers about their workers compensation requirements and we’re already engaging with other industry sectors,” said John Nagle, icare CEO and Managing Director. “This partnership with MTA NSW is the first step towards icare developing programs that respond to the particular needs of a range of industry sectors across NSW.” “Businesses in the automotive industry contend with industry specific issues that require certain expertise to address,” said Stavros Yallouridis, CEO, MTA NSW. “By combining our

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knowledge and networks, this partnership provides us with new opportunities to meet the needs of this unique industry when it comes to injury prevention and recovery.” “icare has demonstrated its willingness to listen to the industries they insure and respond with meaningful changes,” said Rex Bashford, CEO, Motor Trades Cover. “This new industry-aligned approach will empower businesses in the motor

trades to overcome challenges and achieve significant improvements in work related injury prevention and recovery outcomes.” icare is eager to learn from this partnership and see how this can be applied to other industries with work underway to develop online self-help resources for employers in four of our largest industry sectors – manufacturing, construction, transport and community services.

“Futures Collide”

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Repair Conference 2019

While much of the industry hype is on future technology, there is a huge gap in addressing the day to day issues repairers face in their businesses. These include staying relevant to the growing technology and information requirements, such as latest repair equipment, technical data and repair methods, as well the ever-increasing challenges on sustainable labour rates and procurement pressure from quotation and parts sourcing software. We are looking to address these topics in a positive, progressive and collaborative way through the conference, panel discussions and networking sessions. Facilitating the vitally important networking and information sessions is a showcase of leading industry suppliers as well as a cocktail function after the conclusion of the conference sessions. Novotel Melbourne on Collins welcomes you to experience contemporary style and 4.5 star comfort in the heart of Melbourne. Located on fashionable Collins Street and directly above the upscale St Collins Lane, Melbourne’s most unique shopping destinations. This desirable location is near Rod Laver Arena, the MCG, Federation Square, the Princess and Regent Theatres and more that this cosmopolitan capital has to offer. Capricorn is committed to the panel industry with our key focus on ensuring that this event is, “From the Industry and For the Industry” so register early to avoid missing out!


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Fix Network World celebrates The Power of One at their 2019 global conference Fix Network World celebrated its 2019 global conference at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun with approximately 350 attendees from 14 countries from across the globe. The event, for which the theme was The Power of One, was the first of its kind in that it united delegates from across all three of Fix Network World’s aftermarket services brands: NOVUS Glass, Fix Auto and Speedy Auto Service. The theme was chosen specifically to recognise and celebrate not only the power and potential of each franchisee, but as a tribute to the strength of one network coming together. The event kicked off with a welcome cocktail followed by a oneand-a-half day business conference featuring corporate updates, franchisee and work provider panel discussions, keynotes from special guest speakers Mitch Lowe (cofounding Executive of Netflix and CEO of MoviePass) and Ted Graham (Head of Open Innovation at GM Canada and author of The Uber of Everything). Bringing together both business and leisure, the conference also featured social activities and networking

opportunities, such as the Fix Network World Beach Party and organised group excursions. The event concluded with a gala evening and awards ceremony acknowledging the work of franchisees from all parts of the world. Fix Network World President Steve Leal commented on the importance of uniting the networks and celebrating individual and collective accomplishments. "Our global family of entrepreneurs is united by a passion for quality and success. Their appetite

Steve Leal opens the Conference.

Lana Pagiamtzis on the Next Generation Franchisee Panel.


to adapt to change is what drives us at Fix Network World, and it is the very reason we put this event together as a celebration and opportunity for continued growth,” said Leal. Among the guests were franchisees, staff, various industry specialists and VIPs, as well as representatives from Fix Network World’s four global supply partners: 3M, AkzoNobel, Mirka and SATA. "This is a global family reunion unlike any we’ve organised before, rekindling and creating bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime," said David Lingham, Head of Business, Fix Network World. “The Power of One refers to what we can achieve when our global network pulls together as one, and also highlights the ability of any single franchisee to have a major impact,” said Carl Brabander, Head of Global Franchise Development and Master of Ceremonies for the event. “The Power of One conference showcased both the individual successes and the momentum that we are building around the world as THE global aftermarket services network.”







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Steve O’Brien CEO DNS Technology STEVE O’BRIEN SHARES HIS JOURNEY FROM A YOUNG IT TECHNICIAN WITH A LOVE OF CARS TO BECOMING THE CEO OF THE COMPANY BEHIND ONE OF THE COLLISION REPAIR INDUSTRY’S LEADING ESTIMATING AND BODY SHOP MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, IBODYSHOP. NCR: How did you get started in the industry? SO: It all began in the mid-1980s when I was working with a program called Breeze, a retail point-of-sale accounting software package in the B2B sector. Around that time, NRMA wrote an estimating system called MicroQuote, the predecessor to QuotePlus. Being the very early days of IT in the collision industry, uptake was slow. NRMA sold it to Megabus, who at the time were big in tyre retail software, servicing clients such as Bob Jane. I was offered the opportunity to take up the agency for QuotePlus in Queensland in late 1989 at a time when the product was not really established – Steve O’Brien.

this was back in the DOS days. I went to ACE Panels in Parramatta to look at the product and it was clear it would satisfy my passion for both computer software and cars. NCR: Take us through your journey. SO: We launched in Queensland in early 1990 and over the following two years put on some 40 systems. In 1992, The Woods Group in Melbourne were looking for a system, although we initially “missed the cut”. I flew down to meet Woods, listened to their needs, and our programmer back then, Dylan de Silva, and I worked through the night to develop an interface for Woods’ accounting software to demonstrate our capabilities. We went on to win the contract and I relocated to Melbourne to manage the account, at the time the largest network of shops in the country. We then submitted a tender to RACV to write an assessing program on a tablet, which the client had seen in the USA. Using IR technology, the speed and efficiency of data transfer took a quantum leap and our business grew to around 120 sites. However, with the amalgamation of RACV and NRMA, the project was discontinued.

By this time, we were running version 3 of QuotePlus, but in 1995, Windows95 came along and we converted our products to Windows, which made it all so much more user-friendly. NCR: So how did DNS Technology come into existence? SO: From the early 1990s, Dylan de Silva and I really hit it off and formed a great team. Dylan did the programming and support and I did the sales, training and product innovation. However, by mid-1996 QuotePlus’ owner, Megabus, was losing faith, which led to a slowdown in commercialisation of new ideas. For example, we needed a parts control module, so I paid Dylan to create it afterhours. We then built it into QuotePlus. This was followed by some other requests we were getting from the customer base. As the agent, I had some flexibility to do this, and although I was developing someone else’s product, it was the right thing to do for our customers. Dylan and I did a management buyout in August 1996 and formed DNS Technology – which is simply “Dylan N Steve”!

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Round the clock monitoring.

NCR: What was the first thing you did as DNS Technology? SO: Sort out our customer service, product direction and billing system; all were not up to the standard Dylan and I wished to deliver! The customer records we inherited where poorly maintained – we had no idea who to support and how. We set about writing a proper customer support program to accurately record customer details, modules used, and support history. Support history is crucial to “bug fixing” and timely, appropriate support. Product direction was next. As our number one priority was focusing on customer needs, we adopted a saying, “death by a thousand cuts”, which refers to the multitude of little timeconsuming things that take up so much of our customers’ time. This philosophy carried right through to the design of iBodyshop. NCR: And the business grew? SO: Over the next 17 years we increased the number of sites to over 330, which allowed us to invest in more programmers, and our staff grew from six to 14 in the same period. However, one of the challenges of a desktop system was that upgrades required us to send out hundreds of CDs and then rely on the clients to load it onto their computer – we found people often didn’t have the time or opportunity to do it, resulting in a suboptimal service. We had always been proud of our quality and this situation was damaging our brand. It was also becoming an expensive service, with the cost of the initial software, ongoing service fees and a requirement of the client to regularly update their

computer. We knew the time had come to take a quantum leap. NCR: And you so launched iBodyshop in 2015? SO: Moving to the cloud presented an opportunity to design from the ground up and do away with all the separate systems. One program with all modules integrated offered a seamless, truly efficient experience for our customers – aimed to improve administration efficiency. It really changed the game. Being cloud-based is our big differentiator. As the collision repair industry was becoming extraordinarily competitive, our clients were being squeezed for every dollar and we were not immune to this pressure. We were, and continue to be, at the top end of the market and many repairers just couldn’t afford what we had to offer.

Moving to the cloud allowed us to offer a more cost-effective, efficient solution. No more CDs, no more back-ups, no more hardware upgrades – we now run a SaaS (Software as a Service) system. NCR: How does SaaS work? SO: SaaS allows us to deliver our highquality service to many more customers at a lower price per user. There is no upfront licence fee, just a monthly subscription that covers everything. We do charge for training, be it online or onsite, but it is only a once-off and chargeable after the customer is live. We have three levels of support to cater for the various needs of our clients: Standard, Professional and Premium. The fees are completely transparent and are found on the website. The only requirements are Windows 7 (or above) and a good

DNS Technology HQ.

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David Roberts Capricorn Society When did you join the industry? 1984 What was your first job in the industry? Apprentice Motor Mechanic What do you do now? NSW/ACT Sales Manager for Capricorn Society What do you like about the industry? The people and technology What don’t you like about the industry? People undervaluing their services What music do you like? Oh it’s broad: AC/DC, Eagles, John Mayer, Dido, Phil Collins, Simply Red, Eminem, Your Favourite Artist? Comedian “Bill Engvall” Your favourite food? Thai Green Chicken Curry Your favourite drink? Jack Daniels’ Gentleman Jack! Your hobbies? Go-karting or touring on the Can-Am Spyder ...Vehicle restoration/modification Who in the world would you most like to meet? Elon Musk


internet connection. The service now has greater flexibility and portability across the workshop, the office or even at home (you’re no longer chained to the office). Of course, we are now also able to offer clients access to the system for one month, free of charge, literally giving them the opportunity to “try before they buy”. NCR: How does it differ from other body shop management systems? SO: Fundamentally, everything works seamlessly due to the longstanding focus on customer needs, a commitment to customer service and a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. As a new customer recently said after only one week: “Now I only go to work on a Saturday because I want to, not because I have to.” The system is so efficient that the client does not have to be on site every minute of every day. NCR: What’s the biggest challenge for your business today? SO: Internally, the biggest challenge is having the time and resources to implement all the great ideas we get through our highly engaged client base. Our mantra has always been to give the customer what they want, so we strive to do that – it really is an embarrassment of riches. Externally, we find we don’t have a competitor that can do everything that iBodyshop can do. Sure, there are other options, but being fully cloudbased, we are in every sense a fully integrated one-stop shop. NCR: So, where are you now and where are you going? SO: Our business now has over 900

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sites and continues to grow at a rate of 12–15 new sites per month. Most of our growth comes from referral, which tells us we are doing something right for the industry. We will continue to expand our support team as the business grows, although we do have very strict selection and recruitment criteria to ensure we continue to fulfil our customer promise. We are also looking at opportunities to bring our technology to SMEs in other market segments, but that is more long term – we are committed to the collision repair industry, on which we will remain focused for the foreseeable future. NCR: What innovations can we expect to see from DNS Technology in the next financial year? SO: Without giving away our future plans, in a broad sense the focus will be on further automating our processes to simplify even the most fundamental tasks, such as cost allocation. Now, we all know that ratios are critical indicators in body shops, and we will help our clients better understand their businesses and how to use the information in a more meaningful way. In essence, “automation of allocation” will be a future step forward for iBodyshop. This also creates the opportunity to benchmark our clients, although we have only applied this in a limited way, for example, supplying data to Glasurit’s Vision 360 benchmarking system. Barcode scanning and decoding of the VIN to extract the relevant information is another project in the pipeline. There is no shortage of opportunities.

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Augmented reality Its use in automotive repairs, training and services Introduction Augmented reality (AR) is the technology currently making a big impact with industrial applications, allowing technicians to perform service and repairs by accessing the latest digital repair processes and service manuals. The technology is also being used for training, providing a new level of digital knowledge like never before. AR apps enable the user to view the real world with overlaid computer-generated images (CGI) of part design information, CAD data, text and animations projected in the userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s field of view. AR has been a topic of interest in the automotive industry with many of the leading manufacturers beginning to explore digital systems in conjunction with the internet of things (IoT). Technologies have matured, become cheaper, use AI for advanced analytics and are the new wave of automation coming with the Industry

4.0 theme. These advances are making it possible to gather and analyse data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality repairs at a reduced cost. This in turn will increase productivity, shift economics, foster industrial growth and modify the profile of the workforce â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ultimately changing the competitiveness of companies and regions. Target detection Target detection and stability is a critical success factor for leading AR applications. Being able to move around a large object such as a vehicle or machine with a consistent target lock and correct overlay is essential for a satisfactory user experience. Most AR developer platforms have some limitations with light reflections and are limited to 2D targets determined from a chosen view angle of a 3D

object. However, full simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) capability with persistent location in the user environment gives a much better result. In many cases the virtual overlay drifts away and becomes misaligned from the real object as the user moves around beyond the original target viewpoint. SMART (AR) devices: phones, tablets and smart glasses The most common AR devices are everyday smartphones and tablets. More recently, a range of AR headsets has become available, though they are restricted on performance due to screen size and information accessibility and also cost a significant amount more than a phone or tablet. All AR tools can detect real world objects and allow CGI and data interaction with these objects on the digital platform. These systems also enable interactive real-time video streaming, remote communications and information exchange via a multiuser platform. Computer-aided design Computer-aided design and drafting (CAD), is a technology for design and technical documentation that replaces manual drafting with an automated process. CAD in most cases is the key driver in AR applications, allowing interaction and engagement with these digital parts.

Automotive repair and service Spray Gun Manual.

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Information at your fingertips For applications in the automotive repair and service industry, AR provides several significant benefits.

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The primary benefit is hands-free access to relevant information such as technical data sheets, schematics and step by step procedures appearing in the users’ field of view without obscuring their overall view. This makes the information more intuitive and can help the user pinpoint the location or object that is the subject of the information. Applications may be applied to show a technician an “x-ray like” view of the assembly, highlighting where parts are and how to disassemble or reassemble them. It’s also useful for showing technical notices on what can and cannot be repaired or modified without compromising the safety and integrity of the vehicle structures or systems. Other applications include maintenance procedures and operating instructions for equipment. For design and development applications, a virtual overlay of design changes can be projected onto the real assembly, allowing the user to see if the part has the correct geometry or if there’s adequate clearance with adjacent parts in the assembly Manuals and OEM procedures OEM repair and service procedures, training manuals or data from equipment can be presented on a virtual dashboard. Similarly, virtual quality control check sheets can prompt the user to verify the status and condition of the job, including capturing data and images for quality records. No more lost time searching for information or asking other technicians as this new technology, accessible via your smartphone, tablet or an AR headset, directs your attention to its exact location and provides information live at your fingertips. Even for consumer use, changing a tyre or setting car controls via AR provides a new level of virtual assistance. Training and instant knowledge AR technologies are going to play a significant part in providing both instructional information and guidance with real-time feedback during on the job training exercises. The advantages of providing real-time context-based training are being realised with

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Toyota Sample Workshop.

improved access to relevant information and intuitive modes of learning. This results in trainees being brought up to speed in considerably shorter time frames than ever before. Instructional content and check sheets are used to confirm the user’s knowledge and confirm completion of the steps in correct order and/or with measurable outcomes from the target objects. Training apps can also focus on interactive instructional information using pointers, animations and embedded videos. Training apps may be structured for quick mode (basic level of information and prompts) and have options available for extra levels of detail, such as explanations of the purpose and expected outcomes for each learning stage. Add-ons for image capture, mark-up, quiz results and notes may be included to provide assessment records for the student/trainee. Job planner and management For service and repair tasks, the job planning will provide exploded views of assemblies on the target object with sequence and embedded standard times for disassembly. Individual parts may be tagged and marked up for dismantling, repair or

replacement with an image capture function pre-programmed by admin users or by default. Additionally, individual parts may be tagged with useful information such as material type, mass and associated consumable items. Remote job assistance This provides the user with the ability to create a live connection overlay to a technical support expert who is then able to facilitate a guided troubleshooting scenario, service procedure, instructor feedback or interactive estimator quote process.

WorxAR: Tradiebot Industries’ augmented reality software solutions The WorxAR software is designed to digitally support business in achieving their goals by providing intuitive access to technical information, new skills development, quality control, time management and waste reduction. It is available as a standalone mobile app or as online enterprise software tailored to your business or product requirements.

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Enterprise software and stand-alone mobile applications WorxAR is augmented reality software providing seamless and intuitive delivery of context-relevant information via your own online platform or mobile app. This ground breaking AR technology will help businesses better connect, adapt, comply, assess and repair with your staff, customers or network. WorxAR software solutions are offered both online or in mobile formats that can be tailored to suit each customer and their product requirements.

WorxAR technology objectives: • Eliminate time wasted looking for current technical and procedural information. • An interactive and intuitive method of providing up-to-date standard operating procedures.

• Engaging method of delivering training with assessment feedback. • Planning and managing jobs with standard times and inventory data. • Easy method for delivering and capturing job data or QC records shared on a multi-user interactive platform. • Digital user manuals and product information for consumer use. WorxAR augmented reality systems will enable seamless integration with business information systems, facilitating standard operating procedures, training, vehicle damage assessment and job estimation linked to procurement, claim application data entry and job workflow management for continuous improvement. Market opportunities As with all service industries, continued profitability and growth are

the main goals. This is realised via improved product and service quality, and operational efficiency. A clear path to achieving this is by identifying and addressing waste associated with unproductive time, excess inventory, materials handling and lack of procedural information. Capability and capacity to grow a business is also founded on the ability to build a dedicated and highly skilled workforce. The collision and mechanical repair industries are undergoing a transformation with the adoption of digital technologies that facilitate global connectivity, greater access to critical information, lean-agile operations strategies and new modes of fast-tracked training and upskilling of technicians. A vast majority of data and business information services have moved to cloud-based platforms, offering flexibility to expand and evolve features and functionality beyond what was previously imagined. For more information, contact Tamara Lepar on email or on mobile at 0419 393 278. “This article is supplied courtesy of Mario Dimovski, Chief Creator and CEO of Tradiebot Industries, who has committed his career to developing and commercialising innovative technology in the collision repair industry”



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Honouring the “Heroes of Chemistry” A team of PPG automotive OEM coatings scientists has been singled out for the prestigious 2019 “Heroes of Chemistry” award for the discovery and development of the innovative B1:B2 Compact Paint System. Issued by the American Chemical Society, the awards aim to honour the role industrial chemical scientists and their companies play in improving human welfare through commercial innovations and products. PPG’s B1:B2 Compact Paint System lets OEM customers reduce the number of steps necessary to paint a vehicle by eliminating the primer layer, while also removing the need for a dedicated primer booth and all related processing. In basic terms, the B1 layer provides primer, filling, chip resistance and durability protection, while the B2 layer provides colour and additional durability. Both layers are applied wet-on-wet and do not require a baking or heated drying process in between. As a result, the

B1:B2 Compact Paint System generates substantial savings for vehicle manufacturers in terms of both capital outlay and operating costs by requiring a smaller paint shop footprint, reducing energy consumption, and increasing overall process efficiency. “Our incredibly talented scientists

are at the heart of our product innovations and offerings,” said Rebecca Liebert, PPG Senior Vice President Automotive Coatings. “As a result of their dedication and commitment, we are able to help our customers reduce costs and increase productivity with the B1:B2 Compact Paint System.”

PPG advances sustainability to protect and beautify “We Protect and Beautify the World” is more than just a tagline for PPG, a fact highlighted by the publishing of its 2018 Sustainability Report. It details PPG’s performance against its 2025 sustainability goals and shows how it’s driving further sustainability initiatives into day-to-day operations. Indeed, last year PPG introduced new sustainably-advantaged products for customers, achieved a record low in injury cases across the company, advanced its global community engagement initiatives, and further progressed its diversity and inclusion efforts. Highlights of PPG’s sustainability progress in 2018 include: Preserving and protecting the environment • 32% of sales from sustainably advantaged products and processes, such as its low-cure automotive paint process that allows customers to use 39% less energy. • 329% of manufacturing and R&D

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locations with zero process waste to landfill. • 328% improvement in the spills and releases rate, 7% reduction in water intensity and 6% reduction in waste disposal intensity. Beautifying our communities • 3200th “Colorful Communities” project since the program’s launch in 2015 – impacting over 5.2 million people in 30 countries. • 3Donated more than $9 million globally and logged nearly 25,000 employee volunteer hours. Valuing our people • 320% of top management positions were held by women, with greater female representation across the workforce. • 3A 10% reduction in the injury and illness rate. “Our dedicated workforce continues to drive sustainability deeper into our global operations,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer.

“At PPG, we are focused on doing better today than yesterday. Our 2018 sustainability progress is encouraging, and it inspires us to identify new opportunities and ultimately reach the aggressive 2025 goals that we have set for our company.” To see videos, infographics and learn more about PPG’s sustainability progress, visit

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Automechanika launches world championship refinish competition Automechanika recently announced it will hold the first international Body & Paint competition in the exhibition’s history in association with DeBeer Refinish, Octoral and SATA. Body shop professionals will be competing against one another at six Automechanika shows worldwide, from England to China. The national event winners will then travel to Frankfurt for the grand finale at Automechanika, to be held from 8–12 September, 2020. Automechanika Frankfurt in 2020 will be the first Automechanika event to feature the Body & Paint segment as an independent product category. The organisers are celebrating the occasion by launching the international competition – with events taking place in six countries. Participants will compete with other body shop professionals by designing a car hood, using the country in which the Automechanika fair is being held as their inspiration. The event series will be launched for the first time at Automechanika Birmingham in the United Kingdom next month from 4–6 June with the support of DeBeer Refinish and Octoral as headline sponsors, as well as SATA and the UK’s National Body and Repair Association. Various workshop teams will be presenting their designs at the event while offering visitors insight into the

creation of their artwork with photos and videos. The Birmingham event will be followed by competitions at Automechanika in Johannesburg, Shanghai, Dubai and Mexico City. In each location, a panel of experts will pick a national winner who will then get to go to Frankfurt for the finals. In addition, trade visitors will be able to help select the people’s choice winner by voting for their personal favourites at the event and online. The competition criteria include uniqueness of design, a link between the design and the country in which the Automechanika event is taking place, the use of various techniques (effects, matt/gloss finish), a harmonious colour palette and the type of spray guns used, as well as workshop safety considerations and the use of environmentally friendly products. Work that relies solely on transfers or airbrushing are not the focal point of this contest. Wineth Malvar, Global Marketing Director – Brand, Channel & Segment, Automotive Finishes Division for Sherwin-Williams said: “It is great to be able to see the creativity and artistry with which the painters approach their task. We are proud to be a part of this industry and we are looking forward to seeing what the first round of the competition has to offer at Automechanika Birmingham.”

Ryan Williamson 3M Automotive Aftermarket When did you join the industry? 2010 What was your first job in the industry? Sales Representative. What do you do now? 3M ANZ Segment Sales Manager. What do you like about the industry? The people with great passion and the technology advancements improving vehicles. What don’t you like about the industry? When training and continual improvement is overlooked. What music do you like? A bit of everything. Your Favourite Artist? No one really jumps out. Your favourite food? A good streak Your favourite drink? A nice cold beer. Your hobbies? Water Sports. Who in the world would you most like to meet? Elon Musk

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY The National Collision Repairer – 2 3

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Glasurit official sponsor of the 2019 WorldSkills competition in Kazan Committed to supporting young people in the painting trade, Glasurit, BASF’s premium paint brand, has signed a Silver Partner agreement with WorldSkills Kazan, making it an official sponsor in the “Car Painting” category at the WorldSkills competition. In addition to the local agreement, Glasurit’s commitment also comprises a three-year global industry partnership with WorldSkills. From 22 to 27 August, young professionals will meet in Kazan, Russia, to prove their craftsmanship in the international competition. The contest also serves to make young people enthusiastic about taking up a nonacademic profession. A shortage of skilled tradespeople is an issue in many areas of the trades sector, and automotive refinishing is no exception. Roar Solberg, Vice President Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions Europe, explained: “For years, we have been experiencing a significant need for qualified automotive spray painters that we can barely keep up with today. The reasons for this include the lack of knowledge about the painting profession as well as training courses that lack optimisation and promotion. Sponsoring the WorldSkills is one example of our commitment to promoting long-term development of the automotive refinishing trade, which helps our partners find highly qualified apprentices.”

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All the young painters at the WorldSkills use refinishing products and colour-matching tools exclusively from Glasurit, the world’s leading premium brand. In addition, they are supported during preparation for the competition. To this end, starting in April, Glasurit began training 30 WorldSkills experts from 30 countries in the use of Glasurit products and processes. The experts will also learn how to use the new Glasurit Knowhow platform for training the WorldSkills participants. All the information they require is available on the internet around the clock and training videos provide step-by-step instructions for using the products and setting up efficient processes. “We have been working with vocational schools all over the world for many years through our training centres and special programs to support the trainers and optimise training,” said Andreas Jansen, responsible for youth development at the Glasurit Training Academy. “Therefore, Glasurit’s active involvement in the WorldSkills fits in perfectly with our strategy of offering new painters outstanding possibilities for expanding their knowledge and learning from experienced experts.” WorldSkills organisers are expecting more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world in August, as

well as 1,600 participants from more than 60 countries who will measure their skills against each other in 56 performance competitions. Previously, the talented contestants qualified to participate in Kazan by proving themselves as the top spray painters in their country in regional competitions. In the competition for the title of “world’s best young car painter”, they need to restore a perfect surface on a damaged car and find the matching colours, shades and effects. To do this, they use sustainable paint products such as Glasurit’s 90 Line waterborne basecoat system and colour-matching tools. During the competition, the jury ensures that the individual participants work sustainably as they perform each task. Glasurit, 3M and SATA will be presenting an award focusing specifically on the sustainability aspect. As a leading premium paint brand, Glasurit has set standards for the highest level of process efficiency and sustainability for many years. By granting the award, Glasurit is taking the opportunity to also raise the participants’ awareness of working sustainably. By selecting the right products, reducing waste and reusing materials, the young spray painters can combine ecological awareness and economic success – and take home important input for their everyday work.

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BMW reapproves Spies Hecker and Standox for 2019 BMW Group has renewed its annual approval of Spies Hecker and Standox â&#x20AC;&#x201C; two of the premium refinish brands of Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings. The agreement, which is for BMW and MINI passenger car repair, covers the BMW Group service network in 51 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. JĂźrgen Knorr, Director, Key Accounts Director for Axaltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spies Hecker and Standox have been recommended by BMW Group for 22 years now and we are delighted to be continuing our very successful partnership.â&#x20AC;? The agreement recommends BMW Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dealerships and service garages use Spies Hecker and Standox refinish paint technologies and the renewal is based on thorough performance

testing. It also includes wide-ranging support and focused training from both Spies Hecker and Standox. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thanks to Axaltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constant product and technology development, the refinish technologies offered by Spies Hecker and Standox are not only heavily focused on sustainability by helping to reduce energy consumption and waste and the use of less material, but also ensure the paintwork repairs on BMW cars perform to the specified quality levels. Innovations like Axaltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Digital Colour Management help BMW Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dealerships and service garages to be more efficient and more profitable. By supplying our customers with innovative, cutting-edge technologies, we hope to gain reapproval for many more years to come,â&#x20AC;? added Knorr. Spies Hecker and Standox refinish paint technologies have been approved for use by BMW Group service in the

following countries for 2019: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrein, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Myanmar, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai), Vietnam and Yemen. For more information on Axalta, please visit To find out more about Spies Hecker, please visit or for Standox, please visit




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Freeway SmashRepairs Proving you don’t have to be big to be good at what you do NEW ZEALAND-BORN GRANT JOHNSTONE OF FREEWAY SMASH REPAIRS IN OSBORNE PARK, WA TELLS US ABOUT HIS JOURNEY IN THE AUSTRALIAN COLLISION REPAIR INDUSTRY OVER THE PAST 27 YEARS. Originally a timber machinist, Grant did an adult apprenticeship in panel beating at one of the largest panel shops in Auckland and even before he completed his qualification, he was promoted to run the workshop. He stayed on for another couple of years before heading off on a working holiday where he based himself in London and got extensive industry experience around Europe. On his way back to Auckland, he stopped in Perth

Grant Johnstone.

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for a friend’s wedding and stayed – that was 27 years ago! His first job in Perth was with John Hughes in Belmont, where he worked for 10 years as a panel beater, shop foreman, and then an assessor. His employer supported him when he wanted to move into assessing full time and he took a role with the RAC, where he stayed for several years. “The biggest challenge was to support the preferred repairer network, not all of

which were to my liking, whilst ensuring that cars were repaired to a satisfactory standard.” When the founder and previous owner of Freeway Smash, an RAC preferred repairer for over 20 years, decided to retire about 12 years ago, Grant took the opportunity to buy the business. A prerequisite for the sale was that he had to take on the head painter as a partner. Although not a preferred option, things worked out well for a few years and they became RAC and SGIC approved and the work was solid. “I always wanted to be the sort of shop that my former assessor colleagues would send the work to.” The partnership dissolved after a relatively short period due to differences in what they wanted out of the business (and what each was putting into the business). Grant bought out his partner and, to simplify things, now that he was on his own, he signed up with Capricorn. “When Capricorn says ‘it’s easier’ – it really is. I was able to consolidate my accounts, build a heap of member points and, of course, there is the variety of services available.” In fact, more recently Grant was able to buy the building with the help of the wealth he had built up in his Capricorn account. “I just couldn’t have done it without Capricorn.” However, the business has not been without its challenges. Things changed at RAC and the new management decided not to renew their preferred status. Grant could see

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the numbers dropping off and although he was reassured it was just the state of the market, he was surprised when he received the “Dear John” letter, during the Christmas break. Not long after this, SGIC significantly reduced its network and Freeway Smash became an “Associated Repairer”, which was really a back-up for them. Since then, Freeway has been “self-sufficient” in a sense, although they are listed with Auto and General. However, the bulk of the work now comes from Grant’s contacts in the assessor network and a substantial amount of private work. Grant believes his key point of difference is that he treats all the cars that come in for repair as if they were his own. “If any of my staff don’t feel the job is quite right, then it’s not good enough for us at Freeway Smash.” Interestingly, Grant does a final inspection on all repairs before they leave the building and he believes that it is this “care factor” that makes the difference and brings in the private referral work. With 10–12 cars per week and four technicians, Freeway Smash supplements the panel work with other commercial painting jobs to keep the team busy and keep the revenue ticking over. “We rely on Glasurit waterborne technology for all our work. Although it is a bit more expensive, the quality is well worth the investment. Similarly, we invest in 3M consumables, which

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we also believe improves the final result.” It is clear that by partnering with suppliers of high-quality materials, Freeway Smash has become the business that Grant set out to have. Grant believes that one of the key challenges within the Perth collision repair industry is that there is very little training taking place. “The good shops won’t train because there are no volume guarantees, and the ‘rapid shops’ that do have the volume, don’t have the time.” Still in his early fifties, Grant looks ahead and is already planning for “life after Freeway Smash”. “Although we are still a relatively small business, we really are a part of the fabric of the local community. I am still looking for the right transition plan that further enhances the reputation on which Freeway Smash Repairs is built.”

However, Grant is a pragmatist and has a realistic view of the future. He is all too aware of the ongoing consolidation in the industry and the changing nature of the relationships with insurers – he is under no illusion where his business fits in. Editor: It was refreshing to meet a real down-to-earth small business owner who takes great pride in his work and his brand.

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Extending the horizon STRATEGY IS DEFINED AS A PLAN OF ACTION DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE A LONG-TERM OR OVERALL AIM. IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PLANNING AND MARSHALLING RESOURCES FOR THEIR MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE USE. We can learn a great deal from the pinnacle of Motorsport, both internationally in Formula 1 and from our local Supercars category, when it comes to strategy and reaching the highest levels of performance. Taking just a couple of teams and looking at the way that they develop strategy will provide a different perspective. In Formula 1 we have seen Mercedes at the top of the charts for a few years now, although when you take a look below the surface this was not an overnight sensation, nor are they seen to be invincible. Many of us may be fans of Daniel Ricciardo and it is interesting to look at the longer-term view of the Renault team and the race-driver, working together to build a car that can win. They may not get a win in 2019, but

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Renault is putting all the good eggs together to make sure their future will be at the leading edge. The investment in getting, arguably, the best driver in Formula 1, bringing the best technical team together and their interpretation of the best way to work through the rulebook is likely to deliver results in 2020 and subsequent years. There are many similarities between Formula 1 and our local pinnacle of motorsport in Supercars. Both are looking to announce new regulations for 2021. This will mean new types of cars, encouragement of new designs, potential for new powerplants and definitely a new direction for all competitors. All of the current teams in both categories are already developing their ideas for the future and keeping an open mind to

new opportunities. The vision is for much sleeker cars that have a distinctive sound and maintain close racing in competitive fields, not just those at the front or those that have the most money. Both forms of motorsport have new people managing the categories, and these people have experience on a global basis. The category owners have said their aim will be to keep the aerodynamics simple and allow for individual team talents to shine through. They are looking to make the playing fields more equal as they have both recognised that they are losing fans with the current formulae. There will be new tracks, new support categories and new ways to engage with the fans, and hopefully a broader audience as well as a new range of sponsors. In the Australian Virgin Supercars, the concept of building a great car was not lost by Roland Dane with the ZB Holden Commodore. Using computational fluid dynamics (software able to resemble designing in a wind-tunnel), 888 Engineering built a weapon of a car over a 12month period prior to releasing it onto the local tracks and winning straight out of the box. A year later we are seeing a similar approach taken by Ford and DJR Penske with the launch of the Mustang. The development of the new Ford has involved over 12 months of design with input from all parts of the Ford and Penske global networks. The results in the first few rounds in 2019 have been very telling for a number of reasons. It is obvious that the strategy for Ford and DJR Penske has been to build to

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Erebus Penrite Motorsport 2019.

the current results over a longer period of time. Getting the right people, optimising the opportunities for them to perform, working as a team and being prepared for the challenges of the moment are all there, along with an interpretation of how the make the strategy a reality. The results we are seeing now have been in gestation for the last 2–3 years. It is intriguing to see that there has been a lot of talk about the Mustang winning so much over the past few months. When you look at the championship standings after 12 races coming away from the Perth Pirtek weekend, it is really one team that has made a break, and one driver in particular. Are we seeing, like so many have said before, that the talent that is evident in Scott McLaughlin is the defining factor of the current results and not the aerodynamics? Does anyone remember the domination of Mark Skaife or Peter Brock? If the other teams stopped making mistakes, then maybe they would be closer in performance. The trick with motorsport when it is so close is to reduce the errors and the


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McLaughlin's Shell V-Power Racing Mustang.

results will flow. It’s the same for business. With every business made up of people, there are challenges in being able to achieve perfection. A few years ago, Mercedes in Formula 1 made a decision to look at their performance and take a longerterm view. The results that they had achieved in the first few rounds led the manager of the time, Ross Brawn, to make a decision to run every race as a test through the remainder of the year, while at the same time he developed a strategy to come out of the box the following year and win the championship. The strategy remains and the ability of the team to keep winning is based on the strength of that strategy and continued focus on the core elements that they could analyse for ongoing success – strategy, alignment, teamwork, the right people in the right places, the right investments in technology, and the right focus on measuring the right things to enable appropriate decisions at the right level. Brawn is now the manager of the F1 category and is looking to 2021 and all aspects of the sport. He is acutely knowledgeable in the business of

Formula 1 and will be a great leader for the next steps for the sport. Looking at a couple of teams in Australia, it is interesting to see that Tekno Autosport has a strategy that currently means they are not investing heavily into the car in 2019, but they have the infrastructure and the vision to work hard for next year and the new regulations in 2021. The owner, Jonathan Webb, recently said: “I don’t want to give away this year, but I am already thinking about what the next two, three, four years bring for us and what we need to do to get back to the pointy end. That’s what I am starting to work on.” Similarly, Ryan Walkinshaw from Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU), formerly the Holden Racing Team, recently spoke about his experiences in bringing the team back to the front of the field. Walkinshaw said, “I don’t think you ever really get on top of it all. I think you’re always learning, and you have to be always open to learning. The idea that you end up getting to a point where you think you understand everything is when you become complacent and start going backwards.” In the last couple of years,

2021 F1 Concept Rendering.

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the Walkinshaw team has taken on two international partners in Zak Brown (co-owner of the McLaren F1 team from Europe) and Michael Andretti (former Indycar star turned successful team owner). Together, they are looking at a longer-term strategy to ensure they know the business, bring the best people into the mix, share resources and technologies from across the world, and implement a combination of experience, new ideas and a common approach. Another team that has done very well lately in Supercars is Betty Klimenko’s Erebus Motorsport, now known as the Penrite Racing Team. Klimenko’s passion for motorsport is self-evident and is truly infectious throughout the team. They aim to have fun while getting results, and the planning that goes into getting the most from a small group of people within a set budget is inspirational. And this all links with the vision being communicated by Adrian

WAU 2019 Holden.



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Burgess, formerly from the F1 paddock, DJR, HRT, 888 Racing and Tekno Autosports (to name a few), who is now the Head of Motorsport for the Virgin Supercars series. Like Ross Brawn in F1, Burgess knows the business technically and operationally, and he knows where the real issues are. He recently said: “I look forward to helping guide its pathway into the future with the help of the commission, senior management, all the staff at Supercars and our fantastic group of team owners.” Watch this space. So, what can we learn from all of this? There is a likelihood that Mercedes will once again win the F1 championship this year. What will be debated is which driver will take the trophy. There is also a likelihood that a Mustang driven by Scott McLaughlin under the DJR Penske banner will take out the Virgin Supercars 2019 championship. But there could be a surprise. And we won’t be able to forecast the exact result for a few

months yet until we get through the Endurance rounds. Although McLaughlin is 300 points ahead of the highest ranked non-DJR Penske car (Shane van Gisbergen’s Red Bull Holden Racing Team), all it will take is one DNF at one of the longer races to close the gap. And it has happened before. What can we take from the great motorsport competitions around us when it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? We should look at our careers, our lives and our businesses to determine the path we need to take to be competitive, profitable, and achieve our goals. Putting things off will only lead to missed opportunities. To paraphrase Stephen Covey: “Decide what is urgent and what is important before you act, and always ‘begin with the end in mind’.” Taking the time to understand how your business works and then taking the time to develop a strategy that looks at least 3–5 years ahead will identify new opportunities. Now, we don’t have a crystal ball, but we can set our pathways and bring the right people into a team around us, and then it is a matter of executing our strategy effectively. We often think we are alone or have to do all of the work ourselves. There are examples from Motorsport that have shown that thinking outside the square, looking at the data that lets us know where the real opportunities are, and then getting the right people in the right frame of mind, can lead to performance beyond expectations. There are new risks arising in the automotive and collision repair industries, but there are also new opportunities. What is your strategy for 2020 and beyond? What is your 2020 Vision? John’s love of custom and restored cars has seen him become an industry leader in the activities of car clubs and automotive enthusiasts across Australia and around the world.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a no brainer

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Future Leaders of the industry THIS MONTH WE REFLECT ON THE JOURNEY OF ONE OF OUR MOST ENTHUSIASTIC, OPTIMISTIC AND PASSIONATE FUTURE LEADERS. FROM AN OUT-OF-WORK TEENAGER TO A SKILLEROO, MAXINE COLLIGAN IS AN INSPIRATION TO YOUNG WOMEN EVERYWHERE. Whilst trying to decide on her future, Maxine took up a Certificate II “to try out spray painting and panel beating”, after which she still struggled to find work. Through Campbelltown TAFE, she attended an NRMA Autopath seminar where she met Mark Reid, of Gemini Accident Repair Centres. Reid recognised her passion and talent and offered her a spray-painting apprenticeship that commenced in July 2016. I first met Maxine during the 2017 3M-Foose Tour at the Gosford Classic Car museum, not long after she was awarded the gold medal at the Regional WorldSkills competition in the Vehicle Painting category. She had only just completed the first year of her apprenticeship and only entered the competition “for the experience”. The regional judging panel consisted of representatives from local collision repair businesses. In early 2018, whilst still in her second year, Maxine was nominated as a Future Leader of the Industry and was presented her award at the IAG Research Centre in Sydney by Troy Johns, Industry Risk and Governance Manager for IAG. The event was attended by representatives of IAG Insurance, I-CAR Australia, Gemini Smash Repairs, BASF Australia, TAFENSW and, most importantly, Maxine’s proud mum, Dennice. At the WorldSkills Nationals on Sydney in June 2018, in a very tightly contested event, Chief Judge


Maxine with her Silver Medal from the WorldSkills Nationals.

Brad Franklin and judges Brian Johnson and Carl Tinsley awarded Maxine the Silver Medal. At the time, Maxine was still only a second-year apprentice. This was enough to book a ticket to Russia for the WorldSkills International event. Maxine is always happy to give her time at industry events, and in mid-October 2018, Maxine, together with fellow Future Leaders Trudy Camilleri and Jack Parkinson, spoke on a panel at the official opening of the TAFENSW Campbelltown Trade

Night. Maxine shared her experience winning the WorldSkills Regionals, going on to compete at the Nationals and the thrill of being invited to represent Australia in Russia. She was particularly appreciative of the support from BASF and the access to the Glasurit Refinish Competence Centre, where she does all her training. In April this year, Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence hosted the WorldSkills warm-up event, Global Skills Challenge, where seven international competitors honed their skills under strict competition conditions. After four intensive days, Maxine was judged the overall winner, ahead of China, Russia and New Zealand’s entrants. According to International Deputy Chief Judge Brad Franklin: “Maxine’s talent, poise and coolness under pressure were the key factors in her success.” Editor: IAG’s ongoing support and sponsorship of these awards is greatly appreciated. Maxine is now officially a Skillaroo and heading to Russia later this year. We wish her all the very best of luck and, of course, we will follow her progress closely. iag donates two I-CAR courses valued at more than $500 to the Future Leader that we feature each month in this section

2019 Future Leaders of the Industry Forum Be part of an upcoming forum that recognises the young, driven emerging talent within our industry. If you, or someone you know fits the bill, We would love to hear from you. Contact: or call 0458 588 333

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Practical tips for

Winter refinish work Experienced refinishers know the problem: as winter approaches and temperatures drop, refinish preparation work needs to be adapted accordingly. Lower temperatures can render clear coats and hardeners more viscous, making them much harder to work with. So how can you best prepare your paint room for the cooler season? TIP 1: 20°C is ideal Temperature plays a critical role in many chemical processes and refinishing is no exception. That’s why refinishers need to pay particular attention to it in the cold winter months. “Axalta products are pretty robust and, up to a point, they are quite forgiving of environments that are not ideal. Nonetheless, body shops should ensure certain minimal conditions are met to guarantee they

achieve professional results, even in winter,” says Paul Polverino, National Training Manager. “When storing or working with VOC compliant clear coats, temperatures should not be allowed to drop below 20°C. This simple precaution can ensure optimal viscosity and spray-ability. It is imperative that water-based products be protected against frost.” TIP 2: Don’t over-dilute cold paint “If a paint product seems thicker than usual during mixing, check its temperature and viscosity. In most cases, the problem is usually that the paint is simply too cold,” says Polverino. Additional diluting of the product with extra thinner is not the optimal solution. The materials about to be

used should be at a room temperature of at least 20°C. Climate controlled paint mix and storage rooms can be well worth the effort in colder areas. TIP 3: Bring vehicles into the heated spray booth Temperature is not only relevant for paint products and components, but also for car bodies, which should not be allowed to get too cold. If they do, a fine moisture film can develop on the surface as the vehicle warms up. This can create problems with the flow, surface wetting and adhesion of the fresh paint and can lead to longterm defects such as blistering. “This kind of moisture layer can make a superior result almost impossible to achieve. Allow the vehicle to stand in the heated spray booth for some time before starting work,” says Polverino. TIP 4: Don’t “over-compensate” with a high spraying temperature Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean we have to reach for the fastest hardener available. If your spray booth is running between 20 and 25°C and has a quality bake cycle reaching recommended metal temperatures, then conditions are normal (inside the booth). Therefore, your hardener and thinner choice should be selected based on the size of the job and your spray booth’s conditions. Note that problems can occur if spraying is carried out in higher temperatures, particularly if combined with the wrong hardener choice. Paul is National Training Manager, Australia and New Zealand, Axalta Coating Systems


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Acknowledging a lifetime of contribution 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: Tel: +61 458 588 333

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


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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)

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Meguiar’s MotorEx 2019 A weekend to remember

OWEN COLLABORATES WITH JOSEPHINE TO BRING YOU A FULL REPORT ON AN ACTION-PACKED WEEKEND IN MELBOURNE, BRINGING YOU BOTH AN OVERVIEW OF THE SHOW AND A Open for business ... revelling the shows best. BEHIND-THE-SCENES PERSPECTIVE OF THE VARIOUS AWARDS. Leading into any event is quite a stressful time as you ensure the entrants, businesses and sponsors all have the right information and you have done enough marketing to attract the crowds. As MotorEx has such a large outdoor element, there is also extra tension around the weather, and on Friday our worst fears were realised as a huge storm rolled in during bump-in! However, with an eye on the radar,

around 90 percent of the show got bumped-in by dark and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny morning on Saturday when 350 cars filed in for Real Street. It really is worth the risk with the weather as the Real Street cars, the outdoor stage, the motocross demonstration, food trucks and other activities add so much more to the whole event. By the time the doors opened, the queue had stretched from the main

The Grand Master - Johnny Z's 1938 Fordson Van.

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entrance onto Epsom Road as the masses poured into the Melbourne Showgrounds: car enthusiasts, industry experts, suppliers, young talent, manufacturers and people who work in the automotive industry all turned up. From the moment the show started, the thunder of the highperformance engines fired up the crowd and never let up all weekend. The all-too-familiar sights, sounds and odour of rubber and metal hung over

Gary Coates’ ’34 Ford Roadster.

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A Real Pony Car.

AC Delco Pro Slammer.

Castlemaine Rod Shop.

Herrod's Garage.

the Showgrounds as we made our way around the variety of pavilions. A real highlight was the ear-popping leading global automotive parts branded AC Delco Pro Slammer. There were awesome displays including: Muscle Car Marvels, House of Kolor Inauguration, American Legends Street Elite Showcase, Street Machine Hall of Fame, Rare Spares Real Street, Drift Cadet Driftworld, Herrod’s Performance Garage and, of course, Meguiar’s Superstars. In addition to all the fantastic cars, there was a plethora of equipment, merchandise, tools and products all aimed at making the process of

Not quite an original Model T.

building and maintaining the Restos and Custom-builds even more effective and efficient. Not unexpectedly, front-and-centre was 3M, who took a prime position in the Meguiar’s Superstars Pavilion where the team was inundated with enquiries and took every opportunity to show off their “cutting-edge” technology. Andrew King, Business Manager, 3M Automotive Aftermarket and Marine said: “With so many of our products being used by the creators of these great cars, the people just want to know more. MotorEx gives us a great opportunity to engage with our end-user client base”.

We also ran into another old friend, Carmine De Maria of C.A.D Custom, who unveiled the HQ GTS “Mad Az” at the House of Kolor Inauguration and also had Robert Zahabi’s 1970 Dodge Challenger “Havoc” in the Meguiar’s Superstars Super Six, alongside the 3M stand in the Superstar Pavilion. What a fantastic build! The competition for the awards in the various categories is always hotly contested and the judging is undertaken against very specific criteria, so this year we offer some insight into the process in some of the categories. Meguiar’s Superstars: Now in its 19th year, these are the elite


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Peter Rujanoski's GT351 XB.

ProVC Angelo Furfaro's 1967 VC Valiant.

Meguiar's and American Legend.

The Legendary Keith Dean.

show cars from around the country. We select several cars to come to MotorEx and shoot it out for around $70,000 in prize money and trophies. On Saturday we announced the Super 6, the top six cars from all the qualifiers, and on Sunday morning we announced the awards for the Body, Paint, Engine Bay, Undercarriage, Interior, Impact and Display categories. It was ridiculously close, with only a couple points out of 1000 separating the top two cars. The winner was Jack Z, from Johnny Z’s custom shop in Melbourne, with the 1938 Fordson Van, which was unrecognisable from the original with massive fabrication on chassis and body, interior and undercarriage. I can say this was probably the best presented and displayed vehicle I’ve ever seen at any show. It was at the right height for any spectator to stand around the barrier and see everything on the undercarriage, inside or engine bay. The body and paint were finished superbly considering the amount of fabrication and customising. The stand was simple and highly effective, allowing the vehicle to be the centre of

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attention. Jack was a deserving winner and I’m sure will continue to build great cars into the future. Street Elite: There were over 100 cars in Street Elite in the Exhibition pavilion. In this category, it is a requirement to be legally registered and you must show the rego papers. The judges are still expecting show-quality paint, body, interior and engine bay, but there is no undercarriage detailing. As these entrants push the boundaries, a small amount of detail is sneaking in, but it is never taken into account so doesn’t affect the overall score. Street Elite has become so popular with good reason as people can build show quality cars but still drive and enjoy them on the street. Again, very close results, with four cars separated by a handful of points. The winner was Angelo Furfaro in his twin turbo VC Valiant. I spotted this car at Chryslers on the Murray in March – I bet Angelo is glad he came to MotorEx as he also took out the Laurie Starling Award for Innovation and Excellence in Automotive Fabrication.

This category is also divided into Street Machine; Hot Rod; JDM/Tuner; and, of course, Custom. Dan Appleby’s awesome Riviera was awarded Top Custom, a very special award in honour of Mario Colalillo, King of the Australian Customizers, who passed away late last year. It’s really important to honour the great people who made our industry what it is today. Muscle cars: Always popular and with such an impressive history here in Australia, there were 23 great cars on display. There was every model GT Falcon ever made and HSV had a model of every one of their years also on display. Peter Rujanoski, with the best XB GT you will ever see, took the honours with a display that was based on the boxes Ford housed their spare parts from the dealers back in the 1960s to now – truly amazing. Of special mention was the SEMA exhibit with 20 booths from US-based businesses that were all blown away with the cars and event in general. The staff from SEMA commented on how MotorEx is world class and a smaller version of their huge event every

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Unveling of Mad Az by C.A.D Custom.

Team C.A.D Custom.

November in Las Vegas. That was music to my ears, as that was my vision for this event from 10 years ago. This year we also met Ryan Friedlinghaus, founder of West Coast Customs and Keith Dean, owner of South End Kustom, both from California, who expressed their admiration for both the quality of the vehicles on display and the passion of both the exhibitors and the visitors: “Down here, you really do know your cars,” said Friedlinghaus. Joe spoke with Keith Dean, who reminisced about the early years on the US Custom scene. “When we were growing up, it was our parents’ generation that was creating the industry we have today. On reflection, I grew up with the founding-fathers, but at the time they were just my dad’s buddies. I watched them all help each other out, which is a philosophy that I embrace to this day,” said Dean. It was an action-packed show, which included the control and skill on the drifting track and the amazing Freestyle Kings motocross team. It’s remarkable to see what can be achieved on either two or four wheels when you combine the technology in the vehicles

and elite driving or riding skills. At MotorEx, if you win the Grand Master trophy you are ineligible come back and re-contest the award. However, at the ten-year anniversary in 2010, we invited the previous 9 Grand Masters to return and compete against the best new builds of 2010. As 2020 is the 20th anniversary (and 30 years of Meguiar’s in Australia), we decided to do this again and invite the Grand Masters since 2011 to return and compete against the best new builds of 2020. It will be interesting to see how the industry has progressed. It was amazing to see the support we get here in Melbourne and it’s so great that we attract people from all walks of life with a common interest, enjoying a great weekend. This is what makes it all worthwhile. Bring on 2020!

Owen is the Business Development Manager of Motoractive. He is also a leading figure within the auto re-styling and vehicle modification industry.

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Addressing new technology and getting the work (and the workers) you need ASK ANY COLLISION SHOP OWNER ABOUT THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGES, AND CHANCES ARE THAT CHANGING VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY AND FINDING QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES WILL BE NEAR THE TOP OF THE LIST. HERE ARE HOW TWO SHOPS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE TACKLING THESE ISSUES. Using OEM information and hiring apprentices Like many autobody repair shops, Titus-Will Collision Centre in Tacoma, Washington, has been taking a mixed approach in terms of vehicle scanning and advanced vehicle system calibrations, with some of the work handled in-house and some sublet to the company’s nearby Ford and Toyota dealerships. Manager Chris Wilson estimates the shop is scanning about 80 percent of the vehicles it repairs, almost everything unless “it’s a cosmetic scratch and there’s nothing electronic we’re unplugging.” “The calibrations that don’t require special dedicated targets or hangers we do in-house,” said Wilson.

Chris Wilson.


“If they do, we send it to Ford or Toyota, although we sometimes get to borrow some of the dealership service technicians to actually scan and calibrate here because they don’t have the dedicated space. Down by our in-house mechanical department, we have a pretty good footprint where we can do some of that.” Wilson manages a staff of 32 people at the shop, including several apprentices. “At the beginning of last year, we hired our first truly official body technician apprentice – a student from a local trade school,” said Wilson. “She was student-ofthe-year as voted by her peers. We have her on a formal two-year apprenticeship. Some shops have what they call apprentices, but

Jack Brito.

they’re really just helpers. They’re not assigned specific tasks or required to show competency over a certain period of time. But here she has very specific criteria that she needs to accomplish every six months. When she does that, she gets a merit increase, and we provide her tools as well.” He said the most critical source of the shop’s success is the people he works with. “I really appreciate my staff for doing what they do,” Wilson said. “What we do on a daily basis can be exceptionally challenging. Customer service can be tough in any business, but especially ours because traditionally, no one wants to see us. But our customer service index is pretty high, which is because of our

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staff. In turn, you must take care of your people. Nearly every person I have hired has worked at some other location in the industry. Their No.1 complaint was not being treated fairly and no one listened to their concerns. I had a technician who was frustrated with a couple of little things and I asked him, ‘What is it that you think will be better.’ I implemented it within that day. I keep following up with him to ask him: ‘Is this working out now? Is there anything else we need to tweak?’ They love that. They see instant action instead of hearing, ‘That’s a great idea and I’ll get to it when I can’.” Community involvement, keeping techs happy Jack Brito points to a number of factors that have helped his business, Hot Rod Dreamworks Collision Repair, in Canby, Oregon, grow to 12 employees in recent years: taking care of customers through “honest, high-quality repairs”, online reviews, and perhaps most of all, community involvement. For more than a decade, the shop has hosted a free annual car show in June, attracting hundreds of people by opening the shop for tours and filling its parking lot (and that of the adjacent Ford dealer) with classic and custom cars, including many the shop had restored. “People can see the type of work we do,” Brito said of

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the event. “We have it catered and donate 100 percent of the money we get in for the food to the American Cancer Society.” For a number of years, Hot Rod Dreamworks has also donated a vehicle to a local family in need through its “Wheels to Prosper” program. The most recent recipient was a single mother of four, going to school to be better equipped to support her family. “The cars are sometimes donated, or we come across a car that fits the criteria,” Brito said. “We fix it up, detail it and, as far as finding the right family, we notify a local charity and seek nominations on Facebook. We’re looking for people who are working to get ahead, who maybe have had bad things happen. A lot of bad things happen to good people. We have nonbiased person from the community, such as the mayor or city councillor, select the winner.” The shop is planning an expansion later this year, but also freed up interior space by placing two shipping containers in its lot for parts storage. Brito said that has helped keep parts clean and damage-free. He also said the rapid pace of change in vehicle technology is challenging but sees it forcing “the good shops to get better”. “In addition, if you’re doing the same thing every day, it gets a little

old,” he said. “With technology changing, it just keeps the job more exciting.” He points to vehicle scanning as one example. Other than older vehicles, he said, the shop conducts pre- and post-repair scans on every job. “That’s even if it’s just a bumper job,” he said. “We recently did a bumper on a 2018 Chevrolet truck and there were 17 codes set because of that bumper.” Brito said most of the employees the shop has added in recent years have been referred to the shop by his current employees. “Our employees have actually found them, because they’re happy working here. When you find a good thing, you tell your friends,” concluded Brito. He said he cultivates that by trying to maintain a pleasant work environment. “I never get angry,” he said. “We try to have fun but also get things done. We’re like a family here. Let’s face it: we’re here more than we are at home. Let’s make it enjoyable. Do families have problems at times? Yes, but you’ve just got to learn to work through them.” 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

Fantastic Business Opportunity FOR SALE – DENTS R US TRAINING ACADEMY Successful paintless dent repair training academy for sale Well established, excellent marketing with outstanding branding. Good profits, making a very good return on investment. For further information contact Laury on 0438 383 555

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Shifting your focus OEM certification, insurer partnerships, supplier relations and customer expectations are only a few of the ongoing requirements in any collision business. So, what is the most important part of this equation? How do these stakeholders affect your business, and what do they all have in common? Every one of these is a customer of your business, so the experience they have with your business will go a long way to cementing partnerships, relationships and expectations. The softer skills that involve listening and understanding the individual needs of each will allow your business to provide assurance that they have chosen your services correctly. There is only one opportunity for a first impression. Any customer experience starts with your personnel. If they are intolerant, closed and unwilling to learn, then the pathway to a better customer experience will be a rocky road. No matter who engages with your business, the representatives of the business (your employees and yourself), are the ones that make the greatest impression. A customer satisfaction index (CSI) is one of the major key performance indicators used by many larger organisations and it is something that small businesses should also be encouraged to implement. After all, a customer’s perception of your business will

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ultimately decide if they are confident in leaving their vehicle for repair. The knowledge and attitude of staff when dealing with customers on the phone or in person often leads to a positive reassurance that their property will be well cared for, or a lingering doubt that may continue to raise concerns during and after repairs have been performed. With this in mind, those soft skill training outcomes can make a profound difference in the customer experience. The receival and handover of vehicles for a customer lasts a long time and if it is a bad experience, everyone on Google, Facebook and other social media will know – very quickly. It is often thought that only technicians and estimators require training. Not correct! For anyone to achieve success, enjoyment and satisfaction in their role, training will provide them with the tools to do so. Business owners and managers are the main contributors in ensuring the training needs of their staff are understood and if more training is required. It stands to reason then that they should cater to those needs. When a business owner or manager considers that training is a waste of time, a drain on resources and an inconvenience in getting the job done, then their customer satisfaction index will almost certainly be low. In the words of Virgin’s CEO Richard Branson: “Investing in your

people will deliver better business outcomes than focusing purely on your customers, whoever they may be. Look after your staff and they will look after your customers at a higher level and your brand will be better recognised.” By understanding your staff’s needs, they will in turn assist in providing your business with a process to continuously address and improve every facet. This could be in building better relations, bettering expectations, strengthening partnerships and ultimately saving time – and delivering efficiencies. Training in any form is not an instantaneous return on your investment; however, it is the fabric that holds everything together, changes attitudes, builds a strong learning culture and ultimately helps a manage the ongoing challenge of change. Quite often we say: “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Well, in business today, the more internal support there is for better trained staff, the better the potential outcome. The Technical Tsunami will not stop, so begin training at all levels and help your business survive and thrive into the future. Mark is the CEO of I-CAR Australia. His mission is to ensure that the collision repair industry understands the importance of having fully trained personnel and knowledgeable technicians

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T H A T C H A M - E S C R I B E

Calendar of events KNOWING WHEN IT’S ON AND WHAT’S COMING UP IBIS Global Summit 10th -12th June 2019 Baveno, Italy

CRC Speedshow 20th – 21st July 2019 Auckland

Capricorn Forum 10th August 2019 Melbourne

Thatcham update Thatcham Research has announced the renewal of its contract with Suncorp, extending the successful collaboration that has seen Suncorp distribute Thatcham repair data in Australia and New Zealand since 2013. Under the renewed agreement, Suncorp will become the first ever Thatcham Research Global Associate – this provides one of Australia’s largest financial services brands with access to Thatcham Research’s wealth of vehicle research, data and services. Neale Phillips, Global Product Director, Thatcham Research said: ‘’We are delighted to welcome Suncorp as our first ever Global Associate member, building on the successful partnership we have enjoyed over the last five years. We are committed to supporting its needs and those of its repair network – starting with an upgrade to escribe which will shortly see the inclusion of vehicle manufacturer methods, to further increase vehicle coverage.’’

Thatcham’s online portal – escribe, provides insurance assessors and repairers with instant access to the very latest multi-franchised Thatcham Research crash repair methods, times and technical newsletters. Phillips continued: “The growth of escribe in Australia is a tangible demonstration of Suncorp’s commitment to delivering only the safest and highest-quality vehicle repair.” In response, Brett Wallace, EM Assessing & Repair Performance, Suncorp said: “Thatcham repair data helps to ensure that our customer’s vehicles are repaired in the most safe and efficient manner, so the decision to extend and strengthen our relationship with such a respected industry body was an easy one and aligns 100% with Suncorp’s overarching repair strategy” Significant enhancements to the escribe platform enabling the positive identification of ADAS technologies have already been deployed this year, with further updates on the way in 2019.

Training contacts 3M Australia George Di Scala Tel: 0400 382 649 AkzoNobel Tel: (03) 9644 1711 Axalta Coating Systems Product training Axalta services Tel: 1800 292 582 BASF Australia Ltd Peter Jones Tel: (02) 8787 0142 Dents R Us Training Academy Laury Chibnall Tel: 0438 383 555 iBodyshop E: Tel: (03) 9548 7400

PPG Australia Pty Ltd MVP Business Solutions VIC/TAS Mindy Roberts 0407 528 869 NSW/ACT Greg Tunks 0411 288 451 Cliff Reed 0413 851 433 QLD/NT John Stack 0413 274 035 SA/WA Brett Humphreys 0414 181 030 PPG Training VIC/TAS: (03) 8586 0000 NSW/ACT: (02) 9854 6600 QLD/NT: (07) 3823 8000 SA: 0412 832 919 WA: 0437 902 125

Mipa Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9793 8800 LORD (Fusor and Farecla) Tel: (03) 9560 6060 Protec Tel: 1800 076 466 SAPE Automotive Training Academy Tel: (02) 9772 9000 Thatcham-Escribe 1300 769 347 U-pol Tel: 0400 366 483 Valspar Automotive Tel: (02) 4368 4054

The National Collision Repairer – 4 5

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Introducing the new 3M High Power Spray Gun cleaner The new 3M High Power Spray Gun cleaner is designed to drastically reduce the time and costs associated with standard spray gun cleaning methods. Ideal for use on automotive spray equipment, the 3M high power spray gun cleaner easily removes coatings from metal, plastic and composite surfaces. The cleaner’s unique design and delivery method reduce clean up time for spray gun bodies, hard paint cups, atomising heads, hoses and fittings. An included extension tube makes it easy to blast hard-to-reach interior components. As an additional benefit, the cleaning solutions leave no residue and therefore don’t require precleaning or a final rinse step. To further improve the reduction in gun wash and solvent wastage, 3M recommends using their new High

Power gun cleaner in conjunction with 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup system and the 3M Accuspray ONE spray gun. With growing pressure on a technician’s time and increasing costs and difficulties associated with the purchasing and disposal of solvents and gun wash, using the complete 3M paint application system will

drastically reduce a shop’s overall cleaning solution usage, while also ensuring that technicians spend less time cleaning. For more information on the 3M High Power Spray Gun cleaner, please contact your authorised 3M Distributor or visit

Mirka’s Iridium in its element While you don’t necessarily need to understand the technology behind Mirka’s new premium abrasive, Iridium, it does help to explain why its performance is so good. Do users really care what went into creating the new Mirka Iridium range? Probably not, but they certainly seem to appreciate the end result, according to Peter Sadler, Mirka Business Development Manager Australia and New Zealand. Peter was on hand at the Mirka stand at the recent Collision Repair Expo where he was kept busy conducting demonstrations and giving visitors the lowdown on Iridium. “The launch of Iridium adds a premium paper-backed abrasive offer to the Mirka range, but it’s also important to understand that it is unique because it introduces a totally new technology to this category. The key difference stems from the new manufacturing process. Traditionally, an electrostatic process is used to apply the abrasive materials to either the paper-backing or a NetSanding structure. The logic behind this is that the abrasive particles are shaped like tiny prisms that need to land flat side down, pointy side up, and that can be done using an electrostatic charge. However, what is more difficult to control is their distribution across the surface – the particles tend to land more randomly,” explained Sadler. Mirka’s R&D team has a habit of thinking outside the square and have come up with a solution to this challenge with the creation of Iridium. The best way to describe the new manufacturing process is that it’s like an inkjet printer. This means the blend of ceramic and aluminium oxide abrasive grains is very precisely applied to the backing material. Not only do the grains go exactly where they are needed, there are a lot more grains per disc. To take advantage of this technological shift, Mirka

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designed a new manufacturing machine for its production facility in Finland. In addition, it developed a new resin to lock the grains down onto the paper. After being UV cured, it essentially leaves a non-stick characteristic on the abrasive surface. The result is that Iridium abrasives repel dust. “Combining the non-stick surface with the computer designed, laser-cut multi-hole pattern gives Iridium dust extraction performance that is the closest I have seen to Mirka’s NetSanding technology, resulting in an exceptional lifespan of Iridium discs,” added Sadler. “The feedback from our demos at the Collision Repair Expo has been phenomenal. The overwhelming response was, ‘wow, where can I get it?’” Iridium is available from your Mirka distributor. If you want to see and feel the advantages of Iridium, simply contact your PPG or Protec representative to arrange a demonstration.

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The new BenchRack from Car-O-Liner The unsurpassable BenchRack combines drive-on convenience with a hydraulic lift and removable ramps. Add to this the tilt feature, which makes loading easier when approach space is limited, and you have the most versatile repair bench on the market. You will be able to repair each collision damaged vehicle that enters your shop, from slight cosmetic work to full-frame repairs. The BenchRack systems are designed for any type of unibody or full frame vehicle, from small cars to light trucks, vans and SUVs. Efficiency at its best With BenchRack you can lift the vehicle when loaded on the ramps or lift the frame on lifting pads, leaving the wheels and wheel wells free. All service and repair operations can be performed quickly and effectively using a single setup. You avoid the unnecessary interruptions that arise when moving the car between different workstations for steps such as disassembly, alignment, welding, sanding and filling. Speed up your repair process by using the innovative Car-O-Tronic Vision2X3 measuring system.

Simultaneous, multiple pulling capabilities Our powerful 10-tonne draw aligners, featuring state-of-the-art hydraulics, can pull from almost any angle, 360º around the vehicle. Use one or two as needed and you'll finish your repair work in no time! Safety and accessibility BenchRack systems increase not only the productivity of your equipment, but also of your technicians. Assisted by the integrated lift, technicians will always work at the most comfortable height. A generous amount of space between the vehicle and bench offers greater accessibility to underbody work. Our special cam locks make it easy to lock BenchRackTM components onto the bench, ensuring secure mounting of the vehicle. Features and benefits • With the versatile four lengths, you can choose a perfect BenchRack for you. • The 10-tonne draw aligner pulls from almost any angle, 360º around the vehicle. • The ergonomic design combined with removable ramps allows better

access to the vehicle. • Accurate, real time measuring when used with the Car-O-Tronic Vision2X3 and Car-O-Data database. • The EVO universal system allows you to perform effective holding and clamping without specific vehicle fixtures. • Truck clamping provides strong, no-slip safe holding. • Flexible installation (fixed or pit mountings) for all workshop sizes. • Meets OEM requirements/approvals. For more information, contact or call Car-O-Liner Australia on Tel: (02) 4271 6287.

Everything’s under control with Permasolid HS Wet-on-Wet Speed Surfacer 5550 The Spies Hecker Speed-TEC family of products allows body shops to work exceptionally fast with superb energy efficiency. And now the Speed-TEC range is even better thanks to the new, innovative, Permasolid HS Weton-Wet Speed Surfacer 5550. The new Permasolid HS Wet-onWet Speed Surfacer 5550 accelerates the painting process thanks to its modern, patented Axalta technology. The flash-off time is significantly shorter compared to standard wet-on-wet surfacers, resulting in fast processing as well as providing outstanding top coat appearance. The product can be denibbed and overcoated after just five minutes of air-drying time. Similarly, the other Speed-TEC products also have extremely short drying times. As a result, refinishing a new part can be done in just 36 minutes, which is unique.

The user-friendly product also delivers high stability on vertical surfaces and is available in white, grey and black, ensuring good opacity even on light coloured surfaces. The Permasolid Speed-TEC Weton-Wet Surfacer 5550 joins other products in the Speed-TEC range including the Permasolid Speed-TEC Surfacer 5500 and Permasolid SpeedTEC Clear Coat 8800. Using patented Axalta technology in Speed-TEC products, work processes are shortened, energy consumption is reduced, and results are exceptional, as you would expect from Spies Hecker. Using the full product range enables refinishers to choose drying at 60°C, 40°C or even without forced drying at 20°C, which can save body shops up to 70 percent energy. The Speed-TEC range can be adapted to body shops’ needs and

ensures excellent results. Depending on the work load, they have control over whether they use the Speed-TEC for speed or energy saving during the paint repair. More information on the complete Speed-TEC family of products and their advantages can be found at

The National Collision Repairer – 4 7

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With SATA, “X” marks the sweet spot Traditional nozzle tech has had its day. With SATA’s X-Nozzle System, any painter can perfectly tune their SATAjet X 5500 to suit paint brand, application conditions and personal preferences. Where you apply paint, your location is just as important as the type of paint being applied. You could be spraying the very same product in a cold, dry Melbourne winter or in the heat and humidity of North Queensland. What the X-Nozzle System offers is the ability to easily tune the SATAjet X 5500 to suit these or virtually any other application conditions, according to Uwe Kuebler, SATA Export Manager for this region. “In the past, SATA developed nozzle sets according to the needs of the paint manufacturers and, as a result, SATA guns in RP and HVLP technologies featured nozzle sets that mainly produced an oval spray pattern for faster application. However, like other conventional nozzle technologies, as you stepped up or down in size, the fan changed shape, the atomisation and the film thickness varied in a non-uniform way, and the material flow changed, but not in linear

steps. Technicians have had to compensate for this, but most have never really stopped to think about it,” explained Kuebler. SATA decided to create the XNozzle System, which delivers the two basic spray patterns, the I-Shape and the O-Shape, that are constant across the nozzle range. For each nozzle size, you can now choose between the O-Nozzle, basically for a higher, more traditional SATA application speed, or the I-Nozzle for a slightly slower, more controlled application. Now, whichever spray pattern you choose, if you change between nozzle sizes, the fan size and shape remain the same – the painter doesn’t need to adjust. “With the X-Nozzle System on the SATAjet X 5500, you have a range to suit the different paint manufacturers and can also choose your nozzle setup based on your climatic conditions. For example, if application is too dry and you moved to a bigger nozzle size, the X-Nozzle System will give you exactly what you need (more paint material flow in linear steps) and nothing that you don’t (the fan shape and size will be exactly the same). Painters get amazing flexibility without the surprises when changing the nozzle setup,” said Kuebler.

To help you choose what is best for you, SATA developed the SATA Nozzle Finder free app, available from Google Play or the App Store. Using information such as your brand of spray gun, the type of paint system, and even climatic conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.), the SATA Nozzle Finder can recommend an X-Nozzle best suited to you. “To give the SATAjet X 5500 a try, speak with your PPG or Protec Territory Manager who has access to trial SATAjet X 5500s and a full set of nozzles. SATA is a great value proposition and if someone tries a SATA gun, they will see and feel the difference and they will like it. It’s the same right around the world,” concluded Kuebler.

Quickline system offers the following significant benefits: • Larger internal pipe section and unique internal coating that allows greater airflow and minimises pressure drop compared to alternative piping systems. • Corrosion free. • Unaffected by UV exposure. • Excellent fire resistance. • It's 75 percent faster to install compared to alternative pipe systems. • The system is highly flexible and allows for easy additions and modifications. • Up to 30 percent more efficient than non-aluminium pipe systems. The Quickline system is designed and manufactured according to company quality standard UNI EN ISO 9001 and is certified by the German TÜV Institute.

Pilot Air and its distributors offer a 10-year warranty on Quickline and have experience installing thousands of metres of Quickline piping. For more information on the Quickline system, contact Pilot Air on 1300 667 579, email or visit

Quickline from Pilot Air For a high-quality compressed air delivery system Good quality air from an air compressor is vital for optimal efficiency and productivity. However, poor quality air may not be the fault of the compressor. Instead, it may be due to the design and nature of the compressed air delivery system. The Quickline Aluminium Piping System from Pilot Air, is the latest in compressed air distribution piping technology and offers compressed air distribution solutions and applications for systems of all kinds and sizes, from the small workshop to large manufacturing complexes. Quickline was developed to ensure durability, efficiency and energy savings and was designed and manufactured in Europe. The

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Profile for The National Collision Repairer

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The National Collision Repairer June 2019

Jun 2019  

The National Collision Repairer June 2019