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May 2018



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

Tradiebot Industries leads the way with robotic 3D printing Fix Auto World’s David Lingham discusses their future plans Barry Edney gives us an insight into the UK collision industry

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Internationalinput and the strength of our local talent At the beginning of this year, I highlighted that, with the demise of the local car manufacturing industry, we will inevitably be drawn to the global technology that is now driving our automotive industry. I have also mentioned in previous editorials that technology means different things to different people and it depends on your background, experience, and even your frame of reference. That being said, let us never forget that it is the human touch that is behind these technological advancements and without the initiative, ingenuity and pursuit of excellence of some very smart and driven people we would not be where we are today. Whilst most of the innovation being built into cars today is, obviously, now coming from beyond our shores, there is still a great deal of talent within our borders which, in many cases, is at the cutting edge of development. In this issue we unashamedly have a strong international flavour with contributions from Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. However, there is still a great deal of local content that only goes to reinforce the strength of our home-grown talent, from local technicians, training providers,

researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Our local industry is awash with talent. David Lingham, Head of Business, Fix Auto World shares his perspective of the local industry and views the future with great optimism. David also discusses the integration of Novus Glass and Fix Auto’s plans for both Australia and New Zealand and across the region. See the interview on page 14. Following the overview of the German market late last year, Barry Edney, Director of global consulting firm Integrated Commercial Excellence, returns on page 26 with a comparison of the collision repair markets in the United Kingdom and Australasia. And, speaking of Germany, on page 36 we go behind the scenes of Mercedes-Benz’s "Factory 56", which they claim is the most modern car production facility in the world and very much the way of the future. In the second “Future Technology” column, we meet one of our industry’s true innovators in Mario Dimovski, CEO of Tradiebot Industries, who is leading the way in Industry 4.0 with a recently launched collaborative project with Swinburne University and the IMCRC. Find out what this is all about on page 18.


We formally induct Maxine Colligan as a Future Leaders of the Industry at the IAG Research Centre on page 34, Mark Czvitkovits reports on the NZ CRA conference in Rotorua on page 44, in Custom Corner on page 38 we find out who won the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award at Detroit Autorama and The Car Guy takes us through the first stages of a very personal restoration on page 30. And finally, the National Collision Repairer formally announces the 2018 Industry Symposium, which will be held in Melbourne on Saturday, 4th August. Based on the concepts of mobility, technology and safety, Symposium2018 will be a combination of keynote speakers and interactive panel discussions with representatives from car manufacturers, technology providers, cutting-edge researchers and industry innovators. Watch for more to come on this groundbreaking event. As always, happy to chat.

The National Collision Repairer magazine – Making a difference in our industry


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CollisionRepairer 2018

Contents Latest News

Special Reports

Local news


Global news




We look inside Mercedes-Benz’s "Factory 56" – the world’s most modern car production facility.


Movers and Shakers


Events Update and Training Contacts


Product Showcase



David Lingham, Head of Business, Fix Auto World shares his view of the industry, the integration of Novus Glass and their future plans.

Future Technology

PPG’s John Hristias shares his tips on how to get the best wet-on-wet blend.

Regular Features


We report on the launch of Mario Dimovki’s Tradiebot Industries and the Repair Bot collaborative project with Swinburne University and the IMCRC.

Industry Insight


Barry Edney gives us an insight into the collision repair market in the United Kingdom and compares it to the Australasian markets.

Future Leaders


We induct Maxine Colligan of Gemini Smash, Campbelltown at the IAG Research Centre.

Custom Corner


Owen visits Detroit Autorama as the Ridler award is unveiled.



John discusses the key factors in developing and retaining your team.


Mark shares his view on the NZ CRA Conference in Rotorua.

EDITOR: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333


ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902

Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT: David Newton-Ross 0418 298 572

PRINTED BY: Bright Print 02 9757 3000

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


The first of a two-part series on the custom car restoration process.

I-CAR Update

Summary of the latest products designed for your business.

SUB EDITOR: Joanna Dolan

The Car Guy

PUBLISHED BY: JMF Solutions Pty Ltd PO Box 3183, Dendy, Vic 3186 Australia 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, 452 Victoria Street, North Melbourne, Victoria 3051.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


CAPRICORN FINANCE Access to capital made easy.

“Recently, we were looking to buy a dyno for the workshop. We’d already got approval from the bank, but after we spoke to Capricorn Finance we discovered they could save us thousands in interest alone! Not only that, we got heaps of reward points on the loan. Thanks Capricorn for making the growth of our business possible, and for the friendly and professional manner in which you have supported us.”

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Capricorn Finance products are only available to current Capricorn Members who have been Capricorn Members for more than 12 months. Capricorn Finance offers equipment finance through Capricorn Society Limited. All applications for finance products are subject to Capricorn’s prevailing lending criteria. Terms and conditions apply.

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Industry Symposium 2018 – Mobility, Technology and Safety The National Collision Repairer formally announces the 2018 Industry Symposium, which will be held in Melbourne on Saturday, 4th August. Symposium2018 will be a combination of keynote speakers and interactive panel discussions with representatives from car manufacturers, technology providers, cutting-edge researchers and industry innovators. This is the opportunity to hear from those who are developing and implementing the technological advancements that are finding their way into today’s motor vehicles. However, although the technology is built into the vehicle itself, it is the interaction with the “outside world” that will make the future so much more interesting and challenging. With the ever-increasing congestion on our roads, the ability to move around

Axalta supports regional competitors leading up to Skills Show Australia As Gold Partner of WorldSkills Australia, Axalta Coating Systems will take an active role at the WorldSkills Australia National Championship for automotive refinishing. The competition will be held at Skills Show Australia 2018, a free event from 2–4 June at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Darling Harbour, Sydney. The National Championship is Australia’s largest vocational education competition, pushing competitors to exceed their skills limit to one day represent their country on the international stage. Axalta and WorldSkills Australia share a common goal: to continuously improve the quality of training and educational outcomes for young people who dream of becoming the “best of the best” in their skill, including vehicle refinishing. This goal will be realised at the Skills Show Australia 2018, where each regional

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CollisionRepairer effectively, efficiently and safely will be of primary concern. Find out how the experts will make this happen. Symposium2018 will be moderated by “The Car Guy” – John McCoy-Lancaster – and Joe McFadries and there will be ample time for attendees to exchange views and

network with the presenters and their peers. In addition, there will be displays and information available from the various sponsors and the event will conclude with networking cocktails at the end of the day. For further information on how to be part of this exciting new event, contact Joe McFadries on 0458 588 333 or visit the events page on our website to find the latest updates u/industry-events/

gold medal winner will battle it out for the title of WorldSkills Australia National Champion. The journey for most competitors began in mid-2017 with WorldSkills Australia – in conjunction with Axalta – running regional vehicle painting competitions across Australia. The competitions provided trainee apprentices the opportunity to test their vehicle painting skills against one another and, for the most talented, to progress to the National Championship that will take place at Ultimo TAFE, using Axalta’s premium waterborne range from Standox, Standoblue. “Axalta’s commitment to supporting events that promote outstanding levels of craftsmanship and the industry’s sustainability, could not be more important,” explained Paul Polverino, Axalta Australia’s National Training Manager. “We wish each competitor who has their sights set on winning the National Championship, with the hope of representing Australia in 2019 at the 45th WorldSkills International Competition in Kazan,

Russia, the best of luck.” Axalta will also join forces with TAFENSW providing valuable career advice at the Try’aSkill stand, conveniently located at the Auto Mechanical stand via the ICC’s Hall 1 entrance. Visitors to Skills Show will be able to watch the refinishing competition taking place at Ultimo TAFE live, try out a spray paint simulator and look at the equipment used in refinishing. It will also give attendees a chance to talk directly to industry professionals who will be able to provide information about refinishing and the exciting pathways that careers in this industry can take. For more information on the 2018 Skills Show go to



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Diamond jubilee for “The Refinisher”

Back in 1959, an A5 sized refinish industry-focused magazine made its appearance for the very first time, and 60 years later it is still going strong. PPG’s magazine, “The Refinisher”, has been circulated to collision repair centres across Australia and New Zealand for six decades. During that time it has come to be respected industry wide for its informative content. Flick through one of the early black and white issues and it is clear that the fundamental formula for success was there from the start. Rather than simply showcasing PPG products and support services, The Refinisher’s production team has consistently chosen to include a unique mix of articles designed to inform as well as entertain readers. In particular, the aim has been to keep industry people abreast of any relevant issues and, where necessary, help them prepare for possible changes. Along with regular sections providing information on the latest repair techniques, current training opportunities and any industry safety concerns, there is also the “Feature Panel Shop” where readers can get a “behind the scenes” look at some of the region’s best repairers. Throw in a range of interesting articles from around the automotive industry and the wider community and it is easy to see why each new edition of The Refinisher is still eagerly anticipated! Keep an eye out for Volume 1, Issue 1, 2018, which contains a souvenir retro magazine, as well as a special feature article that looks back over 60 incredible years.

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Capricorn Risk Services provides an independent focus on the value of your property Capricorn, Australasia’s largest automotive cooperative, and their Risk Services division are placing major emphasis on the true value of your property. Startling new research conducted by Capricorn Risk Services amongst its members has revealed that eight out of ten may not carry enough protection to cover the cost of replacing their premises after a major incident. Analysis of more than 500 commercial properties found that just 17 per cent had adequate building protection, meaning that a staggering 83 per cent of Capricorn members may be leaving themselves financially exposed if they need to make a claim. To assist in dealing with this issue of under-protection, Capricorn Risk Services has introduced a completely independent assessment of a building replacement value using an estimator tool that has been developed for Capricorn by global data analytics giant CoreLogic. Capricorn members who protect their building with Capricorn Risk Services will now receive a report generated using the estimator tool with their renewal quote if the calculator indicates they may not be adequately protected. Even if a property is not currently protected through Capricorn Risk Services, a Capricorn member can request an independent review to ensure that they are adequately covered. Capricorn Risk Services Chief Executive Officer Jim Glossat said that using the estimator tool is designed to give business operators peace of mind. “It can be difficult for members to calculate the replacement value of a building, so we’ve invested in a solution that will give them an independent estimate,” he said. “People sometimes forget that while they have an ageing building now, they’ll have to replace it with

a brand-new one. It’s not about what it is worth now; it is all about the replacement value. Members are now in a better position to assess whether they are adequately protected, so they aren’t exposed if something goes wrong,” he added. Mutual protection is provided through Capricorn Risk Services as an alternative to insurance. Having been a part of the Australian automotive aftermarket industry for more than four decades, the team at Capricorn perfectly understand your business and the specialised protections that are required. To this end, Capricorn Risk Services offers you access to protections that are not typically covered by standard commercial insurance policies, including losses from theft of customer vehicles while stored on your premises, damage incurred during road testing and the risk of losses occurring because of faulty workmanship. Capricorn Risk Services also provides access to a full suite of general insurance solutions to provide a one-stop shop for all Capricorn members and other motor trade professionals. To request a quote for protection or insurance through Capricorn Risk Services send an email to:

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Fix Auto’s first franchisee to attain I-CAR Gold Class status is Fix Auto Morley, Western Australia Quality service and keeping up-todate with developments in the industry are essential parts of Fix Auto’s global DNA and I-CAR is providing the Fix Auto network with post qualification skill enhancement, education, training and information that the network sees as invaluable in delivering the best and most consistent service possible. Vehicle technology and safety equipment is advancing so quickly, it is vital that repairers stay at the forefront of the industry, not only with their operations but with their skill and understanding of manufacturers’ standards and requirements. “We are delighted with the achievement of Fix Auto Morley and are very impressed with their commitment to completing the Gold Class Status in just six months,” said Terry Feehan, Head of Business, Fix Auto Australia. Owner of Fix Auto Morley, Travis Arnold, believes that I-Car Gold is an important acknowledgment that represents being an industry leader in commitment to vehicle safety and quality standards. “I-CAR continues to add value to my business and all of our staff through ongoing training. We are very pleased with our decision embrace the I-CAR vision, which is that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” “Fix Auto Morley is now the fifteenth collision business to progress to I-CAR Gold Class in Australia. There will be many more to come,” concluded Feehan.

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Sydney Automotive Paint and Equipment teams up with Audi Australia Sydney Automotive Paint and Equipment (SAPE) regularly shows they are a company on the move, recently aligning with global car manufacturer Audi, who delivered a focused training program to their repairer network. The event was held at the SAPE facility in Sydney and was attended by Audi Australia, Volkswagen Australia, SAPE, I-CAR Australia and representatives of the collision industry media. Gareth Wright, Technical Support Specialist, Audi Australia, kicked off the day with an overview of the luxury car market in recent years that showed that, following a “hiccup” in 2017, Audi Australia is back on track and returning to their long-term growth projections. Audi highlighted that one of the challenges for collision repairers of luxury vehicles is the growing trend towards the use of “mixed materials” in body construction, as more and more steel parts are replaced with aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP). These materials are introduced for a variety of reasons, such as weight reduction, rigidity and ease of manufacture of complex parts. Interestingly, 59% of Audi’s current range has “mixed material on body”, a trend that is likely to continue. Some of the challenges in repairing these materials are selfevident and clearly require a different way of doing things in the workshop. These are well covered in the approved repair procedures. Audi’s own digital workshop manual, Elsa Pro (supported by self-study programs), ensures that all technicians have the latest information. What is less well understood, however, is the workplace health and safety implications of working with these materials. The key areas of focus at the training session were: the generation of fumes and dust, the impact that these have on personal health, and the higher risks involved in the body shop. “To mitigate these risks, Audi is

committed to ensuring our technicians and approved repairers use the right tools, for the right job, in the right way,” said Wright. The initial part of the presentation was focused on fumes, which are a combination of particulate matter (solids) and gases. Wright outlined that when grinding, cutting or welding aluminium body work and/or heating CRFP, the presence of coatings, primers, fillers, sealants and adhesives all generate fumes and when combined, creates what Audi describes as a chemical cocktail that is virtually impossible to predict. Therefore, Audi has mandated the use of a W3 type extraction system and the use of an activated carbon filter, when required, to remove the particulates from the air flow. Mixed-material dust extraction is another matter. The presence of aluminium dust and iron oxide dust (rust) in specific proportions, combined with a 400-degree heat source (say, a piece of weld) can create what is known as a thermite reaction. This is not a fire but an exothermic (heat-generating) chemical reaction that generates temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees and cannot be suppressed. To minimise these risks, Audi has now mandated the use of an approved dust extraction system with an attached spark arrestor, together with an isolated work bay with a pressure relief mechanism, such as a curtain. Sydney Automotive Paint and Equipment Group Operations Manager, Paul McMartin summed up the day: “We are proud to be associated with the Audi group, a premium brand of the world’s largest carmaker. As a major distributor of Audi’s approved body shop equipment, we are well positioned to support the growth of the brand.”

130 YEARS OF SUCCESS. GLASURIT CELEBRATES AN ANNIVERSARY Back in 1888, Max Winkelmann laid the cornerstone for his company that spawned the world’s successful Glasurit automotive refinish brand. Since then, Glasurit has made paint history time and time again by offering groundbreaking ideas for solutions that make it easy for users to achieve first-class results. For 130 years, we have done what it takes to make our customers more successful – a fantastic reason to celebrate together. Please join us as we look forward to celebrating over 130 years of success – and to a whole range of surprises in our anniversary year.

ProFit with Glasurit.


A brand of


Glasurit Automotive Refinish, BASF Australia Ltd, 231-233 Newton Road, Wetherill Park, NSW 2164, Australia Tel: +61 (2) 8787 0100, Fax: +61 (2) 8787 0133,

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A new business boost for Capricorn members – AutoBoost Capricorn members have now gained yet another tool to assist in growing and running their automotive businesses. It is called AutoBoost and is an exclusive new benefit for Capricorn members with a small business and big plans. By simply logging into, Capricorn members can easily access an entire range of time saving business tools to help take their business to the next level. Capricorn members can boost business operations with the use of equipment and building maintenance reports along with a host of time saving forms and checklists such as vehicle accident and inspection report forms. Marketing is made much easier

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with online and print advertising templates available for purchase, along with an SMS customer communications system to make regular contact with customers a simple and highly effective process. Customer service tips and advice can also be accessed to assist members to build stronger long-term relationships with customers to keep them coming back. One of the biggest drains on office time management for any small business is employee management. Capricorn’s AutoBoost online business portal includes a range of tools covering everything from new employee recruitment to rostering. According to Capricorn Group CEO Greg Wall, “The new AutoBoost business asset combines many effective tools to assist automotive businesses in Australia and New

Zealand to save precious time and resources to run their businesses more efficiently. While all workshops may not need to use all of the tools that Capricorn’s AutoBoost online resource offers, there is definitely a tool to help every workshop to achieve their goals.” For those Capricorn members seeking to gain an even greater boost to grow their businesses, they can also subscribe to Teamly, an online service that includes even more team management tools to help further streamline their business. This includes access to policy and procedure templates, an incident register, an online leave request system and much more. Being a part of Australasia’s largest automotive cooperative is full of benefits to make it easier for you to run your business and be rewarded simply for doing what you do every day. For more information about joining Capricorn visit or call 1800 327 437 in Australia or 0800 401 444 in New Zealand.

Blackstone pays $508m for AMA Group's collision repair business AMA will sell its collision repair business to Blackstone via a demerger for $508 million, 10.7 times projected earnings, valuing AMA’s collision repair businesses at 86 cents per share. AMA’s remaining automotive components, vehicle accessories and procurement operations will remain on the ASX as a separate company. The buyout completes a remarkable rise by AMA's executive chairman Ray Malone, who built the company into the biggest player in the industry, with 113 panel beating workshops around Australia. Just eight years ago, AMA had a market capitalisation of $20 million. Mr Malone was the original founder of the Mr Gloss car repair business in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin early in his business career and has been in the collision repair industry for 30 years. Mr Malone said: “The two transactions were the best way of ‘funding two growing but distinct businesses’. This separation will ensure that neither business has its

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prospects limited by the competing demands of the other business." Shareholder approval is required, with the deal undertaken through a scheme of arrangement. Blackstone made an indicative buyout proposal of $530 million in late January for AMA and had been conducting extensive due diligence inside the business over the past few weeks. AMA runs several collision repair brands including Mr Gloss, BMB Prestige Collision Repairs, Shipstone Accident Repair Specialists and Rapid Repair Centre. AMA Group Vehicle Panel Repair CEO, Andrew Hopkins, who will continue as CEO of the Panel Business post-acquisition said: “Over the past two years, we have rapidly grown our vehicle panel repair operations to over 100 sites and in the process fundamentally changed the way the industry engages with its primary customers, the automotive insurance companies, to the ultimate benefit of their customers, the insurance policyholders. Taking the

Ray Malone, AMA Group and Andrew Hopkins, Gemini Accident Repair.

business private will increase our senior management team’s focus and allow us to further improve our cost competitiveness and in the process, strengthen our insurer customer relationships. Throughout the transaction diligence period we have been very impressed by Blackstone’s level of understanding of our business and their willingness to embrace our plans for growing and improving the operations. We are excited about them partnering with us for the next stage of our development.” AMA posted an extensive update of the demerger and reorganisation of the group on their website:


Minutes with ...

Chip Foose Foose Design When did you join the industry? I was born into it! My dad Sam Foose owned a Shop for Customs and Collision Repair What was your first job in the industry? Sweeping the floors at my dad’s shop What do you do now? Everything; design, illustration, fabrication, welding, body work, paint and I still sweep the floors! What do you like about the industry? It’s a lifestyle, not just a career

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3M brings Chip Foose to Meguiars Motorex 2018 After conquering his whirlwind tour of the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Chip Foose is headed back Down Under to represent 3M at Meguiar’s Motorex 2018. Before we reveal our exciting plans, we thought we would provide a recap on the 3M Foose 2017 Tour and his epic journey to Mount Panorama. Chip’s inaugural Bathurst visit was certainly an exciting time for him to experience ‘The Mountain’ and all that it represents to the Australian Motoring enthusiast. It began with an un-scheduled helicopter flight from Sydney due to heavy traffic that had him see his first kangaroos from the air, before appearing on the Foxtel’s Friday Night live show in a drawing competition with Mark Winterbottom. The next morning was an early start with a quick lap around the circuit in a course car followed by introductions to the teams at HSV, Nissan and DJR/Penske with time to meet the fans for autographs and photos, as

What don’t you like about the industry? It can sometimes be expensive to do what you really want to What music do you like? I like all music, but really enjoy Classic Rock Your Favourite Artist? Not any specific one, inspired by all

well as completing some drawings. On race day Chip rode in the prerace parade and was also invited onto the grid to see the cars and drivers before the start of the race. He met touring car legends Allan Moffat and John Bowe and got to hold the muchcoveted Bathurst 1000 trophy. It was a very busy day between watching the event, meeting with fans, being interviewed and the big highlight, presenting the third-place trophy on the podium to Coulthard and D’Alberto of DJR Penske. Meguiar’s Motorex 2018 will be Chip’s fifth visit to Australia and the team at 3M knows he can’t wait to get back and see all that Australia has to offer and experience our unique designs and custom work. The show kicks off on May 26th and Chip will be headed straight to Melbourne where he will be getting upclose-and-personal with automotive enthusiasts and Foose Fans alike! Motorex is the largest and most prestigious car show of its kind in Australia. Each year, the show attracts Australia’s best custom and modified cars, which travel from all over the country to create an amazing visual spectacle of colour, chrome and individual style – making this an ideal event for Foose to attend and support. During his time at Meguiar’s Motorex, Chip will be busy signing autographs for fans and he will also

Your favourite food? Pizza Your favourite drink? Coca Cola Your hobbies? Designing and Building Custom Cars Who in the world would you most like to meet? Ralph Lauren. I am inspired and impressed by his design skills and business success.


Chip Foose with 3M’s Andrew King and Dick and Jill Johnson of DJR Penske.

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delight show goers with multiple drawing sessions. These will all be filmed and displayed on the big screens around the show so that everyone attending can watch in amazement as this super talented automotive artist brings his vision to life on paper. The special feature will be Chip’s rendering of the Grand Master on the Sunday. When he’s not busy greeting his fans and wowing us with his artistic flare, Chip will be busy with a broad range of other activities at the show, including being involved with the Real Street Car Stage Presentation, having breakfast with a select group of TAFE

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students and attending the highly sought-after SEMA function. The 3M stand at Meguiar’s Motorex will be jam-packed full of exciting stuff throughout the weekend, including a special one-on-one interview between Australian actor, voice artist, author and television personality Andrew Daddo and the team from Resto-My-Ride who are keen to chat to Foose about Australian car building and restoration. The 3M team will have a range of products on display at the show, both on the stand and throughout the multiple live demonstrations in the

Lowbake booth. Feature products include 3M PPS P2.0 Paint Preparation System, 3M Accuspray ONE Spray Gun and 3M Cubitron II cutting and grinding products. There’s going to be loads of posters available for Chip to sign as well as many other giveaways, so make sure you visit the 3M stand at Meguiar’s Motorex to learn all about the latest technology and innovation that 3M has to offer you and for your chance to meet the legend himself, Chip Foose. Meguiar’s Motorex will be held at Melbourne Showgrounds on 26th and 27th May. For more information, please contact 3M on 136 136.

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NCR: Would you tell us a bit about who you are and where you’ve come from? DL: I’ve been in collision repair since 1989, worked for a paint company followed by some time in distribution in the UK. I set up my own business and was involved in the IBIS events, did a lot of training, coaching and ran seminars for various people around the world before being approached by Fix Auto to help them open up new countries. The role was expanded to a global role looking after Fix Auto World and NOVUS Glass, the recently acquired windscreen repair and replacement business. NCR: So, you were the driving force behind Fix Auto’s arrival in Australia? DL: I don’t know about being the driving force, but I started the initial investigation with a bit of help from my friends. When Steve Leal said he wanted to go into other countries I knew from my experience in Australia that it was a market worthy of investigation, and the more I spoke to body shops, the media and insurers, the more I realised it was a real opportunity for something a bit different, something that looked after the interests of the independent repairers who may be a bit uncertain about their future with the trend in consolidation. NCR: So, what was it that attracted you to Fix Auto? DL: Firstly, I needed a bit of a change as I had run my own business for 14 years. I knew of the Fix Auto model

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as I had recruited their first ever employee in the UK and had facilitated Fix Auto conferences in Canada and the US. But with Steve Leal buying the company and injecting a huge amount of passion and enthusiasm, as I approach the latter years in my career I thought that this would be fun, and the opportunity and the timing were just right. Building a global business and a global team is a huge challenge, but with hard work we will create something in which the market will be very interested. NCR: Has it really been fun and what have been the real highlights? DL: Absolutely – I surround myself with very talented and enthusiastic people and we have grown from five countries to ten countries in three years. Getting the right team is the key. I like to mix it up a bit so that we have different perspectives and we challenge each other to ensure we create the best outcomes for the business. Of course, with a growing team it helps as new talent comes in and my own team has grown from three to 13 people in only 18 months. We have a regional focus: two years ago in this region (Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand) we had nothing. We now have six businesses, 320 franchisees, a team of staff and a head office in Brisbane. The six businesses are: Fix Auto China, Fix Auto Australia, Novus Australia, David Lingham

Novus Western Australia, Novus New Zealand and now we have Fix Auto New Zealand, which we presented to the market mid-February. We have agreed terms with our master franchisee, who happens to be the same team behind Novus New Zealand, and we are increasingly bringing the Fix Auto and the Novus brands together to provide a one-stop solution for consumers, fleets and insurers. NCR: You mention insurers – how do you address the perennial question that Fix Auto cannot provide work, so “what’s in it for me?” DL: Let me give you an analogy.

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Imagine we have a cake and there is icing on this cake. Our cake is that we can offer better operating efficiencies, better throughput, greater profits, a vision for the future through market planning, business planning, succession planning, exit strategy – all these things. This is our cake and the icing on the cake is the work. Having the icing before the cake makes no sense. We have always delivered work in every other country and in some countries, South Africa for example, the insurers are helping us drive the membership of the network because they believe in the Fix Auto model of trust and transparency. In this region the focus has been to deliver to our network the operating model, systems and resources and to build relationships with great suppliers. I have no doubt we will also deliver the icing on the cake. NCR: How has the market responded to your rapid growth in Australia? DL: We are very pleased with what we have achieved so far. Of course we would like more, but the team headed up by Terry Feehan is doing a cracking job attracting interest with all stakeholders. Terry is going to get more support locally, more senior management support, and we are capitalising on the Novus link, which has taken the conversations to a new level. We see both brands benefitting from this approach. NCR: You say you want more – can you quantify your ambitions in Australia? DL: Our ambition over the next three to five years is to have 150 to 200 body shops in the network. Now, we won’t do this one at a time, we will be looking to accelerate the growth rate. I


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Fix Auto’s first I-CAR Gold franchise.

think some of the changes in the market place will bring some of this to us, as alternative solutions for independent repairers have not been available, which has led to a situation where many have needlessly sold or needlessly closed. So, for businesses that want to embrace change, we believe we are a great option for them. NCR: Sounds like Fix Auto will be an active participant in the consolidation process? DL: Yes, very much so. We will accelerate consolidation now that there is a different model available. Now, each model has its place, but for an independent repairer who is looking for a strong future, Fix Auto can offer something unique – retain ownership of their business, provide a future for their family and create a long-term business for the next generation. This is particularly important in Australia where the car is a vital part of our everyday life, which is reflected in the car ownership density of 70 percent in Australia and 100 percent in New Zealand. However, notwithstanding the collision avoidance technology being engineered into the cars of today, cars will continue to hit each other for some time to come. NCR: What are the key challenges for Fix Auto in this changing environment? DL: A key challenge is for the independent body shop owner to recognise that they must do something, although currently there just isn’t a high enough level of trust and transparency. Recently I was leading a discussion on KPIs and it was suggested that we need a KPI for trust. The Fix Auto

model can provide such a KPI by removing the friction between collision repairers and insurers and being very transparent. We have extensive experience building a consumer brand which, for a business owner who wants a strong future and is willing to take advice, really creates a trust-based model in their local community. In turn, this provides a source of comfort to the car owner and the insurer. This is best exemplified by the result of a survey in the UK that, when asked for one word that describes what Fix Auto means to them, 60 percent said “family”. For us, this illustrates how we look after each other when the chips are down – you do not have to do this on your own, you are part of something much bigger. NCR: How has the acquisition of Novus impacted the business? DL: The first thing is that people have really taken notice. We now have a head office in Brisbane, the staff are getting involved in both brands, we are building a team to support Terry and the franchisees will begin to see other opportunities and another source of income as they support and interact with each other. For us, Novus is a fantastic fit for the Fix Auto model.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 5

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NCR: And how will this sit with the car manufacturers’ push for genuine parts? DL: The first thing to note is that Novus founded windscreen repair, as distinct from replace, and we now train our body shop technicians to repair the windscreen and the result is better quality than others in the market and it saves the windscreen. The advent of ADAS has driven windscreen technology to new heights and the repair model means that we are not involved in the recalibration process. NCR: And the structural nature of a windscreen? DL: We would never get involved in anything that compromised safety and there are some windscreens that we will just not repair. However, we believe there are many windscreens that are replaced unnecessarily given the capabilities of the Novus system and the benefits to our entire business. Not surprisingly, there is great interest from the insurers. NCR: Looking ahead, what changes do you see taking place in the industry?


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DL: I’d like to think that as an industry we become a career choice for young people. We have been good at positioning the industry as a vocation, but not so good at marketing the career prospects. This is a “must do” scenario, otherwise the talent really will dry up. Leadership is critical in achieving this goal and under our model, as we have done in other countries, we have senior management programs to turn franchisees into true leaders of the industry. In addition, we must address the challenge of teaching mentoring skills to really motivate the younger generation. Poor mentoring has been a key driver of the high attrition rate of apprentices across the globe. Those that do it well base their mentoring on trust. As Fix Auto unfolds, training our people how to mentor our future leaders is a key part of our value proposition. NCR: How would you sum up Fix Auto’s position and capacity to meet the challenges of the changing industry? DL: We have an amazing resource in

a great financial partner so, providing we invest wisely, there will be no limits to what we can achieve. We will continue to recruit talented, enthusiastic and passionate people who will take a business that has gone from a nobody to a real somebody in only two years, and the next steps will be even bigger. The reality is that we simply cannot fail – there is just too much at stake. Terry and the team intend to bring new life to family-owned businesses. To wrap up, let me paraphrase Steve Leal: when Hernan Cortes arrived in The New World in the sixteenth century he ordered the burning of the ships as a motivator, leaving no way back. For us it’s the same – success is the only option. Editor: It is clear that David and his team have big plans for Fix Auto and intend to play a major role in changing collision repair landscape. As a global leader, it is tremendous to see the optimism that David has for the future of the industry in Australia and New Zealand.

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Tradiebot Industries is part of the Industry 4.0 revolution, providing automated repair solutions and new skills for the automotive collision industry. It grew from the perfect storm of rapid technological advancement, a burning platform for change in our sector, and a specialist with a passion to play a part in helping the industry to transform rather than wait for disruption to hit. Tradiebot founder and managing director, Mario Dimovski, entered the industry as a 16-year-old plastics repair apprentice at the time when plastic was replacing chrome on bumper bars. At that time, he was one of just a handful of technicians who were having to reinvent their trade and create new processes and new methods to deal

The Tradiebot Team.


with the introduction of plastic bumpers. Thirty years on, Dimovski has led the way in revolutionising methods, inventing new tools, skills and techniques of plastic repairs, and ultimately, in the last two years, creating the industry-leading plastics repair services business, Plastfix, which has set a new benchmark in the way bumper bars are repaired across the world. Dimovski has always explored new ways to improve the efficiency of workshop operations. He had experimented with a 3D printer and several scanners in headlight repair and spare part construction. At the same time, he was developing techniques to repair plastic components such as bumper bars. The opportunity for Plastfix presented itself and so the idea

of 3D printing components (and solving problems like material compatibility, “securability” and alignment to OEM and industry requirements) took a back seat. “As time has gone on, I have gained a greater appreciation of the various mechanisms and technologies that have had to be combined to bring to life the solution I had envisioned – to make a real difference in the automotive repair industry – and perhaps many other sectors as well,” said Dimovski. The catalyst for the Tradiebot Repair Bot solution was the need to innovate current repair processes on plastic components. With the fantastic new technologies and automated systems that have moved from the world of science-fiction and into the reality of Industry 4.0, Tradiebot Industries is seeking to help the sector transform with the least amount of pain to shop owners. The solution will also have a flow-on environmental benefit as it will reduce the number of headlights and other plastic components that are sent to landfill because they’re designated nonrepairable due to lugs/brackets that are missing, or the repair needed is far too complex for a human technician. Industry 4.0 is seeing new technology application every day, including robotics, artificial intelligence, scanning, 3D printing, virtual reality and augmented reality. Tradiebot Industries was launched to bring these technologies to the collision repair industry. Our industry needs to work smarter,

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Minutes with ...

Repair Bot Project.

faster and be more agile to accommodate the rapid changes in market demand and Tradiebot is developing technology to help businesses adapt, comply, assess, repair and rebuild. The systems bring knowledge and skills transfer whilst developing an ever-expanding catalogue of data intelligence to be used for various applications across the automotive repair industry. Tradiebot Industries is applying these technologies to benefit everyone in the sector. “At Tradiebot we are both a pioneer and a fast follower. With an evolving technology platform, we will become the definition of innovation, pushing the boundaries and continuing to learn as we partner with some of the world’s leading innovators in Industry 4.0,” said Dimovski. A collaboration of industry, research university and government innovation, the Repair Bot project is looking to expand its partnership to suppliers, industry associations and end users. In particular, the project is looking to work with OEMs to best determine how the Tradiebot Repair Bot solution can fit into their future supply chain and logistics solutions whilst exploring digital parts supply and creating a new source of revenue. Tradiebot Industries is currently working on several automated “Repair & Prepare” solutions for the automotive industry. In partnership with some of the leading universities, industry leaders and professionals from around the world, the aim is to revolutionise future processes and create future

Mats Isaksson Swinburne University of Technology When did you join the industry? I joined ABB Robotics in Sweden in 1997 What was your first job in the industry? Our newly started Tradiebot project is my first project with partners from the collision repair industry

Mario Dimovski.

skills. The ultimate goal is to be the Australian, if not the global, leader working with OEMs and automotive repair centres, applying Industry 4.0 technologies to the automotive industry and assisting with the changes this will bring by upskilling the current workforce, developing new skills and enhancing career opportunities. “As a business, and as an industry, we need to re-invent ourselves. We need to adapt and, at times, take the lead by backing our visions and our capabilities. Tradiebot Industries and its project partners are leading by example with more than $1.2 million directed at the Repair Bot project alone, and a further $2 million planned for other projects under development.” Editor: The launch was attended by a broad cross-section of the industry and, if the level of interest is anything to go by, we will certainly be hearing a whole lot more from Tradiebot Industries, the Repair Bot project and the technology and industry partners.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 9

What do you do now? Senior Research Fellow at Swinburne University working on collision repair robots and several other robotics projects, including surgical robots and agricultural robots. What do you like about the industry? The potential of introducing high-tech tools making Australian companies leaders in the field What don’t you like about the industry? The cost of repairing my car What music do you like? Contemporary music Your Favourite Artist? Leonardo da Vinci Your favourite food? Japanese Your favourite drink? Beer Your hobbies? Travelling, camping and sports Who in the world would you most like to meet? My dad who recently passed away


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BASF’s awardwinning coating technology improves energy efficiency of vehicles The iF Design Award jury was impressed by BASF’s new passive temperature management paint formulation. The functional properties of today’s paints support modern mobility in a number of ways including reducing temperature rise inside vehicles. BASF’s Coatings division has won the internationally coveted iF Design Award in the category “Automobiles/Vehicles” for its functional paint technology for passive temperature management. The jury of the iF Design Award honoured the specific properties of the paint system and its design potential for mobility of the future – a successful combination of functionality and design. The prize was presented during the iF Design Award Night at “BMW Welt” in Munich. The functionality of paints is playing an increasingly important role in the field of automotive OEM coatings. Due to a special formulation, the new temperature management

Harry Dhanjal joins Fix Auto World as Global Strategic Developer David Lingham, Head of Business for Fix Auto World recently announced the appointment of Harry Dhanjal to the role of global strategic developer, effective April 3, 2018. Dhanjal is a seasoned industry professional with a lifelong passion for all things automotive. From his career beginnings as a painter in his family’s collision repair shop in the United Kingdom, he went on to large OE manufacturers BMW and Mercedes Benz. He then moved to Canada for a few years where he continued to hone his skills and developed a working relationship with BASF Automotive Solutions Group, who hired him as technical

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system from BASF not only provides protection and creates a high-level finish for vehicles; it also ensures additional comfort and greater efficiency. The paint system utilises a basecoat, which is transparent to high-energy near infrared (NIR) radiation, and an NIR reflecting filler. In this combination, the paint reduces the vehicle surface temperature by up to 20°C on hot summer days, which has a positive effect on the temperature inside the vehicle. This means the air conditioning system is used less to control the temperature in the car. “Factors such as A/C regulation have a major impact on the range of a vehicle, particularly in the field of electro mobility. Our technology reduces energy

consumption and thus optimises the vehicle’s efficiency,” explained Stephan Schwarte, head of Pigments, Dispersions & Innovative Colours EMEA at BASF. In addition to the functionality, the jury of the iF Design Award was also won over by the design potential of the paint technology. “Colours and special effects offer carmakers the opportunity to accentuate the shape of the vehicle and to give the model its unique character. Our temperature management system covers a wide colour spectrum that incorporates both light and dark colours – without compromising product quality,” said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Colour Design EMEA at BASF.

field representative soon after. This was the start of a 24 year journey with BASF for Dhanjal, 16 of which were spent serving the company at senior leadership level in North America. Dhanjal’s experience spans a wide array of roles including: business development, regional manager, national sales manager, OEM business, Canadian business manager for the automotive refinish division, North American insurance and industry relations manager and, most recently, global key accounts and industry relations manager. In his new role as global strategic developer, Dhanjal will be responsible for identifying key markets and growth opportunities for Fix Auto and NOVUS Glass, with a special focus on India and the Middle East. In addition to his regional development responsibilities, Dhanjal will be working with OEMs globally to build relationships and assess

opportunities. “I feel as though my new role was created specifically for me, as it completely fits my experience and skillset,” said Dhanjal. "Over time, I’ve observed [Fix Auto World president] Steve Leal’s global vision for a fully integrated automotive aftermarket solution – this was an important driver for me, and when the opportunity came, I knew it was the right time to take the next step and get on board." David Lingham concluded: “We see vast potential for both Fix Auto and NOVUS Glass in the Middle East and India, and we sought out an industry professional with the knowledge and experience to develop the connections required to make this potential a reality. We are pleased to welcome Harry to our aftermarket services family and look forward to his help expanding our brands in new territories.”

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PPG and Williams Martini Racing celebrate 15-year partnership As Melbourne played host to the opening round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship, it marked another milestone as Williams Martini Racing and PPG commence their fifteenth year as successful partners. Keeping a car looking at its best as it is bombarded by track debris at speeds over 320kph is vital in a sport with millions of viewers and, as Williams’ official paint supplier, PPG has perfected a durable, high definition finish to suit. In a sport where fractions of a second matter, using a traditional paint process adds excess weight that can dramatically impact performance. In contrast, PPG’s specialised paint system overcomes this downside by eliminating the need for an additional lacquer coat, thus allowing Williams to reduce weight

50th Anniversary Roberlo, a family-run company specialising in the development and manufacture of paint and repair solutions and located near Barcelona, Spain, is a group that involves four manufacturing plants and fourteen different commercial subsidiaries. 2018 will be a very special year for everyone associated with Roberlo, either as a worker, distributor or end user of their products, as this is the year that marks 50 years in business. As is the case for most companies, the early years were modest but filled with excitement. At that time, the driving force behind Roberlo was the passion of the founder, Llorenç Juher. Achieving this goal required many hours of hard work to overcome all the obstacles that small companies encounter. The key to overcoming all the challenges was obstinate tenacity and a team of people who shared this vision. As Albert Juher, Roberlo’s Marketing Manager and part of the family’s third generation involved in the company, said: “It was undoubtedly difficult to imagine,

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added during the paint process by a remarkable 48 percent. Thirty-six different combinations were tested to find the perfect formula and individual panels are weighed before and after the coating process to ensure they do not exceed their target weight. “We are proud of our longstanding association with Williams Martini Racing and delighted to be marking this special milestone with them in 2018,” says Patricia Phountoucos, EMEA Communications and Branding Manager at PPG Refinish. “The world of Formula One racing is the ideal place for us to showcase our advanced coatings

technology, alongside our commitment to solving our customers’ challenges.” PPG’s advice and contribution to the paint and coatings applied to Williams’ Formula One cars is highly regarded and more important than ever before, said Paddy Lowe, Williams Chief Technical Officer. “We are constantly striving to save weight, and it has been a focus in the development of the FW41, so PPG’s assistance and innovation in this area is of significant value to us. The opportunity to produce faster lap times is increased with the amount of weight we save in the application of our paint. We also think it is the best-looking car on the grid!”

in the seventies, that Roberlo would become an international group of companies operating in different sectors, with a presence all around the world, and with more than 550 employees. An incalculable amount of optimism would have been required to imagine such a successful future.” There have been a great many people who have played important roles throughout Roberlo’s history and who have meant so much for this organisation. It is extraordinary to find people who have been connected to the project from the very start, and who today remain committed to the organisation 50 years on. One of Roberlo’s underlying principles is to find and keep the most committed professionals. Whilst we should always remember the early years and not forget where we came from, if there is one thing that characterises Roberlo, it is that it’s always looking towards the future and that everyone who collaborates at Roberlo shares the same values: proactivity, dynamism and passion in everything they do. 2018 is the year that all of us

will look back fondly as the year that marked 50 years of Roberlo’s activity. It will be a very symbolic year and one that is filled with emotion. The Roberlo range of products in Australia is sold exclusively by Le’Mix Pty Ltd. “We are so happy with our relationship with Le’Mix. We share the same values and we know that Le’Mix conveys these perfectly to our customers,” said Albert Juher. “Le’Mix has everything we need to be successful in this market: extensive product knowledge, dynamism to find new opportunities and a real passion for excellence. We are so confident we have a great future in Australia, and we are excited to continue to introduce our products into the Australian market together with Le’Mix,” concluded Mr Juher.

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AkzoNobel to sell Specialty Chemicals to The Carlyle Group and GIC for €10.1 billion AkzoNobel has announced the sale of 100% of its Specialty Chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC for an enterprise value of €10.1 billion. This transaction creates two focused and high performing businesses – Paints and Coatings, and Specialty Chemicals – as part of its strategy announced in April 2017. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2018. AkzoNobel’s board of management and the supervisory board concluded that a private sale to The Carlyle Group and GIC is in the best interests of AkzoNobel, Specialty Chemicals and its respective stakeholders, including employees, shareholders and customers. This is

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the outcome of a thorough dual-track process during which the boards of AkzoNobel carefully considered both a legal demerger and a private sale. The Carlyle Group has a global presence and the financial capacity to enable the Specialty Chemicals business to achieve its full potential. Carlyle has extensive experience investing in chemicals, unlocking longterm potential and creating value in its portfolio companies. As a responsible investor, Carlyle is focused on driving growth, job creation and long-term financial success. The firm also has a strong focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects and building positive working relationships with wider stakeholders (employees, unions and local communities). When making the announcement, Thierry Vanlancker, CEO AkzoNobel, said: "Today is a key milestone in creating two focused, high performing businesses to generate value for all

stakeholders. We have delivered on our commitment to separate the Specialty Chemicals business and did so ahead of schedule. We are very pleased to announce the sale of Specialty Chemicals to The Carlyle Group and GIC.” Martin Sumner and Zeina Bain, Managing Directors at The Carlyle Group, added: "We are pleased to invest in the Specialty Chemicals business and proud to support a business with such a strong heritage. We are committed to growing the business, and building upon its innovation capability, high quality work force and asset base, as well as its world-class sustainability and environmental practices. We look forward to working with the management team to transition the business to a successful independent company." The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including the relevant regulatory approvals and consultation with the relevant employee representative bodies.

die globally each year as a result of road traffic accidents, and another 50 million people are injured on the world’s roads. A disproportionate 93% of all road fatalities occur in low and middleincome countries, which have only slightly more than half of the world’s vehicles. As the world’s population grows, particularly in emerging economies, challenges like road safety and mobility must be addressed to ensure people across the globe can lead safe, healthy, and prosperous lives. The Fund will support concrete actions aligned with the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety: 1. Strengthened road safety

management capacities 2. Improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks 3. Enhanced safety of vehicles 4. Improved behaviour of road users 5. Improved post-crash care By working with leading global organisations, including the United Nations, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, and the International Road Federation, 3M hopes to improve road safety and realise zero fatalities through the deployment of advanced technologies. This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek:

3M contributes $US250,000 to road safety initiative 3M has pledged support as a founding donor to a newly established United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund. The company committed $US250,000 to the UN Road Safety Trust Fund, which aims to accelerate progress in improving global road safety by bridging the gaps in the mobilisation of resources for effective action at all levels. “With 3M’s nearly 80-year history of contributing to safer roads, we know that it takes all stakeholders working together to address issues surrounding transportation and mobility, and to drive real and lasting improvement,” said John Riccardi, vice president, 3M Transportation Safety Division. “Together, with the combined and collaborative efforts of government agencies, safety associations and advocacy groups around the world, we strive to reduce traffic fatalities globally and help save lives.” According to the World Health Organization, about 1.3 million people

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Following my review of the German collision repair industry in October last year, I recently turned my attention to the UK and was struck by the similarities with the collision repair markets in Australia and New Zealand, in particular the insurance industry behaviours and operating models and the challenges faced by the repairers. Like Australia and New Zealand, the UK has been facing major changes to the industry landscape over the last twenty or so years, and the market has a high percentage of directed repair through insurer network contracts. These networks typically use a combination of high volume, high efficiency, process-driven body shops with a few smaller body shops to fill any network gaps or to meet peaks in demand. The number of repair facilities has reduced significantly in the last twenty years and, much like other markets, average repair costs consistently fell for quite a while. This is changing with the most recent information from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reporting an increase in average repair costs of 33% over the last four years, with the most recent figure (August 2017) of £1,770 (A$3,260). This increase in average repair cost is being driven mainly by the increasing complexity and technology now incorporated into vehicles and the resulting parts and labour costs. Estimates put the decline in body


Typical OEM Body Shop.

shop numbers between twenty and thirty percent over the last ten or so years, with the number of body shops in the market by 2020 expected to be between 3,200 to 3,600. The UK vehicle population has also been growing quite significantly in recent years and the latest numbers from September 2017 show 31.3 million cars and vans on UK roads. This is more than double the 14 million cars registered in Australia. This disparity in terms of market capacity can partly be explained by the population concentrations in such a geographically small country and shop size/capacity differences. The average repair size will have an effect as well, but with more than double the vehicles and a similar number of body

shops, efficiency and output must also be considered. One of the most obvious differences between the UK and Australian collision repair markets is the amount of OEM body shops that are fully active in the industry. A 2010 McKinsey market analysis reported that the split was 34/66 in favour of independents with an expectation that that would change to 30/70 by 2020. More recent data is not available, but it is thought that increasing complexity and technology within vehicles and the car manufacturers attempt to take or retain control of repairs to these complex systems may slow or halt this shift to independent repairers. A feature of the market that is relatively new in Australia but

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Not uncommon in the UK.

Can be a tight squeeze.

commonplace in the UK is the car manufacturers’ approved repairer networks. These have been around in the UK for quite some time. I recall working with colleagues at what was then ICI Autocolor on the Vauxhall (GM) and Nissan programs back in the late eighties and early nineties. Now almost all the manufacturers operating in the UK have an approved repair program. As well as linking to the manufacturers’ various “Certified Used” programs, the approved repairers are committed to using genuine parts and recommended repair processes and equipment. As the car manufacturers have been significant players in the market for so long, the motivation here is clear – to influence the use of parts and repair techniques, even though the vehicle is not being repaired at a dealership. We see this competitive activity in many parts of the world but usually it is

Conditions can be challenging.

competition between independent repairers and dealership repairers. There is strong competition between the manufacturers’ focus on repair techniques and the use of genuine parts, and the insurers’ focus on lowest cost of repair. This, I believe, can help independent repairers focus on quality and value rather than just the price of the repair. Many of the insurance company initiatives that we see in Australia were pioneered in the UK. Direct Line insurance began the concept of company-owned “Super Shops” in the early nineties, originally to help them really understand the true cost of repairs, but also to find ways to improve processes and drive efficiencies out into the wider repair industry. This model, later replicated by IAG with their Accident Repair Centres in Melbourne, was the beginning of the major overhaul to the insurers’

approach to the repair market all over the world. UK insurance companies also initiated the claims handling and direction of repairs to their preferred body shops in exchange for preagreed contract pricing, and this practice is also now seen in many parts of the world. The degree to which this is implemented is strongest in the UK and Australia, with the UK having a higher percentage of directed repairs. Despite the market and currency differences, insurance premiums are similar. According to ABI, the average fully comprehensive policy in the UK is £493 (A$908) compared to the average in Australia of A$1,027 (£557) reported on the comparison website (the Insurance Council of Australia does not publish this information). The ABI also reports that the biggest influence on premiums is personal injury claims, which are declining far slower than

The National Collision Repairer – 2 7

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National Online Database of UK Accident Repair Centres

accident rates and accident severity, although the rising average repair cost will also influence premiums if it continues to rise. Repairs completed by “B” and “C” shops have grown slightly as insurers use a smaller number of “A” shops for directed work and more repairs (one to two percent) falling under the “excess” limit, prompting some growth in driver-paid repairs. This in turn has created an opportunity for new, midpriced, refinish paint brands as these repairers are able to use their brand of choice. The global paint brands are generally locked into contracts with insurers, accident management companies or car manufacturers. A specific feature of the UK market that I have not come across anywhere else in the world in such scale is the contracts between paint companies and insurers. These agreements specify which brand of refinish paint is to be used to repair a car on behalf of the insurer or accident management company. There are five major insurance groups, controlling around 45 percent of policies, who try to repair all vehicles in

their network. Three of these and a further four accident management companies all specify a paint brand. It is quite common for a repairer with multiple insurance agreements to have three paint mixing systems along with the necessary clears, primers and hardeners just to meet the contractual obligations of the insurers or accident management company. One can only imagine the impact that this has on the collision repairer. A key industry activity that we see globally, but predominately in North America, Australia and the UK, is the consolidation of body shops into significant networks. While the trend for body shop consolidation in the UK has slowed in recent years, there has been considerable consolidation of independent parts and refinish paint distribution over the last five years and this continues on a smaller scale. With LKQ’s acquisition of European Car Parts, other smaller parts outlets and several refinish distributors, they have become a major industry supplier. Together with a growing paint distribution organisation called Trade Group, it is estimated that

they distribute almost 50 percent of all refinish paint products sold in the UK market and a high percentage of the significant, and growing, non-genuine parts used in collision repair. UK repairers are facing very similar challenges to those faced by the German repairers about whom I wrote in October 2017: specialist repair skills to deal with the increasing amount of complex technology found in modern vehicles and the correct up to date information to support this. As in Australia, there is a skills shortage with fewer apprentices joining the industry and the opportunities to upskill existing staff on the new technologies is a constant challenge. One common theme that we see is that, as service intervals become longer and dealer visits decline, together with a need to combat the growing threat from lost sales to nongenuine parts, programs such as dealer-based body shops and approved repair programs are becoming increasingly essential to retain driver loyalty. These changes will continue to have implications for the truly independent repairer. If you would like to comment on this article or if you have a question, please visit the ICE™ blog and join the conversation. Barry Edney is a founder of global consulting firm, Integrated Commercial Excellence and has extensive collision industry experience across Australasia, Asia-Pacific and Europe.


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Restoration The key is in the prep work IN THE FIRST OF THIS TWO-PART SERIES WE TAKE YOU BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE RESTORATION PROCESS AND SPEAK WITH SEVERAL INDUSTRY PRACTITIONERS AND SUPPLIERS WHO SHARE THEIR VIEWS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING AND SURFACE PREPARATION. With the many changes happening across all aspects of this industry, here in Australia we are fortunate to have some of the most highly skilled, passionate and experienced people involved in both collision repair and in the restoration of classic and vintage cars. With a focus on changing technology, here we look at some of the innovations that are being shared across a range of practitioners. There are several directions being taken in collision repair that are all aimed at faster turnaround while maintaining quality. We are seeing that a few of these innovations are of great benefit in the longer-term builds involved in restoration and modification. Nowhere is this more evident than in panel and paint, as these processes have Panel and paint flow chart

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remained virtually unchanged since restorations began over 80 years ago, as outlined in the flow chart. Having the opportunity to speak with some of the leaders in the restoration industry in Australia shows that, although the process has become reasonably standardised, it is often the little things or the specific techniques that they apply that can make or break a high-quality outcome. Working out a plan with the customer to ensure that all aspects of the build are covered (including the budget and their expectations) needs to be discussed at length. Many rebuilds have ended in disaster due to not having a plan, or even a colour choice before work commences. Decisions about the concept of the

vehicle, how it will be used, what types of events the car will be going to, and many other questions should be asked up front to minimise changes through the build and, wherever possible, eliminate additional costs or rework. Chris Pace from Pace’s Automotive Refinishing in Mackay outlined that there are a variety of ways that restorers take a car back to bare metal. “All of them can get you a result, but you have to be careful to treat the metal in specific ways once you get there. This is such an important step as the base of the car will determine how good it looks once it is finished. Soda blasting, for example, can leave a residue on the metal that has to be removed, otherwise nothing sticks to the body and that can lead to catastrophic failure. Paint stripping can also be done by hand, particularly with some of the new products on the market. In this case, you must ensure that you get to all the painted areas and have a clean canvas to work from. This requires a lot of time to get right.” Greg Maskell from Maskell’s Customs and Classics in Shepparton recommends another approach. Maskell uses a chemical dip in Albury, which we have previously featured. “A huge part of making the build costeffective and long-lasting is to ensure all of the paint and protection that has been used before is completely stripped. The only way to ensure a long-term result is to ensure all the rust in the car, or potential for rust, has been removed. This includes seam

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sealers and lead – they all need to be removed.” The Monaro is a prime example and Maskell has found with his many projects (including XBOSS) that this approach ensures the metal is ready to be worked. The Maskell team then use a phosphate coating on the cars so that new rust doesn’t appear, while immediate action is taken for any replacement metal that is required. He also stated that areas such as floors and underbody, once the panel work is completed, should be treated with a very hard and durable paint product. Maskell has used KBS on many of his projects and has found this Australian innovation to be a protector which also mitigates the risk of potential future corrosion and is shown on the floor of the ’57 Chev he is currently working on. We then spoke with Andrew Ash of AA Panelcraft in Bowral, who talked about the process of completing the primer stage with the car. “Once the required repairs or replacement parts are done, the car can be cleaned and readied for the next stage. The best approach is to use the technology that has been constantly developed over the past number of years in the collision industry with the application of an epoxy primer (EP).” Ash highlighted its importance as it adheres to bare metal and allows other products such as primer-filler and paint to bond to it, provides a protective layer between the bare metal and any required body filler and is a corrosion inhibitor. “Technology has improved these products greatly as they are the foundation on which we build, and the chemistry enables a better end-result with improved longevity". He then adds a primer-filler that allows for additional work on the panels and gap alignment prior to colour application and appreciates the opportunity to work the primer and use blocking and sanding tools to best effect. Most of the top-end restoration masters recommend planning the timing of a build. Ash shared his passion about having the appropriate attitude that you must maintain throughout the build. “This may sound obvious, but you have to keep a focus on always aiming to achieve the best


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Monaro bare metal.

'57 Chev Floor in KBS.

Panel Alignment.

The National Collision Repairer – 3 1

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possible result.” There are a lot of people in Australia who aim to have a car win awards at car shows, but it is only a few who regularly win the big awards. It is their ongoing commitment to excellence and the ability to keep that focus that makes the difference. This can also be reflected in planning the entire job: when a car is in metal, when it gets to be finalised and ready for colour and how long it needs to sit in that state to ensure that it is dried out properly. “The panel repairer and paint technician must work closely together and work as a team. This is like a race car driver and an engineer as they both need to communicate to ensure they understand the combined effort required to get the best outcome”. Maskell believes: “It is very important while the car is in the final stages of primer that you know everything fits to the car, and everything works. Take the time here to also ensure that all the panels are straight and fit together the way they need to, and that the panel gaps are set correctly.” He recommends: “Build the car and drive the car before you paint the car. This includes brakes, electrics, fuel lines, bumper bars, glass, and ensure that all the gauges work.” Although this may sound a little strange, how often have we found something needs to be added, or something needs to be changed once the paint work is completed? The risk of hurting or destroying a great paint job can become a sad reality. By taking this step and ensuring the car can run smoothly saves on potential rework and risk of massively increasing the cost – which has all too often been at the expense of the restoration shop. Maskell also likes to paint the top coats in the cooler months: “I like to be in charge of the temperature of the booth rather than the other way around. That can’t happen in summer.” Tony Naughton from PPG added some final reflections based on what he sees across Australia and New Zealand. “Use one system from start to finish. Once you make your purchase, get the datasheet and follow it to the letter. The old adage

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Rust removal.

'57 Chev with colour test panel.

Ready for final prep.

‘measure twice, cut once’ has never been more important and, in this case, read the instructions twice (or even three times) and apply once. There have been many mistakes made because of people not taking the time to prepare themselves to get the best result. Most of the failures that we have seen in relation to paint issues have been because of either mis-used products or trying to match coatings from different suppliers.” It is clear from speaking with these industry experts that

preparation is the key to any restoration. Next month we will look at the changes in paint gun technology as we explore how some of Australia’s restoration experts apply the final coats to their customer projects.

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.

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Future Leaders of the industry THE LATEST FUTURE LEADER PRESENTATION WAS MADE AT THE IAG RESEARCH CENTRE IN SYDNEY TO MAXINE COLLIGAN OF GEMINI SMASH REPAIRS, CAMPBELLTOWN. Troy Johns, Industry Development Manager for IAG, was the MC for the occasion, which was attended by representatives of IAG Insurance, I-CAR Australia, Gemini Smash Repairs, BASF Australia, TAFENSW, the National Collision Repairer and most importantly, Maxine’s mum, Dennice. Following the completion of her Year 12 studies at St Patrick’s College, Maxine spent six months trying to find a job in the industry before she joined Gemini Smash Repairs in Campbelltown in 2016. She is now in the second year of her apprenticeship. Troy spoke about the industry, with a focus on the accelerating rate of change, and referred to the “technological tsunami” in the automotive industry. He reinforced the importance of ongoing training and development. Troy congratulated all of those who have supported Maxine’s

Martin Kolderie and Maxine Colligan.


journey so far, including: Mark Reid of Gemini Smash Repairs, David Handcock of BASF Australia and Carl Tinsley of Campbelltown TAFE, and thanked them for their ongoing support of this very impressive young woman. Martin Kolderie, Motor Assessing, metro south NSW at IAG, said it was great to see that Maxine was really making her way in what is still a maledominated industry. He was particularly impressed that she will be “taking on the boys” at the upcoming WorldSkills Nationals, representing Sydney West, next month. Both David Handcock and Carl Tinsley could not speak more highly of Maxine’s talent and, more importantly, her commitment to her profession as she continues to deliver high quality work as well as preparing for WorldSkills. Mark Czvitkovits, CEO I-CAR Australia, also congratulated Maxine and

reinforced I-CAR’s commitment to the training and development of young talent across the industry. Mark Reid, Business Development Manager, Gemini Accident Repair Centres said: “We are all very proud of Maxine’s achievements. Identifying her talent and securing her services back in 2106 was a key moment for both Maxine and the Gemini Group.” Mark has also extended an invitation to Maxine to join their internal development program – a first for an apprentice. Martin Kolderie presented Maxine with her National Collision Repairer Future Leader of the Industry certificate, sponsored by IAG, and the invitation to attend two I-CAR training courses. He pointed out that the industry will be in good shape if there is more young talent such as Maxine joining the industry. In receiving her award, Maxine said: “I am forever grateful to Mark Reid for offering me the opportunity at Gemini. I want to thank Carl Tinsley and the technical team at BASF for their ongoing support and, of course, my Mum who has always been there for me.” Editor: IAG’s ongoing support and sponsorship of these awards is greatly appreciated. We all wish Maxine every success. I am quite sure we will see more of her in the future.

iag donates two I-CAR courses valued at more than $500 to the Future Leader that we feature each month in this section

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Acknowledging a lifetime of contribution Criteria for induction into the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll 1. A minimum of 10 years in the collision repair industry 2. Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their local area 3. Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their direct employment 4. 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 3183, Dendy, Victoria 3186 Email: Tel: +61 458 588 333

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


Honour Roll ................................ Richard Nathan ................................ David Weatherall ................................ Terry Flanagan ................................ 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 ................................ 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) ................................

The National Collision Repairer – 3 5

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With Factory 56, Mercedes-Benz is creating the car plant of the future. It combines three trend-setting features: it is consistently digital, it is flexible, and it brings the term ‘green production’ to life. As the inventor of the car, we are reinventing production," says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain. To mark the laying of the cornerstone for the new assembly hall on 20 February 2018, high-ranking representatives from the worlds of politics and business came together at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen. Alongside Markus Schäfer, Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economics, Work and Housing Construction, Dr Bernd Vöhringer, Lord Mayor of the City of Sindelfingen,

Digitally Laying the Cornerstone.

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Michael Bauer, Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant and Head of Production, as well as Ergun Lümali, Chairman of the MercedesBenz Sindelfingen Works Council, also took part in the celebrations. Dr Hoffmeister-Kraut emphasized that the laying of the cornerstone is also an essential element for a good future for the state of BadenWürttemberg as an automotive location. “Factory 56 will bring together two global megatrends that are of crucial importance for our country in particular: digitalization of production and vehicle models of the future." She said that BadenWürttemberg will only be able to defend its reputation as a premium location for industry in the long term and secure the country's prosperity if the manufacturers provide the right

answers in both production and mobility of the future. The task of the state would be to support this path by supporting innovation. In 2020, Factory 56 will start production of upper and luxury class cars and electric vehicles at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant. Passenger cars, electric vehicles of the upper and luxury class and robo taxis will be produced. These will include the new generation of the S-Class as well as the first electric vehicle of the EQ product and technology brand "made in Sindelfingen". For the construction site, 700,000m3 of earth was moved. The area is 220,000 m2. This corresponds to about 30 football pitches. Approximately 6,400 tons of steel will be used for the steel construction – almost as much as for the Parisian Eiffel Tower. The production concept of Factory 56 is setting new standards. This includes man–machine cooperation and digitally supported processes including work organisation as well as logistics and quality assurance. The plant is not only digitised consistently according to Industry 4.0, it is also connected to other productions in the global production network. The 360-degree linkage along the whole value chain is an essential feature – from the suppliers, through to the development department, design and production and to customers. In the future, for example, the finished vehicles will automatically drive off the line to

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the loading station. Under "Digital Anticipation" in the Mercedes me App and online, customers purchasing new vehicles can already gain exclusive insights into the production of their vehicles and thus have a much more enjoyable wait for delivery. In the assembly hall itself, state-ofthe-art Industry 4.0 technologies are used. Driverless transport systems (DTS) with product baskets support logistics in the assembly and ensure the seamless supply of the required materials for the employees at the line. Innovative radio frequency identification technologies (RFID) are integrated into Factory 56. Components and vehicles can thus be digitally tracked and linked with one another. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analyses and predictive maintenance guarantee high transparency and support in production planning, control and also in quality assurance. Through the analysis of existing production data, for instance, predictions on potential faults or scheduled maintenance work can be made in advance.

The human is at the centre of all activities in Factory 56. The employees work at ergonomically optimised workstations and are optimally supported in their tasks by digital tools. The focus is on the use of intelligent, flexible technology. A new work organisation provides for flexible and modern working time models. The break areas are designed according to the latest standards –with a pantry, couch and info screen, for example. Modular building structures are characteristic of Factory 56, with a design that is both energy-efficient and green, so it is environmentally friendly. The assembly uses renewable energies and reduces CO2 production, water consumption and waste significantly. On the roof of Factory 56 there is a photovoltaic system that feeds green electricity into the production supply. This leads to an annual reduction of 5,000 MWh of electricity. An electric vehicle of the EQ brand, for example the electric SUV EQC, could be charged 72,000 times a year with this. That corresponds to around 36 million kilometres mileage a year. CO2

The Construction Site.

emissions at Factory 56 will be reduced by 75 percent compared to today's S-Class production in Sindelfingen. The construction of the assembly hall is very translucent. The Blue-Sky architecture supports a pleasant working climate for the employees in daylight. In addition, the temperature of the hall can be set at up to seven degrees below the outside temperature.

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This event will always be strong as it’s from the home of automotive, Motor City, it has the world’s top Custom Car award, The Ridler, and is also home of the muscle car, which is globally the most popular segment of the custom car culture. Detroit Autorama started on the Friday with a five-inch snow storm so there was a little bit of fuss with move-in, but all were in and set up by noon when the doors opened to a huge queue of people eager to see this year’s new cars. There were over 800 cars including hot rods, customs, restored and retro style muscle cars, race cars and all the rat rods and wild machines below in the suede palace. The Great 8 were chosen from 25

Ridler Winner '57 Chev.

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new cars never seen before and on display by the time the doors opened to the public. There was a good mix of early hot rods, customs and muscle cars including, the ’56 Lincoln custom “Scarlet Lady”, Detroit Speed ’69 Camaro “Tux”, Gold ’67 Camaro “Nickelback”, Blue ’34 Ford pickup owned by Danielle Lutz, Pearl White ’36 Pontiac Sedan owned by Robert Anderson, Black ’40 Ford coupe built by Farrell Creations, Maroon ’39 Ford Delivery “Delivered” and Johnny’s Trim Shop ’57 Chev custom coupe. The silver ’57 Chev was in late due to Ryan, the son and builder, cutting deep into his thumb on the Tuesday with a band saw, requiring surgery and then loading and driving from

Colorado. After five years in the build he told me nothing would stop him making this trip. Obviously, it was all worth it for him, his Dad and the team and the owners as they were announced the 2018 Ridler winner on Sunday afternoon. They were overwhelmed when Barry Meguiar presented the trophy to them at the car in front of a huge press contingent. This car is a work of art with every panel having many modifications, some incredible machining on all the mechanical components, an unbelievable interior (that is the shop’s area of expertise), great paint. Overall the fit and finish was flawless. To win The Ridler, the builder and owner have a dream and have a foundation and build on that, never losing their way towards their goal. This was a really deserving winner with a great car that will be on the scene for many years. The displays are also a big deal with these cars, showing the stance along with all the detail that the judges must be able to see as well. All the good builders are always represented, with the Ring Brothers having a new ’69 Camaro and the AMX build for Prestone that was unveiled at SEMA on display. Troy from Rides by Troy had the Mariani Tudor that won battle of the builders at SEMA on display along with Roadster shop, Woody’s Hot Rods and many more top shops displaying their rides and keeping their names out there.

'34 Ford Pick-up.

There were also many more cars on display, with Bradley Gray's amazing display of his blown Mafia Shop in North Carolina. The Camaro and Mustang are stunning with huge blown engines detailed to the max. All his cars run and are detailed to elite show standard. The modified and restored muscle cars are always spectacular, and this year was the same. The Camaros, Chevelles, Mustangs and Mopars are always such a highlight for me. They were never that good from the factory and just must be seen to appreciate what an unbelievable era the late sixties and seventies were and will never be repeated. The shapes, engineering and power plants were all features with the big three companies all trying to outdo each other. There were around 50 exhibitors displaying their products, most recording good interest and sales. We were there with our American Legend Wheels and probably the best results we've had at any US show. Around 50,000 people came through the doors over the three days, mostly enthusiasts, so there will always be high engagement from the people. Downstairs in the basement is always interesting, with over 200 cars and 50 vendors displaying a true greaser lifestyle of rat rods, low brow art and wild builds. Gene Windfield did a chop top on a ’32 coupe again this year, with many observing the progress over the weekend. At around 90 years of age, he still is a true throwback to the old days of car customisation, showing great metal skills and fade paint jobs. This suits the Detroit area so well and was wall-to-wall each day with people soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying the culture. The team also put on a great show with celebrity appearances. This year 1,000 people lined up on Saturday

Nickelback '67 Camaro.

Scarlet Lady '56 Lincoln.

'36 Pontiac.

morning to see Roman Reigns WWE and over 3,500 queued up to see Dale Earnhart Jr and Bo Duke from Dukes of Hazzard on Sunday morning. Americans love a celebrity and a queue, so this will always be a feature here at Detroit Autorama. This is one of the world’s great custom shows and, as I've stated above, will remain so for many years with a

similar format due to what it stands for and crowning The Ridler as the world’s top new custom car. 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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Issues These days, a typical repair job often involves panel replacement and, in many cases, those panels arrive in an e-coat finish. This is just one of the situations where a modern WOW primer takes several steps out of the painting process to deliver speed without sacrificing quality. However, it is also important to include the WOW primer in the blending process. Some people only apply the WOW primer to an e-coat panel being replaced. The problem comes when the part (for example, a door) is fitted and it looks lighter than the adjoining blend panels. The human eye tends to focus on the edges between panels so, if the WOW primer isn’t extended into the blend panels (just like the colour blend is), it can easily stand out, even to the customer! Tips and techniques Blending the WOW layer It doesn’t take much to blend the WOW primer into each adjacent panel – around four to five centimetres in from the edge is enough. For example, on a door, simply turn the spray gun side-on and go down the edge of the panel. While the colour blend will do most of the blending, the WOW layer helps avoid a hard edge and ensures the repair “looks right”. Blending thinner One reason I have heard for not blending WOW primer is that it may


leave a little dry spray edge. The simple solution is to use a blending thinner to help the edge melt in smoothly. For example, SXA860 Blending Thinner from PPG’s ONECHOICE universal ancillary brand provides a fast, no mess, aerosol solution. WOW over repairs The other blending situation to be aware of is where a panel is being replaced but there is also a repair on an adjacent panel. WOW primer should also be applied over the sanded primer of the repair patch. It not only duplicates the OEM finish, it is also a quality step because the WOW primer layer will pick up any sanding scratches you may have missed and allow them to be rectified rather than finding them after all the layers are done and it becomes a more major rework. Take advantage of WOW technology Some repairers seem determined to stick to their “old-school” priming methods but modern WOW primers offer an excellent solution, including PPG’s best-selling DP4000 and EnviroLOCK, which is designed to be used with the ENVIROBASE High Performance waterborne basecoat system. WOW products are selflevelling primers that are specifically formulated for the task. They use sympathetic primer colours to mimic the OEM factory finish, give excellent

adhesion between the e-coat and topcoat and give faster colour coverage with less topcoat material usage.

This article supplied courtesy of John Hristias – PPG Business Support Manager Asia/Pacific

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Attracting and retaining qualified production employees has long been a challenge in this industry. More than 25 years ago, I-CAR created a foundation (now called the Collision Repair Education Foundation) with the sole purpose of addressing the technician shortage that was evident even back then, and few would say the situation has improved markedly over the past few decades. Not many collision repair businesses have fully solved the situation, but some have found successful ways of better attracting or “creating” and retaining the staff they need. Here are what three shops in the US state of Oregon say they are doing. One team, not “a league” Byron Davis has used a team-pay approach to help attract, grow and retain the technicians his shop needs, but he’s chosen to place all his

Bret Bothwell.


production employees, in both the body and paint departments, on a single team. “If we had two teams, we’d be a league,” Davis said. “We’re all on the same team here. Having multiple teams just creates conflict.” Davis, owner of Auto Body Specialties in Springfield, Oregon, said the problem with commission pay plans is that they often dis-incentivise the most talented technicians. “They get stuck with those giant hits – that you can’t make money on – just because they are the most skilled, while lower-skilled people are just whizzing through the box sides and gravy jobs,” Davis said. “That’s never made sense to me.” Instead, his shop of 20 employees pools all the labour hours the shop completes and technicians are paid from that based on their skillset and clock hours worked. “It helps stabilise everybody’s pay,” Davis said. “We’re always at about 160

Byron Davis.

percent efficiency. So, while that one tech is working on a big hit, he’s benefitting from the other guys working on the lighter hits. It’s also not uncommon to see two or three people working on the same vehicle. That job with 40 or 50 labour hours can be in the paint shop in a day instead of sitting in one guy’s stall for three days.” That’s also improved the shop’s cycle time, Davis said. Word about the benefits of the shop’s pay structure has become known in his market, he said. “We actually have people wanting to work here as soon as we have an opening.” Touting the benefits In just four years since Bret Bothwell bought his first body shop in Oregon’s largest city, Portland, he’s added five more, growing Central Auto Body to more than 75 employees. “When we open a new location,

Tom Fleming.

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we usually fill the shop up with people pretty fast,” Bothwell said. “I regularly hear from people who say, ‘When you have a job opening, I want to be there.’” How has he accomplished that? Social media has been one of the keys. “We post videos on Facebook and YouTube listing reasons why you want to work for Central Auto Body,” Bothwell said. He also hosts Saturday classes that give young people a chance to check out what the autobody trade is like. “The biggest issue this industry has is the fact that kids today are more apt to get into computer stuff or the medical field,” Bothwell said. “There’s fewer and fewer wanting to do this type of work, that’s hands-on. One or two things have to happen to change that. The labour rate has to increase so we can offer more money to interest more people. But also, I can’t be the only shop on Facebook saying I’m going to host a class on Saturday to try to get kids interested.” Another piece of the solution Bothwell says he has found is making

sure his company retains the good workers that it has attracted, taking employees (as well as key customers) to sporting events, for example. “We also have pretty nice parties at Christmas and other times,” he said. “We try to keep morale up and keep them excited about the company’s growth. People really like being on a team that’s growing. They want to be somewhere things are happening.” Starting from ground-up Tom Fleming of Fleming’s Body & Paint in Oregon’s capital city of Salem said he’s given up trying to hire experienced technicians. “It’s hard to find them because so many of the full-blown experienced guys are retiring because they are tired of the trade,” Fleming said. “Also, when you hire someone with a lot of experience, you’re dealing with an ego battle, and I’m just not into that.” Instead, he hires entry-level workers who start off washing cars, so Fleming can see how they interact with the company’s eight employees. “I tell them the most important thing at this

Comprehensive repair methods for the most popular vehicles • • • • •

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shop is getting along,” Fleming said. “We’re a team. We’re a family here. And I want no arguing whatsoever. So, if someone new fits in, he can learn the rest of the stuff. We’re taking guys from the ground-up and teaching them.” This method helps build camaraderie among his employees, Fleming said, noting that they all participate in activities together outside of work, such as excursions to the sand dunes. One of his employees has a friend who is an autobody instructor at a nearby community college, and Fleming said he is considering bringing some of the students in to work at the shop for several months while in school. “We’ll help teach them, and we’ll have the pick of the litter,” Fleming said. Editor: Whilst it’s clear that the “attraction and retention” challenge is just as prevalent in the US as it is in Australasia, everyone has a different approach. However, the underlying principle is to promote both the benefits of the industry and your own business.

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Acrossthe Ditch An inspiring 105th CRA conference Recently I had the opportunity to attend the 105th (yes, that’s right – 105th) Collision Repair Association (CRA) conference in Rotorua, New Zealand. For me, it was an opportunity to interact with our Kiwi cousins, listen to their views and learn some more about their market. The association was originally formed in 1913 for the cartwrights who serviced and repaired the transportation of the day. So, over the years the transportation has evolved, modernised and transitioned, as has the association itself. The 2018 conference brought together 240 of the 400+ members and, considering that the total number of collision repair businesses in New Zealand stands at approximately 700, that’s not a bad membership. What was refreshing about the entire weekend was the range of speakers, the camaraderie and the format of the conference. The two-day conference had a range of interesting speakers who focused on technology and connected vehicles and their impact on the whole transport system. In addition, a presentation on business performance provided the audience with simple solutions for their own businesses. The conference also included breakout sessions covering topics ranging from staffing issues, repair procedures, networking, consolidation – the same issues facing the industry across the globe. What was extremely refreshing was the delegates’ focus on the future and what was needed to move forward and remain in business. The real highlight of the weekend

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was the three motivational speakers who covered goal setting, managing stress and the power of healthy thinking. Everyone who works in small business understands the challenge of remaining profitable and keeping abreast of the current issues and changes in the industry. Early mornings, late finishes and sleepless nights are all too familiar within the industry and the impact on mental health was well-recognised and acknowledged – man hugs were everywhere as the attendees reinforced their commitment and friendship with each other. Inspiring to say the least. The self-belief of the NZ CRA in promoting the skills required today is demonstrated across their membership and the presentation of their businesses within their markets – they are indeed leading the way. Sometimes as an industry we feel that everything is going against us, business and financial pressures, staff issues and many things that are beyond our control. At times it becomes extremely daunting and overwhelming for some, but remember there is a network of repairers that in many instances are experiencing many of the same issues every day. The association’s focus is on working with an approach that provides its members with support and a positive vision for the future. They have the same OEMs, the same insurers and the same issues that we have in Australia, but the positivity around the room was palpable. In Australia, we often miss the opportunity to network positively with our peers. Certainly, things are changing, often out of our control, but the opportunity to discuss with your

peers is invaluable. Who else in business understands your pressures better than your peers? The networking these repairers have amongst themselves and the stakeholders within the industry was refreshing to say the least and shows that a conversation about the industry can be constructive. We often take what we do for granted. We are involved in one of the most highly skilled industries and we down-sell ourselves as a basic trade. The sooner the industry recognises the level of expertise, skill and efficiencies required to repair cars today and into the future, the sooner we will receive the recognition we deserve. As an industry, we need to look forward and ask the questions regarding where we will be in five, ten or twenty years. The past issues will not solve the future challenges – they never have, so let us not waste any more energy on what has happened. The conference dinner was, as usual, done in style and so hats off to our Kiwi cousins for providing a platform for acknowledging what the industry needs. I for one came away positive and refreshed and so perhaps it’s time we challenged ourselves here in Australia. 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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Meguiars Motorex

4th - 5th May 2018 – Sydney

26th – 27th May 2018 – Melbourne

NCR Awards Breakfast

NCR Industry Symposium

5th May 2018 – Sydney

4th August 2018 – Melbourne

Hot Rod and Custom Auto Expo

NACE Automechanika

26th - 27th May 2018 – Sydney

8th – 10th August 2018 – Atlanta

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 Laury Chibnall Tel: 0438 383 555 iBodyshop E: Tel: (03) 9548 7400 LORD (Fusor, Farecla & Sika) Tel: (03) 9560 6066 Mipa Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9793 8800

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 Protec Tel: 1800 076 466 U-pol Damian Capelluti Tel: 0400 366 483 Valspar Automotive Tel: (02) 4368 4054


Suncorp Program Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for fifth consecutive year For the fifth consecutive year, Suncorp has been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. EOCGE is a voluntary leading practice recognition program designed to encourage and promote gender equality in Australian workplaces. "We are thrilled to be recognised as an industry leader for workplace gender equality and for the progress we have made to positively contribute to gender equality as an organisation," said Suncorp's Chief People Experience Officer Amanda Revis. "We have worked hard to embed equality for all genders through inclusive people policies and workplace practices, including flexible work, pay, access to promotion, development, career opportunities and representation at all levels of the organisation. "We are proud to receive this award at a time when we have achieved gender balance (50 percent men and 50 percent women) across our total leadership team." Suncorp and other citation holders were assessed against several criteria covering gender remunerations gaps, discrimination, targets for improving gender equality outcomes, flexible working and other initiatives to support family responsibilities. Recognition as a citation holder is testament to Suncorp's ongoing commitment to gender equality and inclusion.

The National Collision Repairer – 4 5

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Paintmanager XI function ensures well-adjusted colours In this day and age, you can never have too many colour tools, which is why PPG has taken the opportunity to add a handy new “Adjust” function to its next-gen PaintManager XI colour identification, mixing and management software. Thanks to the precision of PPG’s five-angle spectrophotometer tools and the accuracy and sheer size of PPG’s massive colour database, the vast majority of colour formulation retrievals are quick and very straightforward. However, on rare occasions an odd colour or a new “variant” or “special” of a particular colour has the potential to throw a spanner in the works and this is where the “Adjust” function can step in to provide an effective colour match solution. After taking the spectrophotometer reading and downloading it to PaintManager XI, the “Adjust” feature

Two great new tools from SAPE PNP 90 XT2 – JLR Edition “The strongest mobile hydraulic tool for bodywork repair” The PNP 90 XT2 is a pneumatic, hydraulic, universal stamping and riveting tool specifically designed for all common riveting operations on sandwich panels, thin sheet and high-strength sheet. The equipment’s universal technology enables adaptation of various attachments for different applications. The hydraulic pump is a pneumatically-driven pressure intensifier with a ratio of 1:100. This means that a hydraulic secondary pressure of 600 bar is generated by a primary air pressure of 6 bar. When the equipment’s pre-set final pressure is reached, the pump stops automatically and keeps this pressure constant. The hydraulic pump has a pneumatically controlled pressure relief valve. The Docking Station DS XT2 supplementary unit is an addition

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becomes available when the “match rating” is higher than desired – when a solid colour is five or higher or when a non-solid colour is ten or higher. Rather than have to begin manually colour matching, the operator can simply click on the “Action” tool and select the “Adjust” function from the dropdown menu. Using some very clever behind the scenes software, the “Adjust” function will modify the tinter composition of the particular colour formulation (based on the vehicle colour code that has been entered) with the aim of achieving a better match. Crucially, the “Adjust” function does not introduce any additional tinters to the formulation that could then adversely affect the matching process. On screen, the “Original” formula can be displayed alongside the “Adjusted” formula, making it easy for the operator to see exactly what alterations have been made. At this point, the adjusted colour can be mixed, applied to a spray-out card and checked against the job to ensure the technician


to the PNP 90 XT2 stamping and riveting tool. It ensures consistent quality for the riveting process. If the operating pressure drops below 6 bar (minimum operating pressure), the operator will be informed via optical indicator (red LED) and the pressure accumulator will take over the pressure supply. The primary benefits include: • 2-circuit hydraulic (push and pull) • An existing PNP 90 XT2 is upgradable by using the Docking Station DC XT2 • Easy handling by external pumpsystem • Combination with existing riveting tools possible

is happy with the match before proceeding. For added convenience, there is also the option to add the adjusted colour (along with the spectro reading of that colour) to the PaintManager XI system as a “custom” formula so that it can be easily accessed again if the same or similar colour arrives in the paint shop. The “Adjust” function is currently being rolled out and will automatically be added for PaintManager XI users who have their system connected to the Internet and are set up for automatic updates. For more information about PaintManager XI, contact your PPG Territory Manager or the PPG Access Hotline on (Aust) 1800 627 798 or (NZ) 0800 442 531. • Infinite adjustment of the working pressure • Processing high-strength materials • Clear order through colour coding and labelling of the rivet inserts. Available in May from the SAPE Group. Call (02) 9772 9000 or visit: ts/500009 Carsystem UV A-LED three pieces on a tripod The Carsystem UV Lamp is a mobile UV lamp that is ideal for drying UV primer and clear coat. The integrated lithium ion battery with an operating life of up to 4.5 hours allows flexibility in use. The UV lights can be used individually and mounted with a magnet, or on a tripod with a 180° rotatable base to get it in perfect position directly above or in front of the repair area. Available from the SAPE Group. Call (02) 9772 9000 or visit: ts/CS154980

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Two new great initiatives from SATA Join the SATA world 24/7 SATA users are known for their unwavering brand loyalty and now, thanks to the new SATA App, a smart phone or mobile device can quickly become a portal into the SATA world, making it possible to keep in touch virtually anywhere and at any time. Along with regular updates on the latest SATA news, information on new products and promotional offers, you will find a host of useful functions including “Spray Gun Finder”, which is the perfect tool to help select the best spray gun to suit your purpose. In addition, you can download the latest brochure on a wide selection of SATA products. At purchase time, should you have any doubts that it is a genuine SATA gun in your hand, you can also use the convenient SAL-Check within the SATA App to find out. Simply run the barcode scanner over the barcode on the package/box or check the SAL code on the product. Once you have made your purchase, the SATA App provides a handy way to register the product for the SATA Premium Warranty, which grants an extended warranty on SATA spray guns, filters and supplied air respirators. You can also register for the SATA Premium Warranty on the SATA website Getting started is easy – simply download the free SATA App from Google Play or the App Store today. SATA RPS cups can make you a double winner ... Since its launch, SATA’s RPS (Rapid

Roberlo launches their clear coat Kronox 610 in Australia

Preparation System) has set the benchmark for disposable cup systems. Now, thanks to the special SATA loyalty program, when you purchase SATA RPS cups you not only benefit from the many advantages of this proven, high performance system, you can also become a double winner with the opportunity to access great rewards. Participating is simple. Just download the free SATA Loyalty Program App from the App Store or Google Play Store and set up your user account. Then, whenever you purchase SATA RPS cups, simply scan the QR code on each box and your account will automatically be credited with points or “coins”. Look out for the special promotional periods where you acquire double coins when scanning the QR code! Let the points build up and, when you are ready, you can convert them into attractive rewards for your body shop. There is a range of reward options that is continuously growing. So, what are you waiting for? Start collecting now! A comprehensive range of SATA® spray equipment is available from your PPG Plus distributor and Protec Select distributor.

Roberlo has finally decided to introduce one of their most successful clear coats, Kronox 610 into the Australian market. Kronox 610 is an ultra-high solids twocomponent clear coat that stands out for its easy application. It adapts to all types of users and jobs in the bodywork repair process and is suitable for full or partial repairs. The new clear coat has an ultra-fast drying time of 10 minutes at 500C, without compromising the quality of the final result. Its fast curing allows the spray booth to free up quickly, representing significant savings in costs to the end user. Roberlo products are distributed by Le’Mix Pty Ltd. For more information about Roberlo or other Le’Mix products, contact Le’Mix on Tel: (02) 9708 4959 or visit

The National Collision Repairer – 4 7

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3M Perfect-it EX Paint Finishing System Any paint finishing expert will tell you that a great result depends on having the right tools and the right products to efficiently and quickly remove the defect, refine the scratch, compound and polish the finished repair. They’ll also offer that when it comes to the compounding stage, product sling, too-quick drying, residue and clean-up are challenges that result in increased finishing time, particularly in highheat, high-humidity environments. For 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, this challenge in paint finishing led to an exceptional innovation – 3M Perfect-it EX Rubbing Compound, which cuts, handles and cleans up better than any rubbing compound currently available. It reduces paint finishing time and decreases clean-up considerably. Designed with new innovative chemical ingredients and 3M’s highperformance liquid mineral technology, the 3M Perfect-it EX

SAGOLA launches limited edition 4600 Scrambler spray gun In honour of the legendary Scrambler bike, Sagola has combined cuttingedge technology and vintage design perfectly in the newly released Limited Edition 4600 Scrambler; a spray gun with an adventurous spirit that symbolises a way of life! Axalta Coating Systems, the Australian importer for Sagola, is thrilled to announce that the Limited Edition 4600 Scrambler spray gun is now available in Australia. The uniquely designed 4600 Scrambler gun is just like a Scrambler bike in many ways – it can handle itself in any situation, evoking the essence of that legendary time. At the cutting edge of spray gun technology, but with a vintage look, the 4600 Scrambler is a fusion of creativity and innovation. Ergonomically designed and based

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Rubbing Compound won’t stick to panels or leave film in the extreme conditions frequently found in repair shops. The unique compound is also an excellent solution for repairing fresh paint finishes. EX – What does that mean? ● EXtra cutting ● EXtra smooth handling ● Improved performance in EXtreme conditions ● EXtra easy clean-up ● EXcellence ● Performs on EXtra fresh paint ● Leaves an EXtremely clear finish To ensure the perfect finish, couple your EX Compound with 3M Perfect-It EX Machine Polish. This high-tech machine polish formula combines the latest innovations of minerals and chemicals. 3M Perfect-It EX Machine Polish quickly and effectively buffs out compound swirls while reducing the frequency of having to reapply product after it dries on the surface. The new, higher viscosity formula significantly reduces sling. That, combined with improvements in cleanup, can help reduce paint finishing process time. The water-based formula allows for superior wet time, giving the on the new Xtreme model, the gun is lightweight and exceptionally well balanced, providing comfort and ease of use when painting. “The 4600 Scrambler has a new centre of gravity, making it amazingly comfortable for both small and large hands,” says Paul Polverino, Axalta’s National Training Manager for Australia and New Zealand. “The new trigger design seen in the 4600 carries through in this limited-edition Scrambler, reducing fatigue while still delivering perfect paint uniformity.” The stylish brown gun comes with two setups, a 1.3 DVR aqua nozzle for use with waterborne paints or a 1.3 DVR clear nozzle for use with clear coats. One of the key benefits of Sagola guns is the value factor – not only are the guns priced extremely competitively, but spare parts also provide good value. Often with competitor products, if a needle, nozzle or an air cap gets

technician significantly longer work time and allowing them to use less material and easy clean-up helps reduce process time. Engineered for easy use and clean up. 3M Perfect-It EX Machine Polish is 3M's best machine polish, combining new innovative technology and proprietary ingredients to make polishing easier and faster than ever. It performs better when you use less. For more information on Perfect-It EX Paint Finishing Range, contact 3M on: 136-136 or visit our website: damaged, you will need to replace all three items. With the latest Sagola gun models, you can either purchase a replacement needle and nozzle as a set, or purchase the individual air cap. The cost savings are significant! Sagola’s spray gun range is still unique in the market. “As usual, the limited edition Sagola 4600 Scrambler has no gaskets or O-rings due to the extreme quality and engineering tolerances used during production,” says Polverino. “Partnered with a 3-year warranty and competitive pricing, the 4600 Scrambler spray gun offers value all round.” Secure your Scrambler 4600 from your nearest Axalta Distributor by visiting or call Axalta on 1800 292 582.

L LEARN EARN ABOUT ABOUT T THE HE A ALL-NEW LL-NEW C COMMODORE OMMODORE A AND ND EQUINOX EQUINOX Go behind the scenes and learn from Collision industry experts including Holden Engineers and special guests. Gain an insight into future materials and repair techniques and learn about our new cars and other Holden Collision Business.

Speak with your Holden Dealer to learn more.

Holden Trade Club

RPS Benefits


Download the SATA Loyalty App in the App Store or Google Play Store to collect points and convert them into attractive rewards for your bodyshop.

With SATA RPS, removing the cup from the spray gun becomes a clean and safe process. When the paint job is finished, squeeze the RPS cup and close the bottom valve to create a vacuum inside. Now turn the spray gun upside down and pull the trigger to empty the material channel ensuring easy gun cleaning and a tidy workplace.

For more information, please watch our product video at

tralia hton Road outh, VIC, tralia

PPG New Zealand 5 Vestey Drive Mount Wellington, 1060 Auckland, New Zealand 0800 320 320

May 2018  

The National Collision Repairer May 2018 issue

May 2018  

The National Collision Repairer May 2018 issue