Fix it quickly – that’s the challenge given to bodyshops around the globe by customers who are in a hurry. And with more pressure than ever before on repairers to do a great job, at a reduced cost, the industry is changing the way it works. To help its customers keep one step ahead, AkzoNobel is continuing to drive forward Express Repair Techniques, through product and process developments including an increased use of Ultra Violet (UV) and Infrared technology (IRT). George Sneddon, Regional Technical Manager Europe North, tells us more…
Express Repair Technique (ERT) is a complete repair process to meet current market trends and demands from the accident repair industry, and provides bodyshops with an efficient and rapid means of completing non-structural repairs. “It gives bodyshops the ability to quickly and profitability respond to repairs which are more than a scratch or dent – SMART or rapid repairs – but do not require structural work,” explains George.
“Today’s bodyshops are increasingly demanding flexible modular tools that allow vehicles to be repaired more effi- ciently, while work providers are depending on reduced cycle times. ERT meets both these needs in the form of modular techniques, innovative equipment, products with increased curing speed and ability to work in conjunction with UV & IRT. With an emphasis on repairing rather than replacing panels, reducing waiting time and disposable waste, ERT can radically cut key-to-key times and reduce energy costs by up to 50 percent.”
George continues: “Smaller repairs represent an increas- ing proportion of refinishers’ income and we are continu- ing to develop ERT to specifically help our customers maximize this opportunity.”
So how does it work?
ERT offers a streamlined process, starting with a vehicle triage to identify vehicle damage, meaning the right job goes through the right repair channel. “We don’t leave our customers to figure it out for themselves,” says George. “We work in partnership with them, to understand how ERT can best fit their business, and then we help make it happen. We can advise the bodyshop on all aspects of express repair from dedicated single cell work bays to movable booths, drying equipment and express repair products and tooling.
But it doesn’t stop there, to ensure the successful intro- duction of express repair the bodyshop also needs to consider staff skill sets, effective triage and estimating and planned work routing. At AkzoNobel we have expert consultants who can help the bodyshop with these considerations ensuring they can get the maximum out of our express repair process.”
AkzoNobel’s aim is to give customers a competitive edge with ERT offering valuable opportunities to capture work lost through high insurance excesses. “It means a quicker service for the end customer, a reduction in outgoings for the bodyshop, plus it improves resource management and reduces the need to buy parts, thereby improving cash flow. There are so many benefits,” confirms George.
“ERT is also driving product innovation with the develop- ment of low temperature curing clearcoats that are air dry and dust free in less than ten minutes; with dry to hand times of only 40 minutes. AkzoNobel’s Autoclear UV and Autosurfacer UV dry in only six and five minutes respec- tively. UV & Infrared technology is being used in conjunc- tion with these products, helping speed up the process.”
George concludes: “Continually developing new solutions is the cornerstone of our success. Working closely with our customers and creating products together that meet their needs is fundamental. I believe ERT is a great exam- ple of how we are helping to ensure our customers remain fit for the future.”