By Mike Davey
Toronto, Ontario -- March 29, 2017 -- The OEM-specific scan tools may deliver the best results, but the cost of lining them all up may be more than most shops would like. According to Michel Julien, founder of TeamXTremeTech, the cost of scan tools for the 16 most common car brands would run approximately $153,150 in the first year, and roughly $66,000 every year thereafter for the subscriptions.
Julien was one of the presenters at a special scanning technology event held at Toronto’s Centennial College. The event was presented by the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF). Repairers, insurers, OEM representatives and other industry stakeholders came to hear presentations on aftermarket scanning technology from people representing Drew Technologies, Collision Diagnostic Services (CDS), Launch Tech, TeamXTremeTech and AirPro Diagnostics.
The day kicked off with opening remarks by Brigitte Pesant, Director of Collision Programs for AIA Canada and Joe Carvalho, Chairman of CCIF.
Dan Dominato of Precision Marketing was first up, providing details on the asTech2 scanning tool, manufactured by CDS. Precision Marketing distributes the scanning tool here in Canada.
Dominato noted that the asTech2 covers nearly all makes and models, 2008 and newer. It essentially does this by uploading the scanned data to CDS, where it it is then run through OEM scanners. The idea is that this gives the shop access to OEM quality scans for a fraction of the price of acquiring all of the necessary OEM scan tools.
Glen Eaton of Drew Technologies was next to take the podium, discussing the company’s Remote Assist Program (RAP) Kit. According to Eaton, the technology provides pre- and post-repair scan details and vehicle scan reports on demand. Shops pay for each scan performed. The unit is undoubtedly easy to use. Users simply plug in the kit and place a call to Drew Technologies. The company scans the vehicle and sends the user the report. The unit can also be used to reprogram modules, including airbags and other functions.
Launch Tech USA’s Harlan Siegel presented details of that company’s X-431 PAD II, an Android-based scan tool tablet. Siegel highlighted the scanner’s functions, and shined a light on how the company improves its databases. He noted that aftermarket scan tools will have gaps in their information compared to an OEM-specific scan tool, but that Launch Tech communicates with users to reduce those gaps.
“We’re reducing those gaps by getting you, the end user, involved in the process,” he said. In essence, all scans uploaded to the tool are gathered by Launch Tech USA. In turn, this allows them to build up a greater database of information.
Michel Julien of TeamXtremeTech was up next, updating attendees on his company’s scanning solution. Headquartered in Brossard, Québec, the company offers a home-grown aftermarket scanner. The company has been in business since 2011, but had primarily concentrated its efforts on the mechanical and service side until the last year.
“Me and my team, we’ve spent the last eight months in collision repair shops,” he said. This was done to determine what bodyshops needed that their mechanical counterparts did not. “In the collision repair shop, the car must leave almost like new. This doesn’t always have to be the case with the mechanical shops.”
Julien also pointed out that training was key when it comes to finding success with scanning, as was solid customer support.
“Tech support is the key to success in every shop,” he said, outlining how even a GM dealer, for example, where every technician has received the OEM training, will still call for tech support approximately 42 percent of the time.
Chuck Olsen of AirPro Diagnostics presented attendees with information on his company’s scan tool, the AirPro, and the accompanying app, ORION. The AirPro is a remotely controlled scan that uses both OEM and proprietary software. According to AirPro Diagnostics, this allows the tool to cover roughly 98 percent of makes and models. ORION is a cloud-based diagnostic management system that automatically stores all scan results and recommendations.
After a short break for lunch, the event continued with an update from CARSTAR’s Bill Davidge on the status of I-CAR diagnostic scanning and presentations from Michel Gagnon of Mitchell International, Massimo Pecchia of Audatex Canada and Jim Wraight of ALLDATA Canada.
Finally, all scan tool manufacturers ran demos of their equipment so repairers and other stakeholders could have a chance to see them in action and ask questions about specific items.
For more information on CCIF, please visit ccif.ca.