By James Kerr
Toronto, Ontario -- January 25, 2018 -- CCIF encourages you to take measure of the collision repair industry. As the first workshop of CCIF Toronto 2018, technology experts from across the industry demonstrated the principals and importance of electronic 3-D frame measuring during the repair process.
"First, why do we have to measure?" Arman Gurarslan, managing director Arslan Automotive, asked the packed crowd at the first morning of CCIF Toronto's full-day event. He put it simply to the room: "It's a must-do process for the success of your business."
With collision repair technology evolving at such a rapid rate, a new way of doing things can seem daunting, especially when it carries an equipment cost, but all the companies presenting their product solutions at this seminar – Arslan Automotive, Wedge Clamp Systems, Car-o-liner Automotive Systems, Spanesi, Chief Automotive and CARBENCH - were unified in the opinion that electronic measuring is vital to the success of a collision repair business.
"Dispite the fact that today's shops are expected to accomplish more in less time, measuring is necessary for safe repairs," said Gurarslan. "Documentation is a solid way to show that you've completed OEM specs for a vehicle."
The companies came with videos to show and the measuring systems themselves to demonstrate, to underscore the importance of proper electronic measuring and provide attendees with many of the different options on the market.
"Our world has changed...This represents a shift in how we do business." - John Marlowe
"Our world has changed," said John Marlowe, blueprint specialist representing Wedge Clamp Systems. "We live in a science-driven environment now. Everything we do must be measured and documented. We can no longer look at a car and know it's not damaged, or know where the damage is." He added: "This represents a shift in how we do things."
Presentations of 3-D measuring systems, though by very different companies, had similar goals. Each company sought to prove ease-of-use, portability, continued support after purchase, and that relevant easy-to-read reports can be generated. All of those presented use the Mitchell data template, but their systems varied wildly in shape, size and method, showing there are many ways to deal with the measuring need. Companies advocated the different benefits of electronic 3-D frame measuring technology, such as the advantages of pre-measuring, using scanning to establish a repair planning process, and the importance of scanning the whole vehicle,
"Most collision centres I walk into, they think – 3-D measuring, I've got to get my bodytech for that. But I see more value in 3-D measuring in repair planning," said Anthony Iaboni, owner of Collision 360, presenting on the Spanesi system, "From that repair planning process you're giving a path for the rest of the repair. The value to any measuring system, not just Spanesi's, is to use it in repair planning."
The complexity of modern vehicles means eye-balling damage will not tell you the whole story.
Michael Hoeneise, technical training manager, Car-o-liner, said: "There's a number of things that may reflect a repair and replace decision, for what might look like a cosmetic part, and is now important to the function of a vehicle." Hoeneise pointed out that scanning is part of the standard procedures of most OEMs, and even if not issued in an official statement is still likely part of their standard procedures.
"Liability!" warned Richard Perry, global repair product manager, Chief Automotive, citing the John Eagle Collision case of last year, landmark a US court decision that saw the owner of a collision repair shop liable for not following OEM procedures. "That's the key issue. That's what we're looking for with 3-Dimensional measuring."
"What if you find nothing? Then you have documentation showing that there was nothing. You can't fix what you don't know." - Richard Perry
Perry asked a sobering question of the crowd: "How many vehicles have you worked on that have been worked on before? That's why you have to scan the whole vehicle. What if you find nothing? Then you have documentation showing that there was nothing. You can't fix what you don't know. If you're not measuring these vehicles completely, are you sure you found all the damage in that vehicle? Because remember, when it leaves the shop, who is responsible for it? You are."
In the collision repair industry, new equipment purchases are measured carefully, and there are many good options for 3-D scanning systems in today's market. The presenters at this CCIF showcased their products, but also appealed to shop owners the importance of adopting this technology as best practice.
"I know how hard it is working in a bodyshop today," said Gurarslan. "You have to be efficient, you have to do the job correctly, you have to protect yourself from liability. You have to be good at what you're doing."
With this seminar, the CCIF facilities the industry educating the industry, showing a clear path towards measuring future success.
Collision Repair magazine's coverage of CCIF Toronto 2018 is ongoing. For more information about CCIF Toronto, please visit www.ccif.ca/event/ccif-toronto-2018-january-25-26/