AkzoNobel Celebrates 85 Years Of Wanda Refinish

AkzoNobel is celebrating the 85th anniversary of its Wanda vehicle refinishes brand, a product that started locally but grew into a globally used brand.

Wanda was formed in the early 20th century by Roque Montesano, a Brazillian man who wanted to own his own paint factory. Montesano told his wife that if he succeeded, he would name his brand after their daughter, a goal that he achieved.

AkzoNobel says Wanda is available in over 40 countries on five continents and has a global reputation which is built on its colour accuracy, ease of use, quality and value. Wanda Montesano Ferrara, the original inspiration for the name of the brand, has been involved in the anniversary celebrations too.

“I followed in my father’s footsteps to become an entrepreneur and am very proud to look back, see everything that the Wanda brand has achieved and celebrate these 85 years of moments and memories,” said Wanda.

“Our Wanda brand is synonymous with tradition, evolving technology and quality and has become a preferred choice for market professionals around the world,” said Rakshit Punetha, Global Brand Manager for Wanda. “It’s not only a great example of our passion for paint, it also highlights the huge sense of pride we take from continuing to show the same commitment to customers that Roque first demonstrated all those years ago.”

Wanda is now manufactured in Europe, Asia and at AkzoNobel’s plant in São Paulo, and can be purchased in the US, Spain, Russia, India, Italy, Australia, Poland, China and New Zealand. Wanda is compatible with a range of AkzoNobel’s advanced colour search tools, such as MIXIT, ColorPro and Automatchic Vision.

Ford And McDonald’s Collaborate To Create Car Parts

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA will soon work together by using the discarded skins of roasted coffee beans in vehicle parts such as headlamp housings.

The companies found that coffee chaff, the dried skin of the bean that naturally comes off during the roasting process, can be converted into a durable material to reinforce certain vehicle parts. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen, mixed in with plastic and other additives, and turned into pellets which can then be formed into various shapes.

The chaff composite meets quality specifications for parts such as headlamp housings and other interior and engine bay components. The resulting items are around 20 per cent lighter and require up to 25 per cent less energy during the moulding process. Ford said the heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material and is the first time the company has used bean skins to convert into select vehicle parts.

“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford Senior Technical Leader. “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

McDonald’s is expected to give a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.

“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimising waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, Senior Director, Global Sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”

The project also involves Varroc Lighting Systems, which supplies the headlamps, and Competitive Green Technologies, the processor of the coffee chaff. Ford says its goal is using recycled and renewable plastics in vehicles globally and increasing the range of sustainable materials.

McDonald’s says it is on its way to sourcing all its guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, and helping develop a recyclable and/or compostable cup through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge. Both efforts are part of McDonald’s Scale for Good initiative, a global commitment to use its size and scale to drive meaningful change.

SAPE Group, Spanesi Announce Partnership

The SAPE Group, Australia’s largest supplier of paint, equipment and consumables to the automotive repair industry, has announced a new partnership with Spanesi, a global producer of collision repair equipment and technology.

SAPE says the new partnership will greatly strengthen its existing equipment portfolio and is part of a wider strategy to be the leading supplier of collision repair equipment in Australia. Some important aspects of the deal include the distribution of Spanesi frame machines and fixture systems, vacuum and dust extractions systems, and high-performance spray booths in Australia.

Spanesi equipment is approved for use by companies such as Audi, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Tesla, Volkswagen and Volvo.

“We are especially excited to partner with Spanesi, a company that is recognised for being at the forefront of innovation in the automotive repair industry,” said Paul McMartin, Director of the SAPE Group. “This partnership offers exciting possibilities for Spanesi to expand its presence in Australia and we look forward to working closely with Spanesi. We welcome the Spanesi family to the SAPE Group.”

SCRG Acquires Six Collision Repairers In NSW, QLD

Strategic Collision Repair Group (SCRG) has acquired six collision repair businesses in NSW and QLD, saying that it’s the first step in its plan to become a single high-scale operator by consolidating several established operators.

The businesses acquired are Stanley’s Panel Works, Bodyline Motor Body, Cowper Smash Repairs, Coulson Body Repairs, Silverwater Smash Repairs and CRA Group. All six companies have an average history of over 50 years in traditional, rapid and prestige repairs, running over 13 operating centres and employing approximately 200 people between them.

SCRG said in the 2018 financial year, the combined businesses completed over 22,000 repairs for insurance companies, motor vehicle fleet management organisations, commercial and government customers, OEMs and motor vehicle owners.

The acquired businesses have each established brands and community and insurer relationships that will provide advantages and financial benefits, which includes cost synergies and increased purchasing power when operating as a consolidated group.

Portcullis House financed the acquisitions and has supplied a representative, Laurie Macri, to serve as SCRG’s Executive Chairman. Macri will be supported by business executive Brendon Glass, with a management personnel team in sales, finance, operations and general management also being formed to support the scale of business acquired.

Vendors of the businesses will remain with SCRG to allow a smooth integration and provide continual key operational and commercial input. Additionally, an executive committee has been established to monitor SCRG and will include the vendors, who will also remain material shareholders of SCRG.

“This represents the first step in SCRG’s life as a consolidator of high-quality smash repair businesses,” said Macri. “For the acquired businesses it is very much business as usual, while we look to implement operational synergies in procurement and enhanced site performance, as well as productivity improvements through a centralised support function and the application of integrated software. Our aim is to develop a high-scale, industry-leading operator with the customer at the centre of everything we do, and a culture of excellence.”

Axalta Hosts WorldSkills Regional Competition At Gold Coast Training Centre

Axalta Coating Systems organised and hosted the WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition for the Queensland region on 26 November, allowing young apprentices to showcase their talents in the Vehicle Painting category.

Axalta is a Principal Category Partner with WorldSkills Australia, supporting the 2019 Regional Competitions and the 2020 WorldSkills Australia National Competition. The competitors used the Standoblue waterborne basecoat for all colour application, involving a two-tone design which was specified by WorldSkills. Axalta said one of the benefits of using Standoblue basecoat is that it could be hardened and dried quickly, ready to mask up for the second colour all within a very small time frame – essential to getting everyone finished on the day.

The winners were Aaryn Mckeegan with Gold, Olivia Agnew with Silver and Angelina Jasmine Aitken who won Bronze, with the three of them each receiving a Sagola gun from Axalta.

“We are very proud to support these exceptional young Australians and provide them with new opportunities for growth,” said Paul Polverino, Training Manager at Axalta. “Axalta’s passion for our industry and desire to secure its future through young professionals is what drives us.”

The 2020 WorldSkills Australia National Competition will be held on 13 – 15 August at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Axalta said it will continue its partnering role as sponsor and supporter of the vehicle painting competitors.

Fix Auto Welcomes Sunny Auto Smash To Network

Fix Auto Australia has added its third new location in the last six weeks with the addition of Sunny Auto Smash Repairs in Sunshine, Victoria, a second-generation family owned repairer that has been in the community for over 50 years.

“With the rapidly changing nature of the smash repair industry today, we realised that we had a lot to gain by being part of a united network of independent repairers,” said John and Nicole Gebing, owners of Sunny Auto Smash Repairs. “Being part of Fix Auto allows us to continue to focus on what we do best which is do high quality repairs and delight our customers, while Fix Auto bring us the latest in systems, processes and support. We have already benefited from that extra set of eyes on the business in our first week and are looking forward to benefiting much more in the future.”

“John and Nicole epitomise everything our business strives for,” said Stuart Faid, Fix Network Regional Vice President and Head of Business in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. “We look for passionate, engaged owners who want to thrive and not just survive in today’s industry, and we partner with them to achieve that. Our franchise partners remain at the very centre of everything we do. Our mission is simple, to ensure sustainability for independently owned businesses and the smash repair industry at large. I am delighted to welcome Fix Auto Sunshine to our family and look forward to watching their business continue to thrive with us.”

NTSB Blames Uber Oversights For Deadly Self-Driving Crash

The USA’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of its investigation into the 2018 fatal Uber crash in Tempe, Arizona, which was widely believed to be the world’s first death by a self-driving car.

During a board meeting held to determine the probable cause of the 18 March crash, the NTSB said an Uber Technologies division’s “inadequate safety culture” contributed to the night-time fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. The vehicle operator was uninjured in the crash, while the pedestrian, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg who was walking her bike across the street, died.

Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group had modified the striking vehicle, a 2017 Volvo XC90, with a proprietary developmental automated driving system. The vehicle’s factory-installed forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems were deactivated during the operation of the automated system. An Uber ATG operator was in the driver’s seat, but the automated system was controlling the vehicle when it struck the pedestrian at 39 MPH (62 km/h).

The NTSB determined that the immediate cause of the collision was the failure of the Uber ATG operator to closely monitor the road and the operation of the automated driving system because the operator was visually distracted throughout the trip by a personal mobile phone. Contributing to the crash was Uber ATG’s inadequate safety risk assessment procedures, ineffective oversight of the vehicle operators and a lack of adequate mechanisms for addressing operators’ automation complacency – all consequences of the division’s inadequate safety culture.

“Safety starts at the top,” said Robert L. Sumwalt, NTSB Chairman. “The collision was the last link of a long chain of actions and decisions made by an organisation that unfortunately did not make safety the top priority.”

The NTSB recommended that the NHTSA require entities wishing to test a developmental automated driving system on public roads to submit safety self-assessment plans before being allowed to begin or continue testing, and that the NHTSA should review the plans to ensure they include appropriate safeguards.

Robert L. Sumwalt.

Standox Releases 2020 Colours Of Europe Calendar

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2020) will take place next year with Ireland to host some of the final games alongside other European countries. The Standox 2020 calendar is embracing the tournament, while highlighting certain cars.

Anatol Kotte, a German photographer, has captured Europe’s fascination with football in the Standox 2020 calendar – The Colours of Europe. Kotte captures the flair of 12 European countries in very individual ways, using subtle hints through shop signs, road markings or the colour of a licence plate.

Standox said the calendar’s images show people engrossed in what they do and aims to illustrate that football is more than a European championship, but rather has its roots in people’s playfulness. The calendar also shows some unique and rare vehicles, such as the Spyker C8 (which used to be manufactured near Amsterdam), a Lamborghini Aventador and a GAZ-14 Chaika from Russia.

“We have been working with well-known photographers to design our Standox wall calendar for over 30 years,” says Olaf Adamek, Brand Manager for Standox in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It is not commercially available, but goes exclusively to customers, partners and friends of the brand. We wish all participating countries the best of luck for all their matches and look forward to a fair and exciting Euro 2020.”

The calendar images can be downloaded online at www.standox.com/europe2020.

Axalta Opens Regional Training Centre In Western Sydney

Axalta has opened its customer regional training centre (RTC) in Western Sydney, which was inaugurated by Sobers Sethi, President Emerging Markets at Axalta Coating Systems, on 14 November.

“The new training facility uses the latest coating technologies, industry-leading training techniques, and advanced digital equipment to enable repairers to deliver the highest quality refinish, enabling our customers to be more efficient, productive, and profitable,” said Sethi. “We help our customers drive these improvements while also being mindful of the environment with sustainable techniques and products.”

Local customers and partners were invited to see the latest products in action and view the training environment, which includes industry leading equipment.

“Simply put, the new training facility offers the best training available in the region,” said Steven Brett, Managing Director of Axalta Coating Systems in Australia. “Axalta is a world leader in refinish and is consistently making significant investments, like the RTC, to enhance our capabilities and facilities to help customers grow their businesses.”

The training centre is equipped with two of the latest USI Chronotech spray booths and three full down draft preparation areas, which can be divided by electric curtains and feature a rail track system for easy vehicle side loading. There’s also three paint mix rooms with a large cleaning room and a spray box-booth for test panels and colour card spray outs.

Attendees will also learn from Axalta trainers in a theory room with the latest audio-visual equipment that can seat up to 20 people. The new facility also includes a storeroom for all consumables and tools, along with an air-conditioned lunch and kitchen area with modern facilities.

Win Tickets To Summernats 33

Summernats, the annual motoring event held at Exhibition Park, Canberra is coming back next year, and BodyShop News is giving you the chance to win free tickets.

Summernats 33 will be held from 2 to 5 January, 2020. The four-day festival attracts more than 100,000 people from Australia and around the world, featuring more than 2000 cars along with a great music line-up comprised of Airbourne, Bliss n Eso, Macarthur’s own Kerser and Aussie music legend Shannon Noll.

Besides the many reveals, there’s a whole lot of high-speed activities including burnouts, motorkhana, Honk Ya Horn, Go To Whoa and more.

BodyShop News has eight tickets to giveaway to Summernats 33! For your chance to win one of the tickets, simply email us at [email protected] and answer the following question: When will Summernats 2020 be held?