Colad Unveils Snap Lid System For SMART Repairs

Colad has released a small version of its Snap Lid system which is specifically designed for SMART repairs.

The system is available in two versions, 130 and 190 microns, and each system is comprised of 50 Snap Lids, 50 mixing cups and 10 sealing caps. The system is designed to enable quick and cost-effective repair to an area with small cosmetic damage by focusing on damage in a small localised area without needing to repaint the entire panel.

Colad says the solution takes less time and effort and reduces the cost of material and paint. Additionally, the cups are made of advanced durable plastic which makes them quite strong.

For more information, visit www.snaplid.com.

Nouryon Introduces Ingredient To Improve Battery Performance

Nouryon has begun the first deliveries of AkuPure, a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) polymer designed to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, which are skyrocketing in demand due to increased consumer interest in electric vehicles.

Nouryon says AkuPure is an ultra-high-purity CMC that improves the electrode coating process, making the battery more efficient by helping it to retain and deliver power more effectively. CMC is a sustainable polymer derived from cellulose sources such as wood or cotton that is used as a thickener, binder and rheology modifier in markets ranging from mining to pharmaceuticals.

“Customers in this market require ultrapure CMC [and] impurities can interfere with the performance of the battery or with production efficiency,” said Geert-Jan Beijering, Nouryon Product Director. “AkuPure has a number of properties key to the battery production process, such as the speed at which it dissolves and its low level of insolubles. The possibility to frequently charge and discharge a battery without losing performance under various temperature conditions is what matters most to our customers in this segment.”

“Our R&D team worked extremely hard to create a top-tier version of AkuPure, and this is the right time to bring this technology to market,” said Larry Ryan, Nouryon Americas Executive Vice President and President of Performance Formulations. “Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to rise, and as battery manufacturers struggle to find CMC that meet the stringent demands of the industry, we are introducing a more advanced solution.”

Nouryon recently announced plans to acquire CMC business J.M. Huber Corporation, which the company hopes will significantly broaden its portfolio of CMC products.

Hyundai, Kia Develop First Predictive Shift System

Hyundai and Kia have announced their development of the “world’s first predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) connected shift system”, which enables the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead.

According to the two companies, the system uses intelligent software in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) that collects and interprets real-time input from other technology, such as including 3D navigation, cameras and radar. The TCU then predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly. For example, when a relatively long slowdown is expected and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the transmission clutch temporarily switches to neutral mode to improve fuel efficiency.

“Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions,” said Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab head, Byeong Wook Jeon. “Even a traditional area of the automobile, such as the powertrain, is becoming a high-tech technology optimised for smart mobility through efforts to integrate ICT and artificial intelligence technologies.”

The companies tested a vehicle with the ICT connected shift system on a heavily curved road, resulting in the frequency of shifts in cornering being reduced by around 43 per cent compared to vehicles without the system. The system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by about 11 per cent, minimising driving fatigue and brake wear.

Hyundai and Kia say they are planning to further develop the ICT connected shift system into an even more intelligent transmission technology that can communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication, along with identifying drivers’ tendencies, to further refine gear-shift control.

JLR Developing Shape-Shifting Seat

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a new shape-shifting seat, designed to improve customer wellbeing, that will target health risks of sitting down for too long.

The seat uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking and may eventually be tailored to each individual driver and passenger.

Over a quarter of people worldwide (around 1.4 billion) are leading increasingly stationary lifestyles which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips and gluteals, causing back pain and increasing the chance of injury from falls or strains.

“The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects,” said Dr Steve Iley, JLR Chief Medical Officer. “We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.”

Dr Iley has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position. He said to remove bulky items in your pocket, note your shoulder positioning, ensure your spine and pelvis are straight, and support your thighs to reduce pressure points.

Symach Develops UVA-LEDtronic Technology

Symach has announced its new UVA-LEDtronic technology for drying and curing UV coating products.

Symach says the product is unique compared to known products on the market today, because it is more powerful with a lower 90-watt energy consumption, along with being more than double the drying speed of most known systems. The UV-LEDtronic is available as a portable lamp, the UVA-LEDtronic M1, that covers an area of 50 centimetres, or in the Flydry robotic version which is available in a FlyDry Hybrid model with IR-Drytronic and the UV-LEDtronic. There is also a UV-LEDtronic-only version called the FlyDry LE.

The LEDs used are of different wavelengths throughout the UV-A segment and are assembled along a line of reflectors which are designed to achieve the fastest and most efficient drying result. The LEDs are controlled by an electronic board with a temperature control device that shuts off the electric power if the device overheats from prolonged use. The LEDs are installed on an aluminium support equipped with a heat sink which allows for prolonged use of the lamp and drying several car panels in sequence.

Hyundai Develops Enhanced Cabin Noise Dampening Technology

Hyundai Motor Group says it has developed a world-first Road Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system. The new system dramatically reduces noise within the cabin of a vehicle.

RANC builds on the company’s current Active Noise Control (ANC) technology, which actively reduces noise by emitting sound waves inverted to incoming noise. ANC analyses the in-cabin sound to decrease engine and road noise, as opposed to the passive method of blocking noise through sound insulation.

Existing insulation methods involved insulation materials and dynamic dampers which increased weight and failed to block all buzzing infrasound. In contrast, ANC utilises much lighter parts like microphones and controllers to control the noise and reduces infrasound more efficiently.

Current ANC technology is limited by noise measurement and analysis technology, which is only able to be utilised when the noise is constant and the occurrence of the noise predictable. The new RANC can significantly improve quietness within the cabin by analysing various types of noise in real-time and produce inverted sound waves. It can process different types of road noises such as resonant sounds created between tyres and wheels or rumble sounds coming up from the road.

RANC uses an acceleration sensor to calculate the vibration from the road to the car, with the control computer taking 0.002 seconds to analyse the road noise and produce an inverted sound wave. The microphone constantly monitors the road noise cancellation status and sends the information to the digital signal processor (DSP).

Hyundai Motor Group said RANC was able to reduce in-cabin noise by 3dB – roughly half the noise compared to without RANC – potentially decreasing the amount of unsprung weight in a vehicle and utilising fewer sound-insulating parts and dampers.

The conglomerate has completed Korean and American patent applications for the location of sensors and the signal selection method – core RANC technologies. It added that RANC will first appear in an upcoming Genesis model.

Axalta Sells 60,000 Spectrophotometers

Axalta Coating Systems has announced the sale of its 60,000th spectrophotometer, with 10,000 sold globally in the past 15 months alone. The digital tools are used to accurately and quickly colour match, boosting the efficiency of body shops.

“Adopting a digital approach to colour matching and retrieval is a global trend that started 25 years ago when Axalta was one of the first coatings companies to offer a digital device and software to refinish customers,” said Dr Martin Wulf, Axalta’s Colour and Technical Manager for Refinish Systems in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Today, we encourage all of our users to future-proof themselves and optimise their efficiency by moving to digital colour measurement.”

Axalta says that refinishers take the colour readings from a vehicle’s paintwork using the spectrophotometer, which then wirelessly sends the readings to Axalta’s online global colour database. The colour matching software searches over 200,000 constantly-updated formulas and where necessary, automatically adjusts the closest formula to provide refinishers with the closest match. It can then be selected on a smartphone or tablet and sent via Wi-Fi to an IP scale for mixing the colour formula.

“The future is now,” said Wulf. “The spectrophotometer is clearly a valuable part of modern refinish work. We expect to see continued and significant growth globally as body shops adopt a completely digital way of working. For customers who are looking at going digital, we will support and help them make a seamless transition to a fully digital colour management process.”

Swinburne UT, Tradiebot Trialling 3D Printing Material, AR Mobile App

Swinburne University of Technology has started testing its newly formulated, 3D printable, polypropylene-based material. Declaring it a world-first development, the university is collaborating with industry partner Tradiebot Industries, with co-investment from the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC). The material will be used in the collision repair industry to 3D-print replacement plastic bumper bar tabs and headlight lugs.

According to a statement, the advanced plastic material is compatible with automotive-grade injection-moulded plastic, and will increase the number of parts being repaired and reused during the collision repair process, rather than those parts being sent to landfill or waste due to missing tabs and lugs. When ready for industry use, the solution will offer technicians a path to up-skill through learning to repair these parts and designing new replacement components for parts that would have previously required a brand-new replacement.

The material will be able to be 3D-printed using the WorxAR augmented reality (AR) mobile application under development by Tradiebot. WorxAR is expected to enable collision repair technicians to perform quality control on repairs by overlaying an original CAD diagram on the camera viewfinder display of a smartphone, tablet or smart glasses. The app will have the ability to scan broken plastic parts, generate a 3D model of the part and then enable the user to create, or select from a library, the required missing component. This missing component will then be 3D printed using the new automotive compatible material. The developed replacement parts will be stored in a digital library of pre-designed parts, ready for download and 3D printing.

The new material being tested in the form of a headlight base bracket.

“The new 3D printing material and the mobile app development marks a significant step towards the utilisation of new digital tools, additive manufacturing/3D printing and advanced materials in the collision repair industry,” said Mario Dimovski, Tradiebot CEO. “Tradiebot has been leading the way in 3D printing innovations in the collision repair industry for the past four years and is very excited to bring to market such an innovative solution.”

The polypropylene composite material, formulated in-house and developed by Swinburne materials scientist Dr Mostafa Nikzad and his team, will allow on-demand replacement tabs to be printed and fuse-welded by repair technicians on plastic car parts, enabling these broken parts to be reused, according to the statement. By keeping the plastic composites based on polypropylene, direct welding can be performed on bumpers or headlight bases, as most of these parts are made from the same material.

Dr Nikzad and his team were tasked with creating a material with the right bonding properties, strength and toughness required to meet automotive quality standards, while also possessing the necessary characteristics to be 3D printed. Compatibility with automotive grade injection moulded plastics was also required to be guaranteed.

“This is a ground-breaking development and I am is very proud of the work my team has achieved,” said Dr Nikzad. “It has been great working alongside an innovative project partner like Tradiebot. The initial idea to develop the material and how best to provide access to it for the industry is really exciting. I like the idea of using a mobile scanning app and creating your own replacement parts for printing. We are also now planning a second phase of this project that involves embedding self-healing capabilities into the material in a world-first.”

The statement added that IMCRC functions as a catalyst in the research collaboration, co-investing in 3D printing and material innovation that creates opportunities not just for Tradiebot and the collision repair industry, but for Australia’s broader manufacturing sector.

“I see the progress of the research collaboration as an indication of the things to come,” said David Chuter, CEO and Managing Director at IMCRC. “From day one, Tradiebot and Swinburne University have been working hand-in-hand, embracing opportunities as well as challenges to drive progress and get the job done. Seeing them test new 3D printing materials that did not exist two years ago and explore digital technology to enhance the user experience is very rewarding.”

Tradiebot said it aims to have the material and mobile application available to the market in early 2020, as the project moves into its final stage of commercialisation.

Post-Repair Calibration To Vehicle Manufacturer Tolerances Is Essential: Thatcham

Thatcham Research says it has provided much needed clarity to the automotive, automotive repair and insurance industries on how to manage vehicle repairs involving ADAS, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control.

According to Thatcham, more than 10 per cent of vehicles on the road today are fitted with AEB, equating to some four million cars. However, there is a dearth of information on how to approach the repair of these safety critical systems.

“As ADAS continues its ever-increasing penetration into the car parc, the lack of a clear approach to the repair of ADAS-equipped vehicles is having an effect across the whole repair industry,” said Richard Billyeald, Chief Technical Officer at Thatcham Research. “For their own peace of mind, insurers and repairers need proof that they have taken all reasonable steps to reinstate the safety functions of a vehicle before returning it to the road.”

The Thatcham Research position on the safe repair of ADAS is as follows:

If ADAS sensors, or parts that are in proximity to ADAS sensors, are included in a repair specification, calibration post-repair must be completed to confirm sensors are functioning to the vehicle manufacturers’ specified tolerances. In addition, to enable identification and safe repairs involving ADAS, vehicle repairers should:

  • Assess for the presence of ADAS sensors and record the outcome clearly
  • Research and seek guidance from relevant repair methods and calibration instructions
  • Ensure all calibration activities are completed by currently competent technicians
  • Complete system calibration in accordance with the relevant repair method / instruction
  • Be able to demonstrate that the calibration of all affected sensors has been completed and that the results of the calibration confirms functionality within the vehicle manufacturer’s specified tolerance – unless stated otherwise in the repair specification
  • Where no specific repair guidance exists, and functionality cannot be proven through systemised calibration, then advice should be sought from the vehicle manufacturer’s dealership network and appropriate action taken prior to vehicle release
  • If vehicle manufacturer information states dynamic calibration, this should be completed and confirmed prior to vehicle release

“ADAS supports the driver to prevent a crash in the first place,” said Billyeald. “This represents a huge step forwards for vehicle safety and the transition into more advanced assisted and automated driving will continue to raise the safety bar. However, whilst that benefit may be fully realised on a new car, maintaining it once a car has been repaired is vital.

“The whole industry needs to work together to make sure ADAS repairs are safe and vehicles are returned to the road quickly and efficiently. Equipment suppliers must ensure that verifiable evidence of a successful calibration is provided. Repairers must invest in training to ensure competent persons are reinstating ADAS safely, and vehicle manufacturers must provide ADAS fitment data and consistent advice around which repair scenarios will result in successful ADAS calibration.”

“Insurers are major supporters of systems which improve vehicle safety and reduce the frequency and severity of crashes,” said Laurenz Gerger, policy advisor for motor insurance at the Association of British Insurers. “With a number of assistance systems set to become mandatory from 2021, it will be even more important to have clear guidance on managing vehicle repairs involving them. Ensuring these high-tech systems are working effectively after a repair is an important part of putting a vehicle back onto the roads and we are committed to helping establish the standards and processes to make sure this happens.”

In addition to the information issued, Thatcham Research said it has created a guide for repairers on ADAS system calibration requirements and identifying component locations and functions. The organisation said it is also working with the industry to develop a code of practice and has commenced a round of consultation with vehicle manufacturers, insurers, windscreen repair and replacement companies, equipment providers and repairers. The full code of practice will then be released later this year.

Spies Hecker and Standox Gain Reapproval by BMW for 2019

BMW Group has renewed its annual approval of Spies Hecker and Standox. The agreement, which is for BMW and MINI passenger car repair, covers the BMW Group service network in 51 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Jürgen Knorr, Director, Key Accounts Director for Axalta’s Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa, says “Spies Hecker and Standox have been recommended by BMW Group for 22 years now and we are delighted to be continuing our very successful partnership.”

The agreement recommends BMW Group’s dealerships and service garages use Spies Hecker and Standox refinish paint technologies and the renewal is based on thorough performance testing. It also includes wide-ranging support and focused training from both Spies Hecker and Standox.

“Thanks to Axalta’s constant product and technology development, the refinish technologies offered by Spies Hecker and Standox are not only heavily focused on sustainability by helping to reduce energy consumption and waste and the use of less material, but also ensure the paintwork repairs on BMW cars perform to the specified quality levels. And innovations like Axalta’s Digital Colour Management help BMW Group’s dealerships and service garages to be more efficient and more profitable. By supplying our customers with innovative and cutting-edge technologies, we hope to gain reapproval for many more years to come,” says Knorr.