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The 2017 FenderBender Tech+Tools Survey

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Dec 2017 Survey

The Tech+Tools Trends

Stepping back, we can observe how technology at shops has changed in the past three years, from the front office to body to paint.

 

Front Office

While many shops were just as likely to invest in electronic estimating systems three years ago as they are in 2017, very little appears to remain the same when it comes to the front office of collision repair shops. The average shop that participated in FenderBender’s survey is much more likely to have a streamlined system in place for managing customer service, parts procurement and KPIs overall.

 

2014 vs. 2017

Percentage of shops utilizing...

2014

2017

An electronic management system

55%

65%

Parts procurement software

54%

70%

CSI software

37%

50%

KPI tracking software

33%

46%

CRM software

22%

36%

 

Paint Department

Although the 2017 FenderBender Tech+Tools Survey expanded the number of questions covering paint departments at shops, when analyzing comparable data between 2014 and 2017, some trends have continued to grow. Particularly, the use of waterborne paint has jumped by over 10 percent, and shops are much more likely to have multiple spray booths in place.

 

The Typical 2014 Shop

47% spray solvent-based paint

36% spray waterborne paint

58% have one spray booth

30% have two spray booths

54% have increased air movement for waterborne systems

64% have supplemental fresh air system for painters

 

The Typical 2017 Shop

37% spray solvent-based paint

48% spray waterborne paint

52% have one spray booth

39% have two spray booths

63% have increased air movement for waterborne systems

67% have supplemental fresh air system for painters

 

Body Department

When it comes to body departments, only a few differences stick out between the 2014 and 2017 surveys. While today’s shops are more likely to invest in tech and tools overall, there are some areas where shops have actually regressed since 2014.

 

2014 vs. 2017

Percentage of shops that have...

2014

2017

Equipment to rivet and bond body panels

75%

69%

Plastic welding equipment

72%

70%

A squeeze–type resistance spot welder

58%

69%

A 3D measuring system

55%

64%

 

Advanced Materials

As signified by the 42% of shops that were planning on investing in equipment for aluminum repairs in 2014, the immense 25% jump in shops capable of performing aluminum repairs should be no surprise—the same can be said about shops’ ability to handle carbon fiber components. But upon looking deeper at the numbers for each respective year, what perhaps sticks out more is what specific equipment shops are investing in.

 

Aluminum

2014

31% have the capability and equipment to repair aluminum components

81% have a 220v pulse MIG welder specifically for welding aluminum vehicles

30% have a designated welding fume extraction system

55% have a specialized aluminum self-piercing rivet (SPR) gun

50% have a clean room that isolates aluminum repairs

41% have frame alignment fixtures

73%  have a designated set of hand/special tools specifically for aluminum vehicles

24% a wet mix dust-extraction system

0%  have a dent-extraction system specifically designed for aluminum that contains an aluminum stud welder, heat gun, pyrometer, aluminum hammers, and dent extraction system

 

2017

56% have the capability and equipment to repair aluminum components

85% have a 220v pulse MIG welder specifically for welding aluminum vehicles

28% have a designated welding fume-extraction system

60% have a specialized aluminum self-piercing rivet (SPR) gun

50% have a clean room that isolates aluminum repairs

42% have frame alignment fixtures

87%  have a designated set of hand/special tools specifically for aluminum vehicles

33% a wet mix dust-extraction system

0%  have a dent-extraction system specifically designed for aluminum that contains an aluminum stud welder, heat gun, pyrometer, aluminum hammers, and dent extraction system

 

Carbon Fiber

2014

9% have the capability and equipment to repair advanced structural composites or carbon fiber components

56%  have a GMA MIG welder with silicon bronze welding capabilities

46% have dedicated specialty hand tools

41% have a clean room to isolate carbon fiber repairs

33% have a designated dust-extraction system

26% have a hot bonder unit

23% have vacuum bagging equipment

10% have an electronic digital tap hammer

10% have a heat blanket system

5% Caul plates for molding carbon fiber

3% Freezer for prepreg carbon fiber reinforcement material  

 

2017

15% have the capability and equipment to repair advanced structural composites or carbon fiber components

100% have a GMA MIG welder with silicon bronze welding capabilities

35% have dedicated specialty hand tools

30% have a clean room to isolate carbon fiber repairs

22% have a designated dust-extraction system

30% have a hot bonder unit

23% have vacuum bagging equipment

10% have an electronic digital tap hammer

10% have a heat blanket system

5% Caul plates for molding carbon fiber

3% Freezer for prepreg carbon fiber reinforcement material

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