Snap Shop: LaMettry’s Collision ADAS Calibration Center

Oct. 28, 2020
LaMettry’s created an ADAS calibration center in an office park adjacent to one of its body shops.

Shop: LaMettry’s Collision ADAS calibration center Owner: The LaMettry Family Location: Bloomington, Minn. Staff Size: 3 Shop Size: 6,500 square feet, including offices and other space Number of Lifts: 1 Average Monthly Car Count: 180

Calibration is the norm

1. As more OEMs in recent years made advanced driver-assistance systems standard in their vehicles, the people behind LaMettry’s Collision, a Twin Cities-based MSO with nine locations, say they realized ADAS calibration was going to be part of their business for the foreseeable future.

Darrell Amberson, LaMettry’s president of operations, says techs scanned and calibrated with temporary set-ups as needed out of two other body shop locations before the company opted to go with a dedicated calibration center in a mixed-use space adjacent to its Blomington, Minn. location. He says the importance of calibrating a vehicle’s advanced driver-assistance systems following a crash needs to be better understood—he calls the lack of understanding a “weakness” in the collision industry.

Figuring it out

2. Tools atypical to body shops but helpful in precisely lining up vehicles to OEM-supplied calibration mats—carpenters squares and laser levels—hang on the center’s walls nearby another helpful tool: a Bosch DAS 3000. The way LaMettry’s staff members tell it, getting to the point of calibrations being a routine job took months of trial and error, troubleshooting, and tweaks, all while following factory repair procedures to a T.

Seeing the light

3. Lead tech Paul Bostel says one hidden hurdle was in plain sight: the center’s lighting. Glare and reflections, which would confuse instruments and lead to failed calibration, had techs scrambling to block unwanted light, before the shop solved the problem and installed a dimmable lighting system.

Low and high tech

4. While some calibration setups require the laser levels, Bostel says others are better lined up with strings. In the end, Amberson says, the shop adheres to OE procedures but has found certain tools allow for greater efficiency without a loss of precision.

On average, per Amberson, the center does four to eight vehicles per day. When it comes to the center’s schedule, body shop staffers try to research factory repair procedures for vehicles in order to ID those in need of calibration as early in the repair process as possible.