Archive | June, 2017

WHICH INDUCTION HEATER DO I NEED?

WHICH INDUCTION HEATER DO I NEED?

PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF INDUCTION INNOVATIONS

Induction heaters use magnetic flux to quickly heat ferrous metal and some aluminium parts, but which one is right for your application?

Our portable induction heater, the Mini-Ductor® Venom™, uses 1,000 watts of power, so when you do you need 2,000 watts of power provided by the Inductor® Pro-Max™?

To answer these questions, we’ve developed this handy guide to give you clarity.

Induction Heating Applications

The entire line of induction heaters from Induction Innovations® is ideal for removing parts that are corroded, rusted on, stuck on with adhesives or threadlock compound, or are otherwise sealed. Some examples:

• Agricultural & Farming Equipment (e.g. combines): Inductor Series
• Bonded Trim: Inductor Series with the Fast-Off Pad
• Brake Bleeder Nuts Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• CNC Machine Repair (spindles, rotary tables, nuts, bolts, etc.): Mini-Ductor Venom
• Corroded Exhaust Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Door Skin Removal: Inductor Series with the Fast-Off Pad
• Exhaust Manifold Bolt Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Flywheel Bolt Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Graphics Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Inline Connector Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Lug & Wheel Nut Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• O2 Sensor Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Rusted Nut Removal Near Fuel Lines: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Seatbelt Bolt Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Soft Dent Removal: Inductor Series with Concentrator attachment
• Spray-On Bedliner Removal: Inductor Series with Concentrator attachment
• Steering Bolt Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Tie Rod End Steering Nut Removal: Mini-Ductor Venom
• Trucks or Heavy Duty Equipment (including king pins): Inductor Series
• Windshield Removal: Inductor Series with Glass Blaster attachment

The thickness and type of ferrous metal determines how much wattage is needed to heat the part. For removing parts in the application below, more than 2,000 watts may be needed. This where the Pro-Max™ tool is ideal:

• Aerospace
• Construction
• Marine
• Military
• Rail

PROMAX Kit

Additionally, induction heating can be used to harden automotive parts to decrease wear and increase their lifespan. It can also be used to expand bearings so they can be mounted on an axle or other type of rod. These applications require either a service, hot plate or more sophisticated induction heating equipment.

Need help?

If you need to remove ferrous metal parts and still aren’t sure what you need, contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

12 month’s interest free on purchases over £500

To help spread the cost of your Inductor order, you can now receive 12 month’s interest free credit on purchases over £500. For more information, please call 01953 859138 or email info@theinductor.co.uk or visit www.theinductor.co.uk

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)

ICO CLOSES IN ON BODYSHOP DATA THIEVES

ICO CLOSES IN ON BODYSHOP DATA THIEVES

Theft of personal data is still common

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has searched two more properties in the North West of England as part of an ongoing investigation into nuisance calls linked to stolen bodyshop repair data.The latest search warrants were executed at a location in Gatley, Greater Manchester and Wilmslow, Cheshire where investigators seized computers and phones that are now subject to forensic examination.

“This illegal trade has multiple negative effects both on the car repair businesses targeted for their customer data and the subsequent nuisance calls made to customers. These can be extremely unsettling and distressing,” said, Mike Shaw, Enforcement Group Manager at the ICO. “These people won’t get away with it – any person or business involved in the theft and illegal trade of personal data may find themselves subject to ICO action.”

Since the investigation launched last year, ICO investigators have fined a Hampshire-based firm £270,000 after carrying out 22 million nuisance calls and imposed Keurboom Communications Ltd with a £400,000 penalty for the same offence. Two more properties were recently raided in Macclesfield and Droylsden but no sanctions have been confirmed.

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

RMI OPENS NEW ACADEMY IN RUNCORN

RMI OPENS NEW ACADEMY IN RUNCORN

Runcorn academy opens on 3rd July

The Retail Motoring Industry Federation (RMIF) has announced the launch of its MOT training facility in Runcorn, Cheshire.

The new 7,000 sq ft. warehouse follows a similar set-up to the Southam site in Warwickshire, but includes a larger workshop space allowing delegates to carry out MOT Tester training before completing the final test on their work premises. In addition, this is supported by two MOT bays for class four and seven vehicles, a dedicated service ramp and three classrooms catering for industry events and seminar programmes.

Speaking of the launch, Stuart James, Independent Garages Director at the RMI, said. “We decided to open an academy in Runcorn because of the significant number of businesses around the area”. He continued. “Delegates at our latest facility can expect new MOT Tester training for classes four and seven vehicles. We are also doing Level 1 and 2 Motorcycle and a Pre-Mot Testing Level 3 course to support individuals who want to become MOT testers or become eligible to go onto the course”.

The federation will integrate the Independent Garage Association’s training infrastructure, with the inclusion of new courses starting later this year. RMI’s Stuart James provided further insight. “One thing we’re doing in the near future is launching the IGA’s new training regime where we will have a suite of new on-site courses. The newest addition is the ‘Oscilloscope course pilot’, which we have run and will be coming out soon”, adding that the firm’s next course catalogue will be available to the trade next month.

Although there have been discussions of opening an academy in Basingstoke, the team are focusing on getting the Runcorn facility up and running at full capacity before tackling their next project. The site is available to both members and non-members of the RMI.

Posted in Garage News, Latest News, NewsComments (0)

ECP IN FRESH ASA RAP OVER ‘MISLEADING’ CAMPAIGN

ECP IN FRESH ASA RAP OVER ‘MISLEADING’ CAMPAIGN

ECP’s email marketing attracts ASA ruling

A promotional email sent out by Euro Car Parts last Christmas has been found to be ‘misleading’ by the advertising watchdog in a ruling published today (June 21).

An email was sent with the text: “Up to 69 percent off. Use code: XMAS”. However, three complainants who believed only one product had the full 69 percent discount, challenged whether the ad was misleading.

In response, ECP said that 10,378 products in the promotion received a discount of 69% or more and that this amounted to 11% of the total promoted stock. They explained that each product had a ‘Was’ price which was the price that Euro Car Parts regarded as their normal retail price for the product, and which had previously been charged either online or in stores. There was also a ‘Now’ price which was the price available to customers on that day without using the promotional code. They provided price history data for ten randomly selected products. They said the individual discount available on each featured product was revealed when the consumer used the ‘XMAS’ discount code at the checkout.

The ASA ruled against ECP. “We noted the discount applied to a price that had previously been charged either online or in stores, and that, when the discount was worked out against the price which was available to customers on that day without using the promotional code, the discount consumers actually received was significantly lower than the one being advertised. For example, a washer that had previously been sold at £0.38, and on that day was being sold for £0.12, was reduced to £0.08 once the code was entered. The advertised discount for that product was 79%, whereas the discount against the price on the day was 33%”.

The ASA told ECP ‘to ensure they did not exaggerate the savings available when making “up to” claims and to ensure that consumers were provided with information about the discount available on specific products on the relevant product pages’ and the promotion can’t run again in the same form.

This latest ruling is the third brush with the ASA that ECP has had in just over a month. Previously, the company were found to have another ‘misleading’ email promotion over the price of oil, but were cleared over a separate complaint on a separate TV commercial.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, NewsComments (0)

ZF AND HELLA SIGN SENSOR DEVELOPMENT DEAL

ZF AND HELLA SIGN SENSOR DEVELOPMENT DEAL

Dr. Stefan Sommer (L) and Dr. Rolf Breidenbach (R)

OE brands ZF and Hella have inked a deal which will see both suppliers cooperate on sensor technology, such as front cameras, imaging and radar systems.

Both firms will now begin a joint development project in camera technology, aiming for a market launch in 2020.

“This strategic partnership for sensor technology with Hella enhances our position as a complete systems supplier for modern assistance systems as well as autonomous driving functions,” says Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “This non-exclusive cooperation with Hella is an important expansion of our Vision Zero ecosystem of development partnerships. Thus, we can create a wider technological foundation for safety and autonomous driving.”

Dr. Rolf Breidenbach, CEO at Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., added: “Hella is a strong and experienced provider of sensor technologies. Our knowledge aligns perfectly with ZF’s expertise. By combining our strengths, we clearly aim to provide market leading and high performing assistance systems and autonomous driving functions. In addition, this cooperation will strengthen Hella’s position as a well-regarded supplier for imaging and radar sensor technologies.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, Retailer News, SensorsComments (0)

NBRA ISSUES SECURITY ADVICE TO MEMBERS

NBRA ISSUES SECURITY ADVICE TO MEMBERS

NBRA Director Jason Moseley

The National Bodyshop Repair Association (NBRA) has issued security advice to businesses in a bid to prevent further cyber attacks, following last month’s ICO raids on addresses where computers thought to have been used in the cyber crimes were seized.

“The National Body Repair Association (NBRA) has been focusing heavily on protecting member’s interests related to data security within bodyshops over the past 12 months”, said Jason Moseley, Director of NBRA. “Our latest move following last month’s massive ransomware cyber-attack, the NBRA has communicated some critical IT security advice to our members to protect their business”.

He adds. “The attack hit the NHS, the French carmaker Renault, many banks and companies around the world. The ransomware that hit the contract with Halfords NHS in England and Scotland, known as ‘Wanna Decryptor’ or ‘WannaCry’, has infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday.”

Some points advised to NBRA members include implementing an actively supported operating system that receives regular updates as well as a ‘disaster recovery plan’ backing up content onto devices kept offline. Moseley also encourages bodyshops to run anti-malware software ensuring they regularly receive signature updates.

Moseley concluded by saying, “We are in a new era of cyber criminality and as a trade association we have a duty of care to assist members to secure their businesses. Being a NBRA member means bodyshops have access to the latest information”. More details can be found on the firm’s website.

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (0)

SPREADING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SUSPENSION

SPREADING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SUSPENSION

Is training garages partly the responsibility of the supplier?

TADIS training platform

As vehicles get ever more complex, do parts suppliers and factors have a responsibility to train garages about the systems that use parts that they sell?

Brian Sanders, Buisness Support Manager at Tenneco says that they do. “We do indeed encourage training throughout the industry, and since its launch in 2007 Tenneco has actually delivered education to 360,000 trainees. Our trainings actively cover technical aspects of our products in both the Ride Performance and Clean Air categories as well as providing soft skills such as sales and negotiation, presentation and communication skills”.

Taking a slightly different angle, Yvette Koehorst from air suspension maker Arnott Europe says: “Arnott believes it’s shared responsibility. We actively try to educate the garage owners and mechanics, especially because replacing air suspension is seen as ‘complicated’ which is not the case” she says. “Anyone that can replace a normal shock absorber can replace air suspension. For example, we have created a ‘tips and trick’ and a ‘most common made mistakes’ sheet which we will also be distributing at Automechanika Birmingham as well”.

VALUABLE INFO
Kevin Price, a Manager at ZF Aftermarket is of the belief that manufacturers cannot provide enough information to garages. “We have long advocated making our technical information freely available to the garages” he says. “If we and other OE quality manufacturers don’t do this, then eventually the IAM business model will collapse. Contradicting the ethos of block exemption, this would limit customer choice and force drivers towards the more expensive main dealer – whether they wanted to or not; as they would be the only ones with the ability and the money to cater for the new and emerging technological system environments in which the components operate.”

“Suppliers must also play their part in ensuring that the manufacturer messages and available resources are passed on in an unbiased way to the garages,” Price adds. “Their business model is such that they have the biggest access to the garages and the means to inf luence decision making”.

For all of this, Price believes that it will ultimately always be the garage owners who will decide how well their workforce are trained. “The garages should take advantage of the training available and embrace it as a vital investment in order to remain competitive and future proof their business” he says.”Of course, this can be difficult in terms of time off versus labour needed to complete the jobs won – and this is where online and remote training comes into its own”.

On that subject, Price’s firm offers a subscription-based workshop concept called ‘Pro Tech’. This allows garages who have joined the scheme access to a number of short courses and training modules. “The courses have a strong practical emphasis that complements the theory, and are continuously updated in line with ZF’s development in its chosen areas of driveline, chassis and steering” explains Price. “The course content ranges from assembly, repair and servicing of power steering units and clutches, to the trouble-shooting of 6HP and 8HP automatic transmissions and torque converters. The modules include the detailed specifics of popular passenger cars sold across the defined markets”.

Arnott’s Koehorst says that her firm has also put some training resources online. “For a growing number of products we also have installation videos where mechanics can literally see step-by-step how a replacement should be done. Most of our products are made as ‘plug & play’ solution so that with the guidance of the manual, any mechanic is able to replace the worn down air suspension part” she says. “Additionally they can always email or call us for technical assistance”.

Tenneco’s Sanders explains that his firm has put its training materials into an online portal, where customers can access all the content in one place. “It is called TADIS (Technicians Advanced Digital Information System) and you can find technical bulletins, fitting instructions, technical videos, and comprehensive product support and cataloguing in one place” he explains.

It seems that these technical resources are more than just added value as they offer useful advice for technicians, which should encourage repeat business and fewer non-faulty returns – plus of course, a nation of delighted motorists. Now isn’t that something we could all subscribe to?

Posted in CAT Know-HowComments (0)

TRAINING TO KEEP THE AIR CLEAN

TRAINING TO KEEP THE AIR CLEAN

Ever-tighter rules mean workshops need to take advantage of training opportunities

Klarius exhaust portfolio

With talk in the news of dirty air affecting public health means it’s down to the independent sector to have the tools and technical know- how to service these parts or risk losing business to other garage networks and franchise dealers. But where can they go to learn about the latest systems?

EMISSIONS TRAINING
Julian Goulding, UK Marketing Manager at Delphi, says that technicians can benefit from enrolling onto the firm’s ‘Understanding Emissions’ course, that focuses on helping workshops diagnose and fix petrol faults without hassle. “Delphi’s ‘Understanding Emissions’ covers diagnosing petrol faults using the exhaust emissions data, looking at gases coming out of petrol vehicles and related ECU controls”, said Goulding. “It’s a one day course and the aim is to be able to accurately diagnose engine management faults”, adding that the firm also runs a ‘Diesel Emissions Exhaust After Treatment’ programme, allowing garages to repair EGR valves, DPFs and AdBlue systems effectively.

Similarly, exhausts manufacturer Klarius Products has run its IMI accredited scheme for over a year, with further plans to launch a second level instalment later this year. Doug Bentley, Head of Research and Development at the firm, explains more. “The Emissions Control Training is a scheme aimed at technicians operating in independent garages. The course is modular and runs over two days; covering new technology, best practice, legislation and failure modes regarding exhausts, catalytic converters, DPFs and additive systems”. He adds. “The course is held in various locations around the country with four modules offered in level one”.

DIAGNOSIS AND PROLONGIVITY
Although it seems imperative to train-up staff, Mark Blinston, Commercial Director at BM Catalysts, mentions that a large proportion of garages are still misdiagnosing DPFs, usually ending up with the clogged filter returning to the workshop or sent off for regeneration. “The issues garages are typically facing is a lack of understanding and awareness for the DPF to go faulty in the first place”, said Blinston. “One problem factor we hear of is that a DPF comes to the end of its life cycle but the technician forgets to reset the ash counter on the ECU during replacement. The car then thinks it’s still full of ash and before you know it, a warning light appears on the dashboard”. Delphi’s Julian Goulding agrees. He said. “The main issue is the correct diagnosis of what has caused the issue on the DPF to fail”.

UPCOMING TECHNOLOGY

Speaking about its catalyst and exhaust portfolio, Paul Newby, Commercial Director of EEC, explains that the
manufacturer’s parts contain a 409L (low carbon) steel grade providing added corrosion protection and durability while complying to industry standards. “All of our catalytic converters metal work elements are formed from stainless steel” said Newby. “The 409L steel grade features a specific amount of nickel and chromium on the substrate with high temperature corrosion resistance characteristics. Our exhausts, flanges and hooks are typically stainless steel coated with aluminum for high level corrosion resistance as well”.

In the near future, petrol- powered vehicles may have filters akin to a DPF fitted as standard. VAG plans to fit the first GPF (gasoline particulate filters) on the Tiguan and Audi A5 from next month, while the Group predicts around seven million of its models will incorporate this technology by 2022. VAG also claims that the new filters contain the same properties found in modern diesels and can reduce soot particles up to 90 percent.

Meanwhile, there will be many opportunities for workshops to clean or replace DPFs for some time yet, as despite the bad headlines, new diesel registrations are relatively unaffected. “As with the introduction of any new technology, significant uptake is going to take time for full EVs with a technology yet to be fully proven .” said Klarius’ Doug Bentley. EEC’s Paul Newby concurs. “We’ve seen strong growth in DPF sales and for the foreseeable future we will continue to see an increase in this area”.

As the old saying goes, ‘It’s better late than never’, a slogan some garages may act on if they don’t get to grips with the new emission laws, technologies and training soon to remain competitive and in business.

Posted in CAT FeaturesComments (0)

PICKING THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

PICKING THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

We visit a fully automatic logistics hub in Germany

You can’t read a press release in 2017 without mentally editing out buzzwords such as ‘lean’, ‘just in time’ and ‘finding efficiencies’and in some ways you can see why. In these times of giant trading groups and service in which next day delivery might as well be a month, if your business involves pushing boxes, then you need to find the best way to do it.

For the Ferdinand Bilstein Group in Germany this meant automation. While it is based on or around the site on which it was founded in Victorian times, there is nothing old fashioned about the firm’s main logistics hub in Ennepetal, Germany as it features a huge and fully automatic plant building to store and push out in the region of 130,00 SKUs every day.

Efficiency was clearly the deciding factor when the firm chose to build an automated warehouse, but it is also worth noting that Ennepetal is very hilly so physically building a manual-pick warehouse with the capacity that the firm needs would be very difficult as a great deal of extra land is needed to make up for the lack of height.

A deal was done with a firm called Witron Integrated Logistics Corp., headquartered in Parkstein, Germany to develop and act as contractor to build, commission and maintain the hardware, known as Automated Storage and Retrival Systems. This wasn’t the first venture for Bilstein Group with Witron as a smaller operation had been commissioned elsewhere on the Ennepetal site a few years previously. That first project was a four-aisle tote (as the crates that are used on such systems are known) picking solution proved to be extremely successful and is still in operation.

Given the success of the first project, the new machinery was ordered and put into commission around five years after the first.

EXPERIENCE
It is one thing to describe an automatic warehouse on paper, but it is entirely different to see it running in front of your eyes. As you can see in the stats, the main part of the warehouse is much higher than is usual, as there is no need for regular fork lift trucks because robotic cranes are built in to each aisle and can access each tote location as quickly and as easily as finding a cell on a spreadsheet. There can be no people inside the aisles while the machine is running – indeed there can’t be because an automatic stop is built into a high metal gate that prevents anyone getting too near the hardware. This meant that the robots can run at very high speed in safety across the grid of 227,000 double-deep tote locations.

Pallets come to the picker

Another point to note is the lights – or lack of them. These installations are often referred to as ‘dark warehouses’ because there is no need for artificial light, and in this case the large storage space really does look like night. An algorithm dictates the location of each tote-contained item and this will be automatically updated if the order frequency changes for example. There is no need for human intervention.

Alongside the tote picking machinery, there is a row of machines dealing with palletised storage. Using a similar logic system, there is room for some 61,000 pallets also stored double deep.

After the robot has selected the pallets, they roll on conveyors to modular packing stations known as ‘pick to light’. A (human) picker takes the number of items displayed on a lightbar in front of them out of the pallet. They then push a button and the pallet rolls away for the machine to take it back to its storage location, while the next pallet is dispatched to the picker.

PACKING KIT
Another major part of the business is repacking bulk products into kits – timing belt kits, for example. As anyone who as ever been on the tools will testify, there is nothing more annoying than finding at the critical point that there is an incorrect or missing part from the kit. At Bilstein, automation has meant that this is all but impossible as the system weighs each kit for any discrepancies. There’s no need for the workers to go rummaging around for the parts needed to make each kit either, as the tote-picking machines mentioned earlier deliver all the crates needed to a number of stations in a process known as ‘goods to person’. After picking the items needed, the product tote zooms away on the rollers, to be followed by the next tote until the order is complete.

There is much more that could be written about the details of an automated warehouse, and this is only a brief insight as we saw and understood the machinery – undoubtedly a representative of the company could do a much better job of explaining it’s intricacies. Fortunately, you may get to see a similar system in the UK as Bilstein Group has commissioned similar equipment to be installed at its new project under construction in Markham Vale. We look forward to bringing you the full details soon.

Posted in Out and About with CATComments (0)

THE PARTS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES AA PARTNERSHIP

THE PARTS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES AA PARTNERSHIP

The Parts Alliance has announced a five year partnership with the AA. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The group will now supply batteries, vehicle parts and consumables to one of the UK’s largest vehicle breakdown service firms over the next five years.

Speaking of the partnership,  Sarah Millward, Commercial Director Road Operations at the AA, said: “Both sides have been working diligently to ensure the varied and special requirements of Britain’s largest breakdown organisation can be met”. She continued. “The Parts Alliance has shown it has the footprint and market leading systems to support our needs, while also providing access to a wide ranging supply of quality parts, which is critical in enabling us to maintain our service to our members.”

“The length of this contract with the AA is testament to our partnership to date and is a major business win for our group” said Mike Curry, The Parts Alliance National Accounts Sales Director:  “We are supplying the AA with premium quality brands from stock to provide an all makes parts programme, our market leading catalogue Allicat identifies the correct vehicle fitment required and has the lowest product returns rate within our industry which helps reduce breakdown repair times”.

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance, concluded: “We are delighted to be a business partner and supplier to the AA, one of Britain’s most trusted brands. “As with all our customers, we want to go that extra mile to ensure we deliver the right level of support, quality parts, systems and innovation to meet their needs. Allicat and our PartVend are two examples of how we can do this.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, NewsComments (0)

Advertisement
  • What do connected cars have in store for the aftermarket?
  • Battery Store: What are suppliers planning this winter?
  • Suspension, spark plug and charger plants visited

more info

    • 'Electric vehicles will disrupt the aftermarket as we know it' Agree?

      View Results

      Loading ... Loading ...
    • Popular
    • Latest
    • Comments
    • Tags
    • Subscribe