Light Up Your Life: New Technology - BodyShop Business

Light Up Your Life: New Technology

I admit it. I’m not a huge fan of new technology. Heck, I only own seven – none which I actually bought. People keep giving them to me, hoping to inspire me to move forward into the new millennium (or at least into the ’90s).

So trust me when I say I understand if you’re suspicious of new products or technologies. Nearly all of them claim to “speed the repair process,” so it’s natural to be skeptical about which ones actually do.

For example, lately I’ve been hearing a lot about ultraviolet (UV)-cured paint resins. “From wet spray to full cure in just two to five minutes, these resins offer significant improvement over even the fastest heat-assisted urethanes,” writes Mark Clark on pg. 72 of this issue. Sounds good, but if you’re using UV resins, you also need a UV light. (Unlike urethane paint, which eventually dries on its own, UV finishes won’t dry without application of UV waves).

“Are the paint manufacturers nuts?” you exclaim. “My techs don’t use the infrared light they’ve already got. And now you expect me to spend $1,800 on another lamp I can’t even read with?”

Point taken. But there are lots of things you can do with it. You just have to see the possibilities.

This “light you can’t even read by” isn’t just a piece of equipment – it’s a profit center. Yes, it cures UV paint resins, but if that’s all you think it’s good for, then you’re grossly underestimating its potential. Consider the following often-overlooked profit centers for shop UV lights*:

  1. Manicures & pedicures. Been trying to do a better job of marketing your shop to women? Problem solved. Invest in the newest colors available for UV-curable nail polishes, promote a current employee to “nail technician,” and you’re on your way. (FYI: Shop techs typically don’t make very good nail techs. It’s best to promote someone from the front office.)

  2. Dentistry. UV-cured resins also are used in fillings. Because you’ve already got the tools and the know-how (you drill and fill everyday), why not specialize in cut-rate dentistry? Says one tech, who’s thrilled by the prospect of performing back-alley dentistry: “Heck, we can even manufacture false teeth right on the premises! Sure, we’d cast them using automotive plastic filler and spray paint ’em with white car paint, but why pay thousands for false teeth when you can spend only hundreds for a set that looks almost as good?” The only downside (besides the legal liability, that is): insurer involvement.

  3. Tanning. Never mind that die-hard tanners wind up with a face like a fig and skin more suitable for a purse. Never mind that exposure to the sun’s rays causes cancer. These pesky problems are irrelevant to the droves of men and women who flock to tanning centers in the hopes of staying golden brown (or pinkish red) all year long.

So why not give them what they want while making a little extra money for yourself? Your UV light uses UV-A waves, just like tanning booths do – except your lamp is more powerful, entitling you to charge a premium for these “fast” tan sessions. Also a plus: You’ve already got a clientele – your collision customers. “Tan while you wait,” isn’t just a marketing slogan, but smart use of a customer’s time – especially if the car isn’t quite ready for delivery. Best of all, you set your tanning package prices. No insurer involvement here.

Georgina K. CarsonEditor* Disclaimer: BSB is not responsible for injuries and property damages done by and to those who actually attempt this stuff. For actual (and factual) information on UV curing, see “Paint Predictions (& Educated Guesses)” on pg. 72 of the magazine.

You May Also Like

Cruise Postpones Release of Driverless Taxi Service

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019.

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019. Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the company plans to dramatically increase the number of its autonomous test vehicles on the road in San Francisco, but will not be offering rides to regular people this year, according to an article from The Verge.

Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions Partners with Andretti Rallycross

Andretti Rallycross announced that Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions will serve as technical partner on Cabot Bigham’s No. 02 OINK Clothing Beetle for the remainder of the 2019 Americas Rallycross season, showcasing their SP Tools USA brand.

Ford, Volkswagen Expand Collaboration to Include Autonomous, Electric Vehicles

Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles – and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe.

CCAR Updates Website with More OSHA Alliance Resources

CCAR (Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair) has announced the addition of new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Alliance content on its main website,

CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine Open in California

Owned by husband-and-wife team James and Mary Davis, CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine are a family business.

Other Posts

CIECA to Offer Webinar on What Businesses Need to Know to Implement CIECA Standards

CIECA will hold its next CIECAst webinar, “Implementing CIECA Standards: Implementation Guide and Appendix C – BMS, Code Lists and Shema Components,” on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at 11 a.m. CST.

CARSTAR Urges Customers to Stay Winter Ready

Cold weather can create some of the harshest driving conditions of the year. The months between October and February top the list for accidents, vehicle damage and injuries.

CIECA Adds Broadly as Corporate Member

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced that Broadly has joined CIECA as a corporate member.

NABR Launches BillableGenie Online Searchable Database of Insurer-Paid Not-Included Procedures

National AutoBody Research (NABR) has announced the launch of its BillableGenie online service, an independent, centralized source of actual data on insurer paid not-included procedures and operations, labor rates, labor rate concessions and other manually entered estimate line items.