Performing products

bodyshop magazine looks at what the future holds for the repair industry in terms of performing products. We asked industry experts for their thoughts on the future of the bodyshop industry.

The need to develop new products, or indeed to redevelop old products to meet the changing needs of modern vehicles, is an issue many suppliers are currently facing. The increase in the amount of new materials vehicle manufacturers are using in cars, is just one of the changes that bodyshops must become accustomed to. One company that is working to meet this need is Mirka, it has developed a new range of abrasive products to deal with cars made from materials that were once reserved for premium vehicles but are now becoming more commonplace across the market.

Brian Johnson, ART sales manager, Mirka UK, said, ‘We are already seeing the future now. Lighter, reduced CO2 emission cars manufactured from aluminium and composites require performance abrasives that meet the specific demands of these materials. We have anticipated customers’ future needs with the introduction of our Aquastar patented flexible film abrasive that provides a durable, user-friendly product with excellent touch and feel properties, adapting its shape to the object’s surface to achieve a smooth, uniform finish.’

‘In addition, our new non-corrosion product range is the brainchild of the research and development department at our headquarters in Jeppo, Finland. We identified a market opportunity for the range, as there is a demand for products for the preparation of corrosion sensitive surfaces, combined with the fact that traditional abrasives contain high amounts of heavy metals such as iron, chromium and copper, which can damage the surface.’

‘These new non-corrosion abrasives contain the lowest possible amounts of heavy metal contaminant, which assists in preventing impurities contaminating the aluminium surface when sanding is taking place. While, at the same time, repairers can achieve the consistent, high quality finish they have come to expect from Mirka abrasives.’

While the need for change in the world of bodyshop abrasives is an interesting one, abrasives are just one element of a huge industry that must adapt to overcome future technologies, set to sweep the automotive landscape. In that sense, bodyshops and industry suppliers must become like Chameleons, acquiring the ability to change in order to suit new surroundings, which in this case is whatever new technology the automotive industry presents them with.