How to do your bit to save plastic waste, and boost profit at the same time!
Repairing plastic is not only the right thing to do, it’s a key profit opportunity for your business
As plastic content on vehicles increases and pressure grows in every sector to reduce the amount of plastic thrown away, to it makes sound business sense to invest in the right repair process and equipment.
Properly embracing plastic repair represents a great opportunity for repairers to sell more labour hours and increase gross profit. But to do it well, you need to understand how repairable plastic is and ensure your technicians are confident with the various repair methods available.
Eco managing director Trevor Ferris points out that plastic content on vehicles has increased a lot in recent years, and continues to increase.
“The opportunity to repair more is significant especially when you think that parts make up 65 per cent of an average repair invoice.
We know that some repairers have been put off by the inconsistent quality of plastic repairs, which can lead to costly re-works. But identifying the particular plastic to be repaired, and focusing on the correct repair process, minimises the risk of re-works.
Of course it’s important to follow manufacturer-approved methods, but almost all plastic is repairable to its original standard, as long as the correct repair process is used for the type of plastic being repaired.”
When repairing, did you know there are two types of plastic to consider?
There are two sorts of plastic to consider: thermoset and thermoplastic. They have a different composition and behave in different ways during the repair process, but by matching the repair material to the substrate material, differences in expansion and contraction rates between the two, particularly in the oven, are reduced or eliminated. This ensures a lasting, high-quality repair.
Compare a bumper from a modern car with its counterpart a decade or older. Today’s bumpers contain a line-up of ADAS sensors and gadgetry, meaning any repair has to be very precise to ensure there is no risk of compromising the effectiveness of any built-in safety technology.
Lane assist and pedestrian detection are just two of the common systems that are now being packed into the vehicle’s bumpers. That’s one of the primary reasons why it’s critical not to increase the thickness of the substrate around the area of the repair, and why metal staples should only be used to stabilise a repair.
As a rule, staples should always be removed before refinishing, to avoid the risk of interfering with system sensors.
Advances in plastic repair technology, including Plastic Fusion Welding System, ensure strong plastic repairs, using nitrogen to increase the integrity and strength of any weld. Plastic Fusion repair techniques are relatively simple and quick to learn, and technicians will swiftly be able to undertake a wide range of consistently top quality plastic repairs on bumpers, wheel arch liners, headlamps, wing mirror housings and other plastic parts.