As Published in Fender Bender — February 28, 2020
Everyone knows ADAS presents a large repair problem for many collision repair shops. The pinpoint calibrations, proper repair procedures, tools and techniques required are not only new to many collision repair shop owners, they’re also fairly new to the collision repair industry at large.
Everyone knows alignment demands more of each shop. Everyone knows the risks involved in not repairing fenders, quarter-panels and more to like-new status. And everyone knows how time consuming and difficult it can be. Everyone knows it’s hard.
What the Matrix Wand measuring device presupposes, however, is...maybe it’s not?
“We want to make sure everything is in order before we touch the vehicle,” says Paul Sgro, owner of Lee’s Garage, a two-shop operation in eastern New Jersey.
We pre-scan and document the vehicle completely and measure it with the Matrix Wand. It’s a great diagnostic tool for our blueprinting team and helps the next process with accurate, reliable data.”
Sgro remembers measuring for alignment with the Tram Gauge; “It served its purpose for what it was because it's all we had.” Sgro enjoys the ease, simplicity, and sheer reliability of the Wand. Time moved on, and so did technology.
“The Wand was developed to increase safety and it helps us do a better job. If we can document it, fix it, and get paid for it, it offers peace-of-mind for our consumer and ourselves,” he says.
“We did it right. We did the right thing helping them get back on the road again knowing the vehicle is safe for the family.”
A Brief History of the Matrix Wand
In 2012, the Matrix Wand won the Best New Product Award for the collision repair and refinish division at the SEMA New Product Showcase. Much has changed in vehicular design, ADAS and collision mitigation systems, and the sheer volume of technology both within the vehicle and the Wand itself.
Recent innovations include:
- Upgrading from a 32- to a 64-bit system
- Higher-resolution imaging
- An enhanced self-calibration board
- A shorter, more portable Wand design
The Matrix Wand is the collision shop’s tool of choice to quickly identify hidden damage and improve workflow through the shop (as it has as Lee’s Garage). Prior to the Wand, blueprinting each vehicle that arrived in the shop was time-consuming and often cost-prohibitive. Tearing down each car to find hidden damage on the frame machine consumes valuable time, labor and shop floor space.
With the Matrix Wand, every vehicle that goes through the shop can be measured in a matter of minutes. The Matrix Wand can be used to:
- Ensure accurate estimates the first time. This reduces supplements and increases efficiency and profitability throughout the repair process.
- Blueprint the work to be carried out and the parts required.
- Verify the repair by comparing points to the Mitchell Reference Database, which is integrated into the Matrix Repair Software.
- Provide documentation for insurance companies and customers to improve customer satisfaction and reduce liability.
Upgrade Your Shop
Sgro is adamant that the Wand changed his shop.
“It’s all about documenting a vehicle today for liability purposes; there are so many things that require safety. If it looks like it lines up well, that’s not enough--we need to know. If it gets into an accident, will the fender, for instance, do what it’s supposed to do? The Wand helps us verify that.”
Sgro particularly enjoys the cloud-based updates, which also makes training much easier. Training is expensive and often complicated, but Matrix has expedited that process with an intuitive, web- and cloud-based training system that even offers I-CAR credits to further bolster skill sets and shop certifications.
“The right tool can help change your culture,” Sgro says.
“If you care enough to make the car safe for the consumer, it trickles down—as a leader, you have to show your technicians what your priorities are, and that will become their priorities.”