Pilkington Launches Calibration Service
NSG Group’s Pilkington North America Aftermarket Glass Replacement business unit recently launched a new service called The Calibration People™. It’s designed to provide additional access to remote and local calibration and for auto glass installers.
“As the percentage of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)-equipped vehicles continues to expand in line with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requirements, NSG Group has continually developed creative solutions for supporting the aftermarket auto-glass industry’s demand for windshield cam-era calibrations,” a portion of the company’s release reads.
The Calibration People has opened locations in Albuquerque, N.M. and Mobile, Ala., and expects to open more across the United States. The Calibration People’s first service location will provide a customer service experience from a variety of angles including static, dynamic and dual calibrations, as well as supplying other glass installation related accessories and supplies, the company noted.
“This innovative addition to Pilkington’s current calibration offering allows us to bring ADAS calibration to all the fully mobile installers across North America, while further supporting the brick and mortar customers’ remote calibration requirements,” said Bill George, business planning director. “We will continue to support the aftermarket installation channel during this time of unprecedented calibration demand.”
Number of Re-Calibrations Doubles from Last Year
“Just two years ago, less than 10% of vehicles were scanned. Fast forward to Q2 2020 and nearly 50% of vehicles re-paired include a charge on the estimate for Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) scanning,” said Ryan Mandell, Mitchell International claims performance director for auto physical damage unit. He cited research from Mitchell’s 2020 Third Quarter Industry Trends Report that highlights several items including an increase in calibrations, vehicle scanning and data-driven trends that impact the property and casualty industry.
The report said diagnostic scanning has become a critical step in the auto glass repair and replacement process, and that it should be the first and last step.
It highlights 2018-20 vehicle model years receive calibrations at more than double the rate of 2015-17 vehicles. The newest vehicles also take longer to repair with the average cycle time for 2018-20 drivable vehicles averaging 11.15 days compared to 10.67 days for 2015-17 drivable vehicles, according to the report.
“While these differences cannot all be attributed to the increased need for calibration, which certainly plays a role and is evident when examining the average cost of calibrations,” said Mandell.
According to the report, the average re-calibration cost for 2018-20 model year vehicles is $215.81. Meanwhile, the average cost for 2015-17 model year vehicles was $187.47, according to Mitchell International’s report.
“The desire to reduce cycle time and improve cost effectiveness for insurance carriers as well as profitability for repairers has resulted in Mitchell’s continued investment in diagnostic tools,” said Mandell.
Study Says Need for Re-Calibration is Overlooked
AdasThink, a Toronto-based software company has re-leased a study showing that Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) re-calibrations are routinely missed.
Its study focused on Canadian collision repair shops and included the following OEM vehicle models: Acura, Audi, Buick, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Land Rover.
adasThink examined 100 publicly-available estimates of vehicles so that it could conclusively determine ADAS systems were onboard the particular vehicle, and had ADAS re-calibrations required by OEM repair procedures been quoted based on the labor operations present on the estimate.
“We manually reviewed every estimate to verify that a re-calibration was required and that the shop identified a calibration or not,” a portion of the report reads. “Where a body shop included a pre- or post-scan, and there was an additional entry for resetting electrical components of one and a half hours or greater, we counted it as an identified ADAS calibration.”
The company noted that its data encompasses results from both public and private insurance regions. The vehicles that contained ADAS calibrations ranged from model year 2014 to 2020. According to the study, 88% of the 122 calibrations needed on the vehicles were missed by estimators.
“Only 15 estimates identified a re-calibration, for an estimate identification rate of 15%. However, the true total is lower, since only 15 total ADAS calibrations were identified,” a portion of the study reads. “Of the 15 ADAS calibrations identified by shops or appraisers, nine of those ADAS calibrations also included a replacement operation for the ADAS sensor itself—a complete giveaway that a calibration is required.”
CIECA issues New Calibration Standard
The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) has completed the 2020R2 Release of the CIECA Standards for the collision repair industry, which includes new Calibration Standards developed by CIECA’s Calibration Committee and an enhancement to CIECA’s Scanning Standards. The Calibration Committee included representatives of the Auto Glass Safety Council.
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