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Calibration considerations: What you need to know to get your locations ready

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 06:00
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The concept of an MSO having one or more calibration centers is still very new, but the rapidly changing vehicle technology is attracting immense attention within our collision repair industry. There are a number of ways for an MSO to address calibrations including various dealer and independent sublet resources as well as contracting with an outside vendor to provide a technician to perform the work in-house. But there are those of us who find appeal in creating our own department or separate business as a source to handle such needs. The obvious benefits include process control, convenience, improved cycle time, a higher level of independence, better quality control, an internal source for high tech knowledge, and the opportunity for another profit center. Therefore I believe it worth our while to look further into this topic.

In part one of this topic — “Consolidating calibration,” October 2018 — we reviewed the state of the industry regarding the increasing frequency of the need to perform calibrations. We covered site requirements, staffing, administration and equipment. Because it is critical, let’s review what it takes to be Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) ready, as suggested by Chuck Olsen of Air Pro Diagnostics.

Being ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) ready
First and foremost, collision repair shops must be educated on what ADAS is, how to identify ADAS systems, when ADAS calibrations are required and how existing vehicle systems or sensors are integrated with ADAS functionality.

Second, shops should identify optional ADAS equipment on a vehicle. This can be done in several ways or a combination of methods.

Third, shops should review OEM information ADAS calibration requirements:

  • ADAS component replacement or removal and re-installation
  • Disconnection/reconnection of ADAS components
  • Alignments, or steering/suspension repairs
  • Related system repairs to ABS, Traction Control or stability control
  • Document performed procedures.

Fourth, before any (dynamic road test) or (static target placement) calibrations of ADAS cameras, radar, lidar and sonar inputs, a shop must have the ability with a  “compatible scan tool(s) and technical expertise” to electronically check, repair and clear all DTCs from all systems (post-repair scan) and perform any basic calibrations or programming before proceeding to the additional and separate operation of ADAS calibrations.

After all of above have been addressed and applied, your organization is ready to address and plan for ADAS calibrations. You can determine if you prefer to sublet to an ADAS capable facility or take the next steps to become ADAS capable in your own facility.

Considerations for getting into the business, demand

As with any new business venture, it is prudent to consider what sales opportunities exist so that a plan can be developed that eventually leads to a successful operation that provides a reasonable return on investment (ROI). This is what causes me to have immense enthusiasm for the concept. I see abundant opportunity.

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