Carbeat™, AkzoNobel’s state-of-the-art digital bodyshop workflow control solution that enables automotive body repair shops to track their work in production and thus operate more efficiently, has been awarded a coveted industry patent. United States Patent No. 10,289,101 protects the system’s intellectual property. The U.S. Patent Office found the Carbeat system inventive based on several outstanding features, including its use of drag-and-drop functionality that also helps determine the durations of specific repair jobs, and its identification and use of trend data for more efficient body shop planning.
AkzoNobel’s Vehicle Refinishes business launched Carbeat™ in 2017 as the industry’s first such digital solution that helps improve production efficiency and communication. Through the system, managers, team leaders, technicians and third parties can follow vehicle repair status information with real-time overviews and thus ensure the entire shop is in sync.
"We are very happy our software fulfills the strict requirements for this patent, and this shows how beneficial our Carbeat application is to our customers,” says Mike Sillay, Product Manager Services, AkzoNobel. “Technology is playing a growing role in our industry. Our mission is to help collision repair professionals save time and money, and we are proud of the system our team has created to help achieve that.”
In a case study involving 85 collision centers in North America, AkzoNobel found that Carbeat helped body shops reduce cycle times on average by about 10 percent just a year after the system was put in place. First introduced in North America, the application is now also offered in Europe and has been pilot-tested in India and China. To date, Carbeat is being utilized in 15 countries and is available in 17 languages.
How does Carbeat work?
Carbeat is intuitive and user-friendly. The application runs from the cloud, so it requires no installation or high-end technological expertise to implement and maintain. A large touch screen monitor provides a comprehensive overview of all the repair work in production. Operators can drag and drop tiles to monitor a vehicle’s repair status; filter information by insurer, estimator and technician; and more. Reports identify process efficiency through cycle time data, which gives insight into ways to improve efficiency and eliminate waste.
“Carbeat has dramatically improved our shop communication,” says Brian Martin, Director of Auto Collision for Lexus of Pembroke Pines and Lexus of North Miami, and a customer of AzoNobel’s Carbeat system. “The system has instilled a culture of accountability and excitement, where each person in all departments is measured for accuracy, efficiency and production. The Carbeat reports have eliminated the guessing or uncertainty in the production process.”
New and enhanced features of Carbeat include WalkMe – an interactive embedded tutorial to help teams adopt Carbeat faster, and compliance with new data privacy legislation.
AkzoNobel’s world-class portfolio of vehicle refinishes brands in North America includes Sikkens, Lesonal, Wanda, Modern Classikk, Sikkens Autocoat BT, U-TECH and Sign Finishes. For more information, visit www.akzonobel.com and www.carbeat.com.
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