Autel’s Workflow-Driven Solution to Collision Repair

Originally published by Fender Bender, Sept. 18, 2023

There’s a business adage that says success comes from fixing the process, not the problem. If any business’ success or failure depends on its processes, collision repair is it.

Today, as vehicles evolve in complexity and sophistication with advancing networks of components and protocols, the challenge of creating a thorough diagnostics, repair, servicing, and calibration workflow may seem daunting.

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Yet, since entering the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) calibration system market five years ago, Autel has created and continues to perfect a comprehensive collision repair process that assures collision shops and P & C insurers that a customer’s vehicle is restored completely; that every needed repair, service, and calibration is executed to OE-specifications.

By introducing new products, optimizing existing ones, and developing strategic partnerships, Autel believes it has developed the most efficient, thorough, and profitable process for collision repair shops.

The IA900WA wheel alignment and ADAS calibration system is at the heart of the Autel process. The industry’s first all-in-one 4-wheel alignment and ADAS calibration unit, the IA900WA, guides users from Pre-Scan, digital inspection, advanced diagnostics, coding and resets to alignment and multi-component calibration. The IA900WA offers alignment coverage from the 1960s to today and ADAS calibration coverage of cameras, radar, lidar, and night vision for U.S., Asian and European vehicles. The IA900WA features six high-resolution positioning and tracking cameras in the frame to automatically monitors vehicle height on the shop lift. The benefit of the optical positioning system cannot be overstated, as it enables frame and target-to-vehicle setup in as little as a minute, compared to the mechanical setup with plumb bob, lasers and reflectors that can take upwards of 45 minutes.

Autel released its North American-made ADAS Bay Max 12K and Bay Max 14K lifts earlier this summer to bolster the functionality of the IA900WA and enable the entire diagnostics to calibration process to be performed in a single bay. These flush-mounted hydraulic scissor lifts with twin Jacking Beams and Floor Lift tables allow the technician to safely stand under the entire length of the raised vehicle to make repairs. And when the lift is lowered and flush with the ground, the technician can position the vehicle anywhere in the bay to perform nearly every ADAS calibration type.

Autel’s All Systems AutoSCAN has been standard on its advanced diagnostics tablets for many years, and technicians have benefited from the scan’s identification of ADAS components and detection of any system faults. ADAS, however, presents technicians with additional challenges. Even though the sensor may be operating without a code, this does not mean it is performing as intended. This is especially true for systems on vehicles involved in crashes when even a minor collision might have altered the camera’s vision field or the radar’s angle.

To this need for the most accurate as-built vehicle system data and OE guidelines for when safety system or associated electronics need to be reset and calibrated, Autel has partnered with Repairify’s adasThink.

Working with the most popular estimating systems, AdasThink provides VIN-based reports that identify required operations based on the estimate line item and the manufacturer’s recommendation, including non-ADAS resets, initiations, and ADAS calibrations. The report links repair and service instructions and sources the OE requirements supporting the procedure. Autel tablet owners with ADAS software and active subscriptions can subscribe to adasThink at a reduced rate.

The adasThink arrangement is part of the larger partnership agreement signed between Autel and Repairify in March, which includes the ability of Autel technicians to access asTech’s OE-derived diagnostic, calibration, and programming solutions via the Autel Remote Expert platform. Remote Expert is active on the MaxiSYS Ultra series tablets and the MaxiFLASH XLink unit. Technicians can place orders right from their Autel equipment; there’s no need to wait for the mobile programmer to program that new ECU. Since its release last year, Remote Expert has seen significant success, with over 1,600 programming, diagnostics, servicing, and coding sessions a month. Repairify’s network of certified technicians will be accessible via the platform fourth quarter of 2023.

Finally, let’s speak about documentation. The IA900WA system guides the technician to document each step in real-time, including the Pre-Scan, visual inspection, tire depth analysis, steering angle sensor reset, alignment, calibrations, and post-scan. Reports can be safely stored on- tablet and through the Autel Cloud report management application and shared with customers or insurance companies via email.

In just a few short years, the industry has gone from just a handful of new vehicles with ADAS to about 90 percent of light-duty vehicles with automatic emergency braking coming standard. With that many ADAS-equipped vehicles on the road, collision shops will become overwhelmed without a comprehensive process. The Autel workflow is the fix the collision industry has been waiting for.

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