Refurbishment vs SMART Alloy Wheel Repair
The term alloy wheel repair can cover a wide range of different services. Under the umbrella of this phrase are processes that can include the alloy being completely stripped and re-coated to just a small section of the face of the wheel being repainted.
It is difficult to argue that one type of repair is better than any other. Done properly, with the right tools, equipment, and materials, all should produce a result that is a high quality, durable repair.
A good comparison here is to look at how the body shop industry repairs damage to the car's bodywork. From a repair perspective, a car door is similar to an alloy wheel. It is metal…..with paint on it. If a door becomes damaged, the area affected is repaired, the surface of the door is prepared, and then it is repainted. At no point here would anyone consider chemically stripping the door back to bare metal. So, where appropriate, the same approach can be taken with an alloy wheel.
The best process for your business
When creating a business plan for a new alloy wheel repair service, a key factor will be how many wheels the business needs to process per day or per week. This number could provide some guidance as to which system would suit the business best. If you are planning what would be considered a high volume facility (upwards of 40 wheels per day) a conveyor system where the wheels are transported through the stages of the process on a track should be considered. This would typically include a stripping tank and a powder coating system. Although prices will vary between suppliers, a typical cost for a system of this type can be expected to be around £60k-£100k. We would recommend a site visit to your location to look at the space available and we can discuss your plans and the options available.
For a business looking to start the service with an initial target of up to 20 wheels per day, a production line system using modular equipment could be considered. Here, a single technician could process up to 20 wheels per day and additional equipment could be added as and when the demand grows. This type of system is particularly attractive to companies looking to add the service to their existing business as the space required and investment levels are significantly lower. Packages starting at under £20k are available from Smartfix with options to add tooling, consumables, and training for a complete turnkey business.
The best process for your customers
From your customer's point of view, the main difference for them between which of the two types of service you offer will be how long they will be without the use of their wheels. On average, most companies who offer the powder coating repair process will want the car or wheels for between 24 and 72 hours. Unless loan wheels or a courtesy car are offered, this will mean the customer needs to plan for being without the use of their car during this period.
Companies using a production line system are typically able to complete the repairs on the same-day basis. For example, while their car is in for a new set of tyres or service or MOT, the wheels can be repaired at the same time. It is also possible to offer this type of repair as a mobile service which offers maximum convenience for your customers. The repairs can be done at their home or place of work in a few hours. Smartfix design and manufacture a range of mobile alloy wheel repair systems and offer a complete installation service.
Guidance and advice at all levels
As specialists in the industry, we have helped companies and individuals start their own alloy wheel repair service for over 20 years. Our focus is on ensuring you have the right system and equipment to match your specific requirements. That means talking through your plans and ensuring the system we recommend will provide the right service for both you and your customers with the strongest return on investment possible.