After a decision has been made to go down the route of repair, Robaina said there are specific tools that can be used. He walked podcast attendees through the steps of PDR when repairing steel parts. Some of the tooling he mentioned included EcoRepairSystem.com’s PDR rods, very precise tooling that requires backside access, as well as small and large glue tabs. When a technician is undecided about whether to repair or replace during a certain job, Robaina said attempting to repair with the company’s proprietary glue pull system can be very telling of whether or not the repair is possible. He also talked about the fine point welding electrode squeeze type lifter, which is attached to EcoRepairSystem.com’s dent repair system, and the steel key welding / pulling system.
After discussing repairs related to steel, Robaina addressed aluminum repair opportunities. He asked attendees if it is faster to repair dents on aluminum because there’s less “spring back” in the material. Less than 10 percent answered yes and more than 60 percent said no; the remainder were unsure.
“It’s not faster to repair dents on aluminum in general because it doesn’t have that spring back,” explained Robaina. “The spring back and memory that we are used to finding in steel makes steel repair faster and easier.”
Using an example of a quarter panel, Robaina said the process of aluminum panel repair requires a technician to weld MWMtools.com's aluminum studs, which requires a different process than steel and usually takes additional time. Although some of the tooling is the same as with steel, a separate aluminum stud welding / pull system may be required as well as an aluminum clean room to avoid contamination per OEM requirements.
Robaina also addressed how a vehicle’s corrosion protection is best maintained during a repair.
“Whenever you remove a factory part, you are disturbing that factory seam,” explained Robaina. “It’s very difficult to replicate it in its entirety because of the inability to access backside points where the panels are joined. By repairing a panel, for example, you are not disturbing the factory seams; therefore, the original corrosion protection will be maintained.”