Estimating Plastic Repair Training Course Cuts Down on Discarded Repairable Parts

As automakers use more plastic in production, estimators need to know how to determine the repairability of the parts.


Repairable plastic parts are often discarded because many estimators do not know how to determine the repairability of the part, negatively impacting the shop's labor hours billed, its repair versus replace ratio, and its cycle time.

To combat this issue, Polyvance announced its new EPR-02 Estimating Plastic Repair course, an instructor-led, structured course provided by Polyvance personnel in the customer's shop, to educate shop estimators on the variables involved in estimating the repair of damaged automotive plastics.

John Wilburn, head training instructor for Polyvance, said the training is becoming more necessary than ever as automakers use more plastic rather than metal to manufacture parts, as lighter material translates to an increase in fuel efficiency in ICE vehicles and more miles from a charge in EVs.

Polyvance's online estimators training course, EPR-01, which has been available for several years, is very popular with insurance companies, Wilburn said, but the company felt it was time to add a live in-person estimators training course to complement its other in-person training courses.

"Nothing compares to in-person training," Wilburn said.

Polyvance developed the new course to educate estimators and other collision repair professionals on the variables involved when estimating damaged automotive plastic. After completing it, estimators will be able to write more accurate estimates for plastic repair, and knowledgeably discuss the plastic repair process with the customer and/or technicians who perform the repairs.

"When estimators and technicians have the knowledge and know-how to accurately estimate and repair damaged plastic, the repair process goes a lot smoother," Wilburn said.

The EPR-02 Estimating Plastic Repair course is a three-hour session that may be attended by up to six students. The course was recently approved by I-CAR for three hours of annual training credit under their Industry Training Alliance program. Polyvance is a Sustaining Partner of I-CAR.

In the course, students will learn how to assess the damage of automotive plastic parts, focusing on bumper covers and headlights. The majority of the course will consist of a stimulating discussion-driven classroom session. The instructor will also provide an in-shop demonstration of a bumper cover repair.

Course objectives include recognizing plastic repair opportunities, understanding the different methods of plastic repair, making an informed decision on repairing or replacing damaged plastic, accurately gauging the severity of damage on bumper covers and headlights, and determining if a damaged textured part can be repaired.

Call Polyvance at 800-633-3047 or email for more information or to register for the course.

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