3M has joined forces with premium power tools brand Festool to deliver the first in a range of efficient and cost-effective systems for the automotive surface preparation and finishing industries.
The companies will launch the Total Automotive Sanding System, their first joint product for automotive body and paint professionals, in the UK and Ireland in March 2017.
Through extensive research of body shops, science-based technology company 3M’s experts work continuously to create all-purpose solutions for the collision repairs industry, to speed up the work process from start to finish.
The new system is the most comprehensive of its kind available from a single supplier, covering every area of the body shop floor, from body repair to paint preparation and finishing. Everything in the customisable system is compact, mobile and intuitive. This means less time spent searching for tools, as well as reduced cycle and clean-up time, streamlining the entire process and increasing user profits.
As will be the case for all future products produced by the partnership, the system combines 3M’s best-in-class abrasives with Festool’s premium power tools and dust-extraction technologies. Customers will also benefit from Festool’s unique SERVICE all-inclusive offering, as well as 3M’s global sales and distribution reach. These benefits will enable professionals to markedly improve their body shops’ efficiency and profitability.
The system also uses 3M’s longer-lasting, faster-cutting and more reliable abrasives, including Cubitron II Abrasives, Trizact Abrasives and the Perfect-it Paint Finishing System. These can be used right up until the end of their lives, which reduces material costs.
Also key to the system’s efficiency is Festool’s integrated dust-extraction system, which significantly reduces the amount of dust created by sanding. Dust can ruin finishes, resulting in costly reworking.
The system is also specifically designed with the technician’s well-being in mind. This shows itself in everything from the effectiveness of the integrated dust-extraction system to the ergonomic, non-slip tool design.
Werner Kaelin, 3M Europe business development manager, said: “By having teamed up with Festool, we at 3M are confident we are launching the most comprehensive surface preparation and finishing system available for automotive body and paint professionals who need to deliver high-quality and profitable repairs every time.
“The 3M Total Automotive Sanding System delivers unmatched performance, efficiency, safety, user comfort and reliability, giving our customers complete peace of mind. The system benefits not only from the two companies’ first-class technologies, but also from combining 3M’s sales and distribution capabilities with Festool’s exceptional SERVICE all-inclusive offering.
“This system will help our customers to create the body shops of the future through its mobile work-centres, its focus on environmental safety and its improved efficiency.”
He added: “The Total Automotive Sanding System is just the beginning. 3M’s partnership with Festool will enable us to produce plenty more products to help improve the efficiency and profitability of automotive body repair shops, so watch this space.”
3M announced its global collaboration with German tool manufacturer TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG, which makes Festool-branded products, in February 2016. The companies began working together in the US and Canada in July 2016.
Following positive responses and continuing success in these markets, the companies launched the Total Automotive Sanding System in Europe in January 2017, ahead of the UK and Ireland launch.
Over the coming years, the companies will produce a range of products for automotive repairs professionals, covering everything from abrasives and sanding tools to paintwork and finishing solutions.
They will also increase their focus on their proximity to customers, as well as on on-site training and workplace health and safety. This will ensure they are well-positioned to meet the challenges of the future.
Dr Federica Gussoni, head of business unit automotive at Festool GmbH, said: “Our collaboration with 3M is based on the fact that we both engage in intensive on-site consultation processes at the customers’ premises.
“We want to work together to develop this kind of consultation collaboratively, which will benefit our trading partners and customers. As a result of this collaboration, the customer is provided with a strong system from a single source, tailored to the specific requirements of the body shop.”
She added: “We believe that the two companies can form a synergistic relationship that will benefit the customer.
“In the United States and Canada, we have been highly visible on the market since July 2016. The positive perception of the collaboration in the North American market is evident from the many favourable responses from partners and customers, who clearly see a positive added value.”