Breaking away from established practices and familiar products can be hard, especially when these methods have never let you down. The danger, however, is that acceptable performance becomes the norm and you could be ignoring products that have the potential to provide a significant competitive edge. This is precisely the situation that the Ipswich-based body shop, M.G. Kerry, recognised with its polishing systems.
M.G. Kerry has been in business since 1968 and is a PAS 125 kite-marked shop. Although an established customer of Henkel, particularly for its Bondrite products, the company had been using another leading brand of polishing system for many years. Nevertheless, it chose to trial the new Teroson offering from Henkel against those products and has been reaping the benefit ever since.
“We had every confidence in our existing polishes and were certain their performance couldn’t be beaten,” explained business owner Mick Kerry. “But, we were open-minded to try something new. The Henkel polishes worked brilliantly and the lads couldn’t wait to stock up with some more.”
Vehicle repair and maintenance is now an important market for Henkel. Having worked closely with automotive OEMs for many years, Henkel has applied this know-how to the aftermarket and now its Loctite, Bondrite and Teroson brands are common in body shops too. Polishing compounds are the latest addition to its range and they introduce brand new technology that achieves time savings of up to 30 per cent and also, as M.G. Kerry confirms, a right-first-time finish too.
These new Teroson polishing compounds provide solutions based on different grain technologies to meet varying body shop needs. The range introduces the concepts of a diminishing grain, that gets smaller to a certain size, and an agglomerate grain, that gets progressively smaller and ultimately, almost disintegrates. With this technology, a high gloss and perfect finish can be achieved in just two steps and, most importantly, at speed.
The Henkel range falls into three distinct lines. Classic and All-Purpose respectively include compounds with stable and diminishing grain technology. Both are complemented by separate polishing and finishing products that allow the paint system to be restored in three steps.
The Premium Line reduces three steps to two through Henkel’s unique agglomerate grain technology. The jewel in the crown of this product line is the Teroson WX 159 combined compound and polish that, on a scale of 1 – 10, provides a cutting grade of 9 and finishing grade of 8. This means that a high gloss can be restored with just one product in around 30% less time than traditional polishing systems; the finishing product, Teroson WX 178, removes polishing marks to complete the process.
Similar compounds in the Classic and All-Purpose range have a greater differential between cutting and finishing grades giving them different performance characteristics. And for M.G. Kerry, this diversity across all three product lines allows its technicians to select the very best solution for the job.
For example, technicians regularly use the Teroson WX 160 polish that is included in both the Classic and All-Purpose ranges to blend the finish on local repairs. It provides a gentler cutting and polishing action – around 5 on the Henkel scale. Another recent application for this product at M.G. Kerry was removing an orange peel paint defect on a brand new vehicle.
For paint finishes based on ceramics which are very hard and difficult to polish, the company finds the Premium Teroson WX 159 compound and polish the best choice. It is also proving invaluable for restoring lustre and a high gloss finish to body work after valeting. Indeed, it has been used on a fleet of funeral limousines to remove scratch marks.
While the company’s use of Teroson WX 159 tends to be restricted to smaller bodywork areas, larger jobs are generally covered by the choice of Teroson WX 150 or 157 compound followed by Teroson WX 160 polish. And as well as using Teroson WX 150 for bodywork, the compound – with a cutting grade of 7 and polishing grade of 3 – is also used for un-lacquered headlight refurbishment.
“We like the fact that the products are oily and don’t dry out. They stay active for longer,” commented body shop technician, John Collinson. “And they remain on the pad by comparison with others that tend to spatter around the job.”
John Collinson continued: “You really don’t have to work hard to get the finish you want,” using Teroson WX 150 to remove inclusions from a newly painted wing on a Citroen van. “Our previous polishes often required re-work after surface inspection. With Henkel we are confident the job won’t have to come back in.”
From a business standpoint this is significant. If the polishing process isn’t efficient, the additional labour and products involved in re-working increase direct costs. A poor job can also damage reputation.
As a matter of course, M.G. Kerry always wipes over any polished bodywork with solvent, then washes it and inspects the vehicle in natural light. And it’s because of these high standards that re-working was often deemed necessary under the previous polishing regime.
A common cause of why the finish can look good on completion of the polishing process but substandard after inspection is that other polishing products contain fillers. These mask the imperfections initially but are easily removed by the subsequent cleaning process. The Henkel polishing formulations are filler-free so the end result is much more predictable.
Another important plus point for the Henkel products is they are silicone-free with low dust emission. Not only does this enhance worker safety, it also saves the technicians’ time, particularly when polishing dark paint finishes. Such finishes are also prone to hologram effects which are now regularly removed by one of the finishing products in the Henkel range, either Teroson WX 175 or 178.
In conclusion Mick Kerry said: “When you find a range of products in which you have confidence, you stick with them because they save you time and protect your profitability. The Henkel polishes are working really well for us – we haven’t had a vehicle back, so that’s proof positive!”