Tuesday, 29 December 2015 21:22

Winning SEMA New Product Awards Can Be Life Changers

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Capturing an award in the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) New Products Showcase can be a life changing experience for manufacturers that are looking for a fast track to success. Years of research and development coupled with hard work and buoyed by the spirit of entrepreneurship, these awards are given to the most innovative and cutting-edge new automotive aftermarket products in the industry today, judged by some of the biggest names in the automotive world.

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On Nov. 3 at SEMA’s opening breakfast, a handful of companies from all over the world received these highly coveted awards announced at a ceremony rivaling the Academy Awards. By just being associated with the SEMA brand, companies can gain instant credibility and fast track their journey to success.

Nearly 2,000 products were entered into 16 different Showcase categories to be considered for SEMA New Product Awards this year. Winners were selected based on a variety of factors that included quality, marketability, innovation, technology, consumer appeal and more.

First place in the Tools & Equipment Product category went to Nelson Glass Tools for its Automated Bonded Glass Removal System, made by Glass Bot, a company that was founded by Rick Nelson, a former glass technician.

The Glass Bot™ has a top speed that exceeds the fastest of any tool or technique available, according to Nelson. The smooth trigger pull applies power when needed and then slows to a crawl for the technical difficulties of the corners. The compact footprint of the 7” suction cup featured in the system allows access to many locations on a glass part for faster removal. The strong holding power of the cup provides an anchor for the powerful automotive grade DC motor. A state-of-the-art remote controller provides excellent speed control for precision cutting and with the six-foot cord you can visually watch the cutting action and ensure safety measures are in place, according to Nelson.

As the inventor of several devices that can help automotive window techs, Nelson is happy to finally win a SEMA product award. “I’ve been inventing solutions for many years and the Glass Bot is the continuation of that,” he said. “This system is taking the glass industry into the 22nd century, because now techs don’t need to use knives and this product has removed the physical aspects of the work from the process.”

The winner in the Collision Repair & Refinish Product category was Innovative Tools & Technology for its Scangrip Sunmatch Color Match LED, the only color match work light range in the world for any paint, polish, cleaning or prep-zone operation, according to the company. Supplied with a replaceable glass lens resistant to all kind of solvents and tolerating daily cleaning, the long operating time of the Scangrip Sunmatch Color Match LED makes it possible to complete a job without interruption by time-consuming recharging.

One of the runners up in the Collision Repair & Refinish Product category went to AsTech, the manufacturer of the asTech2 device, a remote diagnostic tool that allows collision shops and repair technicians to have a vehicle scanned before or after repair work is done. This ensures that all of the vehicle’s issues have been fully addressed and all systems are working properly.

To use it, the technician connects the asTech2 unit to the vehicle, puts the key in the car, turns the ignition on and connects a battery support so that the car battery won’t die during the scan. The technician goes to the asTech website to submit a service request and then an OEM master technician sends a message to the asTech2 unit informing the shop that the scan is about to begin. Once the scan is completed, the asTech master technician transmits a full report to the shop. By using this device, techs can find out what issue is causing the dashboard warning lights to stay lit; ensure that all sensor systems are functioning properly; identifying any hidden damage due to collision and other problems that do not cause a warning light, according to a company’s spokesperson.

Another runners-up in the Collision Repair & Refinish Product category was Uni-Dolly for its patented car dolly system is a portable jack stand that will free up your work bay, overhead hydraulic lifts, and floor jacks. An affordable and cost-effective piece of automotive equipment that will increase productivity and is much safer to use than floor jacks. Its 6" swivel casters with sealed precision bearings allow a disassembled drive train, chassis, sub frame, or car body to be placed anywhere in the shop while waiting for parts.

The Uni-Dolly is a car dolly that adjusts both horizontally and vertically instantly to fit under any vehicle, without tools or adaptors. You can have it under a Volkswagen one minute and a school bus the next. The 4,800 lb. capacity can be turned into a 9,600 lb. capacity in just a few seconds, according to the company’s web site.

Uni-Dolly’s President Rick Davie knows the value of this recognition. “SEMA is a huge name and to be associated with it is a big deal. We design and manufacture products to make the collision industry better and when people recognize that—well, that’s satisfying.”

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