But they have to the best-of-the-best, and to be honest, the competition is always fierce. If a company can walk away with a SEMA New Products Showcase Award, it can be a game changer and provide a quick route to ongoing success for an established or growing business.
More than 3,000 products were entered into 16 different showcase categories to be considered for the SEMA New Product Awards this year. Winners were judged on a wide range of criteria, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology and consumer appeal, among others.
This year's New Product Award winners in the Collision Repair and Refinish Products category were awarded at the opening breakfast at the SEMA Show. First place went to Drew Technologies, Inc. of Ann Arbor, MI with its Remote Assisted Programming kit (RAP). One runner-up award went to Bonding Solutions' Like90 Quick Check Temporary Gloss Simulator, and the other runner-up was Betag Innovation of Wollerau, Switzerland for its Aluminum T-Hotbox.
Drew Technologies won the top spot with its Remote Assisted Programming (RAP) system, designed to assist automotive repair collision technicians that are not comfortable working with computers or don't want to keep expensive diagnostic equipment sitting around in their shops.
"We understand that J2534 programming is not easy, and that's why we've developed a simple, drama-free approach to enable shops to complete their repairs properly," Hugh Atkins, sales rep for Drew Technologies said. "By using the RAP, they're keeping these vehicles in their own facilities, which allows them to retain more control of the repair process while making more money and providing better service to its customers."
The RAP kit includes a Windows PC, J2534 device, Internet Access Modem, OEM Subscriptions, and Battery Maintainer. It's everything a shop will need packed in an easy-to-use, all-in-one kit. By using the RAP kit, shops no longer need to purchase additional tools or OEM subscriptions or have the expertise to perform the necessary diagnostics.
Once a technician has completed a job, he or she can call the RAP support team using their toll-free number. The team then performs all of the J2534 programming to make the process easier. Then once the job is done, they simply pack up the RAP kit and move onto the next one. The shop pays only for each service and the results are always guaranteed.
A company that has won several SEMA New Product Awards in the past and stepped up again this year with a new cutting-edge product is Like90 of Sunnyvale, CA with its Like90 QuickCheck™.
This product simulates the depth and clarity of fresh clear on base, eliminating the need to spray expensive clear coat on spray-out cards. Unlike clear coat, Quick Check can be sprayed anywhere that is convenient or wherever the lighting is best for matching color. It dissipates completely so that another color coat can be applied to the same spray-out card if the first attempt does not match. It requires no clean-up and has no odor. It sprays on the surface more evenly, better simulating the glossy finish of a clear coat. Two more distinct benefits of Like90 QuickCheck is that it stays wet long enough to allow plenty of time to judge a color match, even in hot, dry weather and dissipates completely without leaving any residue behind, according to the company's website.
Bonding Solutions Sales Manager Bill Kernahan was honored by the award and hopes that more and more shops will use their product as a result. "It’s an honor to receive SEMA’s new product award," Kernahan said. "Bonding Solutions is dedicated to creating innovative products that make it easier and faster for our customers to do top quality work. When we analyzed the traditional color-matching and panel-checking processes, we knew there had to be a more efficient and safer way. Quick Check comes in an aerosol can which makes color-matching faster and more convenient than using clear coat. And it’s safer because it has no isocyanates. Quick Check also allows you to see body work defects at early stages of the repair process where they cost the least to fix."
The other runner-up winner is Betag Innovation, which produces a full range of equipment and training for small damage repairs, medium panel repairs and plastic repairs. The company's North American Business Development Director Dave Flockhart said that what's really been turning heads lately is Betag's T-Hotbox, and winning this award will surely continue the buzz.
Betag Innovation of Wollerau, Switzerland received one of the other runner-up awards for its Aluminum T-Hotbox.
"It is a compact handheld unit designed for easy use and we also added an extra long cable to make the unit easier for its hand application," Flockhart said. "We have two versions--the T-Hotbox PDR for the dent removal or dent reduction and the T-Hotbox Mech designed for the mechanical side to heat up nuts and bolts."
In addition, Betag Innovation has developed small damage repair and medium panel repair programs for BMW, that are all part of the current BMW North America Group University curriculum, held at BMW's training centers in New Jersey, California and South Carolina.
So if you're thinking about a new product that can help the collision repair industry, start brainstorming now. Because maybe there is a SEMA New Product Showcase Award in your very near future, but next year's show will be here before you can SEMA!