At Highlands Ranch Collision Center, Technician Jake Kern has become adept at saving bumpers by using Polyvance's 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System.
Jay Corken owns a busy body shop in Littleton, CO, repairing roughly 120 cars every month rain or shine. With two DRPs, some fleet work sprinkled in and several mutually-beneficial relationships with local car dealerships, Highlands Ranch Collision Center has a wide range of brand-specific certifications. These include: Ford (aluminum), Nissan, Infiniti and Hyundai.
Highlands Ranch Collision Center
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 19
In Business Since: 1998
Number of Locations: One
Combined Production Space: 16,000 square feet
Corken, 56, is always looking for the latest equipment, products and techniques that he can use to repair cars properly and quickly for people living in this suburb of Denver. And that’s why he was intrigued when he first heard about Polyvance’s (formerly called Urethane Supply Comany) 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System, which is universally respected as the most cutting-edge nitrogen plastic welding equipment on the market today. He has been using it now for less than six months, but it is already an integral part of his daily production.
Corken learned the body business from his grandfather and his uncle, back in the day when plastic welders were not even imaginable. “My grandpa Ken taught me a lot until he passed at age 92,” Corken said. “I remember watching him work when I was six and riding around on some old bumper jacks. I started Corken Auto Body in 1984 and we were open for 14 years. In 1998, I opened Highlands Ranch Collision Center and we have been going strong ever since.”
By making sturdy repairs on virtually any type of plastic, Corken is pleased to report that he is now repairing 80 percent of all the bumpers coming through his doors. “Welding with nitrogen gas creates the strongest welds possible because it eliminates oxidation of the plastic during the welding process,” he said. “I’ve been in this industry for more than 32 years and I’ve seen the technology change and evolve. I’m very impressed with this welding system, because now we’re able to keep more money in the shop.”
Within just 15 minutes, Corken's crew was using Polyvance's 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System and after a few hours they were getting good at it.
With the 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System, Corken is able to make a great profit with each bumper he can fix. “Since acquiring this welder, our estimators are writing to repair the bumpers, which helps to eliminate blending into the quarters. I have some great painters, but with a lot of these new colors, matching them isn’t always easy. Now we can fix that bumper and move on. It’s a pretty incredible machine!”
When it comes to using Polyvance’s 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System, the mantra is “repair rather than replace” and an approach that is working well for Corken and his crew. “We can make more profit by welding rather than using two-part adhesives,” he said. “This system allows us to fix tabs, mounting holes and slots--things we couldn’t do before with two-part adhesives. This Polyvance welder comes with an L-shaped rod that you put in the back of the bumper to weld the tabs back on.”
Corken is also impressed with the strong bonds he’s creating by using the Polyvance welder. “The finished product is almost stronger than the original part, to be honest,” he said. “After we fix a bumper, we can stand behind it. We are confident that it will withstand whatever it encounters and we’ve had zero comebacks on any of them.”
Shops can also save time with Polyvance’s 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System. “Using this machine works so much faster than those two-part epoxies,” Corker explained. “There is no waiting for cure time. When the repairs are complete, they just cool the bumper with some water, then sand it, prime it and paint it.”
Owner Jay Corken is keeping money in his shop by fixing bumpers instead of buying new ones for his customers.
Corken’s crew was able to become skilled using the welder rather quickly. “Each tech can use it,” he said. “My lead tech and his helper can turn these out quickly and they’re perfect.”
The training process on the 6059-C Nitro Fuzer Welding System was easy and the support is also outstanding, Corken said. “A gentleman named Leon Roberts came out here from Alabama and he did a great job showing our techs how to use the machine. Within 15 minutes, they were using it and within a few hours they were getting good at using it.”
What does the future hold for Corken and Highlands Ranch Collision Center? “I want to work until I’m about 62 and then I’d love to sell the business to my employees, because they’re one of the main reasons why we’re here now. That would please me greatly.”
Back in 1981, Polyvance was formed to address the needs of bumper recyclers and to supply products to repair urethane bumper covers. As auto manufacturers began using other materials in bumper covers, Polyvance developed products to repair those types of plastics as well. By focusing on plastic repair and refinishing, Polyvance is breaking down the process of plastic repair and developing products to address each step and changing the collision industry one repair at a time.