Cromax® Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Kevin Torfs, looks at how Cromax is set to take bodyshops into the future as the paint brand celebrates five years of skyrocketing innovation.
Cromax relaunched in 2013 with a new name and a bold new logo. Today, just over five years later, the brand is stronger than ever, thanks to technological advancements. As a premium global refinish brand of Axalta, Cromax is at the forefront of innovation and focused on propelling its customers into the future. The introduction of cutting-edge digital colour management tools and a portfolio of different repair systems, coupled with a focus on sustainability and continuous training, help bodyshops to maximise their productivity.
More than just paint
Torfs says, “What is outside the paint tin is equally as important as what is on the inside. That’s why we take every step of the refinish process into account when developing new services and tools. We anticipate our bodyshops’ needs and that’s why we are able to offer solutions that improve productivity by optimising the entire workflow. We support them with everything they need to help them become more attractive to work providers.”
Complete mobility delivers productivity
The future of an increasingly connected world is heavily dependent on advancements in mobility. Cromax has offered bodyshops exceptional digital colour matching tools for many years, thanks to Axalta being at the forefront of innovations in digital technology. At the beginning of 2019, Cromax took this a step further by giving refinishers complete mobility with the cloud-based digital colour management system ChromaConnect.
“It’s the first full mobile digital colour management system of its kind and it offers refinishers the ultimate freedom and flexibility of completely wireless, digital processes for everything from colour matching to colour mixing. The biggest benefit is that this can all be done without being tied to a PC,” says Torfs.
ChromaConnect connects all the colour management aspects wirelessly. Refinishers can access features like spectrophotometer readings, job sheets and colour formulas, instantly, from any internet enabled device including a smartphone or a tablet, from anywhere within the bodyshop, or across multiple bodyshops in the same network. Refinishers now have complete control of every aspect of colour management, including wireless scales and printers, as well as the most advanced spectrophotometer from Cromax, ChromaVision Pro Mini, and ChromaWeb™, the Cromax cloud-based colour retrieval software.
A sustainable future
Energy savings is a key component of sustainability, and an important consideration for the future for many bodyshops. Energy consumption is a significant cost for them, and many Cromax products, such as those within the Ultra Performance Energy System, including the new Ultra Performance Non-Sanding Surfacers NS2081, NS2084 and NS2087, are designed to offer refinishers faster process times while optimising a bodyshop’s energy efficiency. Built on revolutionary Axalta technology that uses ambient humidity in the bodyshop to enable extremely fast air-drying, the Ultra Performance Energy System allows refinishers to save energy and to cut electricity costs so that they can work faster and increase their productivity. Bodyshops now have complete flexibility to match their workload to the right products by finding the balance between speed and energy use.
Solutions for every paint job
“Every bodyshop has its own business goals, whether it is a matter of saving energy, successfully managing a very high throughput, or achieving an outstanding gloss finish. In addition to the Ultra Performance Energy System, Cromax has developed further repair systems to address different bodyshop requirements, including the Energy Saving System, the Ultra Productive System, the Performance System, the Value System, the Plastic Repair System and solutions for Special Finishes. Each system helps customers visualise the available repair options and correlates to a recommended set of Cromax products,” says Torfs.
Outside the tin of paint
Taking bodyshops into the future means to guide them there and to offer support every step of the way. It is one thing to develop highly innovative products, but it is another to make sure that the end-users feel in command of using them.
At Cromax, the training and support functions are just as important as the R&D process. When products are used correctly, the results and the productivity benefits are outstanding.
The Cromax Training Centre (CTC) in Mechelen, Belgium, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018 and it is the European training hub for refinishers. With its highly-rated range of courses, Cromax offers bodyshops across the region the chance to perfect all aspects of their businesses, not just the paint process. Courses include everything from marketing and bodyshop management, to Health, Safety and the Environment.
With productivity always at its heart, Cromax also provides alternative training options, such as its series of online training videos, Let’s get to work. These focus on everyday repair methods carried out by a technical expert and aim to show the correct use of Cromax paint products and application processes.
Torfs says, “This is a valuable tool for all Cromax refinishers and can also act as a refresher for refinishers who have attended training at one of the Cromax Training Centres in the region.”
The videos can be easily accessed on the Cromax YouTube channel - Youtube.com/cromaxofficial - free of charge.
A five-year milestone
To mark its fifth anniversary, Cromax launched a limited edition spray gun in October 2018, available for purchase through the local sales organisations. Featuring a special anniversary logo and accents of the brand’s vibrant red colour, the Iwata WS400 spray gun comes with a specially designed red carrying case and a certificate of authenticity.
Based on the technological advancements of the past five years, Cromax is in a strong position to lead bodyshops into the future. Although markets range from some that are emerging, to those that are fully developed, the fact that Cromax is a young, dynamic brand supported by Axalta’s long-standing history means that the Cromax can cater to every type of bodyshop around the world.
“We will continue to innovate and to invest in bringing digital services to our bodyshops. The future is plain to see, and Cromax is here to lead it,” concludes Torfs.