At the SEMA Show, Elektron unveiled a new family of collision repair equipment designed specifically to fix aluminum vehicle components. The new line includes MIG/MAG welders, aluminum stud welders and an aluminum repair station complete with dent puller and dedicated accessories.
Once reserved for high-end luxury vehicles, aluminum is increasingly making its way into the bodies of vehicles designed for the general population. Automakers have expanded their use of advanced aluminum alloys to manufacture hoods, trunks and doors in their efforts to reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel economy to meet stringent CAFE standards. According to The Aluminum Association, nearly two dozen model year 2012 passenger vehicles contain at least 10 percent curb weight of finished aluminum. The list includes the Fiat 500, Ford Explorer, Ford Escape, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Altima. (Visit www.drivealuminum.org/vehicle-uses/passenger-vehicles for details.)
“As vehicle designs evolve, the collision repair industry is challenged to keep up by using new equipment and techniques to properly repair the latest vehicles, regardless of what they’re made of. We are at a point now where high-strength steel and even some exotic materials like boron are almost becoming ‘old news,’” explains Mike Cranfill, vice-president of collision for Elektron’s parent company, Vehicle Service Group (VSG). “Our Elektron and Chief Automotive Technologies brands are leading the way in developing the equipment shops need today to repair the vehicles of tomorrow.”
Elektron’s new aluminum repair line includes the MultiMig 511 and MultiMig 522 MIG/MAG inverter welders, MultiSpot M25 AL and MultiSpot M22 AL stud welders, and MultiTool Aluminum Dent Repair Station.
The MultiMig 511 and MultiMig 522 both can be used for welding and brazing aluminum alloys, galvanized sheet metal, stainless steel and high-strength steel. They feature the synergic pulsed technology which can weld very thin aluminum with full penetration and no burn-through and is required by most OEMs for aluminum welding. Both machines can be used with Elektron’s unique push-pull torch, which maintains constant tension on the aluminum wire, minimizing breakage issues. The lightweight torch features fingertip controls that let the technician adjust the speed of the wire feed, for real-time control. Both units also come with a built-in mobile cart that makes it easy to move the welder around the bay as needed.
The MultiMig 522 can be equipped with two separate torches simultaneously, each with different reels and wire, to increase the versatility of the welder. It also adds a double pulse feature that mechanically and electrically controls the welding parameters to achieve a classic TIG-looking weld bead.
The Elektron MultiTool Aluminum Dent Repair Station is a complete mobile workstation equipped with the tools technicians need to remove dents from aluminum sheet metal panels. Because elements of steel can contaminate aluminum and cause corrosion (leading to adhesion issues and paint failure), best practices for aluminum repair call for dedicated aluminum repair areas and equipment. The Dent Repair Station includes a work area and comes with the new MultiSpot M22 AL stud welder (which is also available separately), anodized aluminum pulling bar kit, anodized aluminum pulling system, hammer kit with four anodized aluminum hammers, heat gun, infrared thermometer, heat shield gel, angled air die grinder and a starter kit of aluminum studs and zinc-plated steel eye-bolts.
Elektron is proud to provide complete specifications for all of its new welders so shop owners can make informed decisions about which equipment will work best for their applications. For more information, visit SEMA booth #10339, contact your local Elektron distributor, or call (800) 445-9262. Additional information about Elektron is available online at www.chiefautomotive.com.