SOURCE: Mitchell International

July 29, 2005 07:00 ET

Mitchell International Amends Panel-Bonding Information

Refines Database Configuration Based on Industry Feedback

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 29, 2005 -- Mitchell International, Inc., a leading provider of information and workflow solutions to the automotive insurance claims and collision repair industries, today announced it will amend the panel bonding information and procedures in its Parts & Labor Database. Going forward, users will only be able to select panel bonding as an alternative to welding for those procedures where the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has explicitly approved the use of adhesives as a valid, alternative repair method. This decision was reached in consultation with both Mitchell's insurance and shop customers, and to address concerns raised by some industry participants over potential ambiguities in the original configuration of this information within the database.

"Mitchell has always been receptive to feedback from the industry, and this time is no different," said Lou DiLisio, on behalf of the ASA, AASP, and SCRS members of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Task Force. "We raised concerns to Mitchell about sending a mixed message on [adhesives/panel bonding] and they listened, understood, and then made the necessary changes to keep everyone on the same page."

Mitchell's goal is to ensure estimators can write estimates efficiently according to their best judgment and that these estimates accurately reflect the repair procedures. The increasing acceptance of adhesives as a repair alternative by the industry led to the decision of including this information in the database, now subject to the aforementioned limitation of OEM approval. Mitchell makes no endorsement of one repair technique over another, or one type of part over another, encouraging all industry participants to follow best practices and to reference the appropriate OEM, welding, and adhesive manufacturer information when selecting and performing any repair operation.

"Adhesive bonding is a fairly new procedure in the industry," says Jim Lindner, CEO & Chairman for Mitchell International. "While it is not universally accepted, we chose to include it in our database because of its widespread use. With this, as with similar items such as Alternate Parts, we defer to the professional judgment of those directly involved with a specific vehicle or claim to determine the most appropriate repair procedure. But it is important for us to clearly distinguish where bonding is and is not approved by the OEMs. Beginning with the August CD release, and apart from those OEM procedures for which it has been approved, all other panel-bonding options will be disabled."

Mitchell has continually led the industry in researching new and up-and-coming methods available to collision repairers. The company was the first to supply information on emerging technologies and industry trends such as TECH-COR's sectioning labor times, SMC panel sectioning labor times, adjacent panel blending, interior entryway / engine compartment / trunk opening masking, finishing / sanding / buffing, vehicle dimensioning, three-stage refinishing/blending, urethane glass R&I allowances, use of HVLP Spray guns and their effect on materials cost, plus developing the Refinish Materials Calculator® to accurately determine those same costs.

The application of panel bonding has become widespread among collision repair centers over the last several years as adhesive materials have advanced and more OEMs affirmed the validity of bonding as a repair operation. Mitchell has conducted numerous collision repair studies in working shops where the procedure was used, and was -- as early as 1999 -- sufficiently well recognized by industry associations such as I-CAR for it to provide training in adhesives techniques.

To complement the inclusion of panel bonding options, Mitchell has also included Procedure Pages/Reference to panel bonding techniques. Labor notes have been applied to the individual allowances indicating included/not-included operations. Users are advised that replacement labor times for panel bonding include all necessary weld applications identified by adhesive materials manufacturers and OEM guidelines. Users are also urged to reference best practices procedures from adhesives manufacturers and/ or OEM guidelines before opting for panel bonding.

About Mitchell International

Mitchell International is a leading provider of information and workflow solutions to the automotive insurance claims industry, serving carriers, collision repair facilities and other commercial participants in the physical damage and auto-related medical claims processes. Mitchell facilitates millions of electronic transactions among more than 16,000 business partners each month to enhance productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction levels. For more information on Mitchell International, visit our website at www.mitchell.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Forman
    Marketing Manager
    Mitchell International
    800-238-9111, ext. 6585
    Email Contact