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Relevant details about the panel beating process

Written by Liam Grant. Posted in Computers

Running a garage is a difficult task which besides choosing and buying the best equipment also involves hiring the most professional technicians. Technology is evolving very fast, which is why you have to be up to date with the latest devices and methods, because the competition is fierce and you cannot allow your rivals to be ahead of you. The process of repairing a car is made of many stages and they are all equally important, from removing the used parts to panel beating. This represents the operation through which the exterior of a vehicle is restored and brought back to its initial form and takes place most of the times after the car has been involved in an accident. There are many types of panel beater jobs, because some people are specialized in restoring vintage or special cars, while others have been prepared to focus only on smash repairs, and these are the ones working in service garages. Being a panel beater is not as easy as it may seem, because the labour requires intensive work and the employee has to master various techniques. All the movements are aiming to remove dents, replace some damaged parts of the car’s body and bring it back to its original shape, while also maintaining its smooth finish through spray painting the surface. [Not a valid template] In case the damage suffered by the vehicle has been minimal, the panel beater can only perform some superficial straightening procedures, and the car may not even need repainting. Some workers are so skilful and the devices they use are so performing, that you will not even be able to say that the automobile has suffered any damage at all. However, there is a sequence of steps each panel beater has to be aware of: shrinking (or stretching), planishing, welding, filling, sanding, painting and re-alignment. When the car body has been forced and got out of shape, its metal needs shrinking and stretching, in order to bring it back to its initial dimensions and contours. This is a heat based process: the surface is heated and then, with a special device called shaping hammer, the panel beater remodels it, giving it the shape is used to have. During planshing, the panel surface is smoothed and straightened, so that it becomes similar to the initial form. If the car’s body needs to have some parts removed, the new materials are attached through a welding process, which also ensures the automobile’s strength, because it helps reinforcing its structure. Sometimes, the remaining holes need to be filled with a special paste, and here the dexterity of the technician is crucial: they have to operate fast, because once the substance hardens, it cannot be softened and reused. Spray painting and re-aligning are the final steps of the panel beating process, and they depend on the severity of the damage.   All these stages require the use of various specialized tools, and while some of them are automated, others must be operated manually. Here, the abilities of a professional panel beater are very important, because they have to choose the most suitable technique, materials and operations, depending on each case.
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