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Editor’s Note: This article is taken from the September 2009 issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing.
Faster and easier. Those are the two words heard most often when detailers discuss what they want in new products. It’s a pretty simple request, and one that makes sense and can save cents, too, if it means getting more cars in and out on a daily basis.
What are you looking for?
Fernando Garc’a, the general manager of Pulex, a company that supplies car care products and equipment, said his customers are all looking for “chemicals that give faster results, that are easier to apply and to dilute.”
David J. Mazzarella, president and CEO Mazzarella Car Care Systems, LLC, a company that researches and develops bio-degradable, environmentally safe chemicals for the detail industry, agreed. “Professionals are looking to use products that work with them rather than against them. If time is money at their shop — they don’t want to be sitting around all day trying to get the wax off the exterior surface of the car.”
Steve Sause, director of technical services for vehicle care at Simoniz USA, Inc., also said it comes down to increasing car counts. Customers are looking for “better results with a more competitive price. Secondly, increasing production without a loss in the end result,” he said.
The latest developments
So what products are meeting these needs? Plenty, according to the experts we found, and most advancements concern chemicals. For instance, Sause said that micro polishing compounds are coming out that are faster and achieve better results than the traditional compounds and polishes on new paints.
“The compounds and polishes are able to hide scratches better,” he explained, “and polishes are bringing the depth of gloss back faster and the durability of polymer waxes are keeping those corrected finishes looking great for longer periods of time.”
Sause said another interesting product from his company involves the use of thixotropic technology to reduce “sling” from tire dressings. Sause said thixotropic means that the product is a gel and then becomes a liquid when shear pressure is applied. For instance, you have a gel in a trigger bottle. When you shake it, it becomes a liquid. When you stop shaking it, it immediately becomes a gel again. When you pull the trigger, the force makes it spray like a liquid and it returns to a gel state after it is applied.
In addition to these advancements, Garc’a said he thinks the plethora of waterless carwash and wax products to hit shelves in recent months present plenty of opportunity for the industry. And Mazzarella pointed out there are more and more eco-friendly products. “Recent advancements in chemical technology have made it possible to develop professional grade non-toxic, bio-degradable, environmentally-friendly automobile appearance products that are effective as and sometimes better performing than traditional products but do not contain the harsh ingredients.”
What’s yet to come
With the advancement of polymers, micro-abrasives and nanotechnology, which studies the control of matter according to an atomic and molecular scale, Sause said detailers should expect to continue to see new exciting products even faster.
“Most of the time, new products are just a replacement of an old version and formulated for new paints and materials. The effort is made to make them easier to use and hopefully increase production,” said Sause. “I believe there are many companies that are trying to create some new products or ‘one-up’ existing ones.”
Garc’a said we’ll be seeing more of what’s out there already as well, including more environmentally safe products, waterless products, vapor cleaning systems and a few step paint restoration systems.
It was only a few years ago that mobile detailing became commonplace in the industry and according to Mazzarella, we’ll not just be seeing new products, but other new business models too. “There is also a new set of emerging enterprises and new business models being shaped. These innovations not only create consumption, but also create entirely new markets. Newer products and ongoing innovation continue to shape our market and we continue to execute our growth and expansion strategy.”
Deb Gorgos is the managing editor of Professional Carwashing & Detailing. She can be reached at email@example.com.