Q & A with: Sergio Correa, Director of Support & Technical Training, Matrix
Q. What is the Matrix Wand?
A. The Matrix Wand is a 3D blueprinting and measurement technology specifically designed for the collision repair industry. It applies “photogrammetry,” which is the science of making measurements from photographs. From these images, the Matrix Wand calculates and records accurate measurement data to improve body shop efficiencies in estimating, blueprinting, documentation and repair verification.
The Matrix Wand is a total package system, meaning that in addition to the Wand itself, customers receive:
- Calibration board (with point markers).
- Computing & measuring software.
- 1 year of free Mitchell Data Software.
- Portable, caster-based work station (with cover).
- 32" mounted television monitor, for analyzing measurement data.
- Printer with paper, for producing tangible documentation.
- 2 spare batteries & chargers (for the Wand).
- Pelican™ carrying case (for the Wand).
- Surge protector.
- Extension cord.
Q. Why is measurement data important to collision repair?
A. There is a direct correlation between accurate measurement data and proper repair execution. On average, 35 percent of vehicles leave a shop with hidden damages. If hidden damages become operational and/or driver safety liabilities, the shop is subject to legal exposure and brand tarnishing because customers lose faith in the quality and integrity of repairs.
Leading up to those hidden damages, several inefficiencies likely existed in the body shop’s process. Most notably, without precision measuring tools, damage assessments are highly subjective and are often made based on opinions and guess work. If the proof of damage is not verifiable using data, estimators and technicians cannot make well-informed decisions. Without data-driven documentation, there is little proof of damage to be shared with insurance adjustors – which is a major obstacle to ensuring a body shop is reimbursed by the insurance companies.
Q. Compared to alternative tools, how does the Matrix Wand address these measurement data concerns?
A. Other measuring systems available to the industry have many components to set up and tear down with each vehicle that is measured. Because of this, it can take up to an hour to complete the measuring and blueprinting processes. Further, other measuring systems are often limited to two-dimensional data collection.
The Matrix Wand can complete the measuring and blueprinting processes in approximately 15 minutes. At just 2-3 minutes, the Matrix Wand’s set-up time is the fastest in the industry. In just 5-10 minutes, the Matrix Wand can identify sag, mash and side sway in all quadrants of the vehicle and from an infinite amount of data points by measuring in both 2D and 3D planes. The Matrix Wand can also be used to identify issues in suspension; alignment; sensor placement; proper door hanging; salvage, aftermarket and OE parts; and more.
With faster measuring speeds comes shorter lead times. Shorter lead times create more time available, which improves throughput rate. With more throughput comes greater profitability.
Because other measuring systems require significant time allocation for set up and tear down, they are often only used during the diagnosis stage of collision repair. Because the Matrix Wand is less complicated, it is more versatile and can be used in the diagnosis, repair and verification processes. Because of this versatility, the Matrix Wand can be used to streamline other collision repair processes. Examples include measuring to predict if a vehicle will pass an alignment test, and measuring to determine how a vehicle must be pulled – before it ever hits the rack.
Q. What are added benefits of the Matrix Wand?
A. While the OE standard for measurement data accuracy is generally +/- 3 mm, the Matrix Wand detects all damages with +/- 1 mm accuracy.
Though the Matrix Wand is a piece of equipment, its most valuable asset is its regularly updated collision data software. With each measuring repetition, Wand operators can compare vehicle data points to those of the latest Mitchell Data. Alternatively, if one side of the vehicle is undamaged, its measurement data can be recorded and a mirror image can be generated to create accurate repair data for the opposite, damaged side.
Sergio Correa, Director of Support & Technical Training, Matrix
Sergio Correa has more than 18 years of experience in the automotive collision industry and has been with Matrix since 2016. Prior to joining Matrix, Correa served as an automotive collision repair instructor at Salina Area Technical College for four years. He is ASE-certified in structural and non-structural analysis, as well as damage repair.
Correa is available to provide online or on-site technical training for shop owners, managers and collision repair technicians on how to use and implement the Matrix Wand technology into their shop processes. For more information about this service, please contact us.
Matrix Electronic Measuring, Inc. was founded in 2003 in Salina, Kansas, USA. Its flagship product, the Matrix Wand, was introduced to market at the 2012 SEMA Show, where it won the prestigious New Products Showcase Award. Today, the Matrix Wand holds 6 U.S. and 21 foreign patents.
For more information about the Matrix Wand, please contact us.