(Image source: Tesla.)
As automobiles are built with more sophisticated technology, diagnosis of damage and tracking of repairs has become more difficult. To address that challenge, Mitchell International (San Diego) reports that it is collaborating with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions in North America (a division of Robert Bosch GmbH, Gerlingen, Germany) , to deliver the Mitchell Diagnostics system, which the vendor pitches as the first comprehensive diagnostic system designed specifically for the collision repair and automotive claims markets, available by June 30, 2017.
Mitchell Diagnostics characterizes the new offering as an end-to-end diagnostic system that combines appraisal and repair workflow applications with Bosch’s most advanced aftermarket scan tools. The vendor says the system should contribute to increased productivity, a smoother repair process, and enhanced levels of customer service.
“Over the last decade, vehicle complexity has exploded with more advanced features and sophisticated electronics,” comments Jack Rozint, VP, Sales and Service, Mitchell International. “In fact, according to IEEE a premium class car today runs on close to 100 million lines of code compared to a Boeing 787 which requires about 6.5 million lines of code. Because of this, collision repair facilities and appraisers must be prepared to diagnose, provide a reliable estimate and fix a computer on wheels.”
Diagnostic scanning is a key tool for repairing today’s complex vehicles, but there has been no diagnostic solution for the collision industry that supports a range of vehicle brands and models, according to Rozint. He adds that OEM scan tools are limited to their own brand data and can be cost prohibitive for repairers working on multiple makes and models.
“On top of that, there is no diagnostic tool that supports the collision repair claims process,” Rozint continues. “The data from the diagnostic scan is difficult to understand, there are no standard methods for repair facilities to integrate scanning into their workflows and systems, and there is no standard for file documentation related to diagnostics that meets the needs of repairers and carriers. Repair shops need a tool that delivers data in an easy-to-understand way that can be seamlessly integrated into the collision repair workflow.”
Best-in-Class Coverage and Modern Technology
Mitchell researched a wide variety of scan tools on the market and found that the Bosch scan tools provided best-in-class coverage and modern technology, backed by robust service and support, according to Rozint. Bosch scan tools also have a combination of features that provide outstanding capabilities for collision repairers, including a tool to perform Electronic Control Unit (ECU) reprogramming, as well as optional accessories that include a target system for recalibrating Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) kit, Rozint elaborates.
The new Mitchell Diagnostics system validates that the VIN on the scan report matches the VIN on the vehicle from which data is pulled, according to a company statement. That scan report can be used to support repair billing, and offers both carriers and repairers a record showing that the vehicle had a clean scan at the completion of the repair process.
“Mitchell’s reputation and success among information providers for being a leader in advanced repair technologies made it the ideal choice to bring diagnostic solutions to the collision repair industry,” comments Stefan Schmitt, VP, Engineering and Product Area Diagnostics, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. “Working with Mitchell will integrate our scan tool directly into the workflow applications used by collision repairers and insurance carriers, which will assist in the diagnostic portion of collision repairs.”
The system may be used to add scan reports to any of the industry’s major estimating, repair management and claims processing systems, the Mitchell statement says. These scan reports can easily be saved as PDF documents and dropped into a folder used for vehicle damage images by the user of the Mitchell Diagnostics system. Customers that utilize Mitchell Estimating advanced estimating system and RepairCenter shop management software will benefit from enhanced integration capabilities, according to the vendor.
The Power of Validation Documentation
“One of the challenges we have is documenting, confirming, and getting compensated for the scanning that we do in-house,” comments Bill Lawrence of 1st Certified Collision Group, a multi-site collision repair operation in Southern California. “With the Mitchell Diagnostics system we’ll be able to demonstrate via validation documentation that the work was performed on the vehicle with the VIN matching the insurers’ claim, and we can easily attach that to our repair order and the carrier’s claim file.”