World first: CarCheck System PLUS

Internet trade: Car expert opinions including the test reports of the coating thickness inspire trust

The used car trade is currently reorganizing itself. More and more car buyers and sellers find each other over the internet. Often, the car is located hundreds of miles away from the buyer. Then it is extremely frustrating to have traveled such a long distance only to find that the dream car, if looked at more closely, shows defects all over - or if the car has been sold to someone else in the meantime. Binding sales contracts, concluded from a distance are useful to buyer and seller alike: The seller can be sure to reject other potential buyers and the buyer knows that no-one will snatch the car away right under his nose. The situation remains problematic in case the car shows defects not mentioned in the description of the car. In such a case neutral car expert opinions can help. The advantages to buyers are obvious: They can get comprehensible information on the state of the car from home. But sellers also benefit: They can reach customer groups that otherwise would have shied away from an unseen purchase. German company Automation Dr. Nix developed CarCheck System PLUS coating thickness measuring system improves car expert opinions significantly.

The importance of coating thickness measurement for car expert opinions

Strictly speaking, the handy gauge of CarCheck System PLUS does not measure the coating thickness but rather the distance between the coating surface and the metal underneath. That sounds trivial at first, however, that difference is crucial. In case of some car body damage that was repaired by filling, for example, CarCheck System PLUS measures the thickness of the complete coating on the metal - meaning the thickness of paint and filler together. Paint of new cars usually measures between 100 μm and 150 μm. Areas repaired by filling easily measure several hundred μm. The difference immediately shows in the measuring results and even perfectly executed repair work, that is unnoticeable from the outside, will be recognized immediately. Thus the coating thickness measurement is an important tool to detect and proof accidental damage. And since such damage reduces the value of a car considerably, a complete documentation of all repair work on the car body – including work that is unnoticeable from the outside – is crucial to realistic car assessment.

Flexible work – efficient documentation

CarCheck System PLUS is more than a high end coating thickness gauge. Its strength lies in its capacity to efficiently document the measuring results in a visually appealing manner. Still, CarCheck System PLUS does not force the user to work in a specific way. Car inspections can be prepared at the PC.  Working with the car on location the user may decide to leave out the measurement of individual parts or to add new parts to the inspection plan. Furthermore, each part can be measured as often as required. When all data has been recorded, it is transmitted to the PC and directly allocated to the correct part. 

The subsequent processing of measuring data with the PC can be organized to meet the specific requirements of the measuring task. CarCheck System PLUS offers a method to determine the exact spot within a so called image grid, at which each single measurement value is automatically placed on an image. The PC software provides five standard images showing typical car bodies from all sides. The expert can configure where measurements will appear in these images. When measuring another car, a suitable standard image is selected and the all measurements are automatically allocated. However, the expert is of course not bound to these five standard images. Any image of photo can be used as background image for automated measurement allocation. Incidentally, it is easy to move or recolor measurements after automated placement occurred.  Moreover, additional measurements, created outside the standard inspection plan, can still be implemented.

High quality test reports with a photo of the car inspire trust

Expert opinions appear of particular high quality with measurements indicated on photos of the car in question.  Here the workflow is simple too:

After the photos of the car have been loaded to the PC, the expert selects the most important car views using the CarCheck PC software and will use this selection as basis for direct and correct placement of the measurements on the inspected car. He can highlight important measurements by individually customizing font and background color. Additionally, he can indicate the exact measuring position with an arrow. This is particularly useful when many measurements have been taken on relatively small surface.  

PDF files for digital distribution

To complete a report, the expert adds car and owner data and creates the report in PDF format. This PDF file offers all the advantages of any file in that format. It is suited for high quality print outs, for archiving data, and before all, for sharing it over the internet. The PDF file is designed to show all significant information of a typical coating thickness measurement of a car on one page. Thus car and owner data, photos with the measurements, and the individual measurement results arranged in table form can be read at a glance. Of course all reports created with CarCheck System PLUS can be integrated into comprehensive expert opinions. This is particularly easy with the reports saved as DOC file in Microsoft Word format.  Additionally, the Excel export feature allows for further analysis of the measuring data if required.

Conclusion

Every expert can easily work with CarCheck System PLUS in any way the current customer may require him to – sometimes according to a strict yet efficient plan, sometimes highly individualized and with a lot care for details. Every step of the way is customizable: measurement preparation, the actual taking of measurements, the visualization of the measurement results, and the processing of the finished report. Reports in PDF format are therefore a wonderful help to the used car trade over the internet.

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