July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 33 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES T he business of running a shop that offers paint protection film (PPF) is no different from any other business in that it is always in need of learning new tips, secrets and hacks. Gaining even a few new ways to cut costs, speed up a job or just increase the bottom line is one of the full-time aspects of the business. We asked an industry veteran to share some secrets. Here are a few of his favorites: A LONG-TERM PRODUCT Albert Helcberger is the owner and master installer at Mentor, Ohio-based Block-A- Chip, where we dropped in to see how they do a Ferrari PPF treatment. Helcberger has been in business since 2003 and does literally hundreds of PPF jobs a year on cars like this Ferrari to RVs, race cars and family vehicles. Block-A-Chip specializes in mid-range to upper-end sports cars but still sees many trucks and Jeeps coming in for PPF as well. He does wraps and color changes, too. In fact, the roof of this Ferrari might end up matte black via film. Helcberger says using a semi-permanent PPF should be thought of as a "long-term product." On the high-end cars he does, the car's paint first gets a micro polishing treatment and is followed up with ceramic coating after the PPF. It enhances both the protection and sheen aspects of the body. KEEP TRACK OF INVENTORY Helcberger says he goes through several rolls of PPF, both in 50- and 100-foot sizes, a week. One of his first tips is how important it is to keep track of inventory and stay ahead on ordering product so he does not run out of material. JULY 2016 THE SHOP 33 TIPS & HACKS An application of PPF on con- tact areas like a set of protec- tive door bars will keep the paint looking fresh longer. PPF: Paint protection films work on everything from race vehicles to high-end sports cars. By John Carollo

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