Many of you will know that the number one concern in any automotive garage is safety. Safe practices are a sign that a business is well run, cares about its employees wellbeing and is aware that if they do not comply with the appropriate safety regulations they could be liable for fines or even legal action.

Along with essential activities such as professional and appropriate clothing, cleanliness and constant training, a safe body shop needs to invest in equipment that not only keeps the user safe, but allows them to do the job efficiently. Of course all machinery and equipment can be dangerous if used incorrectly, so it is vital to invest in ongoing training to make sure employees know how to use machinery properly. This is not just a safety consideration, but well trained staff will work more effectively and efficiently – this can only be good for the business as a whole.

For example, many repair shops and garages use Oxy-Acetylene as the fuel for naked flame heating and welding purposes. The product’s use creates safety issues based around the use of a naked flame in a confined space. This is potentially bad for the user and for the environment. In order to safely use the product considerable staff training is required to be able to carry out tasks efficiently and safely.

Acetylene is an extremely flammable gas and differs from other gases due to its unstable nature and tendency to pollute by emitting toxic fumes. Fire and rescue services nationally attend many hundreds of fires and incidents each year involving acetylene cylinders.

A safe, reliable alternative to naked flame heating
Given the concerns and problems with handling products such as Oxy-Acetylene, and additional issues such as the damage naked flame heating causes to the area surrounding a part, many readers may be pleased to hear that a safer, more reliable and efficient heating solution is available.

The INDUCTOR® product range is an innovative and high performance new inductive heating solution, ideal for use by automotive repair engineers.

Launched to the UK market in 2012 and already a sales success in the US and other countries, the easy-to- use products present a viable option to the use of an open flame. All types of adhesives bonded to metal can be removed and seized hardware released from corrosion or thread lock compounds in seconds – all without the collateral damage normally associated with open flame methods.

The range includes the user-friendly Mini-Ductor® II 1kw handheld unit and the Pro-Max™ 2kw trolley or work bench mounted inverter. Both are CE marked and run off 230volt power.

The Pro-Max™ is currently being trialled by the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service as part of its research into heating products that offer an alternative to Oxy-Acetylene. A representative says, “We’ve found the Pro-Max to be very efficient and the product clearly offers a much safer alternative to naked flame heating.”

What is induction heating?

Induction heating is a process which is used to bond, harden or soften metals or other conductive materials. For many modern manufacturing processes, induction heating offers an attractive combination of safety, speed, consistency and control.

Since heat is transferred to the product via electromagnetic waves, the part never comes into direct contact with any flame, the coil itself does not get hot, and there is no product contamination. When properly set up, the process becomes very repeatable and controllable.

It is worth noting that although the use of an Induction Heating System is safer than using Oxy-Acetylene, the operator needs to become thoroughly familiar with the instruction and precautions for use, such as not wearing any metallic items and wearing heat resistant gloves for removing parts from heated surfaces. However, compared to the use of Oxy-Acetylene, less training is need to use the INDUCTOR® flameless heating products.

Safe, efficient removal on bonded parts
Heating of metallic parts through the principle of electromagnetic induction can greatly assist in the removal of many parts and materials, especially those attached to a vehicle with any type of adhesive.

Removal by this method often enables undamaged parts to be re used – an extremely cost effective alternative to expensive replacements – a factor vehicle damage repair estimators can take into consideration as this could lead to repairs being less costly for customers, without hitting profitability.

Removed adhesive materials often cannot be reused, but there is almost always some saving in labour costs and/or decreased material cost associated with induction heating versus traditional methods.

Bernard Robertson of BR Cartronics in Leicester, who has been trialling the INDUCTOR® products says, “By using these products we’ve found we’re getting through fewer gas bottles, the removal process is quicker and as there’s no flame involved, so it’s a lot safer for my team to use these products. Previously we had to remove fuel tanks from the workplace, gas plants also require maintenance and insurance premiums are higher as the risk of accident is greater. Workshops can save themselves lots of time and money by switching to INDUCTOR® flameless heating products.” Read more about BR Cartronics trial of the Mini-Ductor ® II here.

How the Pro-Max™ can be used
The Pro-Max™ trolley or work bench mounted system is a powerful 2 kilowatt, 230volt induction heater offering a range if attachments as standard to easily remove a variety of hardware and components including:

  • Glass, including Windshields can be removed in under 15 minutes without breaking – with the ‘Glass Blaster’ attachment.
  • Bonded SMC/Plastic Panels  – with the ‘Glass Blaster’ or ‘Fast Off Pad’ attachments.
  • Spayed-on Bedliners can be removed in 4 minutes – with the ‘Glass Blaster’ attachment.
  • Adhesive Trim – with the ‘Fast Off Pad’ attachment.
  • Vinyl Graphics – with the ‘Fast Off Pad’ attachment.
  • Strip Tape – with the ‘Fast Off Pad’ attachment.
  • Decals – with the ‘Fast Off Pad’ attachment.
  • Seized/Rusted Hardware can be removed in seconds – with the ‘Concentrator’ attachment.
  • Hail/Soft Dents can be shrunk/removed – with the ‘Concentrator’ attachment.

If you’re looking to improve safety in your workshop, the INDUCTOR® range of flameless heating offers a safe, reliable, adaptable and cost effective alternative to traditional heating methods.

A step- by-step guide to using the Pro-Max™ and to find out more
For more details about how to use the Pro- Max™ and the INDUCTOR® product range visit the website or for more information call 01953 859138, or email:

This is a copy of an article which appeared in the August 2012 issue of Repair and Refinish review magazine.