A MixPlast product made by Eolane receives an award at the Equip Auto 2017 trade show

MixPlast won the Innovation Award at the Equip Auto 2017 trade show for one of its flagship products: The Star Finish anti-static gun, made by the teams at Eolane Vailhauquès.

Eolane for MixPlast: design of two flagship products in the range

MixPlast has been specialised in the vehicle plastics repair field since 1990.  With 28 years of experience, the company’s leitmotiv is to avoid replacing a part whenever repair is technically possible.

In the same spirit, MixPlast thought up the Magic Stapler Kit and Star Finish Ion-Tech, two of its flagship solutions, produced by the éolane Vailhauquès R&D teams.

The Magic Stapler Kit is for repairing degraded plastic and is an ideal bodywork solution using welding or stapling, whereas the Star Finish Ion Tech is an antistatic gun which makes it easier to apply paint onto a vehicle.

Based on the experience gained creating the Magic Stapler, the development team worked alongside the client for the new product in the range, taking major constraints into consideration:

– reuse of the plastics process and battery models from the first project to limit investments and bring consistency to the product range,

– the architecture was made with hardware alone, without any software, to simplify production and maintenance, a real technical challenge.

Numerous circuit topologies were tested to create the electrostatic field, to find the right compromised between the useful field and bodywork deionisation (difficult to quantify!), service life, bulk, and the cost of the solution.  In the end a 3-card architecture was chosen: a power supply card, (which manages the overall supply of the card from a battery pack that can deliver tension descending to 1.8 V, and activated by detection of the passage of a magnet), a Recharge card, (which manages the recharge battery, display and security), and the High Voltage card (generating high voltage).  The “generating High Voltage” part is independent to potentially change the functioning in the future, without having to change all the product components. The pneumatic part is made of non-electrical parts: the link between the air inlet and the circuit being done through the intermediary of the detection of an electromagnet on the product’s activation handle.

« Star Finish-Ion Tech », wins an award at the Equip Auto trade show 2017

antistatic gunThe Equip Auto trade show brings together operators in automobile after-sales services.  Every year innovative solutions for the after-sales market are awarded with the “International Grand Prix for Automotive Innovation”, awarded by journalists from many countries.

This is the context in which Star Finish was awarded a Gold Trophy in the 2017 event, in the bodywork/paintwork category.  A huge success for MixPlast, as well as for the Eolane R&D teams, who, once again, demonstrated their expertise.

With this product, the client MixPlast has extended its product line in a coherent and strategic way to offer solutions to cover the requirements its existing clients have expressed.  The product is disruptive within its target market:

  • Battery-operated with battery-life lasting a working day: unlike most antistatic guns on the market, no external high-voltage generating station, for optimum product weight and ergonomics.
  • The best possible cost for a highly-competitive product, therefore positioned as the reference for entry-level models.

The product was met with success by the client’s commercial network in the first weeks it was on the market, which led to them approaching new distribution markets worldwide.

Nicolas Vandeputte