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Step up to the winner’s circle

Won the Best New Product Aware at 2007 NACE


May 11, 2008
By Pat Bolen*

Clarification: This article makes reference to a Fein cutout tool that does not cut skin. Although accurate for 'round saw blades', most other blades are capable of cutting skin and are shipped with protective covers to prevent cuts when handling. Chris Skalkos, Editor.

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Sommer & Maca’s Step Scaffold won the Best New Product Award trophy at the Las Vegas NACE show.

Although he did not know the product was eligible for it, Sommer & Maca’s director of advertising, David Stevens says the company’s new adjustable Step Scaffold for autoglass and autobody technicians won the Best New Product Award at the at the 2007 NACE International Autobody Congress & Exposition show in Las Vegas, Nevada, from November 1 to 3.

Sommer & Maca Industries manufactures glass working machinery under the Somaca brand and distributes glazing supplies for flat and automotive glass. It also supplies new, used and reconditioned equipment and sells cutter blades for sawing, slicing and trimming urethane.

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The Step Scaffold was displayed in the New Products Pavilion with a 2008 Ford MidBox utility truck to show the taller vehicle usage application. Stevens says, “Every time I went over to check on the display, there was someone up on it bouncing around and testing it. It is exceptionally stable and it was attracting a lot of attention.”

The new aluminum platform makes working on any truck or larger vehicle easier and safer. The all-aluminum, adjustable three foot, step deck holds 300 pounds on the 15 by 42 inch work deck and weighs only 28 pounds, while a four foot, four step model is also available. Options include safety handrail, spring-loaded wheels, tool trays and connecting planks. These scaffolds make working on large vehicle windshields and body panels safer, easier and more convenient.

Stevens says, when the scaffold was set up in the New Products Pavilion, he was not aware it was eligible for the Best New Products Award. A voting computer for visitors to pick their favourite product was set up at the entrance to the pavilion and a guard told him it was a tight race between the scaffold and a dolly system.
He says he kept checking the computer over the weekend until he was told Sommer & Maca had won the trophy for its product.

Right way to salvage
The company has also been expanding into a new autoglass market. Stevens is approaching salvage yards to educate them about removing windshields from wrecked vehicles without breaking it with the use of the Fein electric cut-out tool. Looking to expand into new markets two years ago, Stevens says he watched a salvage yard employee crack four windshields trying to remove them while complaining about not having the proper tool to remove the windshields in one piece. He says the Fein tool, which will not cut skin, has a lot of uses and can be used at either six or two degrees.

Another area the company is considering is the recycling market. “This industry has a lot of segments we don’t know about.” He is also interested in exploring new markets such as RV manufacturers and truck and bus repair shops. -end-

*Pat Bolan is a freelance writer based in Exeter, Ontario.


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