UView Ultraviolet Systems Inc.
UView Ultraviolet Systems Inc. saw the light of day in 1989 when Tony Ferraro and Phil Trigiani, two professional mechanics, came together in order to provide the automotive aftermarket with a new technology to service automotive A/C systems. They initially developed a better way to recover, recycle and recharge A/C systems. Since then, the company has continued to develop and patent new leak-detection technologies and professional service products that support car repair technicians around the world, changing the ways of aftermarket maintenance and service execution as we know it.
All company products have been engineered by technicians for technicians, and these patented products (the company holds over 100 patents) have received various industry awards. Many of these products are internationally recognized as the products that revolutionized the automotive service sector. With almost 100 employees in a 60,000 square foot facility, UView remains on the cutting edge of the professional car maintenance sector. UView has extensive research, professional design and engineering, as well as quality manufacturing, calibration, testing and delivery of high quality products produced in the company’s ISO 9001-2008 certified facility, and the company is more vertically integrated than original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like General Motors and Toyota.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Tony Ferraro, President, and Phil Trigiani, CEO, the founders of UView, about the ways UView continues to change the automotive aftermarket service sector.
“We started before UView, focusing on air-conditioning service equipment. The problem with A/C repairs at the time was that it was difficult to inject a dye into the sealed air-conditioning system, and this gas is colourless and odourless,” says Trigiani.
“To summon this up, we were already in the automotive A/C business, and in 1995 we saw the opportunity for a new product that would introduce fluorescent dye into the A/C systems, and that’s what launched the UView product focus as we know it today, where ‘UView’ stands for ‘Ultraviolet Lights and Fluorescent Dyes’,” added Ferraro.
Since 1997, the company has focused on providing leak detection systems and preventive maintenance technologies to the automotive aftermarket around the world. “From here we focused on building a portfolio of service products as it stands today. We have made four strategic acquisitions to expand into more equipment and chemicals for vehicle service. Our MotorVac brand is a global leader in fluid exchange equipment and performance additives. We organically grew leak detection systems with dyes for engine oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, diesel or any automotive fluid used in the vehicles. We designed these dyes so they don’t change the properties of these vital fluids [this may harm the vehicle], and we design specialized lamps with specific wavelengths that excite these dyes, thus making leaks easy to locate by the technician,” explained Trigiani.
While the industry competition is fierce, all the proprietary technology remains with UView and the company has a firm footing in the market. “We sell our products through distribution channels, supplying all platforms of distribution. We supply car manufacturers who sell these products to their car dealerships; we also sell to the tool trucks such as Snap-On, Matco and MAC Tools, as well as the warehouse distributors such as UAP, NAPA and CARQUEST where mechanics shop for parts and tools,” says Trigiani.
But even with the existing upper hand in the automotive aftermarket technologies, UView understands that sitting on its hands is not an option in this highly competitive industry, and continues to design new patented solutions. “In terms of R&D, we are driven by technology, and are very vertical in that sense — we spend a lot of money developing our new technologies. We do our own research, whether it’s the mechanical, electronics, or the chemical design; we develop our own leading edge, professional technologies.”
According to UView, the automotive aftermarket industry has moved from the repair model to the repair prevention model, with the challenge of servicing new and more sophisticated vehicles. UView has been successful in developing products for professional preventive maintenance — professional grade service products that support the automotive aftermarket and restore vehicles to the required standard.
Restoring fuel economy and emission reduction in both gasoline and diesel engines represents one of the most recent focuses for the company as this technology offers profitable opportunities. The company sees fuel efficiency as one of the major industry drivers as the OEMs are required by law to continue to increase fuel economy.
“The new vehicle efficiency requirements put more demand on the engine and emission systems in vehicles, and we are concentrating on creating new additives and technologies to clean engines, and lower emissions and products that restore fuel economy.” As vehicles age, their fuel economy starts to decrease due to carbon left behind after the gasoline or diesel fuel are burned. To solve this, UView acquired TerraClean, a unique technology that clears carbon build-up from within the engine, and restores the original fuel economy. Car dealership service facilities and premium service outlets commonly offer the TerraClean premium service to their customers.
While UView provides important service products, not all of the company products are ‘deemed necessary’ in the industry. To address this, the company focuses on educating the automotive aftermarket. “We are aware that technicians can do without some of our products. We need to educate the professionals why they need our product, and why it is better than any of our competition.”
The company sees the main challenge in maintenance education and in relaying this education all the way to the consumer. “We are in direct contact only with our distributors, and it’s these distributors who need to educate the automotive professionals who in turn communicate with the consumer. This is the challenge — relaying the knowledge through all these verticals in order to educate the consumer and allow the consumer to make an informed decision about the need for service.” A prime example is the company’s MiST service. This interior sanitizing service treats vehicle interiors for mold and bacteria. And while this service does not represent a typical repair facility menu, consumers who have had the service explained and performed, loves the results of this patented and award-winning technology. The challenge remains — educate consumers so they can make an informed decision.