When Anders Hemström worked at a forging mechanical workshop in the early 90s, a tire dealer came and asked for welding help to repair an aluminum rim. He got his help and soon came back with more Alloy wheels. It so happened that Anders and three friends started the company in 1994.
– We did not have a clear business model but understood that repairing Alloy wheels was something you could make a living from.
Idea of complete service
The company was started in a small premises in Västberga where they remained for ten years. In 2004, the premises were far too cramped. Anders had by then released his friends from the company and was the sole owner. He built a house adapted for the business in Länna south of Stockholm. There was room for both sales, tire storage and rim repairs.
– I had an idea to be able to offer complete service to my customers. The thing was that more and more customers came who wanted a Alloy wheel refurbishment and at the same time needed new tires for it. Then I’m not just talking about new rims but also about old classic Alloy wheels that required modern tires. That’s what we learned to fix on lntera.
Good job between seasons
Today, lntera is a tire dealer among many others, but with the difference that here there is work with Alloy wheel refurbishment between the seasons. And with a partly a little more exclusive customer base. There are many wheels for more exclusive cars in the tire hotel, but most are for standard cars.
– We have the insurance companies to thank for much of the jobs. Today, when a new rim can easily cost SEK 5,000-10,000, it becomes expensive to change to a new one in the event of an injury. Instead, we can repair the rim for a third of the money – with a result that cannot be distinguished from the new rim.
Insurance companies love the idea of repairing a rim instead of having to pay for four new ones. Anders states and explains that there are often not even any new Alloy wheels available.
The rescue for many
Customers from all over the country have discovered his workshop and come here for help when a rim needs to be repaired or maybe just repainted. It is becoming increasingly common for buyers of exclusive cars to realize that the color of the rims is not exactly the way they want it.
The aluminum rims started to come in the 90’s and since then they have come on a wide front. For a while, “Split rims” were popular, rims in two or three parts that were screwed together with a special screw. Such a screw buys lntera from abroad.
The split rims had the advantage that they can be easily widened and given a new look. They first came on racing cars but spread to several standard cars, among other things. Anders Hernström says that when it’s time to renovate such rims, they usually end up with lntera where they are polished high gloss.
Rational “production line”
Alloy wheel refurbishment is a pure craft that requires several different steps before a rim is ready. Therefore, lntera has built up its workshop with stations for the various steps. And the staff is trained to become specialists in or a couple of steps. one is good at straightening dented rims, another at welding, a third at painting. All elements have been refined over the years.
For some reason, there are no color codes for the colors used on the rims. It is a dilemma that is solved by leaving rims to Akzo Nobel who scanned them in to get the right color refraction. After several years, lntera has thus been able to set up a reference library with rim colors.
– It’s tricky with color. Silver is not just silver but it can differ in pigment sizes and a lot of other things, and some colors must be applied in several layers that are sealed separately, Anders explains. But adds that he has painters who after several years immediately see what color it should be and how it should be applied.
Lots of invoices
When Däckdebatt comes to visit, the workshop is in full swing. On a normal day there may be about 30 new jobs with one or more rims.
lntera can have up to 300 rims in production at the same time and a couple of hundred more that are ready waiting for tires.
– Keeping track of this is a real challenge, but we have a good system for keeping track of rims and tires and a system for checking off finished job. There will be many invoices – lntera has around ten employees and a turnover of SEK 10-12 million a year.
– A couple of years ago, I sold both a workshop and a property to two of the employees. I wanted to find buyers who knew the craft so that was a good solution. Now I continue to work myself as a consultant on the workshop and real estate side. And builds some other properties here in the area as well, Anders explains.
HOW A DAMAGED WHEEL IS REPAIRED?
– When a rim comes in, it is entered into the computer system and given a label that reveals its identity.
– The condition of the rim is checked. It is centered on a machine so that it can be determined if it is completely round.
Deformed auto Alloy wheels are heated and straightened, with hydraulics first and then fine-tuning with a plastic mallet.
– Metal damage at the edge or elsewhere is repaired by TIG welding, followed by a first rough hand sanding.
– Any excess metal from the weld is removed in a metal turn.
– The rim is washed clean and the repairs are finely sanded by hand with wet sandpaper.
Finally, the Alloy wheels is painted, high-gloss polished and.