Effective Tuesday, June 8th, IND is pausing new orders of our painted hood and trunk roundel program. Current orders of hood, trunk, and wheel roundels will be fulfilled as quickly as possible; we hope to re-open new painted roundel orders early next month.
IND’s core commitment to excellence has been an unwavering effort, and certainly one of the main reasons why we, where possible, use OEM BMW components to create our own parts.
Our popular painted roundels are one such example—the meticulously painted rings adding a subtle, but ultimately impactful touch to the car’s exterior.
The problem: Despite their popularity, this project has not been executed without its own set of hurdles: the OEM roundels are not without flaws from the factory and require an exhaustive amount of work to pass our strict quality control parameters. Upon close inspection, the OEM roundels are often littered with what appears to be small metallic flakes in the black ring. These flaws become even more apparent after the roundel is prepped for our paint process: a three-step practice that involves use of Cromax 2320S Flexible Parts Cleaners (to remove mold release agents and surface contaminants), a general cleaner, and Axalta 3812S (an industrial solvent and enamel reducer for more a more thorough prep)—a procedure we have grown accustomed to performing to prevent fisheyes (craters) in the final product.
How we have been "fixing" the problem: In accordance with our commitment to excellence, our experienced paint staff has taken extra steps to literally spot treat most factory flaws under microscope. Our meticulous roundel procedure more often than not includes the following steps: roundel prep, initial spot treatment of factory flaws, quality control review, roundel ring paint, clear coat application, quality control review, additional spot treatment of factory flaws, clear coat application, quality control review, and buff by order fulfillment and finishing team. More often than not, even after each roundel reaches our finishing team, more factory flaws have risen to the surface and are thereby rejected to begin the process all over again.
While in theory we could repeat this process over and over until zero flaws remain, there is a finite number of clear coat applications before the outer painted ring shows waviness and can no longer pass QC. As such, we have set our overall flaw reduction to 95%—as aforementioned, the small remaining percentage (typically 1-2 microscopic dots) does not exist out of oversight, but in order to save the roundel.
Our continuous pursuit of excellence & on-going plan: Over the course of the last eight months, we have attempted to streamline and improve our roundel methodology. We are happy to report repeatable successes in terms of our wheel roundel QC success rate. As such, we will proudly continue to offer this popular variant without interruption and will be putting a higher priority to build adequate inventory for the coming months while satisfying current orders as quickly as possible. Despite our exhaustive efforts, we have to concede that our hood and trunk roundels are still not meeting our stringent standards on a regular basis; we’ve determined that what we need most to find a viable solution is time.
At present, we encounter two large bottlenecks: the first, being the paint process itself as aforementioned. The second comes at the finishing stage wherein our dedicated staff has been spread thin trying to juggle a growing number of duties amidst a roundel’s first, second, or even third attempt at passing QC. As a result, we have regretfully decided to hit the proverbial pause button on our ever-popular painted hood and trunk roundels. We have every intention to bring these variants back into our expansive paint catalog by July 4th weekend, but in order to ensure the other IND staples do not become compromised with such immense attention being paid toward these roundels, this intermission will allow us to better examine a sustainable methodology while also re-building ample hood and trunk roundel inventory.
At end, we believe our team to be as discerning as our clientele and have done our very best to offer our customers a unique product like this. We do not take announcements like this lightly and vow to uphold the standard that IND was built upon for our roundel re-release and beyond. Thank you as always for your continued support.