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New materials, manufacturing techniques make training more important than ever

Friday, November 16, 2012 - 14:18
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Ohio Technical College

Ohio Technical College's (OTC) Automotive Technology School (www.ohiotech.edu), located in Cleveland, is an accredited, postsecondary technical college. A wide variety of specialized collision repair and refinishing training courses are available, including programs in automotive, diesel equipment, collision repair and refinishing, classic-car restoration, alternative-fuel vehicles and power generator systems. Classes are taught by industry professionals from the OEMs, auto repair product suppliers, and industry technicians. I-CAR also is involved in providing curriculum information to OTC.

The OTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree, along with a 72-week Complete Automotive Technology program that provides intense hands-on training in areas such as engine performance and repair, automatic transmission, suspension and steering systems, electrical and electronic systems, and alternative fuel systems. The Auto Body Repair Training Program covers many topics including plastic and adhesives repair, structural analysis and repair, welding, and mechanical and electrical components.

Supplier training programs

Other options are programs provided by suppliers of automotive repair products and components. Many of these manufacturers work with the automotive OEMs, insurance companies and collision repair experts to teach proper product repair procedures that will result in repairs that match original OEM performance and appearance. Most of these courses can be customized to fit a repair shop's work schedules and can be taught on the shop's premises. Look to your supplier for in-shop instruction and training, certification, how-to videos and repair procedures.

For the future

Currently, there is a lack of automotive repair professionals who are receiving adequate technical training. While these technicians might be well schooled when they enter the profession, many of them are not keeping up with repair trends. Although there are several places that offer continued education, there is still a lot more that can be done to further educational efforts for repair technicians.

It's up to technicians and auto body shops to keep up-to-date on current engineering trends and proper repair procedures. If technicians don't understand the changes in car engineering, they won't be able to understand the changes needed for proper repair techniques. Accessing repair websites, industry training courses, secondary education programs and supplier alliance classes can help technician keep current with changing engineering trends.

As vehicle engineering becomes more sophisticated with the use of advanced high-tech materials and components, technicians and repair shops will have to be up-to-speed on the latest repair procedures in order to properly repair the cars of today and the future.

Editor's note: Ed Staquet is Senior Technical Support Manager, Fusor Aftermarket Repair Products, at LORD Corporation.

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