Auto body technology students at Northeast Community College have a new useful tool in their lab, thanks to a shop in Omaha.
On a recent visit to the lab, representatives of B Street Collision Center donated an “i4 Inverter Resistance Spot Welder” that will allow students to weld difficult materials such as boron steels and advanced high strength steels (AHSS). The steels are rapidly becoming the material of choice among car manufacturers.
“B Street feels it is important that future technicians coming out of schools, like Northeast, are prepared and trained on the latest technology to ensure a smooth transition from education into their careers as collision repair professionals,” said Aaron Reeker, damage assessment manager, at B Street Collision Center. “We are fortunate enough to be able to help with that.”
Northeast instructors Dave Beaudette and Tom Hoile will be able to utilize the welder in their instruction. Beaudette said they have not had this type of technology in the program.
“This welder will allow us to train our students on all type of steel, including boron and AHSS, with minimal heat effect in meeting original equipment manufacturer specifications. Tom will also be able to integrate this type of welding into his program, along with plug welding, to better align with industry standards. We appreciate B Street’s generosity.”
This is not B Collision Center’s first contact with Northeast. The company has supported the program by having a representative serve on the auto body technology program’s advisory council. In addition, Reeker is alumnus of the program - and once Northeast student Patrick McCloskey, of Elkhorn, graduates in May, he will immediately go to work as a full-time technician at B Street after successfully completing an internship last summer. Another student, Luke Peterson, of Central City, will complete an internship at
B Street this summer.
B Street Collision Center has also donated a “Nitrogen Plastic Welder” to the program. It uses hot nitrogen gas to restructure common plastic components in automotive repair - from cracked bumper cover surfaces to hinged tabs. Beaudette said it will complement the program’s other plastic welder and allow students to train more efficiently in the plastic segment of the program.
The inclusion of the spot welder in the auto body technology lab also provided another type of experience for additional Northeast students. Electrical construction and control students in Dan Frohberg’s class had the opportunity to rewire part of the building’s lab to accommodate the resistance spot welder’s electrical capacity.
B Street Collision Center operates five auto body repair shops in the Omaha area and Kansas City, KS.