Panel and Paint

Motor Equipment News - - CONTENTS -

Sev­eral months have passed, since the 24th Au­tomechanika trade fair closed its doors – yet the im­pact of the trade fair con­tin­ues to ex­ert its in­flu­ence well be­yond that. Not only for the ex­hibitors, who can now re­joice in their full or­der books and ex­cel­lent busi­ness deals.

Vis­i­tors, too, are still din­ing out on the new prod­ucts and ac­com­plish­ments that they saw in Frank­furt. Not least, for ex­am­ple, in the ad­vanced train­ing work­shops deal­ing with ac­ci­dent dam­age re­pair.

“Visit a three-hour-long prac­ti­cal work­shop at a trade fair? Surely, no vis­i­tor has time for that!”

Thus runs the fre­quently ex­pressed as­sess­ment of many pes­simists. But any­one tak­ing a look at the fig­ures for the to­tal of12 work­shops or­gan­ised dur­ing this year’s Au­tomechanika, will soon dis­cover oth­er­wise.

More than 800 vis­i­tors took ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity not only to ex­am­ine new prod­ucts but also to in­vest some of their time in ex­tend­ing their pro­fes­sional knowl­edge at one of the 12 work­shops that were on of­fer, dur­ing Septem­ber,, in the Gal­le­ria be­tween Halls 8 and 9.

This year, as had al­ready been the case in 2014, they were con­ducted in Ger­man in the morn­ing and in English in the af­ter­noon.

Trade vis­i­tors had a choice be­tween work­shops, in­clud­ing “Sys­tem­atic as­sess­ment and record­ing of ac­ci­dent dam­age in cars” and “Dig­i­tal cal­cu­la­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion of re­pair costs”. There was also a work­shop on “Trained per­son­nel for hy­brid/hy­dro­gen-elec­tric power units” and a great deal of vis­i­tor in­ter­est was gen­er­ated by the ses­sions on “Read­ing stored fault codes / fault di­ag­no­sis / head­light ad­just­ment” and “Di­ag­nos­ing chas­sis and sus­pen­sion faults/cam­era cal­i­bra­tion”.

Paint tech­niques

In ad­di­tion, the ad­vanced train­ing pro­gramme in­cluded work­shops on new body-work assem­bly tech­niques, in­no­va­tive ma­te­ri­als and com­pos­ites in mo­tor ve­hi­cle con­struc­tion and new paint­ing tech­niques.

As proof of suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion, par­tic­i­pants in all 12 work­shops were given a cer­tifi­cate of at­ten­dance at the end. As is usual in Frank­furt, all the work­shops were dis­tin­guished by a high pro­por­tion of prac­ti­cal in­volve­ment and live demon­stra­tions.

The fact that the cour­ses were of­fered in two lan­guages was very well re­ceived by course par­tic­i­pants. While many of the train­ers felt that the morn­ing ses­sions were more strongly at­tended, at the same time, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of the in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pants had de­lib­er­ately planned their visit to Au­tomechanika in Frank­furt, specif­i­cally with the work­shops in mind.

Lots of them at­tended sev­eral cour­ses and took ad­van­tage of their visit to the trade fair as an op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther their own per­sonal pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment.

As Dirk Breuer from Toy­ota puts it, re­fer­ring to a group of Aus­tralian me­chan­ics, who had at­tended his work­shop (Trained Per­son­nel for Hy­brid Hy­dro­gen-Elec­tric Drive Units) and other cour­ses: “The par­tic­i­pants were de­lighted to re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate.”

Rainer Leik­ert from Beiss­barth (Di­ag­nos­ing chas­sis and sus­pen­sion faults/cam­era cal­i­bra­tion) de­scribed a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence. Along­side vis­i­tors from Aus­tralia and Asia, he also wel­comed me­chan­ics from New Zealand to his work­shop.

Course leader Michael Geiger from BMW also re­ported strong at­ten­dance fig­ures from abroad. The sub­ject of his work­shop was body­work repairs to the new BMW 7 Se­ries, which are par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing, on ac­count of the var­i­ous types of ma­te­rial that have been used in the con­struc­tion of the ve­hi­cle.

“We had a very well-in­formed au­di­ence in the af­ter­noons as well and, through the work­shop, we were able to reach pre­cisely the tar­get group we had in mind,” said Michael Geiger.

Dam­age asses­sors

These in­cluded stu­dents on ad­vanced skills cour­ses, pre­par­ing for their master crafts­man cer­tifi­cates, dam­age asses­sors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, as well as own­ers of re­pair shops and their staff from Ger­many and abroad.

Ba­si­cally, all the train­ers praised the pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes of vis­i­tors, who were knowl­edge­able in their field and keen to learn.

“Among the par­tic­i­pants were one or two stu­dents, who at­tended our event just out of in­ter­est. Al­to­gether the level of ex­per­tise amongst those tak­ing part was very high and many of them were di­rectly in­volved in the mo­tor ve­hi­cle sec­tor,” re­counts Klaus Dol­las from Car­bon, who was demon­strat­ing new tech­niques for the re­moval of dents.

The qual­ity of par­tic­i­pants was ev­i­dent in the lively par­tic­i­pa­tion, the sub­se­quent dis­cus­sions and the per­se­ver­ance and abil­ity to con­cen­trate of those at­tend­ing.

Stamina and con­cen­tra­tion were par­tic­u­larly in de­mand from par­tic­i­pants and train­ers alike this year. The high sum­mer tem­per­a­tures on the first three days of the show meant that things re­ally did start to heat up be­neath the glass roof of the Gal­le­ria.

Not very sur­pris­ing then, that many of the train­ers – as well as par­tic­i­pants – of the work­shops have ex­pressed a wish for im­proved shade from the sun in 2018, as well as more pow­er­ful ven­ti­la­tion for the work­shop ar­eas. And, in terms of ex­tra­ne­ous noise, there was a clear re­quest for the Frank­furt Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre to re­duce the in­tru­sive noise lev­els from other things go­ing on at the show, with bet­ter sound in­su­la­tion.

Top marks

Over­all, Messe Frank­furt without ex­cep­tion, got top marks for the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the work­shops, the con­tent of the pro­gramme, and the run­ning of the events.

Com­ments ranged from: “I wouldn’t know what to sug­gest to im­prove things,” to “An all-round suc­cess­ful event,” and “That was ideal in terms of both the or­gan­i­sa­tion and the con­tent on of­fer,” and re­flect the gen­eral mood of train­ers and par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies alike. Vir­tu­ally all the train­ers, who were asked, ex­pressed their wish to take an ac­tive part in the ad­vanced train­ing work­shops again in 2018, the year of Au­tomechanika’s 25th an­niver­sary.

Messe Frank­furt was as­sisted in the run­ning of the ac­ci­dent re­pair work­shops by, amongst oth­ers, the fol­low­ing com­pa­nies: Adam Opel AG, BASF Coat­ings/Gla­surit, Beiss­barth, BMW, Car­bon, Car-o-Liner, DEKRA Au­to­mo­bil GmbH, Deutsche Au­to­mo­bil Treu­hand GmbH, Faré­cla, Festool GmbH, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Robert Bosch GmbH, SATA, Se­hon, Toy­ota, Voss­chemie GmbH, Wielän­der + Schill as well as the Tech­ni­cal Academy of the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Trade (Tech­nis­che Akademie des Kraft­fahrzeuggewerbes - TAK).

And there is gen­eral agree­ment amongst the spon­sors, too, that they will con­tinue to sup­port the work­shops again in 2018.

One of their rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Anja Heinl from hy­draulic ramp man­u­fac­tur­ers, ATHHeinl, which sup­port the work­shops by, amongst other things, pro­vid­ing the in­spec­tion ramps, says: “I was un­for­tu­nately un­able to at­tend any of the events my­self. We had a full house at our stand all the way through the show.

“But from where we are stand­ing, the ad­vanced train­ing work­shops are an all-round suc­cess and a per­fect ad­di­tional com­ple­ment for re­pair-shop prac­ti­tion­ers. We shall be de­lighted to spon­sor them again in 2018.”

More in­for­ma­tion on Au­tomechanika is to be found at: www. au­tomechanika.com, in our blog: www.driv­ing-news.com and at: www. face­book.com/au­tomechanika, www. twit­ter.com/au­tomechanika and: www.au­tomechanika.com/gplus.

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