CIC Day One: A New Technician Definition

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Westminster, Colo., April 11, 2018—The spring Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meeting kicked off with discussions on plastic bumper repair, and redefining the technician definition to include skills of computer functions, advanced diagnostic equipment and a focus on supplement restraint systems, as well as advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS).

A topic heavily discussed before the CIC open mic session was the new technician definition. The new definition would make the collision repair shop technician have a mechanical role in the repair process.

The definition would now require the tech to have skills of reading diagnostics and using ADAS technology in the blueprinting process. The tech would not only have to be able to use the technology but understand what it means in terms of repairs the vehicle will need.

The new role may not be able to perform recalibrations, resets, reprogramming, pre-and post scanning, and more because the training is yet to be done.

One concern on the new definition was the source of training the technicians. CIC members raised concerns on whether the shift in skills would rely on bringing mechanical and electrical information into the collision repair shops in the form of an additional technician.

Third party repair procedures remain two to three years behind the technology in the collision industry.

Also at the meeting, Toby Chess, CIC technical committee co-chairman, and Kye Yueng, owner of European Motor Car Works, led a presentation on plastic repair. The panel led to the pros and cons of using nitrogen welding vs. adhesives.

“[Plastic repair] could be seen as a cure-all for all types of repairs, “ Yeung said. “We don’t want to give a false impression that it will speed up cycle time or make things easier.”

Yeung noted the cost and extensive training involved in introducing plastic repair in a shop.

Chess discussed pros and cons of nitrogen welding vs.adhesives. He said nitrogen welding is a longer process but is able to put plastic back on the bumper. Chess used water-based wax and grease remover and said he also put adhesive over staples to increase strength. He said he has used nitrogen bottle plastic welders and nitrogen generator plastic welders.

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