How to Find Employment In the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is constantly searching for trained technicians. There is an increasing demand for specialised services, and moreover, trustworthy employees that promote company values.

Learn where to find the good jobs; job boards such as Automotive Employment, New Zealand have a wealth of information on them for both local and international job seekers. If you do not know how to use a computer you have an immediate disadvantage. In today’s world online employment applications have become the norm for the automotive industry. You can no longer expect to secure employment without a resume nor can you expect to secure employment without the ability to email the application.

To secure employment in the industry, it is well-advised to have relevant qualifications and in many countries this means completing a formal apprenticeship with your employer combined with a Trade Certificate. Next to that, relevant work experience and good character references from previous employers will place you ahead of other job-seekers. Another useful skill to have is the ability to keep informed about current market trends and new technologies. For instance, it will be significantly harder to find a job as a mechanic if your knowledge of parts only extends to kombi vans made prior to the 1980s. Stay on the ball by subscribing to facts and figures about new makes and models, their functions and specific components. If you have the right knowledge, the expertise associated with the job is one you can take to automotive industries all around the world.

Customers really appreciate thoughtful after-sale services – you should be prepared to go out of your way to make customers happy. This way, they will pick your service over others’, and spread the word about your positive attitude, thus guaranteeing a steady stream of business for both you and your employer. Be approachable – that goes without saying. Service industries rely on positive customer feedback, something that is impossible without your friendly, ready-for-action demeanour.

Your performance will be judged on the precision of your work. If you are not the attentive type, you could jeopardise not only a business deal, but also your client’s life. Botching a car repair could have deadly consequences – it isn’t something you want on your employment record. So if you are seriously determined to find automotive-related employment, you are already an eagle-eyed, honest person who puts his customers before himself.

As an employee in the automotive industry you need to be adaptable to changes in the trade. Currently there is a gradual shift to more carbon-conscious or ‘green’ technologies, while emission-producing processes have become more and more frowned upon.

Types & Features of Arc Welders, Tig Welders, Mig Welders, & Plasma Cutters

Ask anyone in the industry what the hottest equipment is in the world of automotive service equipment and they’ll name items such as plasma cutters, mig welders, and other welding equipment. And, when you try them out and discover the quality of the cuts and welds they make, it’s no surprise. This equipment is a cost-effective and easy-to-use option when compared to the work done by earlier technology.

Mig Welders And Other Automotive Service Equipment

This type of equipment comes in a number of convenient types to repair or make almost anything quickly and easily. With these machines, you’ll look like a seasoned professional. All you need to do is match the machine to the work you’re doing.

Arc Style Machines

The earliest advancement on the traditional torch, arc welders are an entry level of automotive service equipment that are also some of the easiest to use. More commonly known as stick welding, this unit joins thick metals together quickly using an electrode and electric arcs.

Mig Welders

The next step up from an arc welder, mig welders, use a wire feed and produce a lower heat. This prevents metal distortion and allows you to do a higher quality job on thinner metals such as those involved in auto body work.

Mig welders feed a constant stream of wire with a pull of the trigger, but you’ll still need to choose your supplies carefully. Wire, for example, comes in easy-to-use flux core wire for a quick job on thicker materials, or a gas/solid wire combination for all other work.

The type of gas you use also makes a significant difference on the weld quality. Argon and CO2 are best for stainless steel and aluminum. To prevent the wire feed from sticking on the weld line, be sure to use a Teflon liner. Finally, you’ll need to choose the appropriate wire diameter and tip size.

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate automotive service equipment, you’ll still want to practice on scraps before working on the final piece for the best results. This is particularly true for aluminum and other delicate materials. Also, don’t be afraid to watch the gauges and flow meters on the supply lines as well as on the machine itself. In the end, you’ll find mig welders quick and affordable while still doing a quality job.

Tig Or Tungsten Inert Gas

Unlike the first two machines mentioned, this style requires a combination of heat and tungsten electrodes to work. One of the biggest advantages to this style of welder is the fact that it heats and joins the two metal pieces together without the need for filler materials. The only exception is argon or other gasses needed to create the shielding.

You’ll notice that mig welders join metals together much faster than tig welders. However, tig welders work with higher precision and accuracy, which is great for customized work. Tig machines require more skills and practice to use properly. The possibility of preventing cracked seals or damaging the weld is also significantly decreased.

Plasma Cutters

There’s no denying the precision of plasma cutters. To get clean, accurate cuts, these units use an electric arc and gas/air at a high pressure, along with a high-speed wire and low heat setting. You’ll also notice that newer lines of plasma cutters have an inverter in place of the transformer. This keeps the temperature of the machine lower and makes it possible to have smaller, lighter machines without jeopardizing safety or quality.

With all of the different styles of plasma cutters available, you’ll want to choose carefully. Duty cycle should be one of the main determining factors in your decision. This determines how long you can use this automotive service equipment before having to allow it to cool. Generally, you’ll discover that bigger machines can handle thicker metals and run longer to give it a bigger duty cycle.

The other important feature you’ll want to make note of is the rating that is assigned to plasma cutters by the manufacturer. This will tell you how long each unit can cut through mild steel before needing to be cooled down. The rating varies, however. If you’re working on tempered steel, the length of time you have to make the cut will be far lower. Aluminum, on the other hand, is far easier to cut, and therefore gives you more operating time to work with.

Features Found On Mig, Tig, Arc & Plasma Cutters

Arc Welders

Arc welders are packed full of helpful features to improve the precision of this automotive service equipment and make them easier to use. Unlimited amperage control means you have the ability to create professional welds. Their lightweight and super-sturdy design makes this type of welder highly portable and durable enough to withstand regular wear. You’ll also find that some models of arc welders have thermostatic heat protection and a roll bar design to give the unit increased protection against damage.

Mig Welding Equipment

Ranging in size from a small, portable 115v, 20 amp machine to full sized shop automotive service equipment, mig welders are one of the few that combine a relatively low price tag with high quality performance. You can also gain full control over the quality of the weld with a full range of settings. Finally, these machines come with added benefits such as colder running temperatures and some of the best warranty options.

Tig Welders

Even the most basic tig welding machines come loaded full of features. Push button control panels make them easier to use while higher end models let you easily adjust the machines repeatable weld cycles, start, and weld crater. To customize the shape and size of the bead, look for models with true square wave AC output and pulse mode. Lastly, look for models with added safety features such as warning code circuitry and voltage protection.

Plasma Cutters

Like the welders mentioned previously, plasma cutters come with a full range of features. Single-dial controls for quick adjustments, pressure gauges, and built in air pressure regulators put you in full control of this automotive service equipment and result it cleaner cuts.

Additional features such as parts-in-place indicators, line voltage compensation, and thermostatic protection add to the safety of plasma cutters. Finally, if you’ll be doing repetitive work with complicated cuts, CNC robotic interfaces on your automotive service equipment will ensure you get consistent, accurate results every time.

Automotive service equipment like mig welders and plasma cutters come in a variety of different types with many different features to get you the best cut or weld possible. In order to achieve the cleanest, most precise repairs, you simply need to match the right automotive service equipment to the job.

Delivering Profit With Value Stream Mapping

All businesses set out to deliver profits but unfortunately all businesses attract costs that eat into these profits. Costs can come in various shapes and sizes from wages for staff to inventory costs – minimizing these operating costs are a key activity for most businesses.

While there are a variety of tools and techniques for attacking costs, much can be learned from lean tools that measure the value stream. The value stream is the flow of the product throughout its production attracting value that is of benefit to the end customer.

One such tool is Value Stream Mapping – a technique for mapping the flow of information and material flows through a production process. A well known tool with its foundations in the automotive industry value stream mapping is a simple but effective tool in the analysis of business processes and can be used to capture and assess business issues.

Value stream mapping captures data such as inventory and process times which can be used to determine bottlenecks and areas adding cost. Through producing a current state value stream map these processes can captured and analysed allowing for improvements to be targeted through appropriate improvement programs. Though re-engineering the business process via a future state map business waste and cost can be reduced

Remember that value stream mapping is a process mapping tool and as such on its own cannot save costs in isolation however it is an excellent tool for capturing issues and providing improvement teams sufficient ammunition and a foundation for driving value within the business.