Bodyworx Professional 4#4

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special edition

SPOTLIGHT: Pfaff AutoworkS competition COVERAGE


GET TO THE Boardroom


Learn how Mike Kaplaniak took shop experience to the VP’s office

Polish clearcoat defects

with Justin Jimmo

Toolbox Power



Modernize the way your

favourite tools are stored


Cecile Bukmeier teaches that autobody repair is a first choice career

+ Plus Ashley Weber on WorldSkills, a look at SAIT’s repair program. and much, MUCH more!!!

December 2017




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632

l  86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2



cover story 11 The power of teaching confidence Cecile Bukmeier’s message to her students: autobody repair is a first choice career. regulars 4 Publisher’s Page by James Kerr

Desert Storm Get an inside scoop on one of the biggest automotive events of the year: SEMA!

8 Education by Bill Speed

9 Industry Insight by Mark Millson

66 News Ontario College strikes, CCIF Career Day and much more!

70 Final Detail by Mike Davey



Tickled Pink

Keeping it Fresh

Pfaff Autoworks’ ‘8 Hours of Passion’ competition combines custom work with endurance racing.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology trains students to embrace change and stay adaptable.



New Products

21 Canada Competes

53 Toolbox Tour

Autobody Painter, Ashley Weber, on her experiences preparing for WorldSkills.

Check out a selection of new and innovative toolboxes.

25 All in the Details

64 Illuminating Aluminum

Learn from refinish expert Justin Jimmo the art of polishing clearcoat defects.

I-CAR’s Automotive GMA Welding course will help you prepare for aluminum welding.

49 Painter to Prez

65 Young Gun

Michael Kaplaniak found success through networking and embracing change.

Richard Pretorius, Technician at Speedy Collision, is obsessed with self-improvement.

Collision Edge combines products into a complete estimating kit.

on the cover: Cecile Bukmeier, Autobody Instructor, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Photo taken by Leigh Kotvosky of NAIT.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Tomorrow’s Techs You are the future


In every issue there are how-to’s, inspiring stories of people who went from the shop floor to the top, artists who have made their canvas metal, and in this issue—an overview of key collision repair schools in Canada. Pass this magazine along, and keep it moving. The fact is, we need bright, creative people in shops to face tomorrow’s unknown challenges. We can imagine aluminium largely taking over autobody metal, but will some other future composite eclipse our known metals? With carbon fibre we’ve gotten a glimpse of how strange tomorrow’s autobody materials could be.

These future techs will face new, modern challenges that we cannot predict. the techs and painters there, and—I hope— end up in the lap of bright-eyed prospective students. You should be able to hand this magazine to your kid brother and say: “Here. This is what it’s all about.” This is an exciting industry where you get to be present at the forefront of innovation, but from the outside, the collision repair industry can seem overwhelming. We know that it offers almost limitless opportunity for personal and professional growth, but that message is not always seen from the outside. You may start with a hammer in your hand, but from there you could paint, you could estimate, you could manage, you could end up in a million different spots depending on your interests and skill. I don’t know another industry that offers that much reward for individuality as well as hard work. The goal of Bodyworx Professional magazine is to reveal all those possibilities that can sometimes seem far-off when you’re in high school, or even seem far-off when you’re on the shop floor, having just sanded and primed your 10th bumper of the day.


Publishing Director James Kerr 416.628.8344 EDITor Erin McLaughlin 905.370.0101

James Kerr

he world of tomorrow is built on the skills taught today. We will come to depend—the industry, and the economy—on the students going through school right now. The mission of Bodyworx Professional magazine is to not only to encourage the techs and painters within the industry (and everyone back-of-shop) but also to inspire the students looking to get in. Bodyworx Professional magazine is sent to collision repair shops, of course, but also to college programmes within the collision repair industry, and high schools with prominent programs. From shops, it gets passed to

PUBLISHER Darryl Simmons 647.409.7070

Any tech can tell you that working with new materials involves learning new skill sets. What skills will the techs of tomorrow have to learn to perform what will then be basic repairs? These future techs will face new, modern challenges that we cannot predict, and the collision repair industry will depend on their know-how. The only way we can get these bright people is to show them how great this industry is. That is the function this magazine serves. Bodyworx Professional magazine is a call to action for the entire industry. When it arrives in your shop, do me a favour. Make sure, once its made its rounds, that it ends up in the lap of someone’s kid brother, big sister, or university graduate. Then you can say: “Here. This is what it’s all about.” Tomorrow is up to you.  bodyworx professional

Creative Department Michelle Miller 905.370.0101 Greg Smith 905.370.0101 Staff writerS Tom Davis Jeff Sanford VP Industry Relations & Advertising Gloria Mann 647.998.5677 Managing Director iMM/Director Business Solutions & Marketing Ellen Smith 416.312.7446 SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Mike Cameron 905.370.0101 Contributors  Mike Davey, Alex Dugas, Tom Davis, Mark Millson, Allison Preston, Bill Speed, Justin Jimmo, Barett Poley SUBSCRIPTION One-year $29.95 / Two-year $49.95

Bodyworx Professional™ is published bi-monthly, and is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Bodyworx Professional™ may not be reproduced in any form without written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 455 Gilmour St., Peterborugh ON K9H 2J8

“We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.”

Bodyworx Professional is published by Media Matters Inc., publishers of:



Keep it flowing: 3M introduces PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System 3M Canada has introduced the next evolution in its paint application technology—the 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System. According to 3M Canada, the 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System improves the flow of the painting process with a spray cup design that delivers advanced performance, efficiency and cleanliness. The first disposable paint cup system, the 3M PPS Paint Preparation System, was introduced to Canada in 2002. Now, after consulting with hundreds of painters from around the world, including those from the 3M PPS World Cup event in Detroit this summer, 3M has introduced the new 2.0 Spray Cup System. This new system eliminates the need for a separate collar, adds a quarter-turn lid locking system and incorporates new features to increase productivity and reduce downtime, according to 3M. The company states that the result is a painting process that flows more smoothly, helps prevent contamination of the paint and improves painters’ confidence in the quality of their work. “We’re very excited to be introducing the new 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System to

our customers to improve their overall painting experience,” says Craig Jalbert, Marketing Manager for Paint and Finish, 3M Canada’s Automotive Aftermarket Division. “Feedback from painters in Canada, who have used the new system, has been extremely positive. We’re confident that the 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System will make their work easier and more efficient as painters can expect higher-quality paint jobs with reduced need for rework or call-backs.” The elimination of the separate collar with the quarter-turn lid locking system should, according to 3M, increase the cleanliness of the painting process and eliminate potential sources of contamination from equipment cleaning or maintenance. The easy assembly and refilling process improves the efficiency for high-production painters, while the wider adapter allows them to use a larger cup for consistent, efficient batch painting. “Painters in Canada have trusted the 3M PPS System for more than 15 years to deliver excellent results for them and their customers,” says Rick Orser, General Manager, 3M Canada’s Automotive Aftermarket Division. “3M is committed to applying our science to

The 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System improves the flow of the painting process with a spray cup design that delivers advanced performance, efficiency and cleanliness, according to 3M Canada.

help companies and individuals succeed every day. The new 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System is a prime example of that commitment to innovation.” The new 3M PPS Series 2.0 Spray Cup System is now available in Canada through local 3M distributors. For more information, please visit their website at

Collision Edge combines products into complete estimating kit Collision Edge has combined a number of its products into a kit that, it says, will help bodyshops record an accurate estimate while minimizing administrative time and maximizing shop communications. The company’s products include The Dent Viewer, which uses reflective material that works with your camera flash, allowing for superior definition of subjective damage. The Estimating Kit is a collection of Magnetic Rulers purpose built for various estimating tasks such as illustrating the size of the damage or recording how far components are from weld zones. The Estimating Kit includes The Blend Stick to accurately assign blend times for repairs, the 22-inch Estimating Stick and the 12inch Estimating Stick to assist in photo locating the exact location of emblems and decals, while the 13-by-9-inch Square Dent Sizer gives scale to subjective damage. The most recent addition to the line are the Mark Safe Estimating Arrows. The arrows prevent damage associated with writing on cars with water pens. The Mark Safe Arrows come in red, yellow and green, are made with easy release vinyl and are pre-sectioned for simple use with a permanent marker. The Mark Safe Estimating arrows work well with the company’s other products, such as the Tape Thing and the Tape Thing Caddy. For more information, please visit

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Collision Edge’s Estimating Kit includes The Blend Stick, designed to help estimators accurately assign blend times for repairs.



Polyvance’s new Bumper Bag Plus is simple but versatile Polyvance says its new 6450 Bumper Bag Plus is a versatile tool for removing dents in plastic and sheet metal. A statement from the company says the product can be used in many different areas of the bodyshop. According to Polyvance, the Bumper Bag Plus is unique in that it is soft and pliable, allowing it to conform to the shape of the object it is pressed against. It absorbs the energy of the force applied to it and prevents further damage to the area. The Bumper Bag Plus can be used to take dents out of plastic bumpers and sheet metal, adjust the fit of adjoining sheet metal panels and cushion a jack saddle to eliminate the risk of damage to the sub-frame. For more information, please visit

Arslan launches SHARK A7 arm for Blueweld Arslan Automotive Canada has introduced the SHARK A7 arm for the I-Plus Blueweld SMART spot welder. According to Arman Gurarslan of Arslan Automotive, the A7 SHARK is a revolutionary design that speeds up and simplifies welding operations in the most difficult to access areas. The patented large opening mechanism at the end section of the SHARK A7 opens a full 90 degrees by simply pressing with your

finger, allowing insertion in boxed or difficult to reach parts. Once closed, it is ready to weld. The SHARK A7 is water-cooled, just like the other arms of the I-Plus Blueweld SMART spot welder. The arm allows access to welding positions on rear or platform coatings that the company says may be impossible to reach with traditional systems. For more information, please visit their website at

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Making it Work WorldSkills was no walk in the park, but the best things aren’t easy by bill speed


he WorldSkills 2017 Abu Dhabi Auto Body competitions have completed, and the results are in. Canadian Auto Body competitor Vyolaine Dujmovic placed 18th out of 22, and Canadian Car Painting competitor Ashley Weber placed 15th out of 20. This was my first time involved in a WorldSkills competition as an expert and it, unfortunately, will go down in history as one of the most challenging competitions to date. The challenges were twofold, one side being logistics and the other, competing against the best in the

being involved in Skills Competitions, this was by far the most difficult one I have experienced. We had to have 23 identical workstations complete with equipment, parts and materials—luckily, Car-O-liner, a huge corporate sponsor of this event, did an exemplary job of set up. Go to to search out the other major supporters of this and other Skills events. They deserve our support. The way some other countries train compared to us can be quite different. A number of the competitors train full time

end of the day. That night, he was taken to the hospital where he was found to have appendicitis. He must have been in tremendous pain on that second day but fought through it. Fortunately he was able to have surgery and is now recovering. Obviously, competing with appendicitis is not something we would condone but competitors pushing themselves to be their best, despite the challenges placed before them, is exactly what they train for. What I witnessed during four days of gruelling competition, was a group of young people

Mention WorldSkills to your apprentices. They could be Canada’s next competitor.

world. Despite all the logistical issues, we did pull off a great competition and I don’t believe the competitors were any the wiser of the issues we had. Everything seemed to be going great before leaving for Abu Dhabi. The test projects had been decided on and equipment, parts and materials were chosen. But when we arrived, we discovered things had changed. The parts were not available for one project, and other materials and parts had not arrived yet. Being in the Middle East, everything had to be brought in. Think about 40 plus competitions, 1,300 competitors, lodging, food, set up, etc. A logistical nightmare. Our group of 23 country experts, including our Skills Manager, Chief Expert, Deputy Chief Expert and Workshop Supervisor, to name a few, worked tirelessly for five days to have a professional world class competition, despite our hurdles. After 25+ years of

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for up to three years, and many go to multiple competitions in other countries in preparation. Financial support for training is also much larger in some countries. Canada has competitors that work full time, have financial responsibilities and have to find time to train as well. It is a difficult road to travel. The competitors, trainers and experts do this all on a volunteer bases. We give back to the competitors our knowledge and experience so that they can work toward being their best. Although our results this year in Auto Body and Car painting were not what we would have liked to see, our competitors did their best against the best in the world. In the competitions, competitors truly pushed themselves to their best. We had a competitor from India who, on the second day of competition, was complaining of a stomach ache. He took some pain medication and continued working to the

who have a passion for an industry that has served many of us well over the years. Their passion is good for the industry and should be supported wherever possible. I personally learned probably as much as our competitors about what it means to compete at the world level. I learned how tough the marking is to separate the Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists. I’ve gained some insight on how to better prepare the competitor who will be chosen this spring at the Canadian Skills completion in Edmonton, to compete in Kazan, Russia in 2019. Mention WorldSkills to your apprentices. They could be Canada’s next competitor. Bill Speed worked for the Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute until his retirement in 2017. He remains active in the Skills Competition to this day. Bill can be reached at

industry insight

Come Prepared New technology is not to be ignored By Mark Millson


t is well publicized that many car companies are going electric with some or all of their models in the near future. These up-coming changes have got me thinking about where the auto collision industry will be in the next ten years, and how this will affect the amount and type of work available to our businesses. There are many variables to consider in answering this and I will touch on a few of particular interest to me. Lately, I have been reading about forwardthinking countries promising to ban the

you would expect, continued refinement of safety technology will lead to fewer collisions and less work in our shops... but how quickly will we start to feel the impacts of this? How many incidents, and of what type, will there be when cars are fully autonomous? I feel we are just beginning to see the impacts and yes, it will take time for all vehicles on the road to have some sort of collision avoidance system. Make no mistake about it—the day will come where every car has this standard of

companies like Google, Uber and Tesla will not sell cars in urban centres. Instead, people may rent or rideshare as needed. Think of it as a driverless taxi. We already have car-sharing apps, but a major disadvantage to these apps is that you need to go pick up the car at its designated location. An autonomous car overcomes this because it drives directly to you—an incredible convenience for drivers. Does this mean fewer individuals will own cars? Or maybe it means large corporations will own most cars?

Continued refinement of safety technology will lead to fewer collisions and less work in our shops…but how quickly? sale of combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2025. For our technicians, actions such as this means they will have to work to develop high-voltage skills so they understand and respect the amount of power stored by electric cars. Once technicians understand the technology, I believe they will find working on these cars to be more satisfying, engaging and exciting. Sure, this modern technology is quite advanced, but remember that it is far less complex than what we see in today’s turbo gas engines. Another interesting industry trend I’ve noticed is the OEM’s rapid advancement in collision avoidance systems, along with a push toward fully autonomous vehicles. These systems are designed to do just as advertised—avoid collisions and at the very least, reduce their impact. As

avoidance and autonomy. To manage these technological changes when doing repairs, we must be mindful to not alter the way these sensors (Cameras, LiDAR, radar,) see. In our shops, we are seeing a huge increase in the complexity of even small bumper repairs that must be calibrated upon completion. In one bumper cover you can have up to six ultrasonic sensors, a radar sensor, and forward-facing cameras. If these systems are not calibrated after the repair, this could lead to improper operating for future incidents, which may lead to shop or technician liability issues. Ultimately, we will see a decrease in collision volume with a massive increase in the skills and technology needed for even the smallest of repairs. Fully autonomous cars will be here in the next few years, there’s no doubt about it. As this happens I expect

I don’t see these advancing technologies as doom and gloom for the modern colision repair industry. It simply means that there will be change. I feel there is going to be realignment with fewer shops than today. I also believe it’s our responsibility as managers to think about the future of our business and from where our customers will come. I don’t have all the answers, but I think it is critical that we think about and explore trends and challenges so we are prepared for the changing road ahead.

Mark Millson is the Director of Operations at Excellence Auto Collision in Toronto, Ontario. He can be reached at

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Cover Story

The POWER of

Confidence Cecile Bukmeier shows youth the magic of autobody repair By Erin McLaughlin


he climb is never easy; especially when it feels like the mountain you’re ascending was never meant for you. This is exactly how Cecile Bukmeier, today an accomplished National Skills Champion, teacher at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and skilled autobody technician felt when she first stepped onto the Everest that is collision repair. “I was always drawn to the auto trades. My dad was a mechanic, and when I was a kid I would help him with jobs,” Bukmeier fondly recalled, when recounting her first glimpses into the world of collision repair. When she was 15 years old, she started working for a shop every day after school for two-and-a-half hours, through a program at her school. Despite the program’s initiatives to help students learn more about prospective trades, she found herself gaining no knowledge at all.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Cover Story

Bukmeier hopes to use her position to help female students deal with challanges uniquely encountered by women working in the industry.

“When I first came in to work, the manager was surprised to see me,” said Bukmeier. “He told me he usually didn’t get women in the shop, and offered a reception job instead.” She persisted, and managed to get a job in the shop regardless. However, Bukmeier worked for nine months, and never touched a vehicle once. She didn’t even wash one. “I thought maybe this wasn’t for me,” Bukmeier recalled. She then, after completing that job, spent about eight months searching for a new place of employment. “I would get turned down over and over again,” she said. The shops she visited would tell her they didn’t have enough funds to take on a new hire, or didn’t have the time to train her. Eventually, she landed an interview with Shield Autobody, an independent shop owned by Jeff Hicks. “I was hopeful, but I wasn’t sure if he would be interested, because Jeff wouldn’t have known I was a girl until I came for the interview. My name is pretty gender neutral. I assumed he thought I was a boy.”

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Bukmeier working at a paint booth. When she first started applying for autobody repair technician jobs, she would get turned town “over and over again.”

Cover Story

Bukmeier speaking with an instructor at the 2013 National Skills Competition in Canada. That year, Bukmeier won nationals.


It didn’t matter: Bukmeier was offered the job, and she began to learn autobody techniques such as prep and detailing. “I made so many mistakes in those first six months,” she said. That’s natural when starting out, but Bukmeier got better quickly. Many more winding roads, carved out by seeking out new challenges and opportunities led Bukmeier to where she is today: teaching at NAIT. It should be noted that she is the first female autobody teacher at the school. “It’s such a great opportunity to be in my position,” she said. What she aspires to do with this opportunity is simple: be a positive role model and inspire her students. She wants to be able to give every student she has an opportunity to grow and prove themselves, something that she had to work so hard to be able to do herself. No person who is passionate, or dedicated to something should be denied the opportunity to try, is a mindset Bukmeier lives by.

Cecile Bukmeier working with two of her students. Bukmeier is the first woman to teach autobody repair at NAIT.

“I want to show students, men and women both, that by working hard, you can do whatever you want in a trade—you can take it as far as you want.” – Cecile Bukmeier

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Cover Story

Bukmeier working with a studert. “There’s nothing like hearing a student say, ‘I never thought I could do this, and now I can’,” said Bukmeier.

“I want to show students, men and women both, that by working hard, you can do whatever you want in a trade—you can take it as far as you want. Nothing is impossible to achieve, you just need time and practice,” she said, also mentioning the students who’ve inspired her. “There’s nothing like hearing a student say, ‘I never thought I could do this, and now I can.’ They’re so ecstatic about the work they do. Just seeing them begin to understand certain things and be open to learning, it’s so rewarding.” Bukmeier wants to give young female students the opportunity to do something she never got to do—that is, talk to other women about their struggles, challenges and questions as young women trying to get a start in this industry. “There weren’t a lot of other females for me to talk to early on, and I want to be able to give that to my students,” said Bukmeier. With Bukmeier’s rich experience in working in the industry, she can help her female students prepare for unique issues they may encounter, such as dealing with being asked whether they are physically capable of doing particular jobs, or not receiving the same opportunities as their male colleagues. Stephanie Fuhrer, Student Engagement Facilitator and Women in Technology and Trades Coordinator at NAIT pointed out how Bukmeier contributes to closing the gender gap, and how other teachers can start to do this. “Increasing knowledge when they are in junior and senior high school can show [students] how fun and rewarding a career in the trades and technologies can be. Witnessing Cecile in the class, the love of her trade and


watching her work really helps young girls see themselves in that role,” said Fuhrer. With the opportunity to inspire and mold the brains of youth that comes along with teaching, Bukmeier works to be a positive role model and demonstrate that choosing a career in the trades is not a “back up option.” There are multiple types of intelligence, and they’re all equally valuable. “There are so many opportunities beyond university,” Bukmeier said. “Youth, as well as their parents, need to know that working in the trades is a viable career option. I think that in the media, tradespeople are portrayed as dumb or not capable. But some of the smartest people I know are in the trades.“  bodyworx professional

Hilary Noack is the Owner of Ink and Iron, an all-woman bodyshop in Toronto, and a former autobody instructor at Centennial College. She too sees a real value to bringing female autobody teachers into schools. “It’s good for female technicians going through the program to see other women who have gone through the same thing, and to have good female role models in the industry,” she said. Bukmeier is still on the great climb, and with her she is bringing the students she inspires every day, inside and outside the classroom. Dedicated teachers like Bukmeier are helping show that not only is the automotive industry exciting and rewarding, but that it is a career worth fighting for.

Cecile Bukmeier at the National Skills Competition in 2013. “There are so many opportunities beyond university,” said Bukmeier.


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m r o t S t r e Des nder u th e th n o s g MA brin This year’s SE titions e p m o c d n a s ustom with hot rods, c By Tom Davis

[TOP] parts, 3,000 newly introduced SEMA 2017 saw some ing the collision repairers hav with s, ent pon com and nds. tools associates and old frie new with t nec con to opportunity


in Las successfully wrapped up his year’s SEMA Show ,000 70 g together more than Vegas, Nevada, bringin rld. wo the from every corner of industry stakeholders zzy sna h wit g the least, buzzin SEMA was colourful to say the m fro ing ryth eve cational seminars on cars old and new, edu , networking events ent em nag ma ss ine latest technology to bus tive products to some of the most innova and demonstrations of ulars, explored reg MA SE , even long-time of date. Everyone attending ready to make the most the show starry eyed and is t tha elievable event the unexpected and unb s wa ine gaz sional ma SEMA. Bodyworx Profes e som h wit reunite on the scene, ready to s. one new ke ma old friends as well as

Custom Car product award announced at product breakfast

w recognition w Products awards sho SEMA’s annual Best Ne ts to enter and cutting edge produc to the most innovative ner of the Wilwood was named win the industry this year. h its Disc duct award for 2017, wit street rod/custom car pro Kit. The al and Hydraulic Clutch Ped Brakes, Tandem Brake its ’73for d ize Instruments, recogn runner up was Classic ond sec The r. ste -Fit Instrument Clu ’87 Chevy Truck Direct t. Ven AV/ ent INV the D AIR, with runner up was RESTOMO

December 2017    bodyworx professional




SEMA Career Day Students got a head start in their automotive career at the second annual SEMA Career Day. The event was packed to the brim with hundreds of eager students and numerous exhibitors including Service King, BASF, ALLDATA and PPG. Attending students had much to say about the event, which, for many, was one of their first times being exposed to the industry. Rueben Silva, a high school student of Lucerne Valley High School, said: “There’s a lot more to this [industry] than cars. I thought it was all one dimensional, simple work.” Tarryn Hyer, a student, added: “I’ve been impressed with the passion. It’s common throughout.” Benji Arellanoto, a student interested in accounting was hoping to get something unexpected out of the career day. “I want to see how shops run their business, and see how I can apply accounting to improve them.”


High School cerne Valley e A group of Lu attending th r their teache students and career day. 2017 SEMA  bodyworx professional

Students coverin g the career day floor. For many, this wa s their first expo sure to the industry.

of th hundreds s packed wi tions The venue wa to learn about career op ing students look . ry st otive indu in the autom

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SEMA SPOTLIGHT The Top 40 Finalists all pose for a photo op in SEMA Central Hall at the top 40 event. 10 winning “young guns,” were honoured.

Battle of the Builders

odel Ford M A 1929 Sedan. r A Tudo

House of Kolor unveils ‘flamboyant’ custom milk truck House of Kolor unveiled what it calls a “flamboyant” custom milk truck at its booth, which it worked on in partnership with hot rod and chopper customization shop Count’s Kustoms. Ryan Evans, Lead Painter from Las Vegas-based Count’s Kustoms, led the customization job on a 954 DIVCO Model 13 truck. He received help from Lonny Speer, also with Count’s Kustoms garage, and House of Kolor’s Mike Taylor and Ron Fleenor. The project saw the customization of a Detroit Vehicle Company (DIVCO) truck, which used to produce vehicles like the Model 13 for use as delivery trucks between 1926 and 1986. The customized truck was originally used by Edmonton’s Palm Diaries for milk delivery before it became a service truck for an electrical company. “We wanted to add something unexpected to our feature vehicle line-up this year at the show,” said Craig Robatzek, Business Director at House of Kolor. “The DIVCO is definitely interesting and we couldn’t be more proud to showcase it in our booth and the talent of our team and Count’s Kustoms.” For more information about SEMA, please visit their website at

A panel of judges named Troy Trepanier champion at the SEMA Battle of the Builders Competition, November 7. His winning build was a 1929 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan hot rod, “chopped and dropped” in the traditional style, and painted in clean golds and bronzes that accentuate the cars natural body lines. Landing second place was another Ford Tudor from 1932, built by Alan Johnson. The third place winner was a 1936 Packard Roadster by Troy Ladd. The Young Guns Battle of the Builders Recognition program started just last year, and new to this year’s show was an individual top-ten selection and countdown for the category. The builders competing Young Guns were all under the age of 35, and according to Kersting, the program aims to get young people interested in the industry. “The Young Guns program allows us to shine the spotlight on some of the up-and-coming builders who have demonstrated that they can compete with industry veterans and icons,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA’s President and CEO. He added: “The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition allows us to celebrate their talents and share it with the rest of the world.” Discovery’s Velocity channel, in its joint venture with The Enthusiasts Network, will be airing a full-length feature on the 2017 Battle of the Builders on Tuesday, January 2.

House of Kolor unveiled what it calls a “flamboyant” custom milk truck at its booth. December 2017    bodyworx professional


Inside Scoop


Ashley Weber (middle) winning Gold in the post-secondary level of the Skills Canada national competition in 2016. To her right is Brodie Gibson, winning Silver, and to her left is Gheorghe Apopie, winning Bronze.


Competes Winnipeg’s Ashley Weber is painting for Canada at WorldSkills by erin mclaughlin


retty incredible and unexpected things can happen in your life. “Incredible,” and “unexpected” sum up Ashley Weber’s experiences over the past two years, ever since she found herself holding the Gold medal for Auto Body Painting at Manitoba Skills, 2016. Since then, she has travelled to Abu Dhabi to compete at the WorldSkills competition, where she finished 15th out of 20. We sat down with Weber, to get some insight on her growth, inspirations and challenges throughout her journey with Skills Canada and WorldSkills.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Inside Scoop

Bodyworx Professional magazine: How has your experience with Skills Canada and WorldSkills enriched your life, personally and professionally? Ashley Weber: Professionally, it has put me very far ahead in my career. I now know things that I wouldn’t have known for another three or four years. The biggest thing personally is that it has given me a lot of confidence because I’m travelling all over Canada and to different places like Australia and Abu Dhabi, and I’m learning a lot and meeting lots of new people. BW: How do you feel about the state of the the competition right now? AW: The trip is nerve-wracking. There are 26 other competitors, and we’re all at similar skill levels, so it’s up in the air—it’s a matter of who is going to do that one little thing just a little better. BW: How are you preparing for the competition?


AW: I work at Urban Autobody in Winnipeg right now, so every day is training for me. I paint all day, and I train for three to four hours once a week after work with my trainer, Dan Labossiere, focusing on things I wouldn’t normally do. My trainer and I also work at my high school sometimes, so I’m not always training at work. BW: What techniques do you focus on in your training after work? AW: I work on things like graphic design, mixing colours from scratch without a scale, and painting each side of a car door different colours at the same time. For the graphic design, I am given a picture of a design with all sorts of dimensions and measurements on it. I have to take what is given to me and use my knowledge to transfer it onto a panel of a vehicle, like a door, fender or hood. All the designs use up to five colours and include a decal that has to be applied as well. I’m feeling least confident about mixing colours, so that’s what I’ve mostly been working on lately. At the beginning of my training I focused on graphic design, because I had never done that before.  bodyworx professional

BW: What have been your biggest challenges throughout this experience? AW: The biggest challenge has been confidence. Sometimes when I’m working I’ll feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, even though I do know how to do what I’m doing. Finding time to not only work on skills but to also do other things in my life has been hard, too. BW: Why did you choose the collision repair path? What are the experiences or people that have influenced you to become who you are today? AW: My interest in cars came from my parents. I was pretty much born into cars as my parents still have a collector’s car to this day, which led me to having my own. Along with my family’s interests and hobbies, I was given the option to take vocations at my high school at Kildonan East Collegiate, where I took autobody and carpentry. After my first year, I had to choose a major, and it was a

Inside Scoop

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Taken at the National Skills competition in 2016. According to Weber, this competition has improved her confidence significantly.

Automotive graphic design is a portion of the competitions, and an important part of Weber’s training.

toss up between automotive and autobody. I chose autobody because it was more me,and I already did autobody at home with my dad. After that, it’s all pretty much history and I knew this is was I wanted to do for the rest of my life. BW: What are your objectives or plans for the future?

Ashley’s interest in autobody came from her parents. “I was pretty much born into cars,” she said.

AW: After WorldSkills, I’ll mainly be focused on getting my Red Seal. I’m a Level 2, and I should be graduating in 2019. I don’t have any goals for the long-term right now because I want to keep doors open and wait to see what’s offered to me. BW: Was there anyone who was vital to getting you to where you are today, through encouragement or inspiration? AW: My local trainer, Dan Labossiere. I would have never gotten to where I am today if he hadn’t dragged me out of bed and driven me to that first competition. He was also my high school teacher for three years in autobody, and I’m very glad that he is in this part of my life now.

With 26 competitors at the WorldSkills level, Weber describes the competitions as “nerve wracking.”

December 2017    bodyworx professional


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All in the

Details How to polish clearcoat defects By JUSTIN JIMMO


pecks of dirt, dust and other imperfections can often make their way into your paint job. That’s why before you get to polishing, you’ll want to carefully inspect the car and remove anything that will keep a paint job from being the best it can be. In this how-to article, we’ll dive into how you can go about polishing out clearcoat defects. Although some clears can be polished in less than 20 minutes after spraying, this vehicle was painted the night before, and cured well over night. It’s ready for polishing, but has a few specks of dirt on the clearcoat.



Specks of dirt and dust often sneak into your paint job. Justin Jimmo shows us how to fix them up.


I start by sanding the spots with 1500 grit sandpaper. When I’m doing this in a highproduction place, I like to use the smallest DA sander possible to remove dirt specs. It removes defects quickly, and I can use it dry. This works well and gets the job done without having to use many different materials. Throughout this job I’m using the 3M systems because it’s proven to be reliable and is a popular choice. 3M does have higher grits that can further refine scratches, but in this example I am going to keep it simple. It’s best to use a block when you’re sanding out larger defects since it cuts everything down as straight as possible. After you’ve sanded, the spot will have a matte look. That’s normal, so don’t freak out. The sheen effect will come back once we start shining it up with the polisher.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



Tech Talk

2 2



There are many different choices for polishing systems and devices. I use an air powered pneumatic polisher because it’s a little more convenient, and I had misplaced my electric at the time, but either one works. There are two different polishing styles, and you can use one or the other. There’s the rotary, which only circles in one motion and cuts pretty aggressively. For the less experienced, it might not be the best choice, but if you’re polishing large areas you should get familiar with these because they’re going to cut much more quickly. The dual action polisher moves up and down and in a circle, leaving a pigtail look on the car. It cuts less aggressively, so it’s safer for people who are new to polishing. It will help avoid burn style lines, headlights and everything else you can damage with a polisher. It’s going to take a little bit longer to bring scratches up, so it’s nice to finish as fine as you can with the sandpaper. Instead of using 1500 you could use 2000 or 3000. With the polisher, we’re going to go over the same spot repeatedly, for about four to five minutes, maybe less. When you’re


It’s best to use a block when you’re sanding out larger defects since it cuts everything down as straight as possible.

done this portion, wipe off the compound and look all around the spot, from side to side. You want to make sure you can’t see any traces of that matte area. It might have a ghost look to it, so you will really have to look hard for it. Just look at it from various angles and make sure the matte is completely gone before you move on to the next step. What I’m doing here is essentially sanding, so that initial 1500 grit job is being sanded to an even finer scratch using the compound, closing up all the 1500 scratches and giving it a nice shine.  bodyworx professional

1. Use a 1500 grit sander to remove the speck of dirt. 2. A rotary polisher can be used to polish the affected area. It cuts aggressively, and lets you get the job done quickly. 3. The dual action polisher is a good choice for beginners or those who don’t polish often, as it cuts less aggressively, though it also takes longer to do the job.



Swirl Mark Removal

Once you’ve eliminated all traces of the first sanding step and can’t see any haze from when we first started sanding with the 1500 grit paper, we can move on to the swirl mark remover. I’m using step two in the newer bottles of 3M. Make sure you’re using a proper pad specific to swirl removal. The right pad will never touch any of the coarse compound, otherwise you will be polishing with a coarser mineral than intended. While the spot already looks pretty good after step one, when the car is under direct sunlight you will see hologram-looking things and swirl marks. With this step we’re removing these marks by refining what we did in that first step by using a lighter compound. You’ll want to spend about three to four minutes on this with a speed between 1200 and 2000 RPM.

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4 4. The swirl mark remover eliminates flaws that become apparent in sunlight. 5 The completed job, after a sanding, polish and removal of swirls.


December 2017    bodyworx professional


special edition of




December 2017




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632

l  86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2

Elevating the Industry The Canadian Collision Industry Forum provides a national venue for all collision industry stakeholders to network, share information and collaborate to develop solutions to common industry issues and challenges. CCIF meeting speakers and/or panel discussions address the following three main CCIF priorities: • People | Human Resources

• Profitability | Sustainability

• Vehicle Technology

The next CCIF will be held at the International Centre (Hall 5), 6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, Ontario.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2018: 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM

school spotlight


Your Journey Begins Here! » The information you need to succeed By Erin Mclaughlin


ith an entire world of opportunities available for you to conquer, it can be difficult to make any kind of decision is especially when the information you’re looking for is scattered across the wide, wide universe that is the internet. Bodyworx Professional magazine has found a way to combat this with our first School Spotlight special edition. All the information you need on autobody repair programs across Canada can be found within the pages of this handy little book, covering everything from personal

student experiences to course lists. With this information, we hope we can set you off with a great start in the industry and help you to make one of the biggest, most exciting decisions of your life. Bodyworx Professional magazine is excited to be a part of your journey. And when you've conquered school, and are out in the industry working, Bodyworx will be there for you once again as a quarterly guide to all the how-tos, inspiring stories and coverage of the industry you'll need. We'll be with you every step of the way.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



school profile

British Columbia

British Columbia Institute of Technology


he British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a visually stunning school located in Burnaby, near Vancouver. Rich with nature and opportunities for adventure, Burnaby is a perfectly picturesque place to wander through, between classes and studying. Offering two unique full-time programs, Motor Vehicle Auto Body Repair Technician and the Automotive Refinishing Technician Foundation, BCIT offers educational opportunities to help students learn the skills they need. The Motor Vehicle Auto Body Repair Technician program delivers highly technical information in the areas of metal and paint. Over the course of four years, students will learn in a real shop, getting real-life experience (6750 hours), along with in-school training (480 hours).

This school is sponsored by

Course List Level Two Apprenticeship Training (five weeks): A student in the Motor Vehicle Body Repair program at BCIT uses a lift in one of the school’s autobody labs.

The Automotive Refinishing Technician Foundation program is a 26-week course of study. The program prepares students with both the theoretical understanding and practical skills needed to use a spray gun, paint vehicles, and maintain records of materials used in accordance with various regulations. Combining theory and practical work will help broaden students’ understanding of the work they do, and contribute to their success in the workforce.

• Welding • Sheet Metal Repair • Plastics and Composites • Mechanical Components

BCIT also offers a part-time course: the Vehicle Restoration program, consisting of five courses covering sheet metal fabrication, welding, surface prep, refinishing and an advanced project course. The courses are geared toward professionals, classic car restorers, customizers, kit builders and specialty car builders. For more information please visit their website at

College of New Caledonia

British Columbia


he College of New Caledonia in Prince George, British Columbia offers the Autobody Foundation (motor vehicle body repair) program for students who are passionate about autobody repair or automotive refinishing. The programs will teach students the latest skills and help prepare them for their careers in the automotive industry. Students will have the chance to work on all sorts of makes and models—because why do one thing when you can do it all? The autobody repair program is geared toward students who have a passion for cars, are mechanically inclined and can think critically. Over the course of 30 weeks, students will learn the various skills needed in the workplace such as damage analyses procedures and preparation for filing, grinding, sanding and painting. The second program offered is the Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician Foundation program. This program allows those who are creative and passionate to build


Collision Repair Foundation: Topics • Preparing and reviewing repair estimate reports

• Mechanical components, vehicle systems, electrical and electronic procedures The autobody repair facility at College of New Caledonia. The program gives students the chance to work on a wide array of makes and models.

their skills to complement what employers in the industry need. The refinishing program has a number of interesting features for students. During the 22-week program, students will work in a simulated automotive refinishing repair shop as well learn theory and detail in a classroom setting. They will work in an automotive laboratory to acquire skills in refinishing  bodyworx professional

• Preparation for filing, grinding, sanding and painting • Repairing and replacing sheet metal • Welding

and preparation, and learn to use a number of the latest tools, plastics and composites in a safe and efficient manner. For more information please visit their website at

school spotlight



elowna, British Columbia—a city known for its lush local vineyards and tours is home to Okanagan College. The college currently offers a variety of autobody specific programs for students with little to no experience in autobody repair, including two “Foundation” programs, which are essentially a form of pre-apprenticeship: Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician and Automotive Collision Repair/Painting and Refinishing Technician. Okanagan College’s collision repair department also offers three apprenticeship track programs: Automotive Glass Technician, Automotive Painter, and Motor Vehicle Body Repairer. In general, the programs prepare students to work in collision repair facilities, auto dealerships and private garages. The Collision Repair/ Refinishing Prep technician, a 38-week (1,140 hour) program designed to take students with little or no previous experience in the automotive col-

British Columbia

Okanagan College Level 1 Courses include: • Tools and Equipment • Cutting and Heating Technologies • MIG Welding • Plastics and Composites Students show off newly painted car panels as part of their training in refinishing.

lision repair trade and supply them with the necessary skills for employment. Instruction in all subject matters relating to Level 1 technical training for both Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Automotive Collision Repair Technician) and Automotive Prep Technician apprenticeship is included. Graduates of this program will receive Industry Training Authority (ITA) credit

• Surface Preparation

for Level 1 MVBR and Automotive Prep Technician technical training as well as 625 work-based hours towards their apprenticeship for one of the two trades. The program maintains a focus on developing practical skills, and includes a two-week work placement for practical experience. For more information, please visit their website at

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology


“ We’ve seen father/

SAIT students have the option of specializing in prepping, refinishing, sheet metal and plastics repair or frame straightening.

and exterior finishes. Students can specialize in prepping, refinishing, sheet metal and plastic repair or frame straightening. The second autobody repair program offered by SAIT: the Auto Body General Interest courses. Structured as night courses, people interested in learning about autobody repair can sign up for an individual course without


t the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), keeping up with new trends and technology is one of the defining goals held by the faculty and students. “You can’t fix a car based on your own knowledge, anymore. We’re teaching students to look up OEM repair procedures, making sure things are up to standard,” commented Derek Topolnisky, Department Chair, Auto Body and Recreation Vehicle. Students learn to be able to research every car they encounter, so they can repair it according to OEM procedures. “We have to get students in the mindset of, ‘I can’t just repair this willy nilly.’ They need to know how to research,” said Topolnisky. Two autobody programs are offered at SAIT. The Auto Body Technician Apprentice is a four-year program designed for those who have experience working in a shop. Students will be trained to repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures and autobody components, prepare cars for refinishing and apply interior

son duos, mother/ daughter duos, people who just retired, people who want to get into the trades. All sorts of people sign up for our courses.

- Derek Topolnisky on the General Interest courses committing to a four-year education. Courses offered include autobody repair, sheet metal, application of topcoats and primer topcoats, MIG welding and positioning. For more information, please visit December 2017    bodyworx professional



school spotlight

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology



he Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is located in Edmonton, Alberta. The city of Edmonton, known for its massive shopping mall and lively folk music scene, will ensure that students’ personal lives are as exciting as their educational careers. NAIT offers the well-established Autobody Technician program for those already employed in an autobody repair facility, and gives students skills they need in the specialization of their choice. Also offered is the Pre-Employment Auto Body Repair program, for non-apprentices. The Autobody Technician program is four periods long and will educate students on many different aspects of vehicle structural repair. During this program students can choose to specialize in prepping, refinishing, or collision repairs. This gives students the option to choose their interests and gain specific skills based on what they want to pursue.


This school is sponsored by

The program educates students on many aspects of vehicle structural repair.

Cecile Bukmeier, an Autobody Instructor at NAIT, touched on what it’s like working with students at NAIT. “There’s nothing like hearing a student say, ‘I never thought I could do this, and now I can.’ They’re so ecstatic about the work they do. Just seeing them begin to understand certain things and be open to learning, it’s so rewarding,” she said. For those who are not interested in pursuing a career in autobody repair, NAIT offers a few courses for the hobbyists as well. Students learn basic skills that they can use on their own vehicles at home. NAIT has been training autobody appren-  bodyworx professional

Period Learning Outcomes Period One (6 weeks): • Prepping, safety, component removal Period Two (6 weeks): • Refinishing, shop practices Period Three (7 weeks): • Non-structural repair Period Four (7 weeks): • Structural components

tices for over 50 years and is currently the largest provider for apprentices and non-apprentices in Alberta. For more information please visit

school spotlight


Saskatchewan Polytechnic


Courses Include:


askatchewan Polytechnic is Saskatchewan’s primary public institution for post-secondary technical education and skills training, for those who currently live in Saskatchewan or are looking for an excuse to live there. The Auto Body Technician Certificate program offered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic is 30-weeks in total. Students will have the chance to gain practical skills with the help of highly-experienced instructors, in its impressively equipped autobody shop. They will explore a variety of topics in autobody repair, including hammering out dings, painting vehicles, installing glass windshields and aligning bumpers. Two-weeks of the program will be spent working in a real repair facility, getting a real grasp of life in the career. Student Deschanne Sinclair commented, “Having the shop and all the tools is awesome. Everything in our shop is up to date

• Benchwork • Fundamental Communication Skills • Door Servicing • Electrical Systems • Glass Removal and Installation • Industrial Mathematics

Students will have the chance to gain practical skills with the help of highly-experienced instructors in the program’s impressively equipped autobody shop.

and modern, with everything you’d see in the workforce. We have lots of space for pre-employment and we learn because we do it hands-on.”

Upon graduation, Saskatchewan Polytechnic alumni will be ready to enter entry-level positions in autobody repair shops, private garages, paint shops and large commercial fleets. They will also be well-equipped to pursue specialization in painting, frame alignment, glass installation or body repair. For more information on Saskatchewan Polytechnic, please visit

December 2017    bodyworx professional



school profile

Red River College



ed River College offers an exciting program for Manitoba residents looking to become experts in collision repair and refinishing—the Collision Repair and Refinishing program. The nine-month program prepares students with basic working knowledge of different metals and spray painting. Along with that, students in this program can expect to enter the industry with an enhanced knowledge of autobody repair, collision repair and spray painting. Students will learn the techniques behind patching, finishing and preparing a panel for painting. They will be able to determine how much, and what kind of work is needed to prepare a vehicle, realign and straighten the bodies and frames of cars, as well as patching, finishing and preparing a panel for painting. Courses cover an array of relevant and sought after topics, such as estimating, communications, MIG welding and refinishing.


This school is sponsored by

Collision Repair and Refinishing: First term courses include: • Basic Metal Working – Theory • Basic Refinishing Preparation – Theory • Estimating – Theory Red River College’s autobody repair facility. Courses cover an array of relevant and sought after topics, such as estimating, communications, MIG welding and refinishing.

With a wide variety of courses, those who successfully graduate from the program will get a good grasp of their career options in the industry, as well as having laid the foundational skills to chase after whatever career aspirations they set their sights on. Red River College’s repair programs take their environmental impact into consider-  bodyworx professional

• Basic Metal Working – Practical • Refinishing & Top Coating – Theory • Vehicle Construction – Theory • MIG Welding - Practical

ation on a daily basis, and have equipped environmentally friendly, high-volume and low-pressure spray equipment, along with low V.O.C refinishing products in their classrooms. For more information, please visit

school spotlight


Georgian College


Courses offered include: • Introduction to Canadian Automotive Aftermarket


eorgian College offers two programs focused on the business side of the automotive market. The Automotive Business Diploma program at Georgian College is a two-year course designed for entry-level to mid-level management positions. Also offered is the four-year Honours Bachelor of Business Administrations Degree for automotive management. The four-year degree expands beyond the two-year program, diving into top-level management and strategy. “Students gain a business education, but specialized in the automotive industry, focusing primarily on three main sectors: dealerships/retail, aftermarket and manufacturer,” said Joe Lauzon, Marketing Specialist at Georgian College. “They gain business skills as well as very specialized skills around sales, fixed operations and dealer management systems. Students have an opportunity to meet and connect with the industry to gain

• Introduction to Organizational Behaviour • Microcomputer Applications • Auto Law and Ethics • Macroeconomics

An aerial view of the 2017 Georgian Auto Show. The event attracts many industry leaders, providing numerous networking opportunities for students.

employment prior to graduation through networking events, industry conferences and up to twelve months of paid co-op work.” According to Neil Dunn, Owner of a franchised facility, the most valuable thing Georgian College teaches students is the ability to learn. “In this industry, everything develops so quickly and you have to learn to adapt with it. At Georgian, they show you how to learn,” he said For more information on the courses offered, please visit


lgonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario offers the Auto Body Repairer Apprenticeship program. Individuals who are currently employed in the autobody repair trade can attend this program to complete the in-school portion of their apprenticeship. Throughout the three eight-week terms, students move from basic, to intermediate to advanced, focusing on nurturing important skill sets such as refinishing, welding, estimating and more. Not only will students learn through classroom theory, they will get plenty of practical and hands-on experience as well. Bringing both physical and mental learning into the education provides students with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of the work they do. 60 percent of students’ learning occurs in a classroom, while the other 40 percent is spent in labs. Algonquin College students can expect to learn to deal with and excel in the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of the industry. Additionally, students will grow comfortable working


Algonquin College Level One Autobody Repairer Courses • Body and Frame Structure • Refinishing I • Applied Mechanical I The Auto Body Repairer Apprenticeship program at Algonquin College promotes theory and practical learning, as well as hands-on skills.

with state-of-the art equipment to repair cars in a timely, high-quality and profitable manner. Upon graduation, the apprentice may challenge their Certificate of Qualification exam once their on-the-job tasks are complete. A successful challenge of this exam will result in a Red-Seal Certified Journeyperson status. Red-Seal Auto Body Technicians can be found in a number of autobody related

• Welding I • Applied Work Practices

areas, including positions in independent collision and autobody repair shops, dealerships, government, vehicle salvage facilities and insurance companies. For more information, please visit their website at: December 2017    bodyworx professional



school spotlight

“ The amount of general knowledge and practical work experience gained throughout this program in my opinion, was well worth it, whether it be in welding, refinishing, body and frame.

- Nicholas Kawall. Centennial College student.

Centennial College

[TOP] Centennial’s newly renovated Ashtonbee Campus. The facilities at the college’s Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough are described as state of the art, forming part of the largest transportation training centre in Ontario.


entennial College, located in Toronto, Ontario—the bustling city that’s home to 1.1 million cars—offers three distinct programs in autobody repair techniques that educate students through a variety of different approaches. The Auto Body Repair Techniques program is a one-year certificate program that opens doors to entry-level careers in the industry, while Centennial’s two-year Auto Body Repair Technician program builds on the skills acquired in the Techniques program, and includes a global citizenship course.

38  bodyworx professional

The Auto Body Collision and Damage Repair program is a traditional apprenticeship program with three levels of eight weeks of in-school learning over a three-year span. You must be an apprentice registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development to take the Auto Body Collision and Damage Repair program. In the Auto Body Collision and Damage Repair program, students learn different techniques involving welding and refinishing, among other skills. Some of the courses include trade tools and shop equipment,



school spotlight

Students working in the spray booth, part of the auto body facilities at Centennial’s Ashtonbee Campus.

Auto Body Repair Techniques

Auto Body Repair Technician

Auto Body Collision and Damage Repair

• Vehicle and Body Construction

• Communication Skills

• Applied Work Practices

• Detailing and Refinishing Equipment Maintenance

• Global Citizenship

• Body Frame and Structure

• Applied Mechanical Systems

• Non-structural Panel Repair and Measuring

• Refinishing

• Mathematics

• Refinishing Top Coat Application

• Communication Skills

• Plastic Repair and Refinishing

non-structural repair fundamentals, plastic repair and applied mechanical theory. These courses give students knowledge that will help them every day in their careers. It takes an “earn while you learn approach,” preparing them for real work environments. Centennial’s Auto Body Repair Techniques program, based on the level 1 apprenticeship curriculum, allows students to enter the industry at the end of their program, even if they don’t have any previous work experience. This program aims to nurture a competitive edge in its students, focusing on

valuable skills in theory and practical areas. “I found a shop that hired me as an apprentice because of skills that I gained from the program, and these skills help me with my everyday tasks at the shop,” said student Victor VicchiaI, commenting on the practicality of what he has learned throughout this program. The Auto Body Repair Technician program is driven to opening doors for students looking for an advanced career in the industry, such as management positions or owning their own shop. Students receive a good mix of theoretical and practical learning, along

• Applied Mechanical Systems • Welding

with managerial skill building. Students exiting this program can also work toward gaining their apprenticeship and obtaining their license in the autobody industry. Centennial’s School of Transportation facility, where students engage in skill building and learning, is impressive to say the least. The facilities at the college’s Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough are described as state of the art, forming part of the largest transportation training centre in Ontario. For more information on Centennial, please visit December 2017    bodyworx professional



school spotlight


“ Having graduated

the Auto Body Repair Techniques Program at Fanshawe College, I have gained a lot of valuable skills and experience. It helped me build the confidence to go straight into the workplace.

- Alexander Glatt, Graduate (2017)

Courses offered include: • Auto Body Work Practices • Automotive Welding • Painting Fundamentals • Auto Body Basic Mechanical • Painting Techniques • Trade Techniques

40  bodyworx professional

Fanshawe College’s Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies is an environmentally friendly 148,000-square-foot building that features a state-of-the-art autobody repair facility.

Fanshawe College


f you’re fresh out of high school with no experience in the industry, and looking for a big community with plenty of excitement and opportunity, London-based Fanshawe College may be the place for you. One of the largest colleges in Ontario, Fanshawe prides itself on unlocking the potential of students by providing an exceptional hands-on education and access to flexible learning options. Fanshawe offers a comprehensive mix of programs that complement the changing needs of the labour market, which means students’ education will be up-to-date and highly relevant to employers. Fanshawe’s Auto Body Repair Techniques program, a one-year Ontario College Certificate, features a curriculum geared to building a strong foundational understanding of the

practical skills needed to get their foot in the door as entry-level autobody repairers. These skills include, but are not limited to, welding, refinishing, body and frame repair. During the 30-week program, they will learn how to confidently assess vehicle damage and accurately develop repair estimates using common industry software. The program is delivered in the gorgeous, bright and innovative Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies, a 148,000-square-foot environmentally-friendly building featuring state-of-the-art equipment and learning tools. Upon leaving this program, students will find themselves equipped with the real-world experience, skills and understanding necessary to thrive within the industry. For more information, please visit their website at

school profile



he one-year program at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) will teach students skills like priming, painting, welding and operating tools. Excitingly, students will work on actual customer vehicles, so the work they do in school is appreciated and used in the real world. The program teaches students to work efficiently in all these possible circumstances, improving their flexibility in terms of the variety of work they can take on. For example, while larger shops tend to separate the work of autobody technicians and painters, sometimes in smaller shops one person does both these jobs. Students will be able to thrive in either workflow. Graduates can expect to enter a variety of careers in the autobody industry. They work in private enterprises or are self-employed. Bodyshops, auto and truck dealerships, custom shops or trucking and bus companies are all potential places of employment for graduates.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Community College This school is sponsored by

Courses Include • Math Foundations • Ozone Depleting Substances • Metal Repairs • Non-Structural Repairs • Painting Equipment • Welding and Cutting

NBCC students will work on actual customer vehicles, so the work they do in school is appreciated and used in the real world.

If you want a better look into a day in the life of an NBCC student, the student for a day program, running from October to the end of May, gives prospective students the chance to sit in on classes, meet teachers and students and tour the campus and department. For more information please visit

December 2017    bodyworx professional



school spotlight

Newfoundland Students will graduate with the ability to work safely, competently use tools, equipment and paint products, among other things.

Motor Vehicle Body Repairer Courses Include: Block 1 • Occupational Health and Safety • Tools and Equipment • Fasteners and Adhesives • Vehicle Construction • Pre/Post Repair Vehicle Inspection Block 2 • Advanced Level • Metal Working II (Aluminum) • Electronic Fundamentals • Position Arc Welding (GMAW) Block 3 • Non-Metal Repair • Refinishing II • Electronic Fundamentals • Electrical and Electronic Repairs • Damage Analysis of Conventional Frames and Unitized Bodies Block 4 • Mechanical Systems and Components • Steering Suspension and Braking Systems • Damage Analysis and Estimating Costs • Ozone Depletion


College of North Atlantic


ollege of North Atlantic, one of Canada’s largest trades schools, is located in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador—right along the Atlantic Coast. The area surrounding the school is rich with both nightlife and nature, giving students a healthy mixture of school and play. But students in the Motor Vehicle Body Repairer program at the College of North Atlantic might argue that for them, school is just as fun. This program is designed for those who are creative problem solvers with a passion for working with automobiles of all styles. The instructors and students share this passion for autobody repair, making the daily learning environment exciting and fulfilling. “The instructors are really, really helpful, as long as you have interest they’ll keep with you and keep on top of you,” said  bodyworx professional

Peter Coates, a student of the program. The 34-week program will prepare students for the duties they will be responsible for as autobody repairers upon entering the workforce. They will graduate with the ability to work safely, competently use tools, equipment and paint products, conduct estimates and work with chemicals, some of the essential skills employers look for in their employees. After completing this program, students have the option of joining the college’s apprenticeship program. This program takes about 4-5 years to complete, and would lead to a journeyperson status in the trade. It entails taking advanced courses in areas like metalworking, electronic fundamentals, position arc welding and restraints systems. For more information please visit their website at



school spotlight

Next Steps I-CAR Canada



-CAR Canada is a training resource with a huge variety of courses available for autobody repair technicians, with courses designed for non-structural and steel structural technicians, estimators, refinishers, aluminium structural and mechanical technicians. The programs also offers a number of delivery methods for technicians, including independent learning courses, webinars and live, in-person courses. “The apprenticeship system offered at Canadian colleges is one of the best in the world,” said Andrew Shepherd, Executive Director of I-CAR Canada. “That being said, the pace of technical change in the modern collision repair facility is so great that the apprenticeship system can not keep up.” Consequently, technicians need a reliable resource to continue to expand their education and keep up with change, and I-CAR aims to be this resource. I-CAR is continuously updated, with roughly 10-12 new courses


I-CAR’s new courses: • Windshields and Advanced Driver Assist Systems • Using Vehicle Maker Repair Systems • Vehicle Technology and Trends 2018

Scott Earle teaching a class titled the Art and Science of Estimator Interactions at CSN Dana’s Collision Centre.

added every year to ensure maximum relevancy to the industry. Maintaining relevancy is a big deal at I-CAR. Shepherd commented, “I’m pleased with the continuous updating of I-CAR, and that all the industry stakeholders have agreed I-CAR is the conduit of information from OEMs to the repair industry.”  bodyworx professional

• Calibration Requirements for Blind Spot and Parking Assist Systems

As far as “next steps” go, Shepherd recommends that people entering careers in the industry look for employers who will invest in their training. This is not a static career, and a major priority should be entering a business that allows you to grow as quickly the industry itself. For more information about I-CAR, please visit their website at

school profile


End of an Era Tropicana graduates class of 2017


ropicana graduated its 2017 class of pre-apprenticeship autobody repair students. The 16 students who graduated were celebrated for their hard work, dedication and passion, while all attending looked ahead to a promising future. As Imad Bajwa, one of the graduating students put it, “This graduation is just the start.” This ceremony marked the end of a five month autobody repair program that taught students not only how to weld, paint and repair, but also nurtured positive attitudes and teamwork. “Tropicana gave me a career, and an opportunity to grow,” said Michael Samuels, another of this year’s graduates. Marc Tremblay, the Pre-Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, told the audience, “Tonight is going to be a celebration.” And that it certainly was. The night kicked off with a beautiful dinner provided by Radisson Hotel, and students and family members alike enjoyed full plates of eggplant, potatoes, dragon fruit and chicken. The hall in which the ceremony took place was buzzing with conversation, laughter, proud students and parents. One mother was seeing two of her sons graduate—she was practically glowing. Speeches of congratulations soon followed. Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education started it off. “Somehow,” she began, “You [Tremblay] worked it out that on the week of back to school, I’m right here where I’m

supposed to be.” She continued, “Knowledge is something you own, and no one can take that away from you. You are well on your way. You know that you can do it because you have come this far. Become a licensed technician, because it is in your grasp. So reach out and grasp it.” Addressing the Tropicana staff, she said, “The lives you have touched are helping to shape our communities.”

“ I have a challange to this class: give back.” - Marc Tremblay

Tremblay presented the gifts the graduating class were going to receive from various sponsors, whose kindness and generosity, Tremblay added, helped make Tropicana’s pre-apprenticeship autobody program what it is today. This year, Tropicana had more industry sponsors than it has ever had. “This is one of the most amazing industries I’ve ever worked with. I’ve never seen a group so unselfish,” said Tremblay. PPG, one of Tropicana’s most recent sponsors, is giving every graduating students a free

paint certification class. Collision Industry Information Assistance will offer each student a free estimating course and all of this was topped off with I-CAR Canada donating full Platinum I-CAR Scholarships to the entire graduating class. The reaction from the students in the audience was enough to know that these classes would not go unappreciated. Two awards were presented. The Director’s Choice Award, awarded to a student showing great leadership in the classroom and commitment to the program, and the CARSTAR Best-in-Class, pesented to a student based on a scoring system. It was presented by Jean-Marc Julien, who, when addressing the audience said, “We here as a community have to embrace new people coming into the industry.” Both awards were presented to student David Wei. Tremblay had one last bit of homework for the graduating class. “I have a challenge to this class: give back.” The autobody repair community is strong because it’s filled with people who are willing to contribute to their community in a meaningful way, and Tremblay, as well as the rest of the team working behind the Tropicana Pre-Apprenticeship autobody repair program, are contributing to the industry’s strength through nurturing students who care about bettering their community. “I have one thing to say about Tropicana students,” he said. “They always succeed.”

December 2017    bodyworx professional



school spotlight

The Kids Are Alright Looking back at this year’s fresh and feisty talent School to Shop Emilie Duguay always knew that she wanted to go into the trades, though it wasn’t until near the end of high school when she discovered collision repair as a career option. It was a choice that would result in Duguay becoming the first woman to complete the Automotive Paint and Work program at The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), Bathurst. Soon after, she would be employed at CSN-Dana’s Collision Center, where she has since worked for four years. Duguay is striving to grow personally and professionally. “I like to learn as much as I can about this industry. I want to learn about estimating next.” She noted that working has shaped her skills and abilities in ways that bleed into all aspects of her life. “Through working at CSN-Dana’s I’ve become more organized, patient and my work ethic is stronger. Even when I’m home doing chores, I think to myself ‘how can I make this more efficient?” She has come a long way, from being an uncertain high school student to a thriving collision repair technician—but achieving any goal she sets her eyes on, despite its difficulties and demands, is clearly sown right into her personality. “I don’t care what other people think, if I want to do something then I’ll do it. That’s just who I am.”

Snow Covered For most people, finding a lifelong career in the modern climate can of itself be a strange journey. It’s never an easy road to find your passion. For Lorne Jackson, that road took him from freezing temperatures and unrewarding work, to the satisfying and passionate world of collision repair. Jackson is a collision repair technician employed at CSN-Brimell Paint and Collision Center in Toronto, Ontario. He didn’t always know that he was going to be a collision repairer, but now that he is in the business, he’s happy he made the change. “I actually started out working truck and trailer,” said Jackson. “When I was outside in minus 40 weather, stuck underneath a transport, I decided it was time for something different.” Jackson noted that his decision to change careers was helped along by the Tropicana Autobody Pre-Apprenticeship program. “I had gone into a shop to see what that side of things was like, and I’d seen an advertisement for the Tropicana Autobody Pre-Apprenticeship program,” says Jackson. “I applied through them, and got into their class, which lead to me working for Brimell where I am today.”

Beyond Boundaries It’s not often that people have the opportunity to make a fruitful career out of their most loved hobby. Nick Irwin spent a lot of time repairing cars in his backyard while working at a restaurant for income, but eventually grew curious about career alternatives. “I wanted change,” said Irwin. “My heart was always set on cars, and I realized that I wanted to get outside my comfort zone. Then there was an opportunity, and I just took it.” Irwin has always loved working on cars, so finally making the leap to professional status must have been like a dream come true. His new career has enabled him to leave his comfortable niche at the restaurant and follow his true passions. “I was too comfortable at my old job, which is so different from the shop,” he said. “I love just being at work. I never think, ‘Ugh, I’ve got to go to work.’ Every day is a new challenge.” Irwin firmly believes that there are always ways to improve, whether it’s as an individual or as a team. The collision repair industry places a lot of importance on creativity and critical thinking, something that may surprise people who have an old-fashioned idea of the business. The chance to find creative solutions to problems is part of what makes every day so exciting for Irwin. 46  bodyworx professional

final detail



every option All you need to grow is to know Erin McLaughlin


very well remember what it was like years ago, when I was making one of the most important and difficult decisions I have ever made in my life—what should I do after high school? For months, this question never left me. Making any kind of solid decision on this seemed impos-

provide people with a simple way to find answers to their questions, so they don’t have to feel as though they’re choosing blindly. Autobody repair programs in Canadian colleges are vastly different— they’re not all the same, and the one you choose will influence the way you think,

An education changes you. The knowledge it instils you with gives you a responsibility to do what you do well, and to do it right. An education means no excuses. It means always moving forwards, and it means it’s partly up to you to make sure the collision repair industry is advancing

“The significance of your education may feel small, but believe me, having the ability to make sure that even one family is back out on the road safely after a repair is influence enough.”

sible. Eventually, I had narrowed it down to just three schools. Believe me though, this didn’t make it easier. This difficulty was largely rooted in the fact that I had never felt that I had enough information about any of the schools I was interested in. I had so many unanswered questions, and the information I was looking for was nowhere to be found. Is the food good? Are there many clubs that I would find interesting? What’s the campus culture like? What will my classes look like, and what will I learn? As far as I could tell, there was no resource that could fill out my knowledge gaps, and so, many of my questions remained unanswered until after I had made my decision and began my post-secondary education. The goal with the School Spotlight is to 47  bodyworx professional

work and live for the rest of your life. I can guarantee that when you graduate at the end of your program, you will look back at your younger self—maybe even the version of yourself who’s reading this right now, and think, “I was a completely different person.” That’s pretty cool, but it also means you have to choose carefully what’s going to influence you. The collision repair industry is one which always treads forward at a much quicker pace than other careers. Consequently, you need to be prepared to not only learn once—but to continue to learn for the rest of your life. You will never finish your education, wipe your hands off on your pant legs and be done with it. Your education in collision repair will begin with your first repair, and only end with your last.

and improving. The significance of your education may feel small, but believe me, having the ability to make sure that even one family is back out on the road safely after a repair is influence enough. In the pages of this school spotlight is not simply information. It’s opportunity, it’s you future, and it’s the power you have to make a difference in this world. Make yourself the absolute best person you can be. Sure, you’ll have to work for it, every single day. But in doing so, you’ll start to realize what you’re really capable of. Erin Mclaughin is the editor of Bodyworx Professional magazine. She can be reached at 905-3700101 or via email at erin@

December 2017    bodyworx professional


career profile

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Take Chances How Mike Kaplaniak, Vice President of Uniparts, thrives on change By Allison Preston and Erin McLaughlin


ike Kaplaniak is no stranger to change. Starting as an autobody technician, his personal quest for growth began, though he has continued to seek out new opportunities wherever he has had the chance. That, along with hard work and helping those around him succeed, has led him to the position of Vice President of Uniparts O.E.M. At the age of 16, he took his first step into autobody repair—helping his brotherin-law fix up a ‘72 Cutlass. At the time, he would have never guessed that this would turn into a life-long career. After, he could not stay away from autobody repair. “What got me excited was seeing the end result—that’s what got me hooked,” he says. The shop where he was first introduced to autobody repair hired him for the summer, and he worked there part-time for the remainder of his high school career. When high school ended, Kaplaniak went on to complete an apprenticeship with formal training through Centennial College. In his first two terms he worked in autobody repair, before switching into autobody painting. “I started to realize that there are a lot of opportunities to make a difference in my life

Mike Kaplaniak, now Vice-President of Uniparts O.E.M, began his career as an autobody technician.

and in this industry,” he explains. After his apprenticeship, Kaplaniak worked as an autobody repair painter at shops in Mississauga and the Hamilton area. His next big move came when he accepted a position as a bodyshop manager. “You have to be open to change, and be open to new

December 2017    bodyworx professional



career profile

“Kaplaniak’s previous experience as an autobody technician is, he feels, partly responsible for his success with his role in Uniparts.” Kaplaniak (middle) with Darryl Simmons of Bodyworx Professional (left) and John Bedard of Mitchell. Kaplaniak believes networking has been essential to his success.

opportunities as they come up,” he says. Later, Kaplaniak accepted a position with BASF as a paint rep—something he had been interested in pursuing for a while. “As a paint rep, I was helping people everyday. I get a sense of accomplishment when I’m helping others. It is nice to see a person’s business succeed and grow knowing you played even the smallest part in helping them do so,” he says. That’s not the only way in which Kaplaniak has helped others in this industry. “Early in my career, I thought about becoming an I-CAR instructor,” says Kaplaniak. So, in 2013 he made the commitment. “With technology today, it is more important than ever to understand how to repair today’s cars. When the call went out to recruit more instructors, I did not hesitate.” As well, since his first introduction to CCIF, he has seen the value this forum has to the industry. From 2006 to the first meeting of 2017, he worked to make sure the audio and visual went without a hitch at every CCIF meeting. You never know how what you do today will serve to benefit you in your future endeavours. Kaplaniak’s previous experience as an autobody technician is, he feels, partly responsible for his success with his role in Uniparts. “What really helped me find success was my background knowledge of the industry as a whole,” he says. “It’s really valuable because it gives me a good understanding of the whole industry. When someone presents an issue, I can better understand it and see it from their perspective.” Before joining UniParts, Kaplaniak held the title of Director of Operations at Fix Auto Canada. He began as their franchisee developer in Ontario, but it wasn’t long before he was developing and managing the operations in Atlantic and Alberta markets. Directing the operations team, his role

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Kaplaniak attending an event, alongside him are Dianne Chaîné of Progi (left) Larry French of CSN Collision Centres and Michael Macaluso of CARSTAR.

Kaplaniak celebrating Unipart’s 24th anniversary in Las Vegas, with some of his colleagues.

career profile had him managing vendor relations, organizing franchisee training, and overseeing the corporate branding. Now, as Vice President of Uniparts, Kaplaniak runs the operations and oversees the sales teams in Ontario and Alberta. “When I first began, we only had dealers in Quebec. Starting from scratch in the GTA, I grew the company to over 100 dealerships in Ontario, with now four people in sales. Uniparts now represents over 300 O.E.M. dealers, and we have a great team of sales representatives in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta,” he explains. While Kaplaniak enjoys being apart of the autobody repair industry, he did find himself exploring other options in his career. “At one point I decided to leave the industry, and transitioned to a sales position in the industrial coatings business instead of automotive refinish. After less than a year, I went back home to automotive,” Kaplaniak explains. According to Kaplaniak, his decision to return to the industry was motivated by the great community the autobody repair industry nurtures. “The people in this industry are fantastic,” he exclaims. “The culture makes this industry so great, and the atmosphere is just different. That’s why I came back. This industry is like one big family.” Kaplaniak has gone from working in a repair facility at the age of 16, to taking on the position of Vice President of Uniparts—a substantial change, indeed, but Kaplaniak’s openness to change and new opportunities allowed him to work his way through the industry, learning and building

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Kaplaniak with his wife, Lisa Kaplaniak, at IBIS an international bodyshop conference held in Barcelona, Spain.

new skills in every position he’s held, big or small. Life is strange. You never know what opportunities will come your way. So when opportunity strikes, grab it, and let it teach you something. As Kaplaniak says, “I was always one to look for new opportunities better myself. Opportunities are out there, you just have to be open to them.”

Jean Charles Dupuis of Fix Auto (left) Kaplaniak,Steve Leal of Fix Auto World and Larry French. “The people in this industry are fantastic,” said Kaplaniak.

December 2017    bodyworx professional





high-quality toolbox is essential to keeping your tools organized. We’ve gathered together some of the top-of-the line toolboxes from different manufacturers, as well as a few designed for the technician on a budget. Whether you’re in the market for a new tool storage solution or just browsing, these boxes and cabinets have what you need to keep your tools sorted and ready to grab, no matter what day-to-day life in the shop throws your way. It’s hard to improve on classic design, but manufacturers are stepping up to do just that. Many entries employ updated features that would have baffled the technicians of 50 years ago, such as built-in charging stations and USB ports. Take a peek at the latest technology with the entries below. All entries are listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer. The information presented here comes directly from the manufacturer. Inclusion in this article does not constitute a guarantee or recommendation by Bodyworx Professional magazine or its parent company, Media Matters Inc. As always, when making any equipment purchase, make sure to do your research thoroughly.

Tool Time

Get organized with any of these handy solutions

By Mike Davey

Modern toolboxes go beyond simple storage Extreme 72-inch 23 Drawer Roller Cabinet Extreme Tools

This cabinet from Extreme Tools comes complete with hutch and side locker, as well as a lifetime limited warranty. It is available in blue or black. Extreme Tools has a dedication to being price competitive, and this entry brings that to the fore. According to Extreme Tools, the suggested retail on this unit is about half that of their competitors. The cabinet features foam drawer liners and aluminum corner trim and drawer pulls. There’s also a power supply built in and a stainless steel top for added toughness.

Macsimizer 20-Drawer Mac Tools You can say one thing about Mac Tools. The company isn’t shy about offering options. Not content with basic black, many Mac storage solutions are available in blue, green, orange, grey, red and pink. The MB1902PD-OR, shown here, includes the same features and storage capacity as the company’s MB1900A, but with more and smaller drawers for additional space in terms of square inches. Most of the drawers have a 200 lbs. capacity, with the extra wide top drawer featuring a capacity of 400 lbs. All Macsimizer workstations include a narrow drawer tray, wide drawer tray and a writing tray kit. Additional hutches, side lockers and cabinets can be added as options.

December 2017    bodyworx professional




Montezuma 56-inch 18 Drawer Montezuma Mfg. A solid entry from Montezuma, the 56-inch 18 Drawer unit doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles of the higher priced cabinets, but it gets the job done. Both the shell and drawers are constructed of 20 gauge steel. The drawer slides support up to 100 lbs. per set. The chest lid is equipped with gas springs for easy opening and foam drawer liners protect the box’s finish and your tools. The roller cabinet includes a slide-out MDF work surface.

Epiq Series Epiq Series Snap-on’s Epiq Series is well-named. These are absolute behemoths. The version shown here is the 144-inch Five Bank Roll Cab. It features three extra wide drawers at the top of the roll cab to provide access to the most often used tools. According to Snap-on, the flush finish drawers are easier to open, easier to close and don’t drift open. The unit features dual brake levers and wheels that can literally support a ton each. The cabinet shown here also features the Snap-on PowerDrawer, dedicated for organizing and charging power tools. The built-in power strip includes five electrical outlets and two USB ports.

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Elite 72-inch 33 Drawer Tool Vault

The Tool Vault line is a partnership between Strictly Tool Boxes and Montezuma Mfg. The Tool Vault line features a detent closure, rather than the raise and release handle on Montezuma’s newer toolboxes. A stainless steel top is offered as standard. The shell on the Elite is constructed of 18 gauge steel, with drawer inners and fronts constructed of 20 gauge. Drawer slides feature full extension ball bearings with a load rating of 250 lbs. per set. The version shown here is also equipped with optional side lock casters. The Elite is painted with a tough high-gloss powder coat, available in black, blue and lime green.

Professional HD Series Waterloo

There are numerous entries in the Professional HD Series from Waterloo, but all share some common characteristics. Each unit comes with a 10-year warranty, and all cabinets feature 6-by-2-inch casters that support up to 3,500 lbs. The roll cage construction evenly distributes weight around the frame. Workstations feature ball-bearing drawer slides that generally support up to 120 lbs., but select drawers can support up to 240 lbs. Chests and cabinets are even more robust, with drawer slides that typically support 200 lbs., and some that support up to 400 lbs. The unit shown here is the 56-inch 12 drawer cabinet in a red finish. It’s also available in black. The Professional HD Series includes a full range of lockers, chests and side hutches available as options.

December 2017    bodyworx professional




Tickled Pink The pink Porsche that took this year’s Pfaff Automotive ‘8 hours of Passion’ competition by storm BY Alex Dugas and Tom Davis


Porsche 911 that was inspired by Porsche’s Pink Pig—a unique one-off Porsche 917/20—has won this year’s Pfaff Automotive annual “8 Hours of Passion” competition. The competition, held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Driver Development Track in Clarington, Ontario, involved teams of employees from each Pfaff facility, who competed against each other in a track-car race. Each team was responsible for sourcing or choosing their own vehicle, performing the necessary modifications and working on the vehicle together, as a team, after work hours. The work culminated in an

end-of-season 8-hour endurance challenge. The teams were limited to a budget of $10,000 each, of which only $5,000 could be spent on purchasing the vehicle itself. The remaining $5,000 was spent on safety equipment and modifications. Additional rules applied in terms of vehicle specifications. The car needed to be road-legal and able to get to the track without being towed. Along with that, the car needed to pass safety certifications and be deemed track-safe. It also needed be from one of the Pfaff brands, such as BMW, Audi, Porsche, Toyota, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Volkswagen, McLaren, Mazda or Pagani.

[TOP] Staff of Pfaff Autoworks, from Concord, Ontario. They were the winning team at the Pfaff Automotive annual ‘8 Hours of Passion’ competition.

December 2017    bodyworx professional




The winning 2001 Porsche 911, created by Pfaff Autoworks from Concord, Ontario,was salvaged from First Choice Auto Salvage in Vaughan after being written-off by the insurer due to a front-end collision. Work done to fix up the vehicle included a new hood, bumper, and a fixed-front end, along with free tires received from Pirelli and lowered suspension. Maintenance was undertaken on the vehicle’s engine, clutch and spark plugs, with many of the parts being German to mimic the original Pink-Pig Porsche that it was inspired by. Meanwhile, safety additions such as a race seat to stop the driver from sliding and a five-harness seat belt for better protection in the event of a crash were included. The car’s design features a butcher’s carcass painting-theme and the number 23. It was sponsored by Glasurit and BASF. Alexander Kasyanov, Parts Manager at Pfaff Automotive, worked on the graphic design, decal design and the cutting and installing aspect of the vehicle.


“In terms of presentation, points were given for appearance, team presentation and employee engagement.” Speaking of the challenge, he said: “The competition was important for teamwork, coherence within the team and scheduling. When you have fun you get to socialize with your colleagues and see a different side to them. Normally at work we are all in line with our heads down and getting the work done. It was great to get to know the team and see that other side of them.” Points were attributed on a variety of aspects, as well as on the vehicles’ performance.  bodyworx professional

In terms of presentation, points were given for appearance, team presentation and employee engagement. Points were also attributed on each team’s lunch presentations, since catering and hospitality are part of racing, too. In terms of performance, the teams received points on three challenges: Autocross, drag and endurance races. “This was a nice event and a very cool experience. It was remarkable to see how each team worked together with such fun and passion. This was a true display of team work and effort,” commented Jeff Pabst, General Manager of Pfaff Autoworks. The competition gave Pfaff Automotive technicians not only a chance to work on skills and knowledge they have developed through both their education and working lives, but also the opportunity to bond with their colleagues and build relationships that will benefit their day-to-day efficiency. Pfaff Autoworks may be the team that won, but, at the end of the day, everyone involved was tickled pink.


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A shot of Pfaff Autoworks’ 2001 Porsche 911. The car was sourced and modified by the team, and later raced at the ‘8 Hours of Passion’ competition.

The competition gave Pfaff employees the opportunity to bond with their colleagues and build relationships.

A member of the winning team celebrates Pfaff Autoworks’ victory.

The teams were limited to a budget of $10,000 each.

The Porsche 911 was inspired by Porsche’s Pink Pig, a unique one-off Porsche 917/20.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



School Profile

Adaptable Education The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology teaches students to deal with change

By Erin MClaughlin



hange is a big part of life—we’ve all seen and lived through a period of it. In the collision repair industry, where technology and procedure evolves faster than you can say, “scanning and calibration,” change is a defining feature. According to Transportation Technology staff at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), keeping up with change, and helping students become adaptable and manage change is one of their defining responsibilities. “You can’t fix a car based on your own knowledge, anymore. We’re teaching students  bodyworx professional

to look up OEM repair procedures, making sure things are up to standard,” commented Derek Topolnisky, Department Chair, Auto Body and Recreation Vehicle. Students learn to be able to research every car they encounter, so they can repair it according to OEM procedures. They learn to want to learn, to see the necessity of it. “We have to get students in the mindset of, ‘I can’t just repair this willy nilly.’ They need to know how to research,” said Topolnisky. Teaching students to research will go a long way in eliminating barriers between repairers and OEMs.

School Profile

Two different autobody programs are offered at SAIT. First, there is the Auto Body Technician Apprentice, a four-year program designed for those who have experience working in a shop. Those who complete the program will be trained to repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures and autobody components, prepare cars for refinishing and apply interior and exterior finishes. Students have the option of specializing in prepping, refinishing, sheet metal and plastics repair or frame straightening.

The first term is dedicated to car prepping. Students learn how to prepare surfaces for topcoats and fix minor dents. “Dedicating an entire year to prepping is pretty unique to Alberta,” said Topolnisky. In the second term, students become more familiar with painting and refinishing. Term three teaches students autobody repair techniques. Throughout the course of that term, students learn to fix minor repairs such as three to four hour dent projects, sheets and welding. The final term focuses on conducting major structural repairs.


[TOP] A student works on repairing a vehicle part. The Auto Body Technician Apprentice is a four-year program designed for those who have experience working in a shop.

December 2017    bodyworx professional



School Profile

At SAIT, Students learn to be able to research every car they encounter, so they can repair it according to OEM procedures.

“The industry is fast paced. SAIT aims to teach students not only how to keep up with it, but to thrive on it.”


The program is four years long in its entirety. The first two years are six weeks in length, and the final two are seven weeks in length. The remainder of their schooling is spent working in a shop. At the end each the year, if students are successful in their final yearly exams, they have the option of graduating with a journeyman certificate in prepping, painting, or repair, depending on how many years they complete. If they choose to stay for the entire four years, they will become fully certified autobody technicians. “We call this the full meal deal,” said Topolnisky. The second autobody repair program offered by SAIT are the Auto Body General Interest courses. The program is structured  bodyworx professional

as a night course, so people interested in learning about autobody can sign up for an individual course without committing to a four-year education. Courses offered include autobody repair, sheet metal, application of topcoats and primer topcoats, MIG welding and positioning. The program is truly open to anyone interested, giving all the opportunity to expand their skills in autobody. “We’ve seen father/son duos, mother/daughter duos, people who just retired, people who want to get into the trades. All sorts of people sign up for our courses,” said Topolnisky. Just as learning how to speak only a few sentences of a language won’t get you very far in a conversation, learning how to do

School Profile


SAIT’s students are trained to repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures and autobody components, prepare cars for refinishing and apply interior and exterior finishes.

your craft with only a selected few products, tools and equipment will limit you greatly. That’s why SAIT doesn’t focus on teaching their students how to use any one tool or manufacturer, strengthening students understanding of a wide array of their options when repairing. Avoiding product specific teaching in the classroom will encourage flexibility and adaptability to what products a repairer does, and does not, have access to at any given time. “We’re well set up to do different things,” said Topolnisky. The facility offers a brand new instructional booth set up for water-based paints, 3D measuring systems and Wedge Clamp products. SAIT has quite a few cool programs in the works. Next year, the school plans to introduce a twelveweek pre-employment program, for those who want a substantial education in repair, but don’t have previous apprenticeship experience in a bodyshop. Street Rod Technology is in development, designed to teach students how to build hot rods. Students will bring their own vehicles in, and by the end of the program they will have turned their very own car into a hot rod. The industry is faced paced. SAIT aims to teach students not only how to keep up with it, but to thrive on it. For more information about SAIT, please visit

SAIT’s autobody repair facility. The facility offers a brand new instructional booth set up for water-based paints, 3D measuring systems and Wedge Clamp products.

SAIT students have the option of specializing in prepping, refinishing, sheet metal and plastics repair or frame straightening.

December 2017    bodyworx professional




Technicians should already have experience in automotive aluminum welding prior to taking the WCA03 Aluminum Welding Qualification.

A student of I-CAR’s Automotive GMA Welding Certification course practices their welding technique.

ILLUMINATING ALUMINUM I-CAR’s Automotive GMA Welding Certification


t’s no secret that aluminum is becoming an increasingly common material in modern vehicles. While it is yet to be something most automotive collision repair technicians encounter every day, knowing proper practices and techniques for when an aluminum part does find its way into the shop is essential to conducting a quality safe repair, ensuring consumer safety. I-CAR’S qualification program, Automotive Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding, aims to prepare technicians to properly repair aluminum by developing a foundational skill set for the practice. By the time the program is completed, successful attendees will have a certification proving they are able to identify the differences between MIG welding aluminum and steel, describe the different transfer methods used for MIG welding aluminum and have an understanding of aluminum MIG welding equipment. “The technician will benefit from receiving this certification because it will prove they are capable of producing quality aluminum welds. The shop owners will benefit knowing their technicians are performing aluminum welds to industry-tested standards. But most of all, the vehicle owner benefits knowing the repairs to the vehicle were completed correctly by a certified technician,” said Steve Hudey, National Welding Qualification Coordinator at I-CAR Canada. According to Hudey, technicians should already have experience in automotive aluminum welding prior to taking the WCA03 Aluminum Welding Qualification.


The day-long course is divided into three modules. Two are based on learning techniques. The third and final module is a test. The first module, “Terminology, Equipment and Consumables,” is designed to give you a basic understanding of what you will encounter when working with aluminum. The module will help you recognize what to expect during the course of a welding event, teaches you to identify the differences between GMA welding aluminum and steel, the different transfer methods used for GMA welding aluminum and aluminum welding equipment. The second module, “Welding, Preparation, Turning and Techniques,” gives a more in-depth explanation of some of the topics covered in the first module. The session covers a variety of information, including how to properly repair aluminum alloys for MIG welding, different techniques, tuning MIG welders as well as weld defects, causes and correction methods. “Welding Training and Certification,” the third and final module, explores the test parameters of the entire training course, and conducts controlled testing. In this section you will be tested on a visual inspection of the butt joint with backing, fillet and plug welds, as well as conduct destructive testing criteria for the welds. When it comes to collision repair, you can never be too safe. The aluminum repair course is a great step to practicing safe repairs in the face of changing materials and technology.  bodyworx professional

By Erin McLaughlin

Learning Objectives Module One • Material differences between steel and aluminum • Cold starts • Equipment set up considerations • The four electrode transfer methods

Module Two • Surface preparation • Coating and aluminum oxide removal • Push techniques • Body positioning • Tuning the welder

Module Three (Testing Stage) • Aluminum welding gauge • Fillet weld requirements • Butt joint requirements • Plug weld requirements • Destructive tests

Positive Results YOUNG GUN

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Richard Pretorius of Speedy Collision strives to be the best he can be BY ERIN MCLAUGHLIN


Richard Pretorius, Autobody Technician at Speedy Collision West Edmonton. Pretorius values good communication and a clean environment.

“This is not the kind of job where you go home at the end of the day and stop thinking about it.” — Richard Pretorius

ichard Pretorius’ career in collision repair is actually his second skilled trade. “My interest in collision repair developed only after I had completed my Red Seal as a machinist,” said Pretorius. At the time, many of his friends were involved in the industry, and he would often help them with their tasks. “I immediately loved taking something that looked like it would never drive again, and repairing it to OEM standards.” Helping his friends soon turned into a position at Speedy Collision, where Pretorius still works today. But Pretorius by no means jumped directly into the shoes of a technician. “I worked in the wash bay for so long, but my heart was in it. I like my own car to be clean enough to make peoples’ heads turn. I made all the cars I worked on as clean as I would want my own to be,” he said. Pretorius’ devotion to his work was recognized by his boss, who took him under his wing. Pretorius began to explore autobody repair further. “People think you can decide to be a tech, and just do it. But it’s not like that. You have to start at the bottom,” he said. Nonetheless, all that time in the wash bay had its value. “Washing gave me an eye for the cars. I’d start to catch dents people missed, and I got an understanding of what an impact looked like.” He added that guidance from his mentor, Ryan Lapointe, had a significant role in his learning. In the effort to master a craft, one needs to seriously consider exactly what they can do to be better. Pretorius has his own techniques to do just that. “Before

I do any job, I always ask myself what I can do to make the job as easy as possible,” Pretorius said. “I start with a clean environment, sweeping the floors and such. I identify the parts I’m working with beforehand, so I know what I’m dealing with right off the bat.” Good communication has also been a key focus throughout Pretorius’ career. “A lot of people have their own idea of what’s right, and it doesn’t always line up with yours. But you have to be able to listen to other ideas, because even if you don’t like it, you have to be able to dispute it effectively,” he said. Julian Izquierdo, Manager of Speedy Collision West Edmonton, commented on Prestorius’ work ethic. “He’s my go-to guy for communication. He’s team-focused, driven, and wants the shop to succeed. “He’s the last guy here and the first to show up. He makes his place here validated.” Pretorius’ fight to be the best he can be isn’t over—there will always be room to improve. “This is not the kind of job where you go home at the end of the day and stop thinking about it. All the time I’m trying to figure out how I can do my job better,” he said. Having already set his sights on the future, Pretorius wants to turn his obsession with improvement into a career. He hopes to be a shop consultant; working with autobody repair businesses on strategies they can use to better their business. “The ultimate goal is to make this industry great,” said Pretorius. It’s a big goal, but working on improving each and every day, and taking small steps to get there will bring him, and the industry, a long way.

December 2017    bodyworx professional




BETAG Innovations and Flat Line SSI team up for training sessions Aluminum is showing up in more and more automobiles, and technicians must be prepared to deal with it. That was part of the impetus behind a recent training event put on by BETAG Innovations and Flat Line SSI. Ralph Meichtry of BETAG and Flat Line SSI staff welcomed technicians from CSN Heartland B & B Collision Centre and Pfaff Autoworks to Flat Line’s training centre in Richmond Hill for a training session on aluminum and steel repair. The training session aimed to provide valuable skills and techniques for both estimators and technicians, help them improve the overall quality of repairs, increase productivity as well as reduce cycle times. The courses aim to be as relevant and practical as possible, and are delivered by experienced technicians and qualified trainers. According to BETAG Innovations, teams should return to work confident with their new skills and ready to add immediate value with increased workshop productivity. “At Flat Line, we want to provide educational opportunities so the technicians, managers and owners can be efficient and profitable,” said Chad Baltzer, Product Manager for BETAG Innovation at Flat Line SSI. BETAG and Flat Line are also teaming up to offer more training in November 2017. All classes will be held at Flat Line’s training centre in Richmond Hill. A total of four courses are being offered. All courses are one day in length.

Small Damage Repair – Level 1 November 27 Utilizing BETAG Innovation’s T-Hotbox and glue pulling, this course focuses on paintless and “push to paint” techniques for quickly repairing small damage. Estimator Skills November 28 This course teaches estimators and managers about new methods for repairing small and medium damage on outer panels. The course also highlights the associated cycle time and customer satisfaction benefits for the collision centre.

Students from CSN Heartland B & B Collision Centre and Pfaff Autoworks at the BETAG Innovation training session in Flat Line’s training centre. The companies plan to offer more training sessions in November.

Medium Panel Repair: Aluminum November 29 Medium Panel Repair: Steel November 30

Ontario college strike ‘should not affect’ apprenticeship programs More than 12,000 faculty members of Ontario’s 24 public colleges are on strike after negotiations between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council (CEC) failed on October 14, 2017 The Chair of the union bargaining team, J.P. Hornick, said it had presented the CEC with an offer that represented the “bare minimum” the OPSEU needed to ensure “quality education for students and treat contract faculty fairly.” “Unfortunately, [the] Council refused to agree on even the no-cost items, such as longer contracts for contract faculty and


academic freedom,” she said in a statement. Speaking to Bodyworx Professional magazine, Mike Kennelly, Program Coordinator of the Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer Apprenticeship track at Fanshawe College, commented: “At the moment, the impact of the strike on apprenticeships is more of a grey area than it is either black or white. However, the strike shouldn’t have a huge impact on apprenticeships. The strike will postpone the graduations by a very short time period but it will not be detrimental for their education. It’s more of an inconvenience.” Kennelly added that, after the strike is fin-  bodyworx professional

J.P. Hornick, Chair of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union’s bargaining team.

ished, the college will get back in touch with its apprenticeship students to organize an appropriate time to finish their current level of education. Some students have just one more week until their current level is completed.



Tropicana graduates 2017 Autobody Pre-Apprenticeship class Tropicana Employment Services graduated its 2017 class of pre-apprenticeship autobody repair students. This ceremony marked the end of a five month autobody repair program that taught students not only how to weld, paint and repair, but also nurtured positive attitudes and teamwork. “Tropicana gave me a career, and an opportunity to grow,” said Michael Samuels, one of this year’s graduates. Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, had words of encouragement for both graduates and the program’s founder. “Somehow,” she began, “You [Tremblay] worked it out that on the week of back to school, I’m right here where I’m supposed to be.” She continued, “Knowledge is something you own, and no one can take that away from you. You are well on your way. You know that you can do it because you have come this far. Become a licensed technician, because it is in your grasp. So reach out and grasp it.” Addressing the Tropicana staff, she said, “The lives you have touched are helping to shape our communities.”

The 2017 graduating class of Tropicana’s PreApprenticeship Training Program and Mitzie Hunter (centre), Minister of Education.

Tremblay presented the gifts the graduating class received from various sponsors, whose kindness and generosity, Tremblay added, helped make Tropicana’s pre-apprenticeship autobody program what it is today. This year, Tropicana had more industry sponsors than it has ever had. Two awards were presented. The Director’s Choice Award, given to a student showing great leadership in the classroom and commitment to the program, and the CARSTAR Best-in-Class,

presented to a student based on a scoring system. It was presented by Jean-Marc Julien, who, when addressing the audience said, “We here as a community have to embrace new people coming into the industry.” Both awards were presented to student David Wei. Tremblay had one last bit of homework for the graduating class. “I have a challenge to this class: give back.” For information about Tropicana Employment Center, please visit their website at

December 2017    bodyworx professional




Open House: Five facilities host visitors for CCIF Career Day The Canadian Collision Industry Forum held its first Career Day in conjunction with CCIF Edmonton, which took place September 28 at the Westin Hotel Edmonton. The event consisted of a guided bus tour to five local facilities: CARSTAR Ellerslie, CSN Reflections Auto Body, Distinctive Auto Works, Fix Auto Edmonton North and Speedy Collision. All five were also accepting drop-in visitors throughout the day to chat with local partners, including representatives of suppliers, OEMs and insurers. It was the first time in a collision repair facility for many visitors, and some were surprised with what they saw. “It’s really amazing to see,” said student Zandre Lagrosa. “The shops were bigger and better than I expected.” This was a great opportunity for students to see whether or not this is a career they want to pursue. For at least some, that was certainly the case. Tyler Gerling, a St. Joseph student commented, “Just seeing the technology, the paint samples, and that you can be creative makes me want to do it even more.” Visitor Cleo Heard expressed interest in painting. She said that she’s always had a love of graphic design, tattoo art and cars, and wants to incorporate these interests through doing custom work with

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NAIT Instructor Cecile Bukmeier (right) gives visiting student Cleo Heard instruction on the virtual painting simulator at the first CCIF Career Day.

vehicles. Like Gerling, Heard felt that her interests in car work were reinforced through her visits. “A lot of the shops have a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. I found them exciting and intriguing,” she said. The final stop was at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), allowing members of the community to tour the college’s repair facilities. Current faculty and students were available to answer questions and provide advice. For more information about CCIF, please visit



Ron Fleenor of House of Kolor brings paint demos to Peterborough House of Kolor’s story starts with its founder, Jon Kosmoski. He got started in the custom paint business after he brought his ’40 Chevy into what apparently was the best paint shop in town for a custom paint job. When the car was returned to Kosmoski, however, he was disappointed with the quality. Kosmoski set out to change the standards of the custom paint industry, and began to learn about the custom painting craft himself. In 1956, he founded House of Kolor. Flash forward to today, and Ron “Flea” Fleenor, a custom airbrush artist, global trainer and Market Manager for House of Kolor products is travelling around the world to conduct in-depth presentations on how to use House of Kolor paint and to show what exactly the line is capable of. Fleenor brings local shops together to learn and indulge in the delight of watching an incredibly skilled painter work his magic. Wallace’s Conley Collision hosted a House of Kolor demonstration at its facility in Peterborough, Ontario. Peterborough Paint & Body

Supply, a company now carrying the House of Kolor line, organized the event. Fleenor put on three demonstrations, each featuring a different paint product. Within minutes of beginning one of them, he transformed an ordinary hood into a wood-grained visual masterpiece. When painting a fender, he used a prism finish on a basecoat. This, as Fleenor puts it, “creates a fuzzy holographic effect on your paint job.” Fleenor shone a light onto the vehicle to demonstrate how the paint would look in sunlight, and a rainbow coloured halo appeared. According to Fleenor, House of Kolor’s plan is to visit as many shops as possible and show painters, technicians and shop owners what the company is all about. “Our success has been in getting the right people in place, travelling all the time and going shop to shop to show you guys how easy it is to work with these products,” said Fleenor. It seems to be working. The House of Kolor event drew a mighty crowd, who appeared to be collectively entranced by Fleenor’s work.

Taken at the demonstration held at Wallace’s Conley Collision. From left: Donna Rioux, Manager of Peterborough Paint & Body Supply, House of Kolor’s Market Manager Ron Fleenor, Darrin Heise and Dave Pereira of PBE Distributors and Chuck Rollins of Valspar.

“We’ve really seen a jump in excitement on this product,” said Fleenor. “I’m so excited to be out here with everyone. For more information on House of Kolor, please visit

ALI updates Lifting It Right online lift safety course Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has announced updates to its Lifting It Right online training course. The interactive course covers safe lifting practices for all types of automotive lifts. The Lifting It Right course was first launched in 1987 as a simple safety manual. While the core focus on lift safety is unchanged, ALI says the new course is thoroughly modernized, both in content and delivery. The course can be taken online with a computer or mobile device, and ALI says most people finish it in an hour or less. At the end, a certificate of completion is stored online for easy access if a shop needs to produce training records. “ALI and our member companies take our responsibility to technicians, managers, dealers and shop owners very seriously. After all, their safety is riding on our lifts every day,” said R.W. Bob O’Gorman, ALI President. “We have supported the training of millions of lift operators over the last 30 years. We’ve distributed more than three million Lifting It Right manuals alone.” In addition to updated technical content, ALI has added professional narrators, real-world scenarios, and all-new 3-D animations to make the program more engaging. In addition, the price has been reduced from $36.00 per person to $20.00. Once registered, students can take up to 90 days to successfully complete the program, including an online test. Lifting It Right is available to order from ALI at

December 2017    bodyworx professional



coping with change Accept it and learn to excel by mike davey


e’ve long been told that if there’s one constant in the autobody business, it’s change. Looking over this issue, I’d have to agree that there’s a definite theme of change in many of the articles. The fact of the matter is that, as individuals, we’re very bad at dealing with change. This is even the case when it’s a change for the better. I bet there’s resistance when

them. That’s where most people fail. They quit, or they forget, or they put it off. Keep up these practices and I guarantee you’ll have an easier time navigating the changes around you. First, try to find some humour in the situation. Maybe the new process has a funny acronym, or maybe you can give it one. Just make sure it’s inclusive and respectful. You can also make light of your own strug-

much easier time dealing with it by acknowledging it as a positive force. Speaking of which, number four is to remember to focus on your values, instead of your fears. The techniques we’ve discussed so far are really about shifts in attitude. This technique is a little different as there’s a practical component. When you’re dealing with something new and it’s starting to feel overwhelm-

“As individuals, we’re very bad at dealing with change. This is even the case when it’s a change for the better.”

your production manager changes something about the process, even if it’s obviously going to be a change for the better in the long run. Human beings are simply not adapted to change. We want tomorrow to be pretty much like today. Maybe a little better … but not too much. At least not all at once. We’re not naturals, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be better. There’s a science to change management in an organization, but that’s not what I’m talking about in this case. That’s really more about helping other people to change to a new way of doing things. It’s certainly valuable, but a lot of times in life, we’re not the ones actually leading the change. There’s also enormous value in managing how you respond to those changes. There are proven techniques that you can use that will help you deal with change in your workplace and in your life. They’re not hard to do. Self-help techniques usually aren’t. You simply have to do

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gles. Poking fun at others is a no-no, but no one is going to be upset if you make fun of yourself. Being able to laugh at your troubles will help you in the long run. Second, talk about the challenges you’re experiencing, rather than the way they make you feel or the thoughts you have about them. Talking about our own thoughts and feelings is good in certain ways, but it tends to drag us down most of the time. We can’t always “work through” our feelings. In these cases, just address the problem itself. You’ll zero in on the problems you can solve, instead of complaining about the ones you can’t. Third, don’t feel too stressed about the stress you’re already feeling. Your reaction to stress has more impact on the final results than the stress itself does. Believe stress is killing you? Then it probably will. Instead, ask yourself why you’re feeling the stress. If it’s to accomplish something you believe in and value, like improving production at work, then you’ll have a

ing, take 10 minutes and write about a time when a particular value you hold has positively affected you. The theory behind it is that reflecting on a personal value helps us rise above the immediate threat, and makes us realize that our personal identity can’t be compromised by one challenging situation. I don’t know if the theory holds up, but I do know the technique works. Next, learn to accept the past and give everything you’ve got to the future you want to see. We are never free from change, but we are always free to choose our response. If we fixate on the limitations of a specific change, we inevitably succumb to worry, bitterness and despair. Finally, don’t expect stability. You can either view all changes, wanted or unwanted, as simply part of the human experience, or you can view them as a tragedy that’s victimizing an unlucky person (you, in this case). Just like always, it’s up to you which path to choose.