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Learn proper welding during SEMA with Audi, JLR, Pro Spot, Spanesi, RAE at SCRS OEM Summit

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Welding equipment manufacturers and two automakers who test network shops will next month teach collision repairers and interested SEMA builders how to properly join customers’ vehicles, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists announced Wednesday.

SCRS revealed the lineup for “Meeting the OEM expectation in welding,” the third and final session of its OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit event at SEMA. The panel will run from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, and follow “From substrate to surface – preparing for emerging trends in automotive technology” from 9-10:30 a.m. and “HELP! A comprehensive conversation surrounding accessibility to OEM procedures and technical support” from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The OEM Summit is the “headliner” of the organization’s Repairer Driven Education Series running Monday, Nov. 4, through Friday, Nov. 8.

As SCRS noted in the course description for the welding panel, resistance spot welding was “one of the most critical steps” for structural collision repair. However, indicators exist that some or even much of the industry may not be delivering the kind of weld quality customers and manufacturers expect.

I-CAR CEO John Van Alstyne in January 2019 projected about 46 percent of technicians who welded steel in 2018 still weren’t I-CAR trained, “a big improvement over where we were.” About 69 percent of techs who welded in 2013 lacked I-CAR training, the organization estimated.

CCC’s 2018 estimate databases also revealed fewer than 1 percent of all repairable vehicle appraisals contained a manual entry for a destructive test weld despite the procedure often being required. Certainly, some shops might be eating the cost of the time and materials, but there’s also the sinking possibility that repairers are practicing welds on customers’ cars — or just welding without refining settings at all.

The SEMA panel might help shops who “don’t know what they don’t know” learn best practices, elevate the industry — and most importantly, deliver safe vehicles back to customers.

“The resistance welding process is one of the most critical steps in joining together the structural elements of a vehicle, and one that can be impacted by both practice and process within your facility,” SCRS wrote in a course description. “Sophisticated functions of modern vehicles rely on structurally sound base elements of the automobile, and welding the structure with predictability is a core element of establishing a proper baseline.”

Vehicle Collision Experts CEO Mark Olson will moderate the discussion with panelists Audi collision instructor and curriculum designer Shawn Hart, Jaguar Land Rover program consultant Rick Miller, Reliable Automotive Equipment President Dave Gruskos, Spanesi Americas technical training specialists and OEM liaison Robert Hiser and Pro Spot training development manager Ryan Swanson.

Unlike some other OEMs, both Audi and JLR test certified shops on welding themselves (I-CAR administers JLR’s criteria, which is separate from the educational organization’s own.).

“This panel of subject matter experts features automakers and companies with decades of experience advancing the automotive and collision repair field in terms of welding procedures, training and equipment,” SCRS’ course description states.

“Audience members will interact as the panel explores the expectations established by the automaker, made possible in the aftermarket by equipment and training accessibility, and practices to consider within your business with the support of resources available to help you accomplish more predictable welds that align with OEM processes.

“Topics will focus on improving weld performance through maintenance, frequent training, practice protocols, destructive testing, and quality control considerations.”

SCRS this year has also emphasized welding quality with three videos, including one on test weld verification, and a worksheet.

Sign up for the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit welding panel or the Summit’s trends and repair procedures panels individually for $75 each during early registration, or get access to all three and everything else SCRS offers SEMA Week by purchasing the $375 full series pass. The latter lets you into any Monday, Nov. 4-Wednesday, Nov. 6 regular Repairer Driven Education course, the three-part OEM Summit and the $85 Sky Villa afterparty on Thursday, Nov. 7, and IDEAS Collide Showcase on Friday the 8th. Learn more at

More information:

“SCRS Adds Details for 2019 OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit Session III SEMA Show”

Society of Collision Repair Specialists, Oct. 9, 2019

OEM repair procedures portal on NASTF

SCRS Repairer Driven Education portal

Featured image: The Society of Collision Repair Specialists provided this image as an example of a photo documenting spot weld testing. (Provided by SCRS)

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