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Audi advances steel welding training with new certification

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Announcements | Collision Repair
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Audi is redefining steel welding training with a new four-day course certified shops are required to take.

The training is 70% hands-on and focuses on the basics of welding steel and welder settings.

“It meets and exceeds what is currently happening in the collision repair industry,” Mark Allen, Audi Collisions Programs manager, said Wednesday. “It prepares welders for what they see in mixed-material vehicles and what they need to do for proper repairs.”

Current industry standards for welding steel mix together elements from different American welding organizations, Allen said. He said there’s no well-thought-out program specifically created for vehicle steel welding.

The Audi program tests for an International Organization for Standardization 9606-1 certification. After completing Audi’s course, technicians may also qualify for I-CAR Alliance continuing credit.

Audi also requires its certified shops to complete an aluminum welding course that meets international standards.

“In the past, it was believed that welding was taught in vocational schools or the technicians received the training on the job,” Allen said.

Yet, vehicle manufacturing has changed throughout the years, including the types of steel materials used.

“We were advancing but the welding being taught was not,” Allen said. “We looked at this as an opportunity to best take care of our customers and help the collision industry because there is not an actual standard.”

Welders in Audi’s program will have their welds tested both mechanically and with X-rays, Allen said.

“The welds are X-rayed and we can see just like a broken bone if there is a bad weld,” Allen said.

Allen said Audi has already seen the training improve the skills of new and seasoned repairers.

“It is pretty intense,” Allen said about the course. “Some people are able to knock it out of the park right away. There are some who are struggling at the end of the four days. We work to make sure people are successful and have the skills before leaving us.”

Advancing welding skills in the industry is an integral part of keeping consumers safe, Allen said.

“Your life and general safety are in someone’s hands who may not be able to do the welds that they need to be able to do on your car,” Allen said.

Audi aims to meet a standard that consumers can trust, Allen said. He said the company’s curriculum helps them accomplish that.

“When we have a customer get back into their vehicle after a repair, they can be at ease that it is properly done,” Allen said.


Photo courtesy of Josefkubes/iStock

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