MPI and RRC team up for training


The new materials used for cars mean learning new skills for Red River College students in auto body repair.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), many vehicles today are being made with com-plex materials like aluminum, carbon fibre and high-strength steels. The new centre will teach students and technicians new repair techniques suited for the new materials.

“They are starting to build them (cars), with aluminum, so we will have to have two different sets of tools because you can’t use a traditional steel hammer on aluminum because of galvanic corrosion,” said Matt Parsons, RRC auto body repair student. Galvanic corrosion happens when two different metals make electrical contact. The damage from this can be severe. Parsons said that to work on new materi- als he would need two different sets of hammers and dollies. Parsons said the centre will be beneficial if students learn how to repair aluminum properly, something he hasn’t learned yet. Paul Vogt, president and CEOof Red River College, said in a news release the college is aware change to accommodate the new of how important it is for people materials.doing auto body repairs to stay Guimond said by improving train- current with the techniques MPI ing, students and technicians will help teach.

“The collaboration between Manitoba Public Insurance and Red River College will augment the educational experience for our students,” said Vogt.

MPI announced on Nov. 20 they will invest $6 million to build the Centre of Excellence in automotive repair research and training. MPI is partnering with Red River College, Apprenticeship Manito ba and Manitoba high schools to teach how to repair the new materials.

Dan Guimond, CEO and president of MPI, said in a news release that half of the vehicles in Manitoba will have at least some complex materials by 2018. He said that because of this, the auto body industry will have to change to accommodate the new materials.

Guimond said by improving training, students and technicians will continue to repair vehicles safely and to the quality they were manufactured. He said this should increase the safety of Manitobans.

“Any decision that would po- tentially improve the quality of education at an institute such as Red River, thereby improving the quality of work done through- out the trade, could only have a positive outcome,” said Jake Letkeman, automotive technician graduate.

MPI will start transitioning its Physical Damage Centre on Plessis Road into the Centre of Excellence over the next few months. The centre is expected to be complete by 2017.