Did you take time out to visit Automechanika Birmingham last month? We spent three days at the show, running the Technical Talks stand and Interactive Workshop area, meeting with suppliers to find out about the latest product news and training initiatives, and we could have easily spent another three days there!
The event was 70% bigger than last year, with over 800 exhibitors showcasing their latest tools and services to save the independent garage time, generally make their life easier and boost revenue.
Each day, Autotechnician ran a packed schedule of technical seminars to a full house of technicians. James Dillon, Frank Massey and Andy Crook covered diagnostics, GDI and battery tech respectively. Experts from Dayco, Bartec, Delphi, Hella, TecAlliance, Actronics, the IMI, ECOBAT and Primalec gave presentations on evolving technologies and repair/maintenance issues surrounding ADAS, R1234YF servicing, TPMS, the circular car and electric/hybrid – it was great to see so many of you there.
we took a few readers along to experience the event for the first time – Stuart White of Complete Car Maintenance in Surrey as well as Ross Kemp and Elisa-Jane Bramall from Scantec Automotive in Sussex (sporting their favourite polo shirts
Ross spoke with Launch UK about its CR and CRP Series of handheld testers and liked the idea of having the smaller, less expensive tools to free up other equipment when performing more basic functions, “There’s nothing worse than having to wait just to carry out a service reset, or even worse…for a tech to be pulled off a diagnostic job half way through because someone needs the tool!” As new business owners, the couple were impressed with what the event offered – chatting with existing and potential new equipment suppliers and taking in some of the many technical presentations on offer.
Stuart White of CCM spoke to Schaeffler at length regarding OESAA and its eye-watering range of aftermarket components and OE technology and organised a training session for his team of technicians back in Surrey while he was there. With technical support in mind, he then caught up with Michael Gougeon at Valeo to find out about its new connected hotline, which is part of its Tech Care programme. Once an app is downloaded, users can share video footage of the task in-hand with a Valeo tech on the phone, to get instant product support and installation advice.
The subject of training was a hot topic at the ZF/TRW stand, which featured an autonomous urban vehicle full of TRW tech. Its [pro]Tech and [pro]Tech plus workshop concept continues to evolve, providing members with online and physical training covering the assembly, repair and servicing of power steering units and clutches, to the
trouble-shooting of 6HP and 8HP automatic transmissions and torque converters as well as a new ASTronic 2 transmission course.
Visitors to the Delphi stand were among the first to see the launch of the new high-pressure diagnostic toolkit HD3000, for use on any vehicle type or fuel injection technology. The tool’s designed to help workshops grow their diagnostic capabilities, while substantially reducing the investment needed to undertake this type of repair.
Visitors to the Denso stand were treated with a visit from the charming Rebecca Jackson – presenter/blogger and racing driver come Salsa enthusiast, who has set her sights on Le Mans. More on Rebecca to follow… Denso were also excited to be branching out into a new arena with its e-Videns vehicle inspection tool. This vehicle health check tool is currently being trialled within UK workshops. You can register your interest at www.densovidens.co.uk. And again, more of this in the next issue!
Next year’s event at the NEC Birmingham will run between 5-7 June 2018 and will feature an improved layout with aftermarket suppliers in Halls 19 & 20 and a dedicated Workshop Quarter in Hall 18.