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Opened in 2016 the Indasa Academy represents the commitment and delivery of technical expertise and instruction to customers from all over the world. In addition to the facility providing the perfect backdrop and working environment to showcase the Indasa range of products and systems, the Academy allows for the hands-on demonstration of best working practice. Under the guidance and stewardship of a team of highly experienced technicians, trainee delegates are instructed how to develop their skill base, competence and efficiency in the body shop operation. Automotive Refinisher was given a behind the scene’s look at how Indasa delivers its bespoke and tailored training programmes and to meet the team in charge.

Commercial director Andrew Tindall welcomed us to the state of the art facility which clearly incorporates all of the tools and equipment that you’d want to find in any high class bodyshop.  Plenty of opportunities for hands on training but also a separate classroom for when it comes to the more theoretical side of the training. It’s worth mentioning at this stage that the Aveiro Academy is one of four Academy sites within the Group with others being located in the UK, USA and Brazil. Andrew shared the philosophy behind this investment which is based on the growing need within the industry to keep pace with OEM technology, such as ADAS and its massive influence on the individual’s skill-set.

With paint companies developing new hi-tech coating systems there is an obvious impact on the refinish process, especially in the areas of rectification and pre-polish preparation. The finer end of the grit spectrum is a critical element in achieving the flawless finish the body shop needs and the customer expects. Micro finishing materials are at the forefront of this process. Consistency and uniformity of surface finish can only be achieved with the ongoing development of innovative abrasive systems and the ability of the bodyshop technician to carry out the repair process. This is where the work carried out at the Academy reaps the reward for the body shop operation.

Trainee delegates come from around the world – an indication of Indasa’s scale and penetration into the global refinish industry. Indasa distributors and bodyshop groups from these key markets send their employees to Aveiro to attend two or three day training courses. Alfredo Vizinho, technical manager, compiles the course content and training modules to suit their particular needs. Humberto Plácido technical instructor, with all his years of experience and expertise, then guides delegates through all of the compliant stages.

The full product range of abrasive systems and materials is made available. As well as the core abrasive materials Indasa technicians cover all aspects of the product range that has been developed specifically for the professional repair process. At the forefront of the product portfolio is the range of abrasive materials, but Indasa also has a comprehensive range of ancillary items that offer high performance and essential quality in the areas of panel repair, masking and technical tapes, high gloss polishing and tools and equipment. It’s the attention to detail in the training process that maximises the delegates skill set with the assurance that best practice and working efficiency is being delivered.

For 40 years the Rhyno brand of abrasives has been at the core of Indasa’s abrasive expertise. Here the full range can be put to the test in conjunction with the very latest E-series tool technology. Following the safety compliance overview we sit down to discuss the performance characteristics of the material and the process, then it’s out into the preparation area to see the product demonstrated by Humberto.

The fully equipped workstations ensure that everything is at hand when it comes to the time for delegates to get involved. We tackle a paint rectification challenge with their Filmline Ultravent system. The sanding process with P1500 demonstrates how the flawless and high gloss finish can be achieved with the final application of Autogloss Compound Plus. But reassuringly it’s always under the watchful eye of Humberto. Nothing is off limits and all questions are answered  to ensure that delegates obtain a thorough understanding of how to get the most from the Indasa product and process.

As we ended our time at the Academy, Andrew reaffirmed why the investment in this wonderful training facility was a fundamental core value for the company. Product development that meets the ongoing demands of the customer can be achieved through manufacturing expertise, but it’s the workforce that has to deliver that process technology into the body shop operation. Without the skill and individual’s competence, the body shop efficiency, productivity and above all sustainable profitability won’t be achieved. The Academy and technical masterclass is where the Indasa synergy happens.

Indasa has a 20 year association and partnership with their South Africa importer Pyrmo SA. Their head of technical training, Dingaan, can arrange for a demonstration on how Indasa abrasives can improve your body shop sanding process and performance.

Pics and story by Ian Groat