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INDUSTRY NEWS

ON THE LINE

As the omicron wave of COVID-19 begins to subside and public health measures are lifted across many provinces and regions, some new industry data is showing that production for manufacturing is trending upward. Reaching its highest level since November of last year, the IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 56.6 in February from 56.2 in January. Any reading above 50 represents growth. “Growth was underpinned by a quicker expansion in output, following sharp uplifts to headcounts and supportive domestic demand conditions,” IHS economist Shreeya Patel said in a statement. The output index rose to 53.2 from 51.5 in January, while the measure of employment was at 54.6, up from 53.2. “For now, businesses in Canada are coping with external pressures, but issues surrounding rising costs and supply are likely to persist for the duration of the year,” said Patel.

TRAIN IN TORONTO

Toronto, Ontario’s Tropicana Community Centre is accepting participants for its 2022 Auto Body Pre-Apprenticeship L-1 program, a program designed to deliver students with a basic understanding of autobody repair and arms them for apprenticeship on the production floor. Funded by the Government of Ontario, Tropicana’s tuition-free Auto Body Pre-Apprenticeship program includes six weeks of academic and pre-employment training; Level-1 apprenticeship training; 12 weeks of technical training at Centennial College’s Ashtonbee Campus; 12 weeks of paid work placement at a local collision centre; a free toolkit/course material and more. The organization will host one-hour informational sessions every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m., beginning March 22 through April 7. Eligibility requirements for the program state students must be between the ages of 18 years to 30 years; legally entitled to work in Canada, with social insurance (SIN) card; obtained OSSD (Grade 12 diploma) or equivalent and able to commit to 30 weeks of training. For more information on Tropicana’s Auto Body Pre-Apprentice L-1 program, call (437) 918-9249 or email SDualeh@tropicanaemployment.ca.

Tropicana’s 2021 class learns glue pulling techniques from Stu Klein, the technical trainer for Fix Network, which also serves as a partner in Tropicana’s learning program.

DEALING WITH DEFECTS

Do you have burning questions about some of the nitty-gritty details of automotive refinishing? Automotive coatings developer Axalta is aiming to provide some answers, as part of the company’s “Global Paint Defects Series” on Youtube. Axalta’s ongoing online series tackles some of the most common challenges faced by automotive refinishers at work, including solvent popping, peroxide bleeding, water spotting and poor opacity. The video series, though hosted via Axalta’s Australia and New Zealand channel, features product specialists from across the company’s various markets, including Europe, the U.S. and Asia. “This series of videos support refinishers not only to excel at the paint repair process, but also to add value for their customers around the world every single time. What’s more, the videos are accessible to everyone, so we are pleased to offer our wealth of coatings experience to everyone, Axalta customer or not.” The six-part series is available on the Axalta Coating Systems–Australia & New Zealand YouTube channel.

AN OCCASION FOR CALIBRATION

Mitchell Diagnostics passed a significant milestone in mid-March, announcing that the company’s platform has been used to perform more than 30,000 dynamic and static calibrations. The announcement comes little over a year after the introduction of the MD-TS21 ADAS target calibration system, and according to the company’s press release, “demonstrates how advancements in vehicle technology are driving repairers to bring calibration work in- house using Mitchell’s patented diagnostic solutions.” When combined with the Mitchell MD-500 scan tool, a repairer will be able to complete static calibrations on hundreds of ADAS-equipped vehicles.

“This latest milestone reinforces our position as a leader in collision repair diagnostics and demonstrates how we’re helping customers return drivers to the road, both safely and efficiently,” said Mitchell Diagnostics Senior VP of Sales, Jack Rozint.

HOME-GROWN MICROCHIPS

In the effort of getting ahead of future supply chain disruptions, the federal government has announced a $240 million investment into the nation’s semiconductor industry. Minister of innovation, science and industry François–Philippe Champagne said on Monday that $150 million in funding is headed for the Semiconductor Challenge Callout fund to develop and supply semiconductors, while $90 million has been allocated to the National Research Council of Canada’s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre. “By investing in Canada’s semiconductor industry, we are making a firm commitment to businesses looking to invest in Canada,” said Champagne. “Whether it’s high-value or large-scale manufacturing, we want to see Canada be home to the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers.”

BURST BUBBLES

Some American drivers are fed up with defective paint on their Chevrolet and GMC vehicles, launching a class-action lawsuit against General Motors. Currently before U.S. district court in Florida’s middle district, the suit represents drivers from Florida and Tennessee, who allege their vehicle’s paint “delaminates, bubbles, flakes, erodes and blisters” at an unreasonable rate. The suit identifies 2015 through 2019 Chevrolet Silverados, Suburbans and Tahoes; and GMC Yukons, Yukon XLs, and Sierras as being affected by the defective paint. The owner of a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe included a personal account in the lawsuit, speaking to the difficult financial position this defect puts drivers in. “The coups de gras, which was the final straw, is when the topcoat on the hood and top of the Tahoe started to fade/grey and crack on the black undercoat. To fix the topcoat, the dealership wanted $2,300; of which they were going to pick up 10 percent of after my pushing for warranty. The Tahoe is three years old. The paint should last well into a decade, and I kept the car washed weekly and detailed every six months.” The suit also claims that GM further duped its customers by failing to “provide truthful information about the defects of the paint.”

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