CEI Appraisers Learn Repair Techniques on New All-Aluminum Ford F-150

Fif­teen mem­bers of the in-house Qual­i­ty Con­trol team from the CEI Group, Inc. (CEI) have com­plet­ed I-CAR’s course in col­li­sion repairs on the new 2015 Ford F-150 pick­up truck, which makes the most exten­sive use of alu­minum of any light-duty vehi­cle on the road, CEI announced today.

“Auto man­u­fac­tur­ers are start­ing to use more alu­minum because of its strength, lighter weight and greater cor­ro­sion resis­tance, but it requires a range of com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent repair tech­niques than steel,” said Greg Neu­man, CEI’s senior man­ag­er of qual­i­ty con­trol. For exam­ple, he said, dif­fer­ent weld­ing tools and pro­ce­dures are required, and repairs must be made in a total­ly sep­a­rate and con­tained area of a repair shop to keep the met­al free from any con­tact with steel, which caus­es alu­minum to cor­rode.

The Ford F-150 – one of the most pop­u­lar fleet vehi­cles – is the first Amer­i­can-made vehi­cle to use alu­minum for all of its body pan­els and most of its inter­nal struc­tur­al parts. “What’s hap­pen­ing with the F-150 is a har­bin­ger of things to come in fleet, ” said Wayne Smol­da, CEI’s CEO and pres­i­dent. “Every fleet and its busi­ness part­ners need to be pre­pared to deal cor­rect­ly with the chal­lenges of alu­minum col­li­sion repairs, and I-CAR’s course is a great way to do it.”

The day-long course was con­duct­ed at CEI’s head­quar­ters and con­clud­ed with an exam­i­na­tion. “The course was very com­pre­hen­sive and thor­ough, and the test was rig­or­ous,” Mr. Neu­man said. “We’ve encoun­tered alu­minum mate­r­i­al in some body parts for years, but the Ford F-150 presents a whole new chal­lenge for the col­li­sion repair indus­try at large.”

CEI pro­vides fleet acci­dent man­age­ment ser­vices as well as fleet dri­ver safe­ty and risk man­age­ment ser­vices. Mr. Neuman’s qual­i­ty con­trol depart­ment audits every repair esti­mate it receives from its net­work of auto body shops for accu­ra­cy, safe­ty and cost sav­ings.

I-CAR, the Indus­try Con­fer­ence on Auto Col­li­sion Repair, is an inter­na­tion­al not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing the infor­ma­tion, knowl­edge and skills required to per­form com­plete, safe and qual­i­ty reports.

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