‘Well-trained technicians were never more important’

As the IRTE Skills Challenge takes place and the competitors wait to find out who the winners are, two of the sponsors wish them luck and say why the Challenge is important to them 

A message from Imperial Engineering

OEM parts distributor Imperial Engineering is supporting the 2019 Skills Challenge to help improve the development of technical skills in the coach and bus industry.

With a big focus on air brakes, it is a primary distributor of Knorr-Bremse, Wabco, Haldex and Meritor components.

Other suppliers include TMD/Textar, Bosch, Dana, ZF and fellow Skills Challenge sponsor Ceramex.

Imperial Engineering traces its focus on original equipment parts back to the millennium, as the original London Routemaster buses began to be phased out.

Having previously contracted its engineering services for that fleet, it began to look for new business opportunities, and entered into a distribution agreement with Knorr-Bremse at about the perfect time.

Sales Director John Dwight says: “With subsidies being cut in recent years, bus companies are looking at ways in which they can reduce costs. We feel that they shouldn’t compromise on the quality of parts that they fit.

“We want to support them in bringing the skills of their technicians up, in order to maintain the vehicles correctly and get the most out of the parts that they’re fitting, in terms of service life.”

Since its inception, the Skills Challenge has really brought into focus the importance of having well trained and highly skilled technicians.

With vehicle technologies moving so quickly this has never been more important, so not only does the Skills Challenge promote this idea, it also gives operators and the technicians themselves the chance to measure themselves against the very best in the industry.

Imperial Engineering is very proud to support that.

A message from Ceramex

With its in-depth knowledge of diesel particulate filters and our OEM pedigree in this field, Ceramex is proud to be a sponsor of the prestigious IRTE Skills Challenge.

It’s a busy time for Ceramex, following a £3m expansion of our Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) refurbishment facility in Slough, which involved installing all new equipment (all of its own patented design) and opening a new logistics centre nearby.

Its capacity has increased nearly four times since three years ago; it is now cleaning more than 1,000 DPFs per week. Also, in the last 18 months it has more than doubled the workforce to over 40 employees.

So it gives Ceramex great pleasure to support a strong competition like this that tests the best apprentices and qualified engineers.

The coach and bus industry is an important part of the Ceramex business. As we all know, the technology in the vehicle industry is becoming more complex, and the need to have varying skill sets is becoming more apparent.

With the need to keep improving with the technology to become more efficient, this competition reinforces the troubleshooting and maintenance management skills that are needed.

Working alongside like-minded people, facing the different challenges, and learning new skills will improve the knowledge of these competitors.

Ceramex wishes them all the best of luck and ask them all to try to enjoy this great experience. It will be keen to meet the winners at the award ceremony later in the summer.