Automotive Software Workshop essay
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Mo2Fix service center is a one stop for all warranty of fitness services for cars and other types of vehicles. It is a leading warranty of service center in Auckland. High qualified employees at MO2FIX in Auckland guarantee high quality services that exceed customers’ expectations. The company applies an approach dubbed “total service" to imply that the vehicle will be in the best condition by the time it leaves the workshop (Broy, 2008). After a vehicle is serviced, a warranty of fitness sticker is given to certify that it is in the best state. This sticker is expected to be to be retained by the owner of the vehicle by attaching it on the top right corner of the windscreen. It should remain there until the next time that the car is serviced. Absence of the sticker on the windscreen of the vehicle translates to a corresponding amount of fine to the owner of the vehicle.
Technical and non-technical issues
As automobile parts and systems become more elaborate, service technicians for automotives are expected to continually adapt to the changes in this industry. Formal training that are provided to the technicians offers a good platform for handling challenges experienced at the workplace. In addition, automotive service technicians with good problem solving skills and other related knowledge should be exposed to variety of opportunities where they can develop their careers.
The major role of automotive technicians is to inspect and repair vehicles that run out of their basic components. The increase in complexity of technician’s role has transformed them from handling simple mechanical repairs to work that incorporates high level technology (Broy, 2008). Transformation in handling of responsibilities at the workshop has made them to be called technicians rather than mechanics as it was the case earlier on.
At the moment, electronic systems have been incorporated into the automobile industry such that elaborates computer systems manages vehicle performance while on the move. In addition, luxurious vehicles have other integrated systems such tracking systems, full stereo and entertainment systems as well as internet access features. This call for technicians to be remains abreast with the emergent demands in their industry. As a result, they are required to be conversant with latest technologies integrated in the automotives (Bhattacharya, & Kisa%u010Danin, 2009). They should be able to work with the electronic tools of work and other reference materials.
In case a problem arises, technicians first get the details of the problem from the car owner, or the repair service estimator. After this, they employ various diagnostic approaches to establish other important information concerning the problem. Diagnosis of the problem also helps to check whether other components are in good condition (C, Bhattacharya, & Kisa%u010Danin, 2009). After locating the problem, technicians usually separate systems that might have instigated the problem. They also employ other diagnostic equipments for investigation on the vehicle. Importance of a diagnostic test is to certify whether a given component can be recovered or a new one is needed altogether.
During every vehicle inspection, engines and other crucial parts are lubricated. Inspection allows for removal of worn out components before they can cause more harm to the vehicle. Technicians also use a checklist to make sure that every critical part is examined. Other niggling parts such as belts, brakes, fuel systems among others are also examined.
Some of the common tools used at a workshop by technicians include, pliers, screwdrivers, jacks and hoists among other common hand tools. Besides, other tools for fixing computer related operations in the vehicle are also required (Broy, 2008). In case of failure in the computer controlled components such as the braking system and steering systems among other systems, computer software is needed.
Automotive technicians normally specialize in particular types of repairs. This can limit them on extensive knowledge on emergent technologies as well as the capability to diagnose diverse automotive problems. However, if they specialize on intensive knowledge regarding their line of specialization, the overall output will be effective. For instance, transmission technicians focus on gear, hydraulics and other transmission parts of a vehicle (C, Bhattacharya, & Kisa%u010Danin, 2009). On the other hand, tune-up technicians are concerned with adjustment of engine parts such as the ignition to ensure effective performance of the engine. Therefore, extensive as well as intensive knowledge on respective fields will ensure that the concerned technicians are competitive in their line of duty.
Relevance of related regulation on motor vehicle importation
The government of New Zealand permits the importation of used vehicles in accordance with the regulations that have been outlined to govern these procedures. Therefore, before a vehicle is imported into the country, it should adhere to all the requirements set. Additionally, acceptable proof of ownership of the vehicle should be available as well as conformity to the required standards (Carlton & Ruiz, 2003). All the requirements the requirements are examined during the entry certification process which is manned by the New Zealand Transport Agency. Various control measures are employed before importation of vehicles is certified. For instance, vehicles that will be used on public roads are expected to adhere to the Land Transport rules. However, vehicles can also be imported for use on private roads. They can also be imported to be dissembled into constituent components. Therefore, although the customs service in New Zealand does not prevent entry of vehicles into the country, it does not guarantee their registration for use on public roads (Carlton & Ruiz, 2003). This is important to importers of vehicles since every vehicle receives similar entry certification no matter its intended use.
There are three government departments that are involved in importation processes. New Zealand Transport Agency is one of the departments, which implements vehicle legislations on entry certification procedures. In addition, New Zealand Customs Service is concerned with import duty. Lastly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for bio-security measures. It also checks for water damage and other structural harms along the border lines.
Automotive Workshop Planning
Planning of a layout is important because the organization will stay with it for a long time and rectifying of the mistake in the actual layout could be costly. The mistakes should thus be rectified on the paper before the actual movement of equipments starts (Tompkins, 2006). Some of the factors to consider during planning include size of the station, type of work that outweighs in its function, material, equipments and manpower requirements. Planning must also consider the relationship between departments, those that are closely related being set up closely together. Proper planning eases personnel movement, reduces material handling cost, improves communication within functional areas, improve safety to all employees and utilize space and manpower effectively. In addition, it maintains flexibility for easy rearrangements and operations.When planning for a successful automotive business, other additional factors need to be considered. This entails focusing on all the activities that will be carried out in the workshop. This is important because it ensures that all the potential risks are earlier defined and special measures to combat with them already labeled (Carrie & Bititci, 1996). Another planning strategy is ensuring that all the departments that will be working within the workshop are identified and the relationship between them is clearly outlined. There are many reasons as to why this is important but the major one is the verity that all areas are taken care of without underestimating some projects as well as not spending excessive time and resources on some projects and allocating less on others.
After the departments have been defined, a clear outline of responsibilities and authorities are set to all the departments. It is at this critical stage that staffing is done to ensure that the various departments are under control of competent personnel, something that propels the workshop towards success. Each position should be held by a responsible person who is competent and equipped with all the necessary skills (Carrie & Bititci, 1996). To ensure that all the departments work effectively with each other, proper communication between the departments and the different levels of management should be enhanced. This ensures that all the progress and potential difficulties in a project is relayed as soon as it is detected hence reducing chances of inefficiency.
Health and safety issues in a workshop
Before automotive technicians in a workshop, they should be conversant with basic health and safety rules. A good understanding of these rules allows them to maintain safety precautions even for other people in the vicinity, as well as the available resources. Every technician should adhere to the set of rules and regulations concerning health and safety at the workshop. The Motor Trade Association in New Zealand ensures that every member of the association is kept posted with latest information and other variations in the automotive industry (Tompkins, 2006). It also ensures that health and safety measures are observed at every workshop. MO2FIX service center ensures observance of these rules as it is well illustrated in the health and safety checklist. This document ascertains that all the requirements pertaining safety in the workshop are observed by marking alongside every safety item in the list.
According to the Motor Trade Association, workshops are expected to comply with the requirements that will guarantee high degree of safety at the workshop. However, a visit to the MO2FIX workshop revealed a number of loopholes in adherence to these requirements. Information that was collected from the site showed extensive health risks and hazards at the workshop. First, the hydraulic piston was not well fastened and installed on the ground (Cochran, 2003). This means that the apparatus can easily snap incase exceedingly high pressure is applied to it and might consequently result to lots of harm to those people in use of it.
Additionally, different substances of varying chemical composition had been mixed up. This is a very risky attempt due to the fact that some of the materials are highly flammable in addition to being corrosive. Therefore, in order to minimize such risks, every substance should be placed in its own designated place and be well labeled to avoid mix-up. Containers that are half-full should not also be left open but instead, they should be well covered to avoid contamination or spilling over and other possible hazards. Electrical cables should also be well insulated with no exposed wires. Incidences that might cause fire at the site should be minimized as much as possible owing to the fact that the workshop contains highly flammable materials.
At the same time other flammable material should be stored safely. Collected data from the site revealed that a flammable material such as saw dust was left in a very unsafe condition. Besides, worn out tyres were disposed outside the workshop. These are very risky attempts especially in case fire outbreak occurs (Rahim, 2010). The tyres and saw dust are highly flammable materials when in an open area. The workshop should instead find a better way of disposing worn out tyres such as through recycling them. Drastic measures need to be taken by the management of MO2FIX service center since the health hazards at the workshop are not only dangerous to the technicians but to the surrounding and any other person who visits the site.
Proper management within the workshop is important because it ensures that the entire working team is guided towards the realization of preset goals. Managers have the responsibility of guiding the people towards the achievement of goals through proper allocation of resources, responsibilities as well as overseeing the progress of the various projects (Yang, Mecella, & Ardagna, 2009). The managers also strive to support individual activities that will lead to the success of the project and discourage those that will hinder the achievement of the preset objectives. It is for this reason that all the top positions within the workshop should be preserved for highly skilled people who are capable of motivating the other employees as well as providing quality control.
Other areas that the workshop managers are entrusted with is, ensuring that all the employees are working in harmony. As such, assessing their relationship with each other is of paramount importance. All the complaints by the workers should be considered and proper adjustments made ensuring that they are working in better terms failure to which might lead to strikes and demonstrations. The managers are also expected to take control of all the equipments supplied within the workshop ensuring that they are well distributed in various sectors equitably (Steens & Roozen, 2006). They should also ascertain that the tools and equipments are used in the right manner preventing breakages and improper usage. Since sometimes there could be hired equipments, it is important to ensure that proper maintenance practices are embraced to keep them operational for long and avoid replacements which increase the production costs.
Another important area that managers are expected to take control over is ensuring that there is proper documentation of all the activities taking place. Some of the crucial information to be documented is the budgets, annual expenditure, recruitment of new workers and the general progress of the workshop. Management should also be focused on the health and safety performance of the workshop. Health of the employees is important in determining their labor output. Healthy people are more productive that ailing people and thus, special working conditions should be provided to make the environment less hazardous (Tompkins, 2006).
Finally, the management should also encourage sustainable development by ensuring that the environment is not polluted. All the projects launched should be environmental friendly especially at such a time when matters pertaining to global warming have become so alarming. Environment preservation does not benefit the present generations but it also ensures that the future generations will have a safe environment to live on (Markandya & Barbier, 1990).
Equipments and Quality control
Various equipments are used at MO2FIX service center such as power tools, machine tools, hoisting tools and hand tools among others. Besides, there are other safety tools such as first aid kit, aprons and fire extinguishers. A checklist is available to help confirm the presence of all these equipments (Yang, Mecella, & Ardagna, 2009). The tools are categorized into three major categories, those that carry out servicing and mechanical repair such as air compressors, brake test meters, jacks and battery charging plants among others. Moreover, the other category of equipments falls under automotive repairer. It includes tools such as hydrometer, lubricating tools, soldiering equipments, timing light tools and torsion wrenches.
Finally, category on electrical repair tools include the exhaust gas analyzers, oscilloscope, portable inspection lamps, garage jacks, gas plant, electrical test equipment and hydrometers just to mention but a few. There are also other tools for wheel alignment and balancing that should not miss in a workshop. Information from the check list shows that most of the equipments that were unavailable fell under the category of tools for electrical repair. For a MO2FIX workshop to offer satisfactory services to its customers, it should be fully equipped with all necessary tools that will ensure that customer’s needs are met (Rahim, 2010).
Quality control measures at MO2FIX ensures that customers are provided with a full range of automotive services that meets the expectations concerning quality, price and delivery of service. Quality control ensures that the equipment and services that are offered do not pollute the environment. Technicians always ensure that the quality of work is inspected before presenting it to the customer. In addition, quality control helps to check whether equipments delivered for use at the workshop are compliant or not.
Serving the customers to satisfaction ensures that they develop positive attitudes towards the company thus winning their loyalty (Cochran, 2003). To serve the customers to the fullest, normal services are offered to them plus others that are additional. For instance, the customer service room has entertainment facilities such as the newspaper, magazines, internet, coffee and a massage chair, all for free. Additionally, there were free pick-ups and returns and the workshop provided customers with cars in case the maintenance process was to take a longer time. Though these services could be costly, they attract customers and sustain their loyalty.
MO2FIX service center employs members of staff who are competent and trains them to gain proficiency in execution of their duties. They are trained in safety management procedures and therefore they can handle safety precautions in a professional way. Induction training on safety management prepares them for response mechanism against fire outbreak, or spillage of petroleum products. They are also trained on customer service so that they can know how to handle their customers professionally (Rahim, 2010). They also provided with protective clothing as well as uniform. They are usually highly motivated with a positive attitude towards execution of their duties.
Waste and recycling
Some of the waste material in a workshop can be recycled and be used again. When the waste material is stored for recycling or disposal, it should be placed in a safe area that does not pollute the environment. The waste can be stored in an enclosed place so that even in case of rain, it will not be carried away as surface runoff (Markandya & Barbier, 1990). This can turn out to be disastrous to the environment especially if it ends up in water reserves and other natural habitations.
Some of the chemicals from the waste are reactive when in contact with water, and therefore, they pose safety hazards. Additionally, unregulated mixture of waste substances can react to form more dangerous concoctions posing health threats incase they mix with water ways. Another importance of storing waste materials in an enclosed area is to prevent the effect of wind on these materials (Markandya & Barbier, 1990). Some of the wastes materials produce poisonous fumes that can be harmful to human health if inhaled.
The wind can also scatter litter and other loose substances constituting the waste materials thereby polluting the environment. Environmental laws are legislations comprising of international, regional, national and local directives, treaties, policies and regulations that collectively aim at protecting the environment (Markandya & Barbier, 1990). The government of New Zealand through its respective agencies has the responsibility of enforcing laws that safeguard on the natural environment. Every institution is expected to comply with the environmental laws as an affirmation to their support in protecting the environment. Therefore, MO2FIX service center is also included in the process of ensuring safety of the natural resources.
The study has explored in detail most of the technical and non-technical issues that face technicians while giving their vehicle repair and maintenance services in a workshop. It has been established that MO2FIX service center is well equipped with most of the equipments needed in an automotive workshop. However, there various limitations that needs to be addressed by the management at MO2FIX service center. They include health and safety related issues so as to minimize possible risks at the workshop. Provision of training to staff members on a range of topics is a commendable step towards improving effectiveness and overall performance. More emphasis needs to put on ways of minimizing risks and other hazards within the site. Adherence to safety and quality control measures will ensure that the environment is taken care of in lie with attainment of company goals.