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WelTec opens high tech Autotronics Lab

May 2008

WelTec opens high tech Autotronics Lab

Janet Lane, Joe McAndrew and Linda Sissons

On Thursday 8 May, Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) officially opened the first Autotronics Lab in the country. ‘Smokin'Joe McAndrew, one of New Zealand’s most successful rally drivers, with a record three national championship titles, World TWE Marathon win and over 25 national titles was invited to do the honours in opening the new state-of-the-art facility.

“This is a very exciting opportunity. It’s great to see this kind of facility in New Zealand - it is a positive step forward for the industry and it will be good to see young kiwis and the rally team members of the future use this type of technology” says Joe.

The Autotronics Lab, with its fault simulation capabilities is one of a number similar installations world-wide but to date it is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. The facility has been purchased and installed by Degem (a specialist company from Israel) to provide a highly sophisticated approach to automotive diagnostics.

WelTec CEO, Linda Sissons was thrilled to see the lab installed. “The automotive industry has experienced serious skill shortages over the past decade in a number of automotive trades. With funding from the government, WelTec has been able to make an investment in trade and technology facilities to address the critical skill shortages in this area. The new cutting edge lab is just one of these new investments now set up and ready for student and industry use.

“The new Autotronics Lab, with a smart mix of computers, demonstrators and simulation panels, provides students with the advanced technical knowledge and experience needed to equip them for careers in today’s automotive industry. I am delighted to see the lab now set up and ready for student and industry use.”

New training facilities such as the Autotronics Lab are becoming increasingly important as manufacturers install more electrical components in new vehicles to gain competitive advantage, increase safety and efficiency, and in some instances to make more environmentally friendly cars such as hybrids. The amount of electronic and electrical systems including onboard computers and GPS mapping systems is likely to continue to increase over time as vehicles have become more complex and the demand for skilled technicians increases.

The Autotronics Lab will be available for both student and industry use. Industry representatives at the opening were invited to try out the computer software and were suitably impressed. Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO) CEO, Janet Lane, said “WelTec have made a significant investment in securing state-of-the-art technology. Degem’s entry into New Zealand is unprecedented. This is a brave and bold move which clearly characterises WelTec as an enterprising and innovative training provider”.

For more information about the Autotronics Lab contact 0800 WelTec (0800 935 832) or visit


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