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Mirka’s Ross Hanna discusses evolving automotive sector

Mirka UK’s business development manager Ross Hanna understands that the automotive sector is constantly evolving. He sat down with Bodyshop.ie to discuss several trends he is seeing within the marketplace.

“The first trend is dust-extraction and the provision of a dust-free work environment,” Hanna said. “This is because laboratory tests have shown that without dust extraction, dust in the air per kilogram of sanded material is over 200 grams per kilogram, and dust on surrounding surfaces is almost 800 grams per kilogram.

Ross Hanna

“These may not seem like large quantities but when they accumulate over a long period, it could potentially turn into both a fire and health hazard for the business.

“To combat this, we are seeing businesses understand that even though dust particles are microscopic they are a hazard for the technicians. This leads them down the path of having a dust-free work environment that will have several benefits.

“The first is it enhances the overall work experience. The second is it helps protect the health of the workforce and the third benefit is it helps create a more efficient workspace, while also protecting the work on the floor from being compromised by the dust.

“The second trend we are seeing is businesses looking to up-skill their workforce through training to try and deal with the skills gap within the industry, which is caused by an ageing workforce.”

Hanna continued: “At Mirka, our training programme is customisable, which enables businesses to focus on specific areas that are relevant to them and the jobs that come through their doors on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the training is there to help up-skill employees who might have just joined the business to ensure they have the requisite knowledge required on specific products they will be using.

“The third trend we are seeing is businesses looking to streamline their core product list. The reason they are doing this is because they do not want carry product lines that are not required for the sanding processes or are only required for speciality jobs.

“As a business, we know that the industry will continue to evolve and the way we stay ahead of the curve is through constant communication with our customer base to ensure they have access to the right products for the job at hand as well as those jobs that are coming down the line.”