Austin Hayes partners with Metallisation to advance the skill sets of its employees

At Austin Hayes, we take pride in the technical expertise of our staff. From the management team to the workers on the shop floor, we understand that continued investment in our employees benefits not only the company, but each individual as a whole.

In keeping with this spirit of self-improvement, we partnered with Metallisation, one of the leading manufacturers of Thermal Arc Spray equipment, to expand the skill set of our coating operatives. The training was led by the charismatic and knowledgeable Phil Williamson, Senior Technical Service Engineer at Metallisation, and consisted of a full day’s worth of classroom and ‘on the job’ training. This was attended by a select team of highly capable operatives along with their supervisor, and our company director.

Arc spraying, explained

The workshop that Phil Williamson conducted, Arcspray 140/S350CL, was created to teach teams how to apply metal coatings to different objects and surfaces in a secure, efficient and practical manner using the arc spraying technique.

Put simply, arc spraying refers to a special type of coating procedure, in which electricity is used to melt the tips of two wires together. Afterwards, a jet of gas atomises this molten metal and projects (AKA, coats) these particles onto a prepared substrate (the surface that needs to be coated).

Training day

We went into this workshop with a few goals in mind. Firstly, we wanted our specialists to learn how to use the Thermal Arc Spray equipment in as risk-free a manner as possible. Phil Williamson, therefore, took special care to show our team how to use the equipment safely – which included a practical demonstration on how to conduct daily equipment maintenance checks along with how to figure out the correct amount of PPE for specific tasks and more.

Secondly, we wanted our team to become as effective in the art of metal spraying as possible, so that our customers could expect exemplary results from their projects with us. This involved a practical and highly-skilled workshop that taught all attendees how to apply a thermally-sprayed coating (of temperatures of up to 4000°C) to various substrates – a challenge that we’re pleased to say our team excelled in.

Phil Williamson oversees a member of the Austin Hayes team.

This exercise was particularly rigorous, as not only did our team have to learn how to spray the coating itself, they also had to check that the coatings had properly bonded to the substrate they’d been sprayed onto, along with ensuring that it had been applied correctly for a sleek and even finish.

Last – but certainly not least – we hoped that by teaching our employees these new skills, we’d support one of Austin Hayes’ biggest priorities: sustainability. We were pleased to see how seamlessly the workshop coincided with this particular goal, as by teaching our employees how to operate the Thermal Arc Spray equipment as efficiently as possible across the full spectrum of different coatings, we saw that we, as a company, could conserve energy and reduce the amount of waste we produce.

Moving forward together

Thanks to the successful training by Metallisation, Austin Hayes can now deliver thermally-applied coatings consistently, efficiently and safely. This invaluable knowledge adds more skilled operators to our existing team of experienced ISO 14918 qualified applicators, and we plan to strengthen the abilities of our staff in the future via further training.

Continued development and investment is crucial to ensure that Austin Hayes stays at the forefront of the industry, and that our most valuable asset – our incredible team – help us to consistently exceed customer and personal expectations. We’re excited to offer our team more opportunities to learn, and our recent work with Metallisation is just another example of our dedication to internal and external training, such as SSPC’s ‘Train the Painter’ scheme.

Safety, sustainability and sensible work practices are fundamental to the way we operate at Austin Hayes, and we’re delighted that Metallisation were able to share their expertise and technical insight to help us achieve these goals.

Joel using his newly acquired skills to apply an anti-corrosive zinc coating to a complex fabrication that is unsuitable for galvanising.

Main image features (from left to right) Sam Preston, Ricky Terpaj, Joel Moore and their Supervisor, Jamie Wood.