Skills for life at MechTronic

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At MechTronic we have a proud history of working with apprentices and in August last year we welcomed two more apprentices to the team.  

Since then, Alfie Lightowler, Technician Apprentice has been working on a training and demonstration OptiMate unit. This is a fully functioning replica 5-pot manifold. Every element that is on a truck is replicated within the unit, including an OptiMate electronic metering system, vapour recovery adaptor, anti-move, EB80 pneumatic control module, foot valves, vent valves and overfill prevention probes. 

Alfie was involved in fitting this unit together and ensuring that all the electronics were wired up correctly. Alfie said: “This was a really interesting project to be involved in, it took about a week to build but in doing so, I was able to gain a real understanding of how everything works, how it pumps, how the EB80 sends signals and how it all performs.” 

Apprentice Alfie Lightowler

Ryan Parr, Engineering and Development Manager said: “The work that Alfie has done is fantastic and has been an insightful project for him to work on. For the wider team, the OptiMate unit is a great tool, within the engineering and service team we can replicate customer issues and identify how to fix them before our engineers have arrived on site, which means that the vehicle is back on the road quicker. We can try out new firmware and ensure that updates run smoothly, we can also use this unit as a training resource for our team and as a wider demonstration system for customers who visit us in Leeds.” 

What next for Alfie? 

Ryan said: “Alife is due to start a CAD design course with Solid Works, which will further develop his 3D design knowledge and experience. One element of this training will involve a 3D manifold, using the design tools he will be able to pull sections apart within the manifold, draw new elements and see how this impacts the design and functionality – a useful skill to develop for any engineer.”