By Tamara Hannon, Marketing Executive, Europe & Africa, Belzona
Since its inception in 1952, part of Belzona’s commitment to improving the application standards of materials has been to offer thorough training programmes, providing applicators with the chance to learn the theoretical and practical knowledge required to achieve effective and consistent applications of Belzona products.
Over the last ten years, Belzona has made significant investment in training, offering a range of courses through its state-of-the-art facilities including:
- Initial Training Seminar
- Machinery and Equipment Awareness Course
- Chocking and Shimming Applicator Training Course
- Belzona SuperWrap II Course
- Buildings and Structures Awareness Training
- Hand Applied Coatings and Spray Training
Each course is delivered to the highest calibre and has been developed following internationally recognised engineering standards. Correct application is key to reliable product performance; each course is designed to ensure that the risks of an application failure, due to incorrect application practices, are reduced to an absolute minimum. Not only do courses allow applicators to enhance their application skills, but they also provide the technical and practical knowledge required to adapt to the ever-changing demands of an evolving marketplace.
In addition to standard training courses, Belzona offers tailored training on request. Clients can discuss a wide range of detailed application or industry focused modules ranging from leading edge repair and protection in the Wind Industry to vessel linings in the Oil & Gas Industry and tank base sealing for storage tanks. Details of all Belzona’s bespoke training courses can be found here.
One of Belzona’s popular training courses is to support our engineered solution Belzona SuperWrap II. Belzona SuperWrap II is an enhanced resin and a unique blend of fibrous reinforcement that allows the system to be easier to apply and perform even better in service than its predecessor, the original SuperWrap. It is perfectly suited for safety critical and pressurised systems repairs with a design life between two and 20 years and a service temperature up to 150°C (302°F).
In the late 2010’s, Belzona launched Belzona Superwrap II Training Centres in certain countries around Europe and Africa to offer more flexibility for training. Belzona runs and manages a Belzona SuperWrap II Train the Trainer programme through its Distributor support network that currently consists of eighteen trainers associated to their own training centres. These are strategically placed around the globe to provide both accessibility and multilingual training.
As Belzona sees these training centres as an extension of Belzona Corporate, bi-annual audits take place to uphold these standards where both trainers and facilities are audited. This ensures the highest level of trainer competence and the most up to date information from the Company, as well as international standards, is applied consistently across all of Belzona’s training centres.
A Belzona SuperWrap II Trainer Committee was formed in Europe and Africa to maintain consistent standards, allowing easier communication between the trainers and Belzona while using its trainers’ experience to improve both theory presentations and practical applications. The Committee can also help when opening future training centres.
In reaction to the pandemic, Belzona looked at improving efficiency by changing these processes into electronic forms, exams and the offering of both webinars and online bespoke training for Distributors and Customers.
As Belzona SuperWrap II is currently the only training that is certified, this was at the forefront of initial developments:
- All application forms and exams have been made electronic and are available online through training centres managed by Belzona. These contain up to date information while also removing the inconvenience of uploading documents and the risk of misplacing them. Online feedback forms also provide Belzona with valuable opinions for the improvement of future courses.
- New applications provide more realism to the repairs completed in the field and a new purpose-built pressure testing rig to improve efficiency and user safety when performing the testing element of the training.
- Every year trained installers and supervisors must complete ten repairs in the field to auto-renew their certification. Attendees are expected to manage their certification, but Belzona now sends out a 60-day reminder of expiry to prompt them to make any of the following arrangements to remain certified:
- Upload at least ten repairs electronically for review.
- Arrange for a remote test pipe to be sent to their facility and return for testing.
- Attend another scheduled training course.
New Training Centre
To expand our network of Belzona SuperWrap II Training Centres, Belzona is pleased to announce that it has now opened a centre at its South African Distributorship’s facility, AESSEAL pty. This is the first training centre to be opened on the African continent. The facility is in Secunda, which is about 80 miles (130 km) east of Johannesburg, located near an oil refinery.
So why is Belzona opening a training centre in South Africa?
Research from Belzona’s Business Development and Technical departments identified that the region had great potential, based on accessibility for other African countries and the good reputation of the Distributor.
Recently, one of Belzona’s Business Development Engineers, Adam Wood, journeyed to South Africa to train the nominated trainer; a key step in setting up a Belzona SuperWrap II Training Centre. This was completed over two weeks by first presenting the Installer and Supervisor Course to AESSEAL‘s nominated trainer, Andre Bekker, himself a member of Belzona’s Technical Support Team, before auditing his delivery of the course to their own applicators.
This was accompanied by a thorough review of the centre’s equipment, facilities, and processes. From the successful completion of this audit, Belzona is pleased to announce that it now has a dedicated training centre on the continent. The roll-out of the digital test format to this training centre means that records are stored on Belzona’s central system, allowing close control of certified installer and supervisor records and automation of renewal reminders and access to validation expiry dates.
“My time spent out in South Africa facilitating the set-up of the Belzona SuperWrap II Training Centre will allow for installers and supervisors to be trained on a local basis, allowing our ISO 24817 and AMSE PCC-2 compliant solution to be pushed further in this region.”
To summarise, it is clear to see that Belzona is in a continuing process to invest in its facilities, so that it can continue to provide high-quality training across the globe. This is a key part of the Company’s growth, which would not be possible without its global Distributor network.
Content Creator, Belzona Polymerics Limited