Called the PowerTech Recognition System, the program's main purpose is to keep dealer service personnel trained on Volvo engine technology and the integrated electronics. "Today's engines are much more complex and interface with many component systems," says Riber Gustafson, manager of parts and service education for Volvo.
For instance, Volvo recently announced its new VE D12C engine, which has fully integrated electronic architecture. This lets data flow between all on-board control units through the SAE J-1939 and J-1587 datalinks, including the engine, vehicle, antilock braking system, airbag, transmission and instrumentation.
The PowerTech Recognition System uses a training concept similar to the testing administered by the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (known commonly as ASE). To sign up, participants complete a personal profile survey and a knowledge assessment test. Depending on the test results, each participant is placed in one of three categories: certified, skilled, or master. A new test is administered every two months, and is based on training materials and other product and service information sent out during the 60-day period before the test.
Although the program is voluntary, Volvo anticipates that most of the 2,000 service technicians in its network will participate. An incentive program with MasterCard lets participants earn cash awards based on their test scores.