The ACR Journal team went to visit the new venue in Brooklands, Surrey and interviewed their Technical Manager, Mark Richardson about their courses.
The impressive new offices, right next to the historic motor racing circuit near Weybridge in Surrey, house an equally impressive new training academy that was opened on the day by LG’s UK President Mr Ki Kwon.
The centre includes areas for trainees to get ‘hands on’ with all the LG products – air conditioning, heating and the user interfaces that set LG equipment apart from its competitors.
“We’ve trained more than 3,000 people in the past seven years and in the past four years we’ve seen the number coming through our training courses almost quadruple. This says a huge amount about where our priorities lie.
“We provide exceptional equipment and in order for this to deliver the performance and on-going benefits to the end users who invest in LG quality, it’s vital that the equipment is installed properly and maintained to deliver the highest possible levels of efficiency.
“We want to see an ever expanding number of engineers coming on our courses and we provide this training free of charge. It’s an integral part of what we offer and it’s vital that it’s taken up.”
Visitors to the open day saw the full range of LG equipment as they were shown around the academy – including the Therma V ranges of air to water heat pumps which are taking the sector by storm, the Multi V VRF range of equipment, the engineered solutions on offer from LG and the wide range of user interfaces from simple controls to the most advanced options that can interface with the most complex of building controls systems on commercial properties.
With Mark Richardson
Will asked about Mark’s role and what it involves:
I look after the technical department. I manage our team of field and office engineers. Also, specialist installers and approved installers. I run the 'man management' of the technical department. To make sure we are providing world class customer service.
I do my share of commissioning and work with the sales team visiting consultants too.
With LG’s wide of heating and cooling solutions, it must be quite a challenge to keep the installers up to date with new products, solutions and changes?
The whole point of the academy is to improve the skills of our installers. And to show the structure we have in place to help and support engineers. But, also to show the technological advances of the products and where they have come from.
The VRF Multi IV we now have is a very high-end product which has developed over each version. We want to show installers where it has come from and to help support them going through the stages of the training.
We have dedicated courses to make sure the engineers have the right skills and they are ready to install the equipment in the field.
How experienced do engineers attending your courses need to be?
There is a wide range of skills and experience in the industry from the school leavers and junior engineers to engineers who have been in the industry between five and ten years. They might be installers but, for example, they might not have the skills to full diagnosis, fault finding and commissioning.
What skills are most of your customers asking for?
It's the commissioning of products and the services we offer compared to other manufacturers.
What they use from our services, especially on VRF projects, we have a pre-commissioning inspection. We help them manage all VRF projects. We do the commissioning visits for them, sometimes we charge.
Once they are commissioned, within 30 to 90 days we will do a post-commissioning visit which is free of charge to make sure the system is operating correctly.
However, it’s down to what customers want. We want to support them in any way we can.
How much of your training is theoretical or practical?
For VRF, for example, the first day is very academic, including specification, and learning about the design features. It will help you about learning the system correctly.
The second day covers commissioning in the morning and troubleshooting systems in the afternoon.
Is that data side of your products and services becoming more important?
Yes, this is a big topic.
Our monitoring and diagnostic tool, LG MV, comes in a laptop version which you can plug directly into the VRF unit. And we have WiFi version which works with Android and Apple smartphones.
These help the engineers understand anything which is either refrigerant or electronics based so they can monitor it. The LG MV works with the VRF products and Therma V heat pumps.
What extra can people coming on LG courses benefit from by coming on your courses?
Engineers coming onto our training course will benefit immensely. LG equipment has many features, our controllers are advanced, and engineers can learn our design software tools too. The courses ensure that they are able to troubleshoot quickly, can fault diagnosis and commission, therefore reducing on-site installation time and avoid future call-outs as the LG systems would have installed according to the manufacturer's guidelines.
Additionally LG training is tied up together with our warranty, for example the Therma V air-to-water heat pump system comes with a standard 3 years, however along with training this will be extended to 7 years free of charge warranty. The Multi V also comes with a standard 3 years which will be extended to 5 years with LG training.
Visit the LG Training Academy website