Metropolia’s vehicle engineering students explore automotive painting

Vantaa Vocational school Varia introduced Metropolia’s vehicle engineering students to the complexity of collision repair and automotive painting. Amoy’s new training facilities enable collaboration between educational institutions and create a bridge to the business world.


The longstanding educational partnership between Varia and Metropolia has been transferred to Amoy’s new innovation center, where training is conducted with the latest equipment and products. Both companies and Varia Vocational School in Vantaa utilize the space for their training needs.

This week, Heikki Kutja, the teacher from Varia’s automotive painting line, familiarized Metropolia University of Applied Sciences students with the basics of collision repair and automotive painting. Amoy’s Chief Operating Officer, Lauri Toivonen, praised the successful afternoon:

When we established the Amoy Training Hub, the whole idea was to increase knowledge sharing in the field, develop the industry together with various stakeholders, and ensure that the level of education meets the needs of the working life. Collaboration between educational institutions and involvement of companies in students’ everyday lives ensures that the goal has been achieved.

Varia’s automotive painting line teacher, Heikki Kutja (left), Metropolia’s future vehicle engineering engineers, and Amoy’s COO, Lauri Toivonen.

Understanding automotive painting for future vehicle engineers

At the beginning of the event, the collision repair chain InCar introduced its operations to the future vehicle engineering professionals, who are in high demand. There is a significant shortage of supervisors, especially in body shops, and it’s crucial for them to understand how automotive painting fits into the bigger picture.

InCar’s Mika Oinonen and Juha Lehtonen introduce the company’s operations to Metropolia students.

Varia’s Heikki Kutja started his presentation with paint specifications created with CABAS, which often kick off an automotive painter’s workday. An experienced painter can interpret the specifications made by a supervisor, which outline the necessary actions and allocated time.

From the painter’s perspective, it’s essential that the supervisor has allocated enough time for the task and understands what the procedures entail. Next, Kutja introduced the students to the use of a spectrophotometer, a colorimeter used to determine the exact color shade needed for a car’s finish.

Kutja explained that the painting technique depends on the paint and the manufacturer’s preference. The highly regarded BASF, valued by Amoy, is the only paint manufacturer that can provide paints for both single-coat application and for painting with intermediate drying. BASF’s R-M products are excellent for both professional use and educational purposes.

Varia’s Heikki Kutja demonstrates how to determine the correct paint shade using a spectrometer.

Practical experience as a welcome change from theory

Twenty Metropolia University of Applied Sciences students from the vehicle engineering program participated in Varia’s training, which includes studies in vehicle engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Students choose a specialization: design, aftermarket, or electrical. A typical career path from aftermarket could lead to becoming a supervisor in a body shop, where understanding automotive painting is crucial. Now, future vehicle engineers are getting a taste of it during their studies.

Metropolia student Mikko Haapakoski chose vehicle engineering with a focus on the aftermarket because he has always been interested in vehicles and cranes. The afternoon at Amoy Training Hub with automotive painting has been a pleasant break from traditional studies:

The training has been comprehensive and enjoyable; it has also opened my eyes to how time-consuming the multi-stage automotive painting process can be. Otherwise, my studies have been focused on books for the past one and a half years, so hands-on work is a positive change.

Juho Heinonen has spent time in the garage with his father since he was a child and has been involved with motorcycles a lot. Vehicle engineering and aftermarket felt like a natural educational choice for him, offering a wide range of career options.

Entrepreneurship and business development interest me the most. I could imagine running a spare parts business in the future. Varia’s training here in Amoy’s neat and organized facilities has been very interesting. If aftermarket is related to repair operations, and we end up becoming supervisors, we need to be able to estimate, for example, the time needed for automotive painting.

Metropolia students Mikko Haapakoski and Juho Heinonen

Continuous need for skilled professionals in automotive painting and collision repair

Mika Oinonen, InCar’s HR Coordinator, mentions that the rapidly growing company is constantly looking for new supervisors, panel beaters, and painters. He emphasizes that future professionals should gather as much comprehensive work experience as possible during their studies.

InCar offers internships and part-time work in collision repair and automotive painting, as well as summer jobs and working through an apprenticeship. The up-to-date knowledge brought by Amoy to educational institutions significantly enhances students’ understanding and makes the transition to the workforce smoother.

Amoy is an important link between the educational and business worlds, allowing students to get their hands on modern products. Each paint is treated differently with its own support measures, training, and toning processes. Training is most effective when directly related to products, such as the R-M we use.

According to Oinonen, automotive painting is suitable for those with manual skills who want to see their craftsmanship in their work. The employment opportunities are vast, and one can also utilize technology in their everyday work, which is essential for many young people. He believes that awareness of the industry should be increased to attract new talent.

Young people may have an outdated view of auto repair shops. They are no longer just workshops; they are very clean places with excellent protective gear. Workplace safety is taken seriously and dictates every step of the process.