Olympic-ready for the Professional World
For the first time, apprentices in the job profiles of Mechatronics and Industry 4.0 met for the German Championships of WorldSkills Germany. These took place at the Festo Lernzentrum Saar in St. Ingbert at the beginning of October. The respective winning teams will represent Germany at the upcoming vocational championships WorldSkills 2022 and EuroSkills 2023.
Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 require both sound fundamental knowledge and modernized focal points in dual vocational training. These were implemented at the German Championships on the Modular Production System (MPS) and the CP Lab Industry 4.0, the specially developed cyber-physical learning system by Festo Didactic.
State-of-the-art Learning Systems as a Basis
The learning solutions Modular Production System (MPS) and Cyber-physical Lab Industry 4.0 each model the stations of a real production plant. Therefore, they are used by educational institutions and industrial companies to teach a wide range of technologies: from the assembly of mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic components and commissioning of the system to plant networking, programming of PLCs, sensor systems, safety technology and analysis and optimization of the value chain. In addition to plant programming, learning contents such as energy efficiency or data management also play a role. "In contrast to what people often think, an apprenticeship is an adequate alternative to a university degree! We show how demanding, versatile and future-oriented technical apprenticeships are - especially in the context of Industry 4.0," explains Klaus Herrmann, Head of Research and Vocational Education as well as Vice President of the Festo Learning Centre Saar.
Team Spirit is essential
Both competitions had to be mastered as a team. Each team consisted of two apprentices. In the skill "Mechatronics", a total of seven teams from the companies Rogers Germany, SICK, Festo, TTS Tooltechnik Systems, Hahn Automation as well as the Bildungs-Werkstatt Chemnitz and tesa Werk Offenburg showed their talent. In the skill "Industry 4.0", a total of three teams from the companies Rogers Germany, Festo and SICK competed against each other.
The winners in the Industry 4.0 competition were Johannes Albrecht and Felix Willi from SICK AG in first place, Moritz Roth and Niklas Meiser from Festo SE & Co. KG as second, and in third place Valentin Mauser and Moritz Schelzke from Rogers Germany GmbH. The mechatronics competition was dominated by the team of Jonas Fuhrich and Felix Thaller from Rogers Germany GmbH, followed by Timo Oßwald and Daniel Schmid from Festo SE & Co. KG, and third place went to Hannes Kölblin and Sebastian von Braunbehrens from SICK AG.
Festo Certified Center of Vocational Excellence
The best teams of the German Championships will continue their training in the newly founded Festo Certified Center of Vocational Excellence Mechatronics at the Festo Vocational Education in Esslingen and the Festo Certified Center of Vocational Excellence Industry 4.0 at the Festo Vocational Education in St. Ingbert. The best teams will represent Germany at the WorldSkills vocational championships in October 2022 in Shanghai, China, and at the European vocational championships EuroSkills 2023 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Just as there are Olympic training centers in top-class sports, these Certified Center of Vocational Excellence were set up at Festo in cooperation with WorldSkills Germany, the German umbrella organization for the WorldSkills.
The basis for the mechatronics competitions and the dual vocational education is the Modular Production Systems (MPS) of Festo Didactic. The mechatronics competitions of the WorldSkills championships have been held on these since the WorldSkills in 1991. "This way, we not only pass on our technical education know-how to our own apprentices, but also to apprentices of other companies who will make up the national mechatronics team at the next WorldSkills Shanghai in 2022," says Stefan Dietl, Head of Vocational Education at Festo.
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo has set standards in industrial automation technology and technical education ever since its establishment, thereby making a contribution to sustainable development of the environment, the economy and society. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The LifeTech sector with medical technology and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly important. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,000 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €2.84 billion in 2020. Each year around 8 % of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.