mechatronics training

Mechatronics Training



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Video: Mechatronics Training (2nd vid)






Traditional tools and the factories of tomorrow. Nowadays trainees in modern industrial settings need to learn both. They have to be able to perform a wide range of tasks, from programming and controlling a robot to carrying out metalworking tasks like milling.

Tobias Weber, 20 years old: Training to be Automation Electronics Technician: “I enjoy helping to shape Industry 4.0 with my work.”

Alina Heib, 19 years old: Training to be Mechatronics Technician: “I look forward to helping shape communication between humans and machines.”

Alina Heib and Tobias Weber are trainees at German automotive supplier Bosch. Over the course of their training, they work their way through various stages of production for different products.

Many of the machines are equipped with augmented reality systems. The software program guides trainees virtually through each step of the process.

On the monitor, they can see what they’ve done correctly and where they’ve made mistakes.

At the moment, they still have an instructor at their side. Later, they’ll be on their own.

Alina Heib, Mechatronics Technician Trainee: “The images show what needs to be done, and that makes it easier.”
Journalist: “How did things use to be?”
Alina Heib: “In the old days, trainees had someone next to them, explaining what needed to be done, or they’d have printed instructions.”

Industrial production is going digital. In Industry 4.0, everything is networked with everything else. Machines exchange data and robots carry out more and more complex functions.

Nowadays, workers who are uncomfortable around computers and information technology risk getting left behind.

Tobias Weber feels at home around the new technology. He’s in his third year of training, and is learning how to work with the latest generation of industrial machines.

These robots are no longer confined within metal cages or banned behind glass walls; they can move about freely. They’re equipped with sensors that allow them to work together with people, side-by-side.

Simon Hulke, Project Engineer, Industry 4.0: “Operating these controls is much more intuitive for people who have grown up with smartphones and tablets.

This control system operates according to principles similar to those used in an iPad.”

Here in the teaching workshop, there’s a robot that the trainees use to test out programs they’ve written themselves.

Someday, robots will become their colleagues.

Simon Hulke, Project Engineer, Industry 4.0: “In the future, I think we’ll see machines become more autonomous in terms of location. It will be easier to take machines and set them up at a different location, and that will make our work more interesting too.”

Big companies like Bosch are using the latest technology like data glasses to train the new generation of workers. Trainees divide their time between the workplace and the classroom.

But vocational schools haven’t kept pace with developments, and their curricula are often out of date.

It’s a growing problem for industry giants.

Andreas Noss, Bosch Homburg Head of Training: “Our need is now. But it will take a while to develop new curricula. That’s the only drawback.”

But if we don’t move in this direction now, we’ll always be a few steps behind. It’s not the best way to do things.”

But the trainees can’t only learn on computers: they also have to practice machining by hand. In the metal working industry, for example, trainees still need to know how to fashion a work piece on a lathe.

Alina Heib, Mechatronics Technician Trainee: “It’s good that I’m learning how to do both in my training. This was the hands-on manual machining part.

When you’re done, you can see what you’ve made, and what can be done with it. For example, I made a pendulum. Now I have a nice pendulum at home. And we can make threaded screws and all kinds of things. Both aspects are important.”

Tobias Weber and Alina Heib are Trainees 4.0, technicians, skilled workers and IT specialists all in one.

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1. In mechatronics, technicians must know programming, electronics, mechanics and robotics. True or false?

2. Are the trainees very interested in technology and engineering, or are they bored with it?

3. Computers help control, run and guide the operations. Is this right or wrong?

4. Will people who are not good in math, science and computers succeed in this factory?

5. Are the robots completely independent or do the technicians work with them?

6. What are some challenges or problems regarding training program?

7. Do the young people only train in companies or do they also attend classes? Do they only work with computers or do they also do hand-on tasks?


A. Are there robots, automation and computers in your workplace, company or organization?

B. I have to work with computers or computer programs. Yes or no?

C. Factories and company operations are becoming more automated, computerize and robotized. Is this correct or incorrect?

D. Are many students and others training for Industry 4.0? What is the attitude towards mechatronics technology, mechanics, electronics?

E. What will happen in the future?

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