Hasco A new approach to training - going beyond the standard curriculum

Author / Editor: Dr Michael Thielen, Freelance Journalist / Barbara Schulz

Germany - In a joint project, trainees from Hasco, the Lüdenscheid-based manufacturer of standard mould components, and Pöppelmann Kunststoffwerk–Werkzeugbau, Lohne, Germany have designed, built and sampled a complete injection mould.

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To produce the slide gauge, the customer together with the young entrepreneurs opted for a Hasco K3500 quick-change mould unit. On this mould the cavity inserts can be exchanged with the mould still mounted on the machine.
To produce the slide gauge, the customer together with the young entrepreneurs opted for a Hasco K3500 quick-change mould unit. On this mould the cavity inserts can be exchanged with the mould still mounted on the machine.
(Source: Hasco)

Designing and building an injection mould, from the initial idea right through to the finished injection moulded part ready for series production, was the challenge taken on by third-year trainees at Pöppelmann and Hasco. Working together, they completed this project all by themselves.

The first challenge was the fact that the trainees from the two companies were located more than 200 km apart, and that they didn’t even know each other at the outset. Secondly, the same high quality standards were to apply as for "genuine" commercial orders.

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This is nothing new for the trainees at Hasco and Pöppelmann. "We don't have a classic apprentice workshop in the traditional sense of the term," explains Andreas Wünsch, Head of Training at Hasco, proudly. "Instead we have a production workshop in which we carry out our training." He adds: "Our people are able to deal with deadlines, precision and quality, because they work on real projects on a day-to-day basis.”

"At Pöppelmann too, trainees are involved in everyday business and hence it was extremely motivating for them to be able to accompany the overall process for once – from the initial idea through to the finished product," explains Michael Künne, training officer at Pöppelmann.

This project ensured that the "apprentices", as Andreas Wünsch still likes to call them, were able to become entrepreneurs themselves for the first time. The training officers from the two companies acted as the customer placing the order. Alongside Andreas Wünsch and Michael Künne, the project team was accompanied on the Hasco side by Verena Schraft, head of HR and Carsten Thies, technical salesman and, on the Pöppelmann side, by Burkhard Langnau, training officer and Hermann Winner, head of the mould making department.

The assignment: a high-quality give-away

At a kick-off meeting at Hasco in Lüdenscheid, all those involved met up for the first time and got to know each other, and the assignment was specified: the design, creation and marketing of a joint give-away in plastic, and the design and manufacture of the injection mould for the series production of the article.

In a number of brainstorming sessions, the participants first planned the project and defined the resources. In a next step, the young entrepreneurs selected three ideas from amongst the many ideas they had come up with and presented these to their customers in the form of photorealistic 3D-CAD images and 3D-printed prototypes. Alongside a bottle-opener with a removable chip for a shopping trolley and a skipping game, was a fully functional slide gauge that finally appealed most to the customer, so it was selected. "This first stage of the teamwork marked a delightful group experience for the participating trainees, generating both a positive resonance and obstacles that had to be overcome," explained Andreas Wünsch. "These were experiences that were unexpected for us as training officers in some cases, but which taught us a great deal."

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