ASH apprentice on his travels

Niklas Regele is training to become a Technical Product Designer at Aebi Schmidt Germany. The 2nd year of his training included a visit to the Kielce factory site in Poland, the competence centre for the production of snow ploughs and round brushes for our Schmidt sweepers. He now recounts his experiences himself:

My “business trip” to our factory in Kielce, Poland began early in the morning of 24 April. I flew from Zurich to Warsaw and then travelled on to Kielce, a city with some 200 000 inhabitants. Following a site introduction by the site manager, I moved on to the individual departments directly:

The first department was Purchasing:
After a general introduction to the area of purchasing – specifically at the Kielce factory – the three strategic purchasers explained the particular features of each group of products to me. In particular, the availability of their materials and standard sizes was highlighted.

I moved on to the Design & Development department:
In this department, I learned about specialist welding expertise. And then I had a look at how this is done in practice, following the motto of learning by doing: I compared the welded seams with a welded assembly drawing of a motorway snow plough. At the same time, this plough was used to explain to me the different materials that were used throughout the plough. I then set about the task, which for me was the most interesting, of creating a welding drawing for a snow plough cross beam.

Insights into Production Control:
In Production Control, I learned how the production orders are created and the drawings are distributed to the relevant departments (e.g. welding workshop). I was able to get stuck in straight away and using the SAP transaction I drew up the production plan for the month of May.

A day in Work Scheduling (WS):
I had already been in contact with the WS department beforehand and was therefore very eager to get to know my colleagues in person. It was very exciting to see how the process progresses once a production part has been ordered. I also got an insight into how the laser cutter and the bending benches work. I also picked up helpful tips on how to design laser parts/edgings. In addition, they showed me how the prices are calculated. I really appreciated the opportunity to engage with colleagues.

Finally, I visited Series Production Support:
I was very familiar with this department even before my trip as some of the changes from St. Blasien are implemented in Poland. This is why they showed me the change management process.  The other assignments in Series Production Support, such as modifying the welding frames, were also thrilling. I was also able to broaden my knowledge of the ECTR system as the staff make extensive use of it.

During this trip, I learned very many new and instructive things. For me, the integrated depth of production was particularly fascinating to see. The staff in each department took a great deal of time and showed me the production halls. I was able to learn a huge amount just by watching the different work processes. The communication, using a variety of German and English, went very well. This meant I was even able to improve my English. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to gain these experiences.