The Industry 4.0 Certified Training Centre at the Modern Mechanical Engineering and Automotive Care Technologies College of the Republican Institute for Vocational Education is the first of a kind both in this country and abroad. So far, it has no analogies in the post-Soviet space. In fact, it is a miniature smart factory, an innovative platform for training would-be mechatronics engineers. Even today, this specialty is in high demand among companies that use computer-aided manufacturing systems; in future, such specialists will be demanded in all industrial sectors (mechatronics is a synthesis of mechanics, electronics and programming. – Author’s note).
This year, the college began to admit students to the mechanic/mechatronics engineer specialty, taking the lead in the country once again. The college has well-equipped modern laboratories, which opens new opportunities for the students. In particular, the would-be specialists will be able to gain hands-on skills in the Industry 4.0 Centre.
- During the previous three years, we taught the specialty as a pilot project. It has been entered into the Classifier now, - says the college principal Artem Rybak. A mechanic/mechatronics engineer is a multi-disciplinary specialist, who is up-to-date with the spirit of the times and the requirements of modern enterprises. He will be able to write a CNC code from scratch, machine and test a component part.
The Industry 4.0 platform that was opened in the educational institution is a Festo Authorized and Certified Training Centre (FACT); it was created in line with all international rules and standards. Its opening became possible owing to the victory in a contest held by the Ministry of Education under the Employment, Vocational Education and Training in Belarus project, which is financed by the European Union and aimed at supporting the Belarusian vocational training system; the contest was coordinated by the Republican Institute for Vocational Education. Educational institutions were to describe model classes or centres that they would like to create on their premises.
The college committed itself to migrate to digital manufacturing and submitted two project summaries: Industry 4.0 by Festo and Multiaxial CNC Machine Shop. In November last year, these platforms were officially opened in the educational institution.
- The laboratories are, among other things, designed to raise the qualification and re-train specialists that are already employed in manufacturing. Today, our core enterprises and other organisations can send their operators, setters, technologists and engineers to us for training, - explains the college principal.
The teachers and vocational training instructors undergo on-the-job training at leading companies of this country and abroad. Moreover, after Belarus’ accession to the WorldSkills movement in 2014, the college has been successfully participating in the international competitions, which allows it to expand the competence of its pedagogical team. Today, two representatives of the educational institution are WorldSkills international experts.
Pavel Sinitsa, the Industry 4.0 Training Centre Manager and National Mechatronics Expert, proudly describes the new innovative training platform:
- Such technologies are used by the so-called smart factories. There are, however, completely different control systems here, totally different labour arrangements, and dispatching of all processes. Everything should always be in its place. Everything a man does by hand, he must record, while everything done by mechanisms is recorded automatically. One just needs to know, where and how to look for things, and how to control all that.
The Centre Manager specifies: today, mechatronics is among the top 20 most sought-after professions of the future. And, the pedagogue clearly takes his mentees’ fates personally. The team trained by Pavel Sinitsa for the first Belarusian championship in 2014 won the first prize and brought the first WorldSkills medal to the college. It was awarded the first-degree diploma in 2016.
Pavel Viktorovich says that his first priority is training high-class specialists, instructing them and captivating them with his profession. The opening of the Industry 4.0 Innovative Training Platform hardly leaves any doubts about its success.
Author: Natalia Kovaleva