An industrial park for the use of fibre-reinforced plastics is currently being created in the Smolensk region. The SKZ – Kunststoff Zentrum (German Plastics Centre) is supporting the development and implementation of the training programme "construction and production of building components made of fibre-reinforced plastics."
Interview with Thoralf Krause, Head of Business Unit Northern and Central Germany/Middle East, SKZ, August 2017.
iMOVE: What is the name and background of your organisation?
Krause: In Germany, the SKZ – Kunststoff-Zentrum has been active as a service provider for the plastics industry for more than 50 years. Its work is based on four pillars: with quality assessments it ensures the quality assurance of products, process operations, processing technologies and manufacturing equipment.
Intensive research ensures development in line with market requirements and the improvement of products and production technologies. With its certification of management systems, the SKZ provides an important tool for improving the performance capability and the economic success of businesses in the industry. And ultimately, the SKZ is the market leader for continuing education and knowledge transfer in the field of plastics with more than 10,000 training course and seminar participants each year.
iMOVE: Which services do you offer in the field of vocational education and training abroad?
Krause: Since the 1970s, the SKZ has been supporting German enterprises abroad, who rely on a well-trained skilled workforce on site. The SKZ qualifies the employees in order to allow for full utilisation of the advantages of plastics as a material and first and foremost to ensure that safety standards are being observed. Since the 1990s, the SKZ has been offering its training services directly on site in various countries and by now it has also been active within the iMOVE network for many years.
iMOVE: Which key service do you provide in the field of fibre composite technology in Russia?
Krause: Fibre-reinforced plastics are high-tech materials whose use in many branches of industry is rapidly increasing, including in Russia. These industries include aviation, wind energy generation and equipment manufacture. An industrial park for this future technology is currently being created in the Smolensk region. The intention is for companies from the entire value chain, ranging from raw material manufacturers to processors, to set up base there.
The availability of sufficiently qualified skilled workers is an essential factor in the park's success, which is why the Russian company Avangard went in search of a training partner for the new technology. This partner was found at a trade exhibition in Paris at which we presented ourselves. The experts at the SKZ-Competence Centre for Fibre-Composite Technology in Halle are now supporting the Russian partners in the development and implementation of the training programme "construction and production of building components made of fibre-reinforced plastics."
iMOVE: What are the characteristics of the training programme and the didactic methods?
Krause: A key component of the training is an extensive practical element. The SKZ prepared training documents for several two-week learning modules for the trainees, ending with a theoretical and a practical final examination. The high quality of the training initiatives has already led to early, very impressive successes: The team from the Smolensk region took part at WorldSkills Russia 2016 and achieved — ahead of renowned Russian institutes — an excellent third place in its specialist field.
iMOVE: What are the future perspectives of the cooperation with the Russian partner?
Krause: Following such successes, long-term cooperation is planned. The SKZ is currently drawing up guidelines for the training of Russian trainers. The guidelines lay out in detail practical tasks with respective learning targets, the working tools to be used, and the individual working stages. Furthermore, they contain instructions for monitoring the success of the tasks. The work package of the SKZ also includes expert advice for the local training institutions and companies concerning equipment and technology, the development of which is being financially supported by the Russian government.
Transfer of knowledge to Russia in the field of fibre composite technology
© Photos: SKZ – Kunststoff Zentrum