Ford prepares apprentices for the manufacturing of the future
Parallel to the construction of the Cologne Electrification Center, where the first all-electric volume models are to roll off the assembly line before the end of this year, Ford is investing in young professionals. Six robot cells are now available to trainees and dual students at the training center for education and training in Cologne-Niehl. These are smaller models of the devices that will be used in future manufacturing. The junior employees learn here how to program the control of the robots. The models can be flexibly expanded and, thanks to their compact dimensions, can be used in different locations.
For 3D printing, which is becoming increasingly important in modern manufacturing, Ford set up a new learning station for learning about additive manufacturing. Another focus is on the use of so-called CNC machines (Computerized Numerical Control), i.e. machine tools that can automatically produce components very precisely using digital control technology. Ford purchased a new CNC milling machine for the training center’s CNC center.
Ford is also focusing on new training content for vehicle mechatronics: The young professionals learn at the same time how to maintain and repair internal combustion engines and electric drives. Various vehicle models are available for this. At the high-voltage stand, the trainees learn, for example, how the current in the vehicle flows to the drive or back to the battery during recuperation.
In addition to teaching individual technical skills that are required for Industry 4.0, i.e. the increasing digitization and networking of systems and processes, Ford goes one step further: The company is already integrating Industry 5.0 approaches into training. This also includes aspects of sustainability.
All training courses take place in bright, well-equipped rooms. New digital smartboards replace the conventional projectors, the trainees receive tablets or laptops.
In total, Ford is offering nine different vocational training courses and five dual study programs for the new training year starting in September 2023. Not all apprenticeship positions have been filled yet. Applications can be submitted at www.azubi-bei-ford.de. Interested parties can also find out more at a number of events in the city as part of the Cologne Career Weeks at Ford. (awm)