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When self-produced hydrogen explodes

450 pupils and teachers were given fascinating insights into the apprenticeship trades at Plansee and Ceratizit during a factory tour as part of the open day on the 15th of November 2019.
Open Day

The apprentices at Plansee and Ceratizit showed what they are made of. They had been preparing for the open day for weeks. And the buses from the entire Außerfern-Allgäu region finally arrived outside the factory gates on the 15th of November. There, the group of pupils and their teachers were welcomed by an apprentice, who acted as their guide for the two-and-a-half hour tour: This included an introduction to the almost 100-year history of the site itself as well as information about molybdenum and tungsten, the materials processed by Plansee and Ceratizit.

Then there was a presentation from each of the trades represented by the apprentices, for instance small explosions of self-produced hydrogen from the lab technicians focusing on chemistry. Or electro-pneumatic and electrical experiments from the electrical engineers, and ultrasonic and tensile testing from the materials engineers. In the training workshop, apprentices from all years and Head of Training Christoph Willmann provided an overview of practical vocational training and the trades for which apprenticeships are available.

In the company's own vocational school, apprentices presented their final projects, all of which contribute to improving systems, machinery or processes in the company. For example, self-designed pipe notchers or sheet rolling machines and so on. Another innovation is that apprentices in their third year of training will get to know many more different departments in the company in order to be able to get off to a good start as young skilled workers in the area of production that best suits them.

School director Bruno Dengg gave information on the modular apprenticeships offered by Plansee: metalworking engineer, process technologist, electrical engineer, materials technologist, laboratory technician and information technologist. He also presented the subjects taught at the vocational school and for which external apprentices also come to Plansee. And finally, in a peek behind the scenes, the visitors were able to see the drawings for the new training workshop. The basic construction work is due to be completed before the end of this year and the first apprentices will move in in the coming academic year. "Our aim is to train considerably more apprentices for our own needs in the future," said Human Resources Manager Stefan Fesl.