How a Swiss student helped to solve an English manufacturing problem

Every year thousands of exchange students come to the UK to study, especially in the construction and engineering sectors.

As a company that is passionate about training and the manufacturing industry, we at Training 2000 felt that this year we wanted to get involved, as we believe that the exchange of knowledge and techniques on an international level is vital.

So when the Centre Professional du Nord Vaudios (CPNV) approached Training 2000 with a talented Mechanical Engineering student who was looking for a placement in the UK, we knew just where to place him, Senior Aerospece Weston in Earby, Lancashire.

As a valued partner of Training 2000, with a long relationship that has spanned many years, Senior Aerospace Weston was the ideal choice. However, as neither the host company nor the student received any financial support for the placement, Senior Aerospace Weston had to find a way to make the exchange beneficial to both parties. Thus, the HAAS Grinding Machine Process Improvement Project was born.

Over ten weeks, the 21 year old Swiss student Bastien Bole, worked on his unique assignment to improve some of the processes within the workshop, where the company creates complex precision components for the aerospace industry.

Geoff Askew, Training Officer at Senior Aerospace Weston and Bastien’s mentor, set him a task to remove the need for new grinding wheels to be “rough dressed’ as part of their grinding machine’s cycle, which took time away from the machine actually doing its proper function, thus he was looking for improving efficiencies in the blade grinding process.

Geoff explained;

“When we were first approached by Training 2000, we had to have an in-depth internal discussion on what the implications of bringing a work experience student would be for us as a business. However at Weston’s we put a lot of emphasis on training and we had a worthwhile project to give Bastien, so the placement matched our ethos.

“After three weeks of detailed analysis including Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Bastien used CAD and other software which was completely new to him, designing a new machine which will rough dress the wheels separately and improve the processes effectiveness. His design was successful and the decision was made to manufacture the machine in the near future.” Geoff added “It has been a fantastic experience for us.”

Bastien’s time in Lancashire was not all work-based, however. Brian Robinson, Special Projects Officer at Training 2000, became something of a friend and made sure he saw the local highlights, as well as taking him on a tour of Training 2000’s prestigious head office in Blackburn.

Speaking about his time in the UK, Bastien said “As a keen cyclist, I was delighted when a Training 2000 staff member provided me with a lovely bike for my travels to work. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise the brakes were on the opposite side to my bike’s at home!”

On a more serious note, he added “When I return to Switzerland and finish my studies, I must join the Armed Forces for a period of one year, as part of my National Service. This placement has given me aerospace design software and English language skills that mean I may be able to enter the RAF sector instead of the Army.
“Eventually I hope to get a job at a watchmakers, as this is very prestigious in Switzerland. I have enjoyed my time here so much that I plan to return one day and will definitely be coming to visit the machine I created!”

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