Hello, my name is Matthias Stöttner and I am a second-year apprentice at MANN+HUMMEL. My apprenticeship is in industrial mechanics; in other words, I am learning about anything to do with metal. Today, I would like to tell you about a really cool project that we apprentices at the Marklkofen site are carrying out in conjunction with the apprentices from other MANN+HUMMEL locations in Germany.
First, you need to know that the apprentice project was suggested to us by our trainers. The training supervisors from the six locations meet regularly and, at one of these meetings, they had the idea for the apprentices from all six MANN+HUMMEL locations in Germany to complete a project together. This means that we share the tasks among us, communicate via Skype, M+H Connect and email, and work together towards a common objective.
Fine dust measuring sensors in the filter housing
The only specification in terms of content was that our apprentice project should be related to MANN+HUMMEL. However, we were allowed to decide exactly what we would do ourselves. To begin with, we got in touch via Skype and thought about what we could do and who would take on which role. At the moment, we know that we want to do something with fine dust measurement and air quality. Ideally, we would like to integrate a fine dust sensor in a MANN+HUMMEL filter housing. There is lots to think about here, such as which measurement sensor to use, how it is programmed, and how it will fit into the filter housing. We are currently in the planning phase. Our colleagues in Ludwigsburg are already testing many different sensors, which have been provided by the development department, and we are tinkering with them.
I am the overall project manager for the apprentices in Germany, and my role is to coordinate the individual components. I am also the contact person for the project managers at the other locations. Until April, I was spending two to three hours per day on the project. Since then, I am no longer in the training workshop and am now out working in the plant, so I don’t have quite so much time to dedicate to the project. We have therefore shared out a couple of tasks.
We are given free reign
The thing I like best about the apprentice project is that we are given free reign to organise everything ourselves. We can, of course, always turn to our trainers if we have any problems or questions but otherwise we are left to our own devices. This shows that our trainers trust us. We have also been given financial resources. Whenever I tell friends about this, or from what I have heard at vocational college, this seems to be a fairly rare occurrence.
Through the apprentice project, I also get to hear about what is happening at the other MANN+HUMMEL locations in Germany, what jobs require training, and which products are manufactured in the individual plants. Here in Marklkofen, we primarily train industrial mechanics and mechatronics engineers, but there are also electricians here. I am currently in the second year of my apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic, and I’m really enjoying the program. Along with BMW, MANN+HUMMEL is the largest industrial company in the area around Marklkofen. The company has a really great reputation in terms of apprenticeships. There is a real family atmosphere here and everyone is informal. I was really impressed by this even during my placement and that was one of the reasons why MANN+HUMMEL was my first choice when looking for an apprenticeship.
I have always wanted to do something with metal. In the holidays before my apprenticeship, I earned a bit of extra money at a metalworking company run by someone I know. Industrial mechanics is a metal-based occupation and there’s more to it than you might think; an example of this is pneumatics, which I find very interesting. The apprentice project allows everyone to bring their own strengths to the table and take on the tasks appropriate to them.