Recently, the training department once again played host to a group of invitees as part of Girls Day. This initiative is organised by various companies throughout Germany for girls aged between 14 and 17 who are interested in finding out about careers in technology, science, manual trades, and IT. The aim of Girls Day is to inspire girls to pursue a career in these areas later in life.
Our training manager Mrs. Fritz welcomed 15 girls to MANN+HUMMEL at 9 a.m. They then worked in pairs in various departments throughout the company until lunchtime. After lunch, the event continued in the training department. Everyone was given safety shoes as a precaution. Then, using a drawing of the finished item, I explained which of the components the girls were going to make. The participants were asked to make two components for a flashlight.
The girls were split into three groups, the first of which began by turning the flashlight reflector. This had been prepared beforehand on the CNC lathe. Under the instruction and supervision of an apprentice, the girls were then allowed to drill a hole using the lathe. To achieve this, they had to follow the correct sequence: centre, drill, and countersink.
The second group turned the casings on the lathe that I was supervising. We also prepared these on the CNC lathe, so the components were already faced and pierced on one side. The screw thread had also already been prepared in advance. Each girl was then given the chance to turn the components by themselves. When I first told them they were going to turn the components themselves, not many of them seemed very enthusiastic. Some of them said ‘I’m bound to break something’.
At first, no-one believed me when I told them it was impossible to break the machines; but eventually one of the participants plucked up the courage to get started. The first step was to face the components on one side to give them a really smooth surface. Where necessary, I explained what needed to be activated, pressed, or turned to ensure that everything went smoothly. The next step was to cut an M5 thread.
I explained this step-by-step: first reduce the speed so you can use the countersink and then insert the thread cutter. Finally, everything was deburred. After the first participant had finished turning and the others saw that nothing had gone wrong, the other girls were confident enough to work on the lathe. Some of them were really interested and asked for explanations at each step. Some also wanted to know what I did every day as an apprentice or would do later as an industrial mechanic, or what else you can do here during an apprenticeship.
The third group worked on the assembly station. Here, the girls drilled two more holes, soldered the connections, and assembled everything.
At 3 p.m., everyone finished working at their stations and came together again as a group. I think they enjoyed their day at MANN+HUMMEL – in any case it was more fun than a normal school day.