Apprentices look at tablets

Taking an iPad to your workbench

Vögele is implementing numerous digitalisation projects through its “Training 4.0” campaign - including e-learning on a tablet, 3D printing and digital apprenticeship records.

The electronic staff information system has already digitalised production at Vögele to a significant extent. “Our Training 4.0 project is the best possible way to prepare our apprentices for the networked world of work. We use it to give them the skills and information they need for a changing industrial environment,” says Sven Deutsch, industrial engineering trainer. He is one of five trainers at Vögele and in collaboration with Oliver Laible, Head of Training, has been driving the project since its inception.

Training 4.0 links digital technologies and the training material for mechanical engineering”, says Oliver Laible, adding: “In practice, this means giving priority to work with contemporary media, providing more training in media and IT skills and introducing topics such as Industry 4.0, automation and networking.”

Young woman wearing safety glasses

“Animations and explanatory videos on our e-learning platform make it easier for me to understand complex content.”

Céline Hoffmann, apprentice industrial engineer at Vögele

Digital learning

As a first step, all Vögele apprentices receive a tablet of their own at the outset of training. It is used all over the training workshop: at the workbench, on machines and in the classroom.

With practised ease, aspiring industrial engineer Céline Hoffmann clicks through the course for a particular machine on her iPad. She’s using e-learning platform Vocanto, which contains a great deal of course material. “I find it easiest to understand complex information when I read through the background information in Vocanto, watch explanatory videos and check what I’ve learned in short tests,” says the 17 year-old.

After the theoretical introduction, she makes her way straight to the universal milling machine in the training workshop to intensify her knowledge by practising for real. To do so, she first uses her personal code to open the electronic key cabinet. The integrated screen soon shows her which machine is currently free.

From the digital apprenticeship record ...

John and Steven Frydrych are sitting at the next-door bench. These two brothers have been completing an apprenticeship to become warehouse operatives since September 2023. They are just recording on the tablet what they have learned this week. The regulations governing apprenticeships require all apprentices to record their progress regularly in an apprenticeship record. Vögele has now switched to the digital record. “It’s super-quick to update now. I can also share my summary with the trainers and even with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to get approval for examination,” says John Frydrych.

Tolles Produkt
Apprentice on 3D printer
... to a 3D printer

His apprentice colleague Julien Hornaday has also been at Vögele since 2023. The 21 year-old is training to be a mechatronics engineer. He is looking forward to one thing in particular over the next few months: working with the 3D printer. “The apprentices here recently made a sign with a digital display for our classroom door – everything from initial draft sketches to editing the model using software to printing it out on the 3D printer,” says the apprentice, adding: “It was a really cool project.”

Mechatronics apprentice Julien Hornaday appreciates the digital training content at Vögele.

The best of both learning worlds

In spite of the many digital projects, Vögele trainers still value one-to-one interaction with the apprentices: all the usual kinds of teaching, including face-to-face, group work and presentations, have been retained and supplement the new learning methods, thus combining the best of both worlds.

More projects are planned for the future - such as extending work with realtime data from the electronic staff information system to cover training as well. “In future, it will be possible to call up instructions for workpieces immediately by digital means and apprentices will be able to scan barcodes on the lathes and milling machines using a tablet,” says Oliver Laible - evidence that Vögele is continually expanding its Training 4.0 programme.

Trainer next to two apprentices at the workbench with tablets

“For young people today, anything digital is considered an ordinary part of every day. Aligning our training with this more closely makes it more effective and makes us stand out from other employers.”

Sven Deutsch (right), industrial engineering trainer at Vögele

Group photo: birds-eye view of apprentices and trainers
Training at Vögele

Joseph Vögele AG is currently training just under 70 young people to be industrial engineers, mechatronics engineers and warehouse operatives. Autumn will see the addition of a two-year course to train warehouse logistics specialists. Young people interested in an apprenticeship for 2024 can apply online now.

More information
Tablet on workbench