Digital winners

Our trainees at the Headquarters in Schopfheim can take pride in having won 1st prize in the Digiscouts digitalisation project. Along with the trainee projects of other participating companies, their project task – the digital monitoring of the barrier testing grounds – was presented to trainees, company representatives and members of the High Rhine-Lake Constance Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) as well as the competence centre of the Rationalisation and Innovation Centre of German Industry (RKW) at the IHK premises in Schopfheim on 27 September 2019. Those present selected the digital testing grounds as the winning project by a wide margin.

The idea behind the Digiscouts project, jointly organised by the RHK and the IHK, is to exploit young people’s interest in digital technologies to find and develop digitalisation potentials in companies. Trainees from 10 companies in the region covered by the Upper Rhine-Lake Constance Chamber of Industry and Commerce were given an opportunity to prove their digitalisation talents between April and September 2019. Our five trainees initially carried out a well-structured survey in the individual specialist departments to determine the needs of the personnel there. This resulted in numerous project ideas. Together with the management, and project coaches from the IHK and RKW, the team of trainees finally decided to digitalise the barrier testing grounds.

All Magnetic barriers and pedestrian gates regularly undergo detailed durability testing. Whereby continuous outdoor operation is an important quality assurance step because the company promises that most products have a service life of 10 million opening and closing cycles. “Up to now a Magnetic technician has inspected the barriers once a week. We want to automate the collection of data using digital measurement so we can react more quickly to any faults,” the trainees explained their project idea.

Our five trainees equipped all the barriers with new WLAN-enabled control systems, a weather station and a webcam, and configured the software appropriately. Whereby each trainee could contribute their particular strengths: electronics engineer Mike Sieder was responsible for setting up the network, warehouse logistician Julian Brommer ordered the necessary components, product designer Joscha Putzger installed the webcam and weather station, and industrial managers Lara Rippel and Eileen Schindler handled the legal side of using the camera and project-related communication. The trainees’ commitment resulted in a digital evaluation platform that captures all the control data and combines them with camera and weather data. Regular inspections are therefore no longer necessary. The responsible employee receives an automatically generated e-mail message as soon as a fault occurs. Heiko Lais, Manager of Product Development is delighted: “We not only save time with the digital testing grounds, but we can also carry out much more accurate analysis of the cause of any fault. This ultimately also increases quality for our customers.”

Managing Director Arno Steiner is proud of the trainees: “Our young talent not only have a feeling for digital topics, but also proved their great self-reliance regarding implementation. So we will be following up the numerous other promising project ideas, too.”

We congratulate our trainees on their success.