BERT MAES

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Spanish and Portuguese Students: A Five-Axis Manufacturing Future

Posted by Bert Maes on July 28, 2011


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School principal Mr. José António Gomes feels that that investing in the Haas VF-2 isn’t just right, but is also risk-free. “First of all,” he says, “it’s risk free because of the quality of the Haas machines, but also because of the well-known service capabilities of After Sales. But, maybe more importantly, even when the economy is down, the best investment is in knowledge. With knowledge, there is no risk of devaluation or depreciation. Giving our young people the ability to make things with 5-axis technology will never be a waste of money.”

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As most readers know, Haas Automation’s European HTEC (Haas Technical Education Centre) programme continues to go from strength-to-strength, as more and more schools on the Continent invest in the latest Haas machine tool technology to create state-of-the-art CNC teaching facilities.

However, not every school that invests in Haas machines chooses to be an HTEC. Some have more specific requirements. In the case of two, recently opened teaching-workshops in Spain and Portugal, that requirement was for low-cost, high capability 5-axis machine tools.

The Centro de Formação Profissional of Águeda, Portugal, opened on July 7th, 2011, and the IES Politécnico de Vigo, Spain, opened on July 8th. Each school has invested in a Haas VF-2 CNC machining centre equipped with a Haas TRT160 – a tilting 160 mm, 2-axis CNC rotary table, giving 5, simultaneous cutting axes. Both machines are supplied and supported by the local Haas Factory Outlet, a division of Portugal-based After Sales, SA.

Águeda’s economy has a strong, metal processing sector. “Two things are keeping this region healthy,” says mayor, Mr. Gil Nadais: “agriculture and metal manufacturing. We need to increase our turnover in these key export sectors and investing in innovative technology is essential for the future of this region.” School principal Mr. José António Gomes feels that that investing in the Haas VF-2 isn’t just right, but is also risk-free.

“First of all,” he says, “it’s risk free because of the quality of the Haas machines, but also because of the well-known service capabilities of After Sales. But, maybe more importantly, even when the economy is down, the best investment is in knowledge. With knowledge, there is no risk of devaluation or depreciation. Giving our young people the ability to make things with 5-axis technology will never be a waste of money.”

The economy in Vigo, Spain, Galicia’s economic powerhouse, relies heavily on local automotive manufacturing.  Mr. Antonio Estévez is headmaster at IES Politéchnico de Vigo. “Our priority is ensuring the car industry can find people skilled in mechanical engineering and maintenance,” he says. “Each year we invest in the latest equipment to ensure our students have the most up to date and practical preparation possible. The five axis Haas VF-2 is the right investment to develop skills that Galician companies need.

Several Haas industry partner companies – including Mastercam, Sandvik, Chick and Cimcool, also supported the grand openings of the two new teaching workshops. Managing Director of After Sales SA, Mr. Carlos Vilas-Boas feels that the role of his HFO is, in many instances, one of facilitator. “We take service and support very seriously,” he says, “and we believe it includes connecting students, teachers, employers, technology companies and politicians. These two events are good examples of how, when we all work together, the benefits are better training and, ultimately, greater productivity and stronger economies.”

Haas Europe HTEC coordinator Mr. Bert Maes also attended the grand openings. “These two schools have forward-looking managers and top-quality, industry-experienced teachers,” he says. “Combined with the easy-to-use Haas 5th axis technology, the result is highly skilled and motivated students with the technical ability to build complex projects like the ones I’ve seen today: from small wind-powered generators to fully-functioning customised, computer mice. I am convinced that many companies in Portugal and Galicia will benefit from the time and energy After Sales is investing in these important schools.”

www.HTECnetwork.eu

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Finland Gets Its First Haas Technical Education Center

Posted by Bert Maes on April 11, 2011


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Finland is one of the world’s strongest nations for manufacturing and education. But often the link is missing between schools and the local CNC enterprises. Haas Automation now partnered with the North Karelia College of Technology  and Culture in Joensuu to build those connections towards the best professional training.

As well as being the most northerly, this is also the first Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) in Finland,” says Bert Maes, HTEC coordinator for Haas Automation Europe. “The OECD acknowledges that the country is one of the world’s strongest nations for manufacturing and the quality of its education. We’re delighted to support the next phase of excellence: building long-term collaboration between technical schools and CNC firms.

Jyrki Turunen, school principal said: “Our vision for the students and for industry in North Karelia is focused on one, very important goal: to create a modern learning environment that will enable us to encourage and nurture ‘super technicians’ who will go farther in their education and careers than they or anyone else can currently imagine. We want to make CNC so interesting that it absorbs them during the daytime, and so fascinating that when they go home they dream about it at night.”

In 2004 and 2008 North Karelia College earned the Quality Award for Vocational Education and Training from the Ministry of Education. Last year it came second. Ara Hayrabedian, international coordinator at the college believes that being part of the HTEC programme will help the school secure the number one spot again. “The partnership with Haas Automation and its Finnish representative Grönblom brings a new way of thinking. Their support is helping us to develop new methods of teaching, to increase the motivation and to improve the skills of the young people who study here. We will also benefit from the international connections that the HTEC program brings, when we establish links with other HTECs across Europe.

Representing the local Haas distributor Oy Grönblom Ab, Petteri Heinonen voiced the view of all those actively engaged in supplying and using manufacturing technology. “Technical education should closely follow industry’s development and needs,” he said. “In the future manufacturing will be more and more technology-driven. Students at the North Karelia College will get the best opportunities and companies will get the skills they need thanks to the professional training and the Haas CNC machine tools the college is now providing.

Students at the North Karelia College of Technology and Culture, Joensuu, Finland (Pohjois-Karjalan Ammattiopisto), will be instructed on three Haas CNC machine tools (a TL-1 Toolroom Lathe, a TM-1 Toolroom Mill, and an SL-20 CNC turning centre) and a range of state-of-the-art production equipment supplied by the HTEC industry partners.

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Building long-term collaboration between education and manufacturing: Madeira, Portugal

Posted by Bert Maes on March 24, 2011


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A few weeks ago I established a new partnership with a school on the Island of Madeira. That is a most rewarding collaboration. See the story below.

Haas Automation Europe (HAE) is delighted to announce the Grand Opening of the first Haas Technical Education Centre (HTEC) on Madeira, Portugal.

The new facility was opened in Funchal on March 7th and forms part of the city’s Professional Skills Qualification Centre (Direcção Regional de Qualificação Profissional – DRQP). The Madeira archipelago is off the coast of North Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean, which makes this the most westerly of Europe’s 46 Haas Technical Education Centers (HTECs); almost 5000km by air from the most easterly facility.

As well as being covered by state TV, the HTEC Grand Opening event was attended by senior government official Sr. Francisco Fernandes, Regional Secretary of Education and Culture, and directors of DRQP Sra. Sara Relvas and Sra. Elda Pedro. After speeches and the presentation of the HTEC plaque, Sr. Fernandes told press and visitors why he thought the new workshop is important.

The DRQP now belongs to a network of engineering excellence,” he said, “giving students on the island access to strong international resources.” Sr. Relvas reiterated his comments, and added: “Because Haas Automation CNC machine tools are present at so many of the best international manufacturing companies, this HTEC will help our youth prepare themselves for opportunities in the rest of the European and international labour markets”.

The Funchal HTEC is in collaboration with the Portugal Haas Factory Outlet (HFO) – a division of After Sales, S. A. The director and owner of After Sales, Carlos Vilas-Boas, was instrumental in setting-up the new facility, and the other 4 on the Portugal mainland. “As with all HTECs,” he said, “this new laboratory and workshop houses the latest CNC metal cutting and precision engineering technology. We see that having access to these facilities inspires and engages the students and their teachers, which makes us very proud and committed to continue working with the DRQP.”

Madeira is the second richest Portuguese region after Lisbon and boasts a per capita GDP higher than the EU average. However, the island generates much of its income from tourism, and food and wine production, which means youngsters who want to pursue a career in manufacturing have, traditionally, had few options but to travel.

Many of Madeira’s young people will leave the island and work on mainland Portugal, in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands,” says Haas Europe HTEC coordinator, Mr. Bert Maes. “We’re sure that the high-tech Haas CNC machine tools, the clean learning environment and belonging to our network of international HTEC centers will greatly contribute to the motivation, satisfaction and international career possibilities of these students.

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International Press Coverage HTEC Program – Jan/Febr 2011 – Selection

Posted by Bert Maes on March 6, 2011


Metall Austria, December 2010: Europäische Kommission fördert erstes europäisches HTEC-Austauschprogramm. “Das HTEC-Netzwerk erscheint für internationale Kontakte zwischen Bildungseinrichtungen, Lehrkräften un Lernenden im CNC-Bereich geradezu prädestiniert.”

Zerspanungstechnik.de, DE, January 2011: “Teilweise im Ergebnis der Demo-Tage sind viele weitere Bildungseinrichtungen daran interessiert, sich uns im nächsten Jahr anzuschließen. 2011 möchten wir ein noch stärker motivierendes Programm mit noch mehr Chancen für die internationale Zusammenarbeit und den internationalen Austausch umsetzen.”

ITO Russia, January 2011: Европейская комиссия подтвердила первую Европейскую программу обмена студентами HTEC «Своими инвестициям Европейская комиссия подтвердила, что обмен студентами HTEC важен для европейской промышленности. Студенты не только будут ознакомлены с инновационными технологиями, но и смогут применять свои навыки в решении проблем, работать в коллективе, а также научатся адаптироваться к различным рабочим средам. Мы верим, что компании, которые наймут на работу данных молодых специалистов, приобретут огромную пользу от их знаний и международного опыта»

Machinery Market UK, February 2011: Innovation never stops “The 50 events were well attended by teachers and students. they were able to see live demonstrations on the new machines and were told how they can get involved in the Haas Technical Education Centres programme.”

Machines4sales.com UK, December 2010: European Commission endorses first European HTEC Student Exchange. “Any school that commits to the HTEC program can benefit from international exchanges giving HTEC students wonderful opportunities to travel and learn.

Vraag en Aanbod, BE, January 2011 “We eindigen dit jaar met 44 onderwijsinstellingen in het Europese HTEC-netwerK. we streven ernaar het programma nog stimulerender te maken in 2011 met meer mogelijkheden voor internationale samenwerkingsverbanden en uitwisselingen.

Machinenet.nl; NL, February 2011: Educatieve centra Haas Automation Europe brengen opleidingen op hoger niveau. “Door het initiatief van Haas voor deze HTECs, wat ook door de verschillende Europese overheden wordt toegejuichd en ondersteund, zijn de toekomstige verspaningsspecialisten goed op hun taak in het bedrijfsleven voorbereid.

L’Ammonitore, IT, February 2011 “Concludiamo quest’anno con 44 scuole partecipanti alla rete europea HTEC e, in parte a seguito degli eventi delle giornate dimostrative, con molte altre scuole desiderose di partecipare l’anno prossimo. Aspiriamo a creare un programma ancora più motivante nel 2011, con maggiori opportunità di collaborazioni e scambi internazionali”.

Macchine Utensili, IT, January 2011: La Commissione europea appoggia il primo scambio europeo tra studenti HTEC

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First HTEC in France: From Small Acorns…

Posted by Bert Maes on July 19, 2010


On June 10th, managers from Haas Automation Europe (HAE) joined the staff and students at L’Institut Universitaire de Technologie A de Lille in the city of Villeneuve d’Ascq, to celebrate the opening of the very first Haas Technical Education Centre (HTEC) in France.

The new HTEC consists of a Haas VF-1 vertical machining centre with full 4th axis capability, and an SL-20 Haas turning centre. The state-of-the-art facility is part of the university’s Génie Mécanique et Productique department where, over a 2-year period, graduates (of all ages) will utilise the Haas machines to become experts in production techniques, quality control, purchase, production organization and R&D. Other students at the school will use the HTEC in their studies for a master’s degree in engineering.

It is an honour for Haas Europe to join forces with IUT-A de Lille,” said Mr. Bert Maes, HTEC coordinator at HAE. “This is an inspiring school with dedicated teachers always searching for innovative technology and the most effective way to teach; it’s the perfect place for our first French HTEC!

Outlining his plans for the HTEC, Mr. Moulay-Driss Benchiboun, director of IUT-A de Lille said: “We have two objectives: We have to make young people in France more aware of the central role that technology takes in our modern way of life. We are also doing everything possible to make sure our students are qualified for a successful professional development throughout their careers. Our university aims to be a showcase for modern industry and our new HTEC will make a valuable contribution towards doing so.”

The IUT-A de Lille HTEC was realized with the help and support of local Haas Factory Outlet – A Division of Realmeca.

We have worked with Realmeca for many years,” says Jean-Marc Gardin, IUT-A de Lille’s coordinator for the new HTEC and professor in the GMP department, “and we have seen over the years that we have made the right choice. We are very happy with the support we have received and with the Haas machines.

The number of people studying CNC in France is declining, but our student registrations in the GMP department are stabilising. As a member of the European HTEC network we can now profit fully from the programme’s technologies and teaching materials.”

Realmeca sales director Mr. Jean-Baptiste Médot, was equally enthusiastic about the new HTEC, adding. “Today is the start of a dynamic, sustainable partnership with the aim of improving the quality of CNC training available and to attract more students to the exciting world of manufacturing.”

HAE director of marketing, Katja Mader was also present during the grand opening of the Lille HTEC.  “We expect the HTEC programme to be just as successful in France as it is in the other European countries,” she said. “We started small in Germany, Austria and elsewhere, and now we have some of the world’s biggest HTECs in those countries. We feel confident that France will follow suit and that French students will enjoy the tremendous benefits. As they say, from small acorns great oaks grow.

Press Release in French: Premier HTEC en France : petit poisson…

Press Release in German: Erstes HTEC in Frankreich: aus kleinen Anfängen…

Press Release in Italian: Il primo centro HTEC in Francia: i piccoli ruscelli…

Press Release in Spanish: Primer centro HTEC en Francia: De una nuez chica…

Press Release in Dutch: Eerste HTEC-centrum in Frankrijk: een verhaal van kleine boompjes…

Press Release in Romanian: Primul HTEC din Franța: Din ghinde mici…

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HTEC – The Concept

The HTEC initiative is a partnership between European educational establishments, Haas Automation Europe (HAE), its distributor-owned HFOs (Haas Factory Outlets) and an alliance of industry leading, CNC technology partners.  HAE launched the HTEC programme in 2007 to counter what it regards as one of the greatest threats to the continent’s sustainable economic development: Namely, a shortage of talented and motivated young people entering the precision engineering industry with CNC machining skills.

The programme provides Haas CNC machine tools to educational establishments in Europe, so enabling HTEC students to become familiar with the latest CNC machining technology.  This hands-on experience ensures students graduate with transferable skills and better employment opportunities.  Haas Technical Education Centres also benefit local and national engineering companies by increasing the supply of well-educated apprentices.

Since launch, the HTEC initiative has expanded rapidly across Europe.  Governments – from Sweden to Romania and from Portugal to Russia – have enthusiastically backed the programme and recognise the need to build a stronger manufacturing infrastructure.

The HTEC Industry Partners are some of the best-known names in precision manufacturing technologies and have demonstrated a strong, ongoing commitment to the HTEC objectives, backing them with the investment of time and resources.  Currently, the

HTEC Industry Partner network comprises KELLER, MasterCam, Esprit, Renishaw, Sandvik Coromant, Schunk, Blaser, Urma, Chick, Air Turbine Technology, Hainbuch, and CIMCOOL.

www.HTECnetwork.eu


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Press Release: New high-tech manufacturing training center in Austria

Posted by Bert Maes on April 5, 2010


By Matt Bailey

It’s appropriate that one of Europe’s most prosperous and industrious areas should also have the biggest and, perhaps, the most impressive Haas Technical Education Centre (HTEC) facilities.

On May 7th, 2010, the Überbetriebliches Ausbildungszentrum (ÜAZ) technical training establishment, in Vorarlberg, in the western-most region of Austria will officially open an HTEC boasting no fewer than 27 Haas CNC machines. The new, benchmark facility is part of the ÜAZ Metall department and will be located in Rankweil, in the beautiful Rhine Valley. It will be the 4th HTEC in Austria – the country also has the second and third biggest HTECs – and the 40th in Europe.

We are very excited about the grand opening of the ÜAZ Metall HTEC,” says Mr. Bert Maes, HTEC coordinator at Haas Europe, “not only because of the number of Haas machines it will employ, but also because it is such a good example how industry and education can work together to change the lives of young people for the better.

ÜAZ Metall offers practical training to youths who are socially or economically disadvantaged. The HTEC will give 100 students a year the hands-on experience they need to make better lives and successful careers as CNC technologists.

In economic terms, Vorarlberg is one of the best-performing regions of Western Europe, with flourishing textile, clothing, electronics, machinery and packaging sectors. Those who follow courses at HTEC ÜAZ Metall will be very well trained and well-prepared for careers in Austrian metal working companies or others further afield.

Our goal is to provide a top-quality technical education for youngsters who have fewer opportunities than others,” says general manager of ÜAZ Metall, Mr. Manfred Gollob. “We try to give the best possible, real-industry know-how to students otherwise unfamiliar with the metalworking sector. Being part of the HTEC network with its support, technology and public relations benefits will help tremendously; I think we have definitely found the right partner in Haas.”

The HTEC program was launched in Europe to counter what Haas Automation regards as one of the greatest threats to sustainable economic development on the continent: the shortage of talented and motivated young people entering precision manufacturing industries with CNC machining skills.

ÜAZ Metall is a highly dedicated partner,” concludes Mr. Maes, “and we are committed to offering our full support to the teachers and staff; to inspire young people to study manufacturing technology, to help build their confidence and to start long and successful careers as CNC specialists.


HTEC – The Concept

The HTEC initiative is a partnership between European educational establishments, Haas Automation Europe (HAE), its distributor-owned HFOs (Haas Factory Outlets) and an alliance of industry leading, CNC technology partners. HAE launched the HTEC programme in 2007 to counter what it regards as one of the greatest threats to the continent’s sustainable economic development: Namely, a shortage of talented and motivated young people entering the precision engineering industry with CNC machining skills.

The programme provides Haas CNC machine tools to educational establishments in Europe, so enabling HTEC students to become familiar with the latest CNC machining technology. This hands-on experience ensures students graduate with transferable skills and better employment opportunities. Haas Technical Education Centres also benefit local and national engineering companies by increasing the supply of well-educated apprentices.

Since launch, the HTEC initiative has expanded rapidly across Europe. Governments – from Sweden to Romania and from Portugal to Russia – have enthusiastically backed the programme and recognise the need to build a stronger manufacturing infrastructure.

The HTEC Industry Partners are some of the best-known names in precision manufacturing technologies and have demonstrated a strong, ongoing commitment to the HTEC objectives, backing them with the investment of time and resources. Currently, the HTEC Industry Partner network comprises KELLER, MasterCam, Esprit, Renishaw, Sandvik Coromant, Schunk, Blaser, Urma, Chick, Air Turbine Technology, Hainbuch, and CIMCOOL.

Dedicated website for technical education institutions: www.HTECnetwork.eu

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Unique program to make CNC education attractive grows unabated

Posted by Bert Maes on January 11, 2010


The company Haas Automation Europe has formed four new partnerships with technical schools to attract a new generation of young people to start careers in manufacturing technology.

The largest CNC machine-tool builder in the Western world has opened 36 Haas Technical Education Centers (HTEC) the last 2 years.

A few reactions from the four Russian schools that just joined the HTEC network:

  • Being part of the HTEC network enables us to achieve several of our missions, such as increasing student motivation, expanding our existing co-operation with enterprises in Moscow and beyond, and boosting the prestige of our school.” (Natalia Bokatuk, Polytechnic College n° 42)
  • This new step will raise our school’s appeal to students considerably and enables us to play a vital role in preparing the highly-skilled personnel that our republic urgently needs. We will develop further as an innovative centre covering all modern technologies.” (Shakurov Zumejra Munirovna, Kazan Energy College)
  • Companies around the world face great difficulties in recruiting CNC operators with the right competencies.  These HTECs show students that precision engineering is an exciting world with well-paid jobs.” (Peter Hall, Haas Automation Europe)

FULL ARTICLE: Four new HTECs Bring Total in Russian Federation to 12!

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