Holmesglen TAFE probes modern training needs

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  Holmesglen TAFE probes
   modern training needs
     ome forward thinking and a policy of
     embracing new technology has enabled
     Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Moorab-
bin, Victoria to meet modern industry train-
ing needs. “We have one of the best equipped
departments in the state and we try to pro-
vide training that fits the profile of the local
manufacturing industry” says Noel Sutcliffe,
Teaching Centre Manager, Applied Technol-
ogy / Engineering & Electrotechnology.
      “This department has existed since 2002
when Holmesglen took over the Moorab-
bin Campus. We were previously part of
Chisholm. Holmesglen restructured things
and they combined Electrical/Electronics, Fit-
ting & Machining and Metal Fabrication” says
Mr Sutcliffe. “We teach Fitting / Machining /
Toolmaking, Metal Fabrication and Electrical
trades. We have now added Air Conditioning
which is complimentary to what we do and it
gives us diversity.”                                      From left to right: Noel Sutcliffe, teaching centre manager, Graham Smith,
     “We are heavily involved with AMTIL as               CAD/CAM coordinator, Rich Jordan, Renishaw’s applications engineer and
an organisation and their members and we                            Luke Palmer, advanced diploma engineering student at
                                                                               Holmesglen’s Moorrabin campus.
talk to them about what they want and what
they need. We are also often approached by
companies from all over Melbourne to do            Renishaw a Natural                                   TAFE in this area and it’s good to be able to
some specific training for them” says Mr Sut-      Progression                                          plant the seed in the first instance as appren-
cliffe. “We’ve put a lot of money into our CNC     “We didn’t really have a problem as such be-         tices come through. I realised that the TAFE
workshop gearing to what we’re good at and         fore our involvement with Renishaw but our           was looking at the fundamentals initially and
things that employers want. We are not scared      staff knew the brand and what attracted us           that suited us because we wanted to reach
to invest in technology, not just government       was that their product is complementary to           people at the core level.”
funds, but our own money as well. We try to        what we wanted to do with our training. It re-
spend our money wisely and not go out on a         ally fitted in” says Mr Sutcliffe. “We are able to   Embracing Technology an
limb. We’ve even selected brands of machines       present training that shows students not only        Obligation
with controllers and software systems that         how to use a current machine but also how            “I think we have a role to play here” says Mr
represent what people have out there in the        to use it to its best. For that reason we try to     Sutcliffe. “We hear so much from local manu-
marketplace.”                                      keep our tooling and equipment up to scratch         facturers about competing with pressure from
     “Initially we had a few dinosaur CNC ma-      and having Renishaw probes on the machines           China and India and surely one of the things
chines, as do most TAFEs” says Mr Sutcliffe.       really gives us that edge.”                          staring us in the face here is the need to be-
“We purchased a new machine and learned                 The Renishaw probes currently used              come more efficient in our manufacturing
how to drive it and then a local company           by the Holmesglen Institute of TAFE are an           processes.”
(Metaltec Precision) donated a CMM machine         OMP 40 on the Feeler machine and the TS                   “We have an obligation to embrace tech-
to us. We upgraded it and we started thinking      27R (Tool Setter), an OMP 60 on the Makino           nology and as a TAFE we should do our bit to
more and more about measuring as it is such        machine and also the TS 27R and an OMP 60            show it to people, encourage and foster it and
an important part of getting more value out        on the DMG machine as well as HPPA on the            get people to use it.”
of your CNC machines. We purchased more            Mori Seiki lathe. “We’ve had the machines for             “One of our philosophies with companies
CNC machines until our workshop was pretty         about two years now and the Renishaw probes          like Renishaw who are supportive of us is that
much state of the art and thought that we          for just about 12 months” says Mr Sutcliffe.         we really like them to bring their clients in
should implement this technology to go along            Rich Jordan, Applications Engineer, Ren-        here for a demonstration” says Mr Sutcliffe.
with our teaching.”                                ishaw says “we are proud to assist Holmesglen        “This helps us stay sharp as we learn a lot as

   AustrAliAn     manufacturing         technology February 2007

well as helping with our image with employ-                 “People see probes as the way of the future.
ers and keeping in touch with local industry.”
     Mr Jordan adds “from our point of view                 When we open up a machine and show people the
this is a great idea for Renishaw as it gives us
a showcase for our probes but also effectively
                                                            probes they just can’t believe the technology . . .”
gives us a very usable demonstration area just
a few kilometres from our own office.”
     “In talking to local engineering compa-         need to develop some material for specialist      specialise and take one or two of them fur-
nies I found that many were expressing a real        probing only. Especially if the probing busi-     ther. We have introduced a year 10 Engineer-
need for people who could set and operate a          ness really takes off and Renishaw are so busy    ing Program to catch those kids early who are
CNC machine” says Mr Sutcliffe. “A number            that they haven’t the time to do all the train-   not academically inclined before they leave
of businesses had employed operators who             ing they would like to do. We might be able to    school and then we can’t reach them” says Mr
did not have a trade background. Also, they          work hand in glove with them on this.”            Sutcliffe. “This program has been very suc-
had tradesmen who had done an apprentice-                                                              cessful and was selected to be exhibited at the
ship but had little exposure to specialist CNC       Training Courses and New                          Dusseldorf Learning Skills Expo at Maroochy-
machines.”                                           Initiatives                                       dore this year. Only 20 programs are selected
     “What we’re looking to do is to get people      “Our ‘core business’ is training apprentices”     Australia wide to be exhibited. We’ve created
and train them up so they can set and oper-          says Mr Sutcliffe. “I’ve moved away from          a pool in this area of young kids who could be
ate the machines, use the probing technology,        things that don’t lead to work. I look for an     apprentices and I think that’s important. Also,
learn about speeds and feeds and build up a          employment outcome and tend to work back          young kids know what engineering is.”
wealth of knowledge on how to really maxim-          when looking for a training opportunity.              In concluding Mr Sutcliffe says “People
ise on the fundamentals.”                            We’re trying to fulfil a need.”                   see probes as the way of the future. When
     “There is a demand to get new people                “To support that we have a number of          we open up a machine and show people the
into the industry but there is also a need with      Certificate 1 and Certificate 2 courses which     probes they just can’t believe the technology.
people who have been in the industry a while         are pre-vocational courses for school leavers     It opens their eyes. This is the next level of
to take them up to the next level as they may        or for mature age people wishing to get into      add-on technology for these machines. Based
not have moved with the current technology”          engineering. Apprenticeships are Certificate      on the number of people we see we find that
says Mr Sutcliffe. “They probably would not          3 level and Certificate 4 and Diploma are post-   not many people have seen probes before
know about probes and the advantages they            trade programs.”                                  which makes me think that the industry
offer.”                                                  “We would be one of the few institutes        penetration of probes has got a long way to
     “I see this as a national issue, not just lo-   that in the third year of their Mechanical En-    go. We would certainly like to continue the
cal” adds Mr Jordan. “Many people are not            gineering (Certificate 3 for Fitting & Machin-    relationship with Renishaw. This, and similar
being kept up to speed with how the whole            ing) students also do CNC, some Welding,          relationships with a few other companies, has
industry is evolving.”                               Industrial Maintenance, plus Toolmaking. We       brought us up and made us smarter and we
     “We’re integrating probe training into          may be the only TAFE offering that mix in the     can help lead the way.”
what we do with apprentices and diploma stu-         third year” says Mr Sutcliffe.                        Mr Jordan concludes “Renishaw is very
dents at present” says Mr Sutcliffe. “However, I         “It enables students to gain experience in    happy to help by introducing new technology
can see a time down the track when we might          these different streams so that later they can    to the TAFE. It’s a win-win!”

   AustrAliAn      manufacturing          technology February 2007