New Polish HTECs boost employment prospects
for CNC machining students in Lower Silesia.
Haas Automation Europe is celebrating the opening of two more Haas Technical Education Centres (HTECs) in Poland, bringing the total in the country to eight. These new facilities will enable local engineering students to develop their CNC programming and machining skills using a range of state-of-the-art Haas CNC machine tools.
The two new HTECs are based at technical schools in the Lower Silesia region of south-west Poland. Both were established with valuable support from the Warsaw-based Haas Factory Outlet (HFO), a division of Abplanalp Consulting Sp. z o.o., as well as a number of other HTEC industry partners.
As Abplanalp Marketing Manager Jolanta Kowalska explains: "Lower Silesia is an important centre for automotive, pharmaceutical, electronics, and metallurgy industries and home to many multinational companies, such as Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen, Bosch, and Shell. It also has a well-developed agriculture technology sector. The students who train at the HTEC will have much better prospects for interesting, challenging and lucrative careers in leading companies like these, which will make very good use of their skills.”
The first of the two new HTECs, Poland’s 7th, opened on 28 March at the Practical Training Centre (CKP) in Legnica, which is the regional academic centre. As Zbigniew Kałuża, Director of CKP Legnica, says: "Joining the HTEC network gives us great satisfaction and prestige, because we now belong to a group of educational institutions that are fully equipped with Haas CNC machines and related equipment. This means we can teach students and workers who want to develop their skills on modern CNC machines and we can encourage young people to see this as an attractive profession for the future.”
The HTEC at CKP Legnica is equipped with a Haas VF-1 mill and two Haas SL-20 lathes. As Jolanta Kowalska points out: "The lathes were supplied by Winkelmann, a German engineering company with a major manufacturing complex in Legnica. We are very happy that other companies are also investing in the future of students, who may one day be their employees.”
"These are the first CNC machines we have ever had in our facility,” says Zbigniew Kałuża. "At first we thought that operating and programming them might be difficult but it’s not: you just need to master some basic skills and then with a bit of practice you can start work. Now we are preparing to offer our training to more people from outside the school.”
The students also appreciate how easy it is to get started. "I thought Haas machines would be difficult to operate,” says Andrzej Leszczyński, a student at CKP Legnica, "but quickly found that some tasks are easy and many are enjoyable. We are also studying how the Haas machines are made, so that we understand them better and can use that knowledge in our work in the future.”
"Operating them is very easy, "says fellow student Dominik Langier, "however, I find programming more interesting – it is very satisfying to write a program and then watch the CNC machine produce the work with no errors.
Poland’s 8th HTEC opened on 29 March at The Group of Secondary Schools No 2 (ZSP) in Ząbkowice Śląskie. It is equipped with a Haas TM-1P and a Haas TL-1. As ZSP’s Director Ryszard Pawłowski is happy to confirm: "These Haas CNC machines have encouraged our students to become more interested in professional machining. Now, demand is so high that the students have organised extra lessons on Saturdays – they are so keen to learn! Their CNC teacher also confirms that the students have no problems with using Haas machines.”
He also sees the importance of the HTEC for both the school and its students. "Joining the HTEC network and acquiring the newest Haas CNC machines raises the profile of our school and helps us expand our educational offering. This will improve our students’ job prospect with local manufactures. It is also excellent preparation for those who want to continue their education at the Wroclaw University of Technology, which is also part of the HTEC network.”
As Jolanta Kowalska concludes: "We are delighted that two more technical schools have joined the HTEC network. It confirms to us that Polish colleges are very willing to modernise their facilities so they can train students to the highest standards.”