"Tomorrow's specialists need to understand digital process chains"
Christian Mertens teaches at the Carl-Severing-Berufskolleg, a vocational college specializing in metal technologies and electrical engineering – and welcomes the Siemens "NX goes Sinumerik Machine Tools" initiative.
Mr. Mertens, how significant is "NX goes Sinumerik Machine Tools" to you"?
Christian Mertens: We train young people in metal-cutting technologies and electrical engineering – from plant operators to machining technicians. And our focus is not on the traditional processes of the past, but on processes that companies will need in future. Of course, people will continue to specialize – some will work on machines in production, others in development or job preparation. But they all have to understand how digital process chains work. In a figurative sense, everyone has to be able to take up the relay baton and pass it on. It's these end-to-end digital process chains that we can teach people about, thanks to "NX goes Sinumerik Machine Tools".
Is NX the only CAD/CAM solution you use for training?
Christian Mertens: No, we work with up to 5 programs at the vocational college. But when it comes to the chain right down to the control system, NX is our program of choice. Many users see NX as rather tricky, but for a number of years now the developers have focused on simplifying operation. Thanks to its seamless integration from the initial idea in CAD, via CAM and simulation to the digital twin and Sinumerik, Siemens has developed a unique selling proposition in exactly an area that an increasing number of companies are demanding in practice.
Do you see any other advantages in this training program?
Christian Mertens: The greatest benefit has to be the training for teachers and instructors. Siemens has a great deal to offer through the DEX in this respect. And it makes sense that the "NX goes Sinumerik Machine Tools" package includes an in-depth train-the-trainer component. As teachers, lecturers and instructors we need to be included on the road to digitalization. This is where Siemens uses its enormous potential and can communicate a great deal of actual practice in modern process chains in facilities like the DEX, and this can then be replicated in the training facilities. The training documents are a good start, and each training facility can then add its own contributions following the first courses to consolidate the main points in its own training.