OPTIMA apprentices honored in "Industry 4.0 talents" competition

OG_1_OPTIMA Projektteam
Part of the project team proudly shows off the award as part of the nationwide "Industry 4.0 Talents" competition. From left to right: Samuel Fuhrmann, Martin Würtemberger, Nick Gäbler and Annika Kröss. (Source: Optima)
Industry 4.0 talents from Schwäbisch Hall

Optima apprentices were honored in the statewide "Industry 4.0 Talents" competition organized by the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing. State Secretary Katrin Schütz honored the commitment of the young talents at a virtual award ceremony at the end of February. The interdisciplinary apprentice project team successfully developed a miniature measuring machine using agile working methods.

"Our digitization strategy has paid off again. We are very pleased to receive this award again," says Sebastian Henke, Head of Human Resources at the Optima Group. This is the second time in 1.5 years that Optima has received an award from the Alliance Industry 4.0. The alliance is a network initiated and supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, whose coordination office is located at the VDMA Baden-Württemberg state association.

"The award underscores the fact that we are intensively addressing the requirements of the increasingly digitalized world of work, both in our products and services and in the areas of vocational training and human resources. It is only the generous support of the management that makes such great projects possible! What excited me most were the eyes of the trainees, which were shining with joy!" says Henke. In addition to Optima, other well-known companies from Baden-Württemberg such as Sick, Kleemann, Heller and Schunk received awards.

Virtual award ceremony

State Secretary Katrin Schütz (left) honors Optima's commitment at a virtual award ceremony. Annika Kröss, trainee industrial clerk, accepted the award on behalf of the project team. (Source: Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing Baden-Württemberg)

Project Group Competition

The project team at the internal presentation in early 2020 (from left to right): Verena Konz, Lorenz Engelhardt, Nick Gäbler, Jürgen Hofmann, Samuel Fuhrmann, Martin Würtemberger and Annika Kröss. (Source: Optima)

Two apprentices work on one project

Industry 4.0 already begins in training at Optima: Annika Kröss and Martin Würtemberger work on one of the basic modules of the plant, which is assembled from Lego Mindstorms parts. Programming skills are required to program the parts. The photo was taken before the Corona pandemic began. (Source: Optima)

Participants acquire problem-solving skills and understanding of other professions

The project was realized within three months by the trainees Annika Kröss (industrial clerk), Martin Würtemberger (technical product designer), Samuel Fuhrmann (mechatronics technician), Nick Gäbler (industrial mechanic) and Lorenz Engelhardt (working student). Verena Konz from Optima Human Resources Development supported the team members. Jürgen Hoffmann, a teacher at the Commercial School in Schwäbisch Hall, accompanied the team as part of the "Teachers Experience Business" project.

The aim of the project was to familiarize the trainees with current project management techniques, mechanical engineering technologies and process flows in the company - from customer inquiry to acceptance. Therefore, the "Scrum" method was used. In addition to Lego Mindstorms, self-constructed stainless steel and 3D components were used. For this, the trainees worked closely with the Optima Additive Innovation Center and the production department. In the context of Industry 4.0, the use of agile project management techniques, the use of additive manufacturing technologies, the programming of the Lego Mindstorms components and the interdisciplinary composition of the project team are particularly important. As soon as the pandemic permits, the machine will demonstrate the filling and packaging process at training and study fairs for interested parties.

Digital natives pass on knowledge to companies

"With the Industrie 4.0 Talent Award, we are honoring the young digital natives whose valuable knowledge should flow into companies," says Katrin Schütz, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing of the State of Baden-Württemberg. Schütz presented the awards at a virtual awards ceremony on behalf of Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs. She said the competition was intended to showcase motivating lighthouse projects and motivate other companies to undertake similar projects.

In July 2019, Optima received an award in the "100 Places for Industry 4.0" competition for forward-looking HR management in the context of digitalization. This was followed in December 2019 by a special award in the field of action "Human Resources and Organizational Development" in the nationwide competition "familyNET 4.0".

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Denise Fiedler and Julia Völker
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Denise Fiedler and Julia Völker
Team Group Communication
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Denise Fiedler and Julia Völker
Denise Fiedler and Julia Völker
Team Group Communication
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