Unternehmensgruppe Eckert


Knowledge is power: International Cooperation with Pennsylvania College of Technology (USA)

The international network grows: In June 2022 the Eckert Schools welcomed 11 American students for an exclusive "Machining Training".

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The exchange students together with Gerald Saule (Head of Vocational Training International, Dr. Eckert Akademie), Hua Lei (Master Professional Senior Project Management International, Dr. Eckert Akademie) and Laura Ebkemeier (interpreter, left). (Credits: Eckert Schulen)

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The souvenir: A self-made plaque with the inscription: "Knowledge is Power" and the logos of the cooperation partners. (Credits: Eckert Schulen)

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All participants with their certificates after successful participation in the training program at the Regenstauf campus. (Credits: Eckert Schulen)

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Excursion at the Voith Group in Heidenheim (Credits: Eckert Schulen)

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Excursion at the Techology Campus Cham of Deggendorf Institute of Technology (Credits: Eckert Schulen)

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Excursion at the KUKA AG in Augsburg (Credits: Eckert Schulen)

For years, the Eckert Schools have been strengthening and expanding both the regional and international network. In 2019 the Eckert Schools were delighted to receive a request for cooperation from the Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT). A trip abroad for students from the machining and advanced manufacturing departments was to be organized. The goal: Being able to learn about further education opportunities in precision work in Germany.

"We are fascinated by the dual system in Germany," wrote Dr. Bradd Webb (Dean, School of Engineering Technologies, Pennsylvania) in his first mail to the Eckert Schools International. In June 2022, the Eckert Schools were finally able to welcome the 11 American exchange students to the campus in Regenstauf, Bavaria. From June 20th to July 6th the American students and lecturers took part in a specially designed "Machining Training". The agenda was a colorful mix of excursions, technical workshops and tourist trips. 

In the digital labs of the Dr. Eckert Academy, Hubert Döllinger (Head of the Electrical Engineering Department, Dr. Eckert Academy) gave the visitors an impressive insight into an Industrie 4.0 production plant. A demonstration plant was used to show the participants how people, machines and intelligent products can communicate with each other in a Smart Factory.
Roland Zimmerer (trainer quality specialists, Berufsförderungswerk Eckert) presented the most important hand-held measuring devices from industrial metrology. By using calipers or micrometers and a following comparison of the measurement results, the students gained practical insights. In addition, they were allowed to visit the machine park of the Eckert Schools including their Keyence measuring projector, Zeiss 3D coordinate measuring machine and Mahr MMQ200.

Armin Hackenberg (Head of Department IHK, Dr. Eckert Academy) conveyed the structure and kinematics of the KUKA robot. He introduced the international guests to the safety regulations and conducted a safety briefing. Following the briefing, the exchange group demonstrated their knowledge by creating and testing a robot program.

In the midst of the technical workshops, an additional idea emerged: Creating a symbolic monument to manifest and remember the successful collaboration. "This project highlights the engineering talent that Pennsylvania College of Technology and Eckert Schools share," says Dakota Harrison. Because of their previous experience with computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing, the exchange students found it easy to operate the CNC milling machine in the Eckert Schools lab. Peter Zollner (Metal Trades Department Manager) led the project including the preparation of a sketch, the import into ShopMill and programming.
Thanks to the expertise and commitment of everyone involved, the international cooperation not only makes history – but instead the American students fly back home with tangible evidence. The souvenir: A self-made plaque with the inscription: "Knowledge is Power" and the logos of the cooperation partners.

As part of the exchange program, the group went to the companies Haimer, KUKA, Voith Group and Porsche. They also visited the Technology Campus in Cham. The companies presented their production- and hydraulics halls to the American students who showed much interest in the excursions.

Both the Eckert Schools and the Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT) were highly impressed by the exchange of technical knowledge and the "machining program".  The cooperation partners emphasize: future students of the PCT will also get to visit the Eckert Schools in future collective projects. The exchange program will be intensified and continued in the future.