Thermo Fisher, who manufacture state-of-the-art medical
products, invited students from Northumberland College to assist
their work team with a manufacturing issue they had that required
the use of Kaizen - the continuous improvement process that is
championed by Japanese manufacturers and is an industry standard
problem solving technique used to improve production processes.
After taking part in a range of introductory and training
sessions provided by the company, the students were allowed to join
the manufacturing team on the shop floor, taking part in a range of
different tasks including Gemba walks to map the assembly process,
team meetings and planning, product building and using the laser
cutter and 3D printer to create fittings.
The students were able to bring a fresh perspective to the
company's error proofing technique, due to their knowledge of
different manufacturing techniques from their course.
Northumberland College's Mechanical Engineering lecturer,
Richard Brückner, said: "Visiting Thermo Fisher Scientific was a
fantastic experience for the students. The opportunity to engage
with real life production processes, become part of a
professional team and deliver an engineered solution is
invaluable for tomorrow's engineers."
Seven students were part of the process, including 19-year-old
HNC Mechanical Engineering student, Mellisa Hedley, who is the only
female in the group.
Melissa said: "This project has given me so much confidence,
knowing the skills I am currently learning can be so valuable to a
workplace environment is really positive to know. Our manufacturing
techniques were able to prove the concept of assembly jigs working
online to offer a variety of options, which is great."
The College are now looking to further develop a relationship
with Thermo Fisher, to create additional work experience placements
for other students too.
In the North East over 40,000 people are employed within
engineering occupations and industry within engineering occupations
and industry forecasts predict this figure will remain steady by
the year 2020.
When looking at the UK as a whole it is estimated that by 2020
approximately 450,000 more science and technology technicians will
The UK will need about 87,000 graduate level engineers per year
over the next ten years - labourmarketnortheast.co.uk
Northumberland College's £2.5m state-of-the-art centre for
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will be the
home to Engineering students as of September, equipped with the
latest in engineering equipment to train future engineers in areas
including Hydraulics, Pneumatics, programmable logic controllers
(PLC) and Robotics with state-of-the-art facilities including 3D
printer and scanner, virtual welding machine, industrial robot,
Hydraulic rigs and simulation software and a modular clean room
with Class 10,000 (ISO 7) specification.
Richard continued: "The quality of the education and experience
gained during the week is a testament to
Thermo Fisher Scientific's commitment to developing STEM
and working together helps put our students ahead in the
competitive environment of modern industry."
Those who wish to study an Engineering course with
Northumberland College should visit www.northumberland.ac.uk for further information.