Bailey Wiggett, an apprentice Manufacturing Technician, is in the fourth year of her engineering apprenticeship with Amtico (designers and manufacturers of flooring, headquartered in Coventry). As part of her HNC in Engineering studies, Bailey has developed a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) training rig that will ultimately result in reduced downtime on the factory floor.
About the Project
During the second year of the HNC programme students are given an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing a professional engineering project which meets appropriate engineering aims and objectives. In conjunction with her Manager, Bailey identified an opportunity for engineers to develop and improve their fault finding skills using PLC software by creating an in-house training rig. The project uses a combination of electrical drawings, wiring, testing and programming software. Firstly the training rig was built then software was created via Siemens TIA Portal V13.
Benefits to Amtico
Engineers at Amtico will be able to gain hands-on experience onsite, developing their skills in-house rather than incurring the expense of external training. In the future the training rig can easily be developed further (for example by adding a motor), enabling engineers to engage in more complex fault finding issues. With enhanced skills on the factory floor problems can be identified and resolved more efficiently, thus saving downtime costs.
Lee Beesley, MGTS Training & Development Adviser to Bailey tells us: “Over the past four years Bailey has proven to be a very professional and enthusiastic member of any department she has spent time in, readily engaging in any project work undertaken. This project was no different and demonstrates what an asset taking on an apprentice can be to any business. I would add that Bailey has been a positive role model for any new engineering apprentices joining Amtico.
“At times Bailey has lacked confidence in her ability, but with some encouragement from both me and her colleagues she has always exceeded what was expected of her, or indeed what Bailey believed she was capable of, with this exercise being one example.”
Adam Kubit, Amtico Controls Engineer and Apprentice Mentor comments: “For someone who has not had much PLC exposure before, Bailey has impressed me with her skills and retention of information throughout this complex project.”