French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attended the official ground-breaking ceremony for a “training facility for tomorrow’s mechnical industries” — a new training centre for tomorrow’s production jobs which will be used as a simulator for the “factory of the future”.
The project has been developed by a consortium of manufacturers in the greater Paris region, including Safran, Fives Maintenance and a number of SMEs, along with France’s Gifas aerospace industries association. The centre will be ocated on the Faculté des Métiers de l'Essonne (FDME) vocational college campus, near Paris.
The project was launched in response to the widespread digitization of production processes, and the need to hire a significant number of technicians and operators to renew the workforce and handle strong growth in production.
The centre will provide training for both students on work-study programmes (250 to 300 over the three years of training) and employees taking continuing education courses (300 per year). They will learn about new production methods based on networked machines, Internet of Things (IoT), additive manufacturing (3D printing), augmented reality, collaborative robots (cobotics), tablets on the shop floor, etc.
The technical and educational resources provided will be used by various training organizations for apprentices, and by manufacturers for their employees receiving in-service training. These training programmes should enable future employees to acquire the basic professional knowledge needed, while introducing them to the industrial environment in preparation for being hired. The aim for current employees is to develop their skills base so they can operate sophisticated new production machinery and equipment.
"The ‘factory of the future' is developing at a rapid pace and needs employees who constantly renew their skills so they can master the new production tools. In other words, it had become very urgent for us to set up a dedicated training centre for tomorrow's mechanical industries,” says Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin.
A total of about €8m will be invested in the centre, which will offer floor space of 2,000m2. Construction will start in early 2017, and the centre is scheduled to open in 2018.