Chamber of Trade President's visit to Blumenbecker provides a glimpse into the working world of tomorrow
Chamber of Trade President Hans Hund's visit to the Blumenbecker Group works in Beckum was to a large degree focused on digitisation technology. As an international industrial service provider the family-owned company, which employs a staff of over 1,300 at more than 30 locations, has become something of a trailblazer for digitisation in the Münster business area.
Whether it be paperless accounting at the Group holding company or paperless manufacturing in the switchgear workshops, the switch to digitisation at Blumenbecker has been under way for some time now. And this applies to all three company divisions based at Beckum. Industrial Service now operates a fully digital workflow for the maintenance and testing of industrial systems; the fitters receive their assignments by tablet and can also use the computer to document their work. The Industrial Trade division has been one of the industry's pioneers in electronic procurement and online retailing, while in the production workshops at the company's Automatisierungstechnik division, to give but one example, a digital assistance system is used to ensure that individual components are accurately assigned to the correct function groups.
Dr Wolfgang Fink, Blumenbecker's Group Managing Director, is confident about it all. 'If we are to ensure that Blumenbecker will still be successful in 20 years’ time we need to understand and embrace technological developments and adapt them for our own needs.' He continued: 'We have been busy in recent years creating the in-house conditions needed for this. Now our customers are able to profit from it all and we are already seeing the first tangible results.'
Hans Hund appeared to be impressed by all these activities – and by how the company apprentices were being introduced to the subject. A 3D printer had been procured, for example, so that the trainees could carry out their own projects in-house. The Chamber of Trade President saw this as the right approach and emphasised the fact that the world of training and education had to prepare itself better than ever before for the digital age. The technical infrastructure, some parts of the school curriculum and even the training of some of the teaching staff were certainly in need of an update. For teachers and educators the most important thing, he said, was to ensure that 'the technology being taught was actually being used in the classroom'. This would provide trainees with direct experience of the information being imparted to them.
'We can only urge technicians and other qualified professionals to take these developments seriously and to make use of the opportunities offered by ongoing digital training', reiterated Hund. Learning did not stop after training and indeed the need to learn on the job lasted one's entire working life. 'This is more important than ever before, given the rapid progress being made by digital technology.'