Victory at FRAISA 'ToolChampions' 2018/2019

written by Gabi Olpp on Friday, July 5, 2019

Who are the best multi-skills technician apprentices in Switzerland?

Ivo Müller is the national overall winner in the "CNC Machining" category

Competitors competed for the "Conventional Machining" and "CNC Machining" categories. Ivo Müller took home the award for the CNC machining category, and Andre Bollhalder received the award for conventional machining. The two winners beat more than 1,000 participants from all over Switzerland in the vocational sectors of micromechanics, multi-skills mechanic, and production mechanics.

Who are the best in the country?

The assignment is a very judicious test. The contestants follow a specific drawing to produce a perfect workpiece by milling, drilling and tread cutting out aluminum and brass materials. They are given only six hours to complete the task. FRAISA provides all the materials to ensure equal opportunities for all. The drilling and milling is done in an apprentice workshop or a vocational college. 

The Judges

The final selection of the national and regional overall winners was made by a group of external specialists.

Glory and prize money

Subsequently, the main national winners in both categories are selected from the regional winners. As overall winner of the category, Ivo received a car for one year, including vehicle tax and fully comprehensive insurance. The second- and third-place winners each received 1,200 and 1,000 Swiss francs respectively (about US $1,200/1,000). The total prize money for the national and regional winners amounts to over 60,000 francs (about US $60,000).

Hard work deserves a celebratory party

All participants as well as their instructors were invited to the big award ceremony at the FRAISA company headquarters in Bellach, Canton Solothurn. The festive occasion began with a tour of the company, which offered a variety of insights into everyday working life at FRAISA. A cocktail and lunch were followed by the award ceremony and the presentation of the main prizes.

Training with trust, respect and professionalism

Bucher Hydraulics is very proud of the outstanding performance of our apprentice, Ivo Müller, and congratulate him very warmly on winning the Fraisa Tool-Champions Competition 2018/2019.

We have been training multi-skills technician a.k.a. polymechanics with great success for many years. In our training role, we encourage respect and trust between the trainer and trainee. We provide a safe learning environment for the trainee to openly ask questions and to not be judged, but in the end taught everything he/she needs to know to perform the job well.

As a company that offers training, we encourage our apprentices to take part in competitions. This requires that the whole training team from the apprentice and experimental workshop supports our apprentices in their training in CNC technology and is always there to help and advise them.

Interview with Ivo Müller

Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship as a polymechanic at Bucher Hydraulics in Neuheim?

I was able to 'get the feel' of several companies, but at Bucher Hydraulics I immediately liked the good atmosphere and the togetherness. Of course, as a trial apprentice you are not in a position to make any judgment about a company's machinery -which has to be an important factor for an apprentice polymechanic. What you can judge well, however, is the way people relate to each other. Looking back, both were just right at Bucher Hydraulics, and I felt comfortable from the very beginning.

What do you particularly like about training as a polymechanic?

The importance of accuracy and precision in one's work. That fascinates me!

What's your experience of the cooperation in the training team?

Really, really good! You may be able to achieve good results on your own, but for the best results you need the broad support of the entire team. When you face a challenge as an apprentice, you can always count on the support of the whole training team from the apprentice and experimental workshop!

How did you get the idea to take part in the Fraisa ToolChampions competition?

My trainer Peter Böhi told me about it. Also, a former apprentice at Bucher Hydraulics has won the competition once already in 2015. That was an incentive for me, of course. On top of that, Bucher Hydraulics has the facilities and machines in the plant to submit a good workpiece.

What was your biggest challenge in making it?

All the dimensions of the workpiece for the competition had to be just right. The requirements for accuracy and precision were very high!

What are your plans for the future?

First of all, finish my training with a good grade. Soon I will be moving on to a new machine which I would like to do a good job of completing my Individual Practical Work (IPA). I'm also thinking about taking part in the Swiss Skills competition.

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