Lessons to be learned?

With engagement and recruitment of young people cited as a key challenge for the UK glass processing sector, there are potential learning opportunities from the continent, according to Bohle.

Against the backdrop of the World Cup, the Robocup Soccer European Championship, held  in the Italian city of Montesilvano, was also played out in June.

This included the ‘Bohlebots’, the Robot Study Group from Haan Grammar School, sponsored by Bohle, with training taking place at Bohle’s manufacturing facility in Haan.

“As an apprenticeship company, we take a strong stance in the promotion of young people in the region,” Arne Klöfkorn, Bohle CEO Marketing and Sales, said.

“With the Bohlebots, the students not only learn robotics, but also teamwork, commitment and perseverance. We wish them much success in the upcoming world championship.”

Bohle’s links to robotics comes through its cutting wheel manufacturing facility in Haan. This uses specially developed robotics technologies to manufacture each cutting wheel with exacting precision.

Approximately one third of the 700 students of the Haan Grammar School chose robotics as optional subject, with the Bohlebots emulating the success of their national football team to claim the West German Championship and book their place in the European finals.

The competition involves students from more than 14 different countries. The aim of the game is to score goals but to do so using a completely autonomous robot.

The championships come just weeks after Bohle declared its support for the UK Building Our Skills campaign including sponsorship of the Best New Glass Processing Operative category in the associated Recognising New Talents Awards.

Bohle’s Skills Roundtable event recently revealed that the industry saw recruitment and retention of shop floor staff, combined with a failure to attract younger workers into the industry, as a threat to the long term sustainability of the glass and glazing sector.