Quality Automation GmbH is now Siemens Solution Partner for Factory Automation and Drives & Motion. Thus we belong to a select­ed glob­al part­ner net­work with world­wide uni­form qual­i­ty stan­dards. This cre­ates com­pet­i­tive advan­tages, which we are hap­py to pass on to our customers.

Quality Automation GmbH has been offer­ing SITRAIN train­ing cours­es, such as PLC tech­ni­cian or ST-SERV ser­vice train­ing, as a coop­er­a­tion part­ner of Siemens for the Aachen region since 2007. After many years of suc­cess­ful coop­er­a­tion, we are very pleased to now take the next step.

As a Siemens Solution Partner, we have excel­lent indus­try knowl­edge for high-qual­i­ty, future-ori­ent­ed and cus­tomer-spe­cif­ic solu­tions. Through a con­tin­u­ous exchange of experts, we can always pass on cut­ting-edge automa­tion know-how and high stan­dards in sus­tain­abil­i­ty and qual­i­ty to our customers.

The know-how of our Siemens experts is opti­mized and kept at a con­stant­ly high lev­el in the Siemens Learning Program for Partners (SILPP) in reg­u­lar webi­na­rs and tech­ni­cal class­room train­ing. This enables us to offer our cus­tomers opti­mized solu­tions with Siemens products.

Only last year we cel­e­brat­ed our 20th com­pa­ny anniver­sary and already this year there is a 20th ser­vice anniver­sary to cel­e­brate. Our employ­ee Christof Lutterbach has been with QA since 2001 and was one of the first employ­ees back then. Who, if not Christof, can tell us a lot about the last 20 years and maybe also chat a bit out of the sewing box. In our inter­view, you will learn not only Christof’s per­son­al sto­ry and the begin­nings at QA, but also what has changed at our com­pa­ny dur­ing this peri­od — but also what has always remained the same over the years.

The beginnings of QA

Christof Lutterbach was hired as the sec­ond employ­ee at Quality Automation GmbH in March 2001. At that time our offices were still locat­ed in the “Dienstleistungszentrum” (DLZ) in Stolberg. After his train­ing as an indus­tri­al elec­tron­ics tech­ni­cian, his path led through sev­er­al sta­tions to a posi­tion as a skilled work­er, where he was able to gain his first pro­gram­ming expe­ri­ence. “This was a very big step for me at the time. Taking on pro­gram­ming tasks as a skilled work­er was not only a great respon­si­bil­i­ty, but also not an every­day occur­rence,” Christof recalls.

In addi­tion to his job, Christof decid­ed to con­tin­ue his edu­ca­tion to become a tech­ni­cian at night school. Towards the end of his train­ing, Christof heard about QA for the first time. “I was very skep­ti­cal at first, because I had planned to move to a larg­er com­pa­ny. On rec­om­men­da­tion, I final­ly intro­duced myself to QA after all. I was enthu­si­as­tic from the begin­ning and very con­vinced by the then man­ag­ing direc­tors Michael Fritz and Heinz Monnartz. My pre­vi­ous pro­gram­ming expe­ri­ence also played into my hands,” reports Christof.

New building, new tasks

It quick­ly became too crowd­ed in the two offices in the DLZ with addi­tion­al new employ­ees, so that the move to the cur­rent com­pa­ny head­quar­ters in Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse in Stolberg was already on the agen­da in January 2002. “This was a sign of growth for all of us and a con­fir­ma­tion that many new task areas and require­ments lay ahead of us in the future. There was a ’now we’re real­ly get­ting start­ed’ mood,” says Christof, who still remem­bers the time well. For him, too, his areas of respon­si­bil­i­ty have changed again and again, not only at that time, but con­tin­u­ous­ly to this day. In the begin­ning it was exclu­sive­ly PLC pro­gram­ming, but soon ser­vo sys­tems and robot­ics were added. Large LabVIEW projects were imple­ment­ed and final­ly the exten­sive area of image pro­cess­ing was added, in which Christof still man­ages and imple­ments many inter­est­ing projects today.

The entire range of tasks has grown steadi­ly over the years, both at QA and at Christof. In addi­tion to the pro­gram­ming tasks, more and more project man­age­ment and cus­tomer sup­port were added. Christof is now part of our so-called “extend­ed man­age­ment team” and is the deputy of our autho­rized sig­na­to­ry Friedhelm Steffens. Furthermore, he super­vis­es and trains new employees.

The comparison — QA then and now

“The struc­ture of QA has remained the same over all these years. Our flat hier­ar­chy and direct con­tact with all employ­ees has made us strong in the past and is still lived that way today. Due to our cur­rent size, of almost 60 employ­ees, there are of course slight changes, but we have all always tried to main­tain our cor­po­rate cul­ture,” Christof describes us.

This is also reflect­ed in our sum­mer par­ties and Christmas cel­e­bra­tions, where there is always a fam­i­ly and friend­ly atmos­phere and the whole fam­i­ly is wel­come. The com­pa­ny par­ties and out­ings of the last few years are always fond­ly remem­bered, not only by Christof, but by all employ­ees. But what event from the last 20 years has par­tic­u­lar­ly stuck in Christof’s mind? “That’s quite dif­fi­cult,” Christof begins, “after all, it’s not just the cel­e­bra­tions that you spend togeth­er. Especially when there weren’t so many of us and we had big assign­ments abroad, almost the entire QA team was on the road. It was not unusu­al for us to work and live togeth­er for up to four weeks. In Kansas in the USA, for exam­ple, we went on excur­sions on our week­ends off, vis­it­ed muse­ums or were invit­ed to a BBQ. These shared expe­ri­ences and mem­o­ries are shared with col­leagues and many an anec­dote still comes back to life in con­ver­sa­tions today.”

Christof appre­ci­ates the fact that he has been able to get to know almost every con­ti­nent through his work at QA, even if it was­n’t easy at times. Strict sched­ules, dif­fi­cult con­di­tions abroad, and often trav­el­ing alone. One project in par­tic­u­lar has remained in his mem­o­ry. A plant was to be designed from scratch for the devel­op­ment depart­ment of a cus­tomer from Hungary. “We start­ed with a blank sheet of paper and redesigned every­thing from the graph­i­cal user inter­face to image pro­cess­ing with LabVIEW to ser­vo tech­nol­o­gy. Data was acquired and record­ed in times of less than 10 ms. This was a huge project for me at that time, which I real­ized on my own from QA. I learned a lot of new things dur­ing this project,” reports Christof.

What will happen in the next few years?

“I feel very com­fort­able with my rel­a­tive­ly new tasks in the field of man­age­ment,” Christof begins. “It gives me great plea­sure to influ­ence the shap­ing of the com­pa­ny and to wit­ness the con­stant devel­op­ments. But also advanc­ing and sup­port­ing the progress of young col­leagues is a mat­ter close to my heart.”

Furthermore, Christof is already con­cerned with the expan­sion of stan­dards in PLC pro­grams and in image pro­cess­ing and would also like to advance these fur­ther togeth­er with his colleagues.

In the age of Industry 4.0, dig­i­tal­iza­tion is a key fac­tor for the devel­op­ment of future projects and inno­v­a­tive plants. In par­tic­u­lar, the use of dig­i­tal twins can offer new per­spec­tives in the devel­op­ment of PLC soft­ware, such as the pos­si­bil­i­ty of vir­tu­al commissioning.

Tanguy Guarinoni is study­ing engi­neer­ing at the Haute École de la Province de Liège in Belgium. As part of his master’s the­sis at Quality Automation, he cre­at­ed a dig­i­tal twin of our Fischertechnik mod­el to explore this method­ol­o­gy and show inter­est in future appli­ca­tions of this method.

A Fischertechnik fac­to­ry sim­u­la­tion served as a mod­el for the dig­i­tal twin. It con­sists of the mod­els sort­ing line with col­or recog­ni­tion, mul­ti-machin­ing sta­tion with kiln, auto­mat­ed high-bay ware­house and a vac­u­um suc­tion grip­per. With these sta­tions, a closed mate­r­i­al cycle is pos­si­ble. The work­pieces are retrieved from the high-bay ware­house, processed in the machin­ing sta­tion, then sort­ed by col­or in the sort­ing sys­tem, and then returned to the high-bay warehouse.

To cre­ate a dig­i­tal twin, the CAD files of the fac­to­ry were first need­ed. These were used to devel­op the twin with the Siemens pro­gram CAD/​CAM sys­tem NX. For each ele­ment, a so-called mesh­ing had to be defined, as well as the free­dom of move­ment, speed and oth­er impor­tant dimen­sions. In addi­tion, all exist­ing sen­sors were also meshed.

The next step was the vir­tu­al com­mis­sion­ing of the dig­i­tal twin, which was car­ried out with a sim­u­lat­ed PLC. In this way, not only the pro­gram­ming of the con­troller but also the cor­rect func­tion­al­i­ties of the dig­i­tal twin could be validated.

The mas­ter the­sis also includ­ed a direct com­par­i­son of the two sys­tems. Of the mod­el con­sist­ing of hard­ware and its pure­ly vir­tu­al twin. The results of this project are quite inter­est­ing and give us a lot of insight into the pos­si­bil­i­ties of vir­tu­al com­mis­sion­ing. Due to dig­i­tal­iza­tion and the con­tin­u­ous increase in decen­tral­ized work, sim­u­la­tions and vir­tu­al twins will play an increas­ing­ly impor­tant role in the future.

As part of his bachelor’s the­sis, Aaron Laufs is devel­op­ing a con­trol sys­tem for wind­ing sys­tems based on a mod­el with dancer and trac­tive force controls.

SPS-basierte Regelung einer Wickelanlage mit Soft- und Hardware von Mitsubishi

Motivation and background

In a past bach­e­lor the­sis we designed and imple­ment­ed a mod­el of a wind­ing line with PLC-based con­trol. The exist­ing test mod­el is now to be mod­i­fied and equipped with soft­ware and hard­ware from Mitsubishi. “Together with Mitsubishi, I will devel­op a con­trol basis for wind­ing appli­ca­tions, which can then be used flex­i­bly in the future for dif­fer­ent motor and sys­tem sizes,” says Aaron.

Aaron Laufs is cur­rent­ly a stu­dent at Aachen University of Applied Sciences in the field of automa­tion and dri­ve tech­nol­o­gy. After leav­ing school, he first trained as an elec­tron­ics tech­ni­cian for indus­tri­al engi­neer­ing and, while still in train­ing, earned his tech­ni­cal bac­calau­re­ate at night school. After his appren­tice­ship and some work expe­ri­ence, Aaron decid­ed to study full-time, which has now led him to QA since the begin­ning of this year. After a suc­cess­ful intern­ship, we are pleased that Aaron would like to com­plete the upcom­ing bach­e­lor the­sis with us.

The test setup

The Fischertechnik mod­el sim­u­lates almost real con­di­tions. A feed unit in the mid­dle between the two wind­ing units sets the speed. On the left side, a dancer con­trol is imple­ment­ed. In this process, the mate­r­i­al is guid­ed behind the winder via a ver­ti­cal­ly freely mov­able dancer. If pos­si­ble, the dancer should always remain in a cen­tral posi­tion, and the con­trol sys­tem reacts to devi­a­tions from this posi­tion. The path is mea­sured by a slid­ing poten­tiome­ter. For the sec­ond method, ten­sion con­trol, a fixed deflec­tion pul­ley is used, with force sen­sors attached to its foun­da­tion. Here, the ten­sion on the pul­ley is used as the con­trolled variable.

Content and outlook

In the com­ing months, Aaron will devel­op the con­trol base step by step using Mitsubishi com­po­nents. After famil­iar­iza­tion with the hard­ware, the wind­ing appli­ca­tion and the con­trol loop, the con­trolled vari­ables must be deter­mined and the con­trol loop imple­ment­ed. For this pur­pose, mod­ules are cre­at­ed with the GX Works 3 soft­ware, which per­form phys­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions. Subsequently, the entire con­trol loop is sim­u­lat­ed in the soft­ware and ini­tial tests are car­ried out. After that, the mod­el is con­vert­ed. For this pur­pose, our pre­mi­um sys­tem part­ner Mitsubishi pro­vides us with, among oth­er things, the RD78G4 motion con­troller, a J5 series ser­vo ampli­fi­er and the HK-KT12W ser­vo motor. The soft­ware will run on a MELSEC iQ‑R series controller.

We are look­ing for­ward to this excit­ing and inno­v­a­tive bach­e­lor the­sis and wish Aaron much suc­cess in the com­ing months.

SPS-basierte Regelung einer Wickelanlage mit Soft- und Hardware von Mitsubishi

For some time now, QA has been using a Fischertechnik-mod­el for fac­to­ry sim­u­la­tion. This com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent sta­tions, con­trolled by a Siemens Simatic S7-200, is used by trainees, interns and Bachelor or Master stu­dents to real­is­ti­cal­ly mod­el com­plex processes.

As QA it is impor­tant to us that our trainees, interns or stu­dents can work in a prac­ti­cal way and there­by gain impor­tant expe­ri­ence. Only by apply­ing and imple­ment­ing do you learn to find solu­tions and mas­ter chal­lenges on your own,” explains Managing Director Andreas Fritz.

The fac­to­ry sim­u­la­tion con­sists of the mod­els sort­ing line with col­or recog­ni­tion, mul­ti-machin­ing sta­tion with kiln, auto­mat­ed high-bay ware­house and a vac­u­um suc­tion grip­per. With these sta­tions, a closed mate­r­i­al cycle is pos­si­ble. The work­pieces are retrieved from the high-bay ware­house, processed in the machin­ing sta­tion, then sort­ed by col­or in the sort­ing sys­tem and then returned to the high-bay warehouse.

In the course of a bach­e­lor the­sis, the soft­ware was recent­ly revised and fur­ther devel­oped, so that many new func­tion­al­i­ties have been added. It is now pos­si­ble, for exam­ple, to select via the Simatic HMI pan­el the exact sequence in which the dif­fer­ent­ly col­ored work­pieces are to be retrieved and returned to storage.

To give you an insight into our fish tech­nol­o­gy mod­el, we have filmed a machin­ing cycle from dif­fer­ent angles and edit­ed it into a short video.

We hope you enjoy watch­ing it.

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We are pleased to wel­come our new employ­ee Dipl.-Ing. Achim Merzbach at Quality Automation GmbH. With his many years of pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence in indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion and automa­tion he will sup­port us in the func­tions of Senior-Consultant.

Dipl.-Ing. Achim Merzbach

Achim Merzbach can look back on an excit­ing pro­fes­sion­al career to date. In 1990, he start­ed as a PLC engi­neer in mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing at Philips in Aachen. In 1993 he changed to the halo­gen lamp pro­duc­tion at Philips Licht as project man­ag­er in the field of indus­tri­al automa­tion tech­nol­o­gy. In this posi­tion he worked for sev­er­al years. From 1995 he took over the com­plete Factory Engineering and from 1997 also the pro­duc­tion man­age­ment of the halo­gen lamp man­u­fac­tur­ing and packaging.

From 2000 he was respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment, indus­tri­al­iza­tion and automa­tion of the coat­ing depart­ment as main project man­ag­er and lat­er addi­tion­al­ly as depart­ment manager.

In 2010 he again took over the man­age­ment of Factory Engineering to sup­port the imple­men­ta­tion of LEAN man­age­ment. Here the focus was on TPM (opti­miza­tion of plants, process­es and main­te­nance). Another focus was the devel­op­ment of the ener­gy man­age­ment system.

In 2018, Achim Merzbach took over site man­age­ment at a soft­ware and IT ser­vice provider with a focus on mar­ket­ing, cus­tomer sup­port and acqui­si­tion and pro­fes­sion­al net­work­ing. The pre­vi­ous knowl­edge of his pre­vi­ous man­age­r­i­al posi­tions and his tech­ni­cal knowl­edge are a great advan­tage when inter­act­ing with customers.

The way to QA

As ear­ly as 1990, our man­ag­ing direc­tor Michael Fritz, then also work­ing for Philips, and Achim Merzbach got to know each oth­er. Since the foun­da­tion of QA, there have always been long-stand­ing busi­ness con­nec­tions and a great mutu­al trust.

With all his many years of expe­ri­ence, Achim Merzbach will now sup­port Quality Automation GmbH as a Senior-Consultant with a main focus on sales. His respon­si­bil­i­ties will include sup­port­ing and advis­ing the exec­u­tive board, the man­age­ment and the project man­agers in both exter­nal and inter­nal projects. Furthermore, he will be increas­ing­ly involved in the acqui­si­tion of new cus­tomers and the sup­port of exist­ing cus­tomers. In oth­er words, he will be your direct con­tact for all ques­tions regard­ing our ser­vices, prod­ucts or ongo­ing projects.

The added value for the customer

Through this per­son­nel expan­sion, it is now pos­si­ble for us as Quality Automation GmbH to main­tain an even clos­er busi­ness rela­tion­ship with our cus­tomers and to sup­port you with advice at any time. You have an expe­ri­enced and com­pe­tent con­tact per­son who will take care of your con­cerns and also pro­vide you with help­ful and knowl­edge­able infor­ma­tion with his exper­tise in the emerg­ing top­ics of dig­i­tal­iza­tion, Industry 4.0, IoT and Smart Factory.

Even in these dif­fi­cult times, we are of course on the road for our cus­tomers at home and abroad. Depending on the des­ti­na­tion, this requires good plan­ning and com­pli­ance with var­i­ous require­ments. However, the health of our employ­ees is always our top pri­or­i­ty dur­ing these assign­ments. In this arti­cle, we report on a for­eign assign­ment in Croatia as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of our busi­ness trips.

Auslandseinsatz in Zeiten der COVID-19-Pandemie

Before the trip start­ed, some orga­ni­za­tion­al points were clar­i­fied the week before. The doc­u­ments required for entry includ­ed the A1 cer­tifi­cate on social secu­ri­ty leg­is­la­tion, a trav­el noti­fi­ca­tion for entry into the Republic of Croatia and a cer­tifi­cate issued by QA on the absolute neces­si­ty of a busi­ness trip. Furthermore, proof of a neg­a­tive test for infec­tion with the coro­n­avirus must be car­ried when enter­ing Croatia and re-enter­ing Germany. In coop­er­a­tion with the cus­tomer in Croatia, an appoint­ment for an on-site PRC test was already orga­nized before the start of the trip.

With the QA com­pa­ny car and equipped with a sup­ply of FFP2 masks, we set off from Stolberg in the direc­tion of south­ern Germany. First stopover: Frankfurt am Main. Here a PRC express test was car­ried out. Thanks to good orga­ni­za­tion on site and pri­or book­ing of an appoint­ment, the test was com­plet­ed in the short­est pos­si­ble time and the jour­ney could be con­tin­ued quick­ly. The test result arrived by email after only about 30 min­utes. The des­ti­na­tion for the first day was the city of Passau in Bavaria. Due to the long total dis­tance of 1200km, a stopover was nec­es­sary. We delib­er­ate­ly decid­ed against an overnight stay in Austria, as this would have result­ed in a 10-day quar­an­tine obligation.

Equipped with vignettes for Austria and Slovenia, we con­tin­ued the next day to the vicin­i­ty of the Croatian cap­i­tal Zagreb. On arrival at the customer’s site, work on the plant was start­ed imme­di­ate­ly and con­tin­ued suc­cess­ful­ly over the next few days.

In order to have a proof of a neg­a­tive PRC-Corona test for the return jour­ney to Germany, this was already car­ried out one day before depar­ture at the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb. Our employ­ee was accom­pa­nied by the cus­tomer, as he is famil­iar with the local con­di­tions and orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­tures. The results were avail­able in time for the depar­ture and so we returned to Stolberg with an overnight stay in Germany.

Since a few days Quality Automation GmbH is now a licensed Certified Excellence Solution Partner of Bosch Rexroth. This means that we belong to a select­ed net­work of sales and ser­vice part­ners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Together with around 60 Excellence (CE) part­ners, we have a high lev­el of per­for­mance and solu­tion exper­tise for automa­tion, dri­ve and con­trol technology

We have been an offi­cial Bosch Rexroth sys­tem inte­gra­tor since 2009 and are pleased to take the next step after these suc­cess­ful years of coop­er­a­tion. The mul­ti-stage struc­tured cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process, in which we have proven our com­pe­tence and per­for­mance in all rel­e­vant dis­ci­plines, makes us a CE Solution Partner.

As a CE Solution Partner, we offer intel­li­gent, safe and effi­cient solu­tions from Bosch Rexroth. Our spe­cial­ly trained and qual­i­fied per­son­nel have exten­sive exper­tise to sup­port our cus­tomers in the design, opti­miza­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of their automa­tion projects. As a Certified Excellence Solution Partner, we are always avail­able to pro­vide expert advice and pur­chas­ing support.

https://​www​.boschrexroth​.com/

Dennis Paustenbach is 31 years old and has been work­ing for Quality Automation GmbH since April 2016. More than two years ago, he decid­ed to take a part-time dis­tance learn­ing course and is now about to write his master’s the­sis. We asked Dennis some inter­est­ing and per­son­al ques­tions about this, which he was hap­py to answer. In the fol­low­ing, you can read about his moti­va­tions, dai­ly study rou­tine and pri­vate plans after com­plet­ing his stud­ies. Of course, you will also learn some­thing about the frame­work and con­tent of the study and not least per­son­al tips from Dennis to those read­ers who are cur­rent­ly think­ing about start­ing a dis­tance learn­ing pro­gram themselves.

Let’s first look back a few years. After Dennis com­plet­ed his appren­tice­ship as an elec­tron­ics tech­ni­cian with dis­tinc­tion in 2010 as one of the best in his class, he first worked in his pro­fes­sion for a year until he decid­ed to start cer­ti­fied tech­ni­cian pro­gram at night school at the Berufskolleg für Gestaltung und Technik in Aachen. Already here he expe­ri­enced what it was like to have to study and take exams while work­ing. This went so well that Dennis caught up on his tech­ni­cal high school diplo­ma at the same time, and so by the end of 2015 he had his tech­ni­cal high school diplo­ma and was a state-cer­ti­fied technician.

Why study?
At the begin­ning of 2016, his pro­fes­sion­al path led to the elec­tri­cal design depart­ment of QA. After a lit­tle over a year in his new job, he decid­ed to pur­sue the part-time dis­tance learn­ing Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with a spe­cial­iza­tion in Automation Engineering at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Department of EIT.

When asked why he chose this course of study, Dennis has sev­er­al imme­di­ate answers: “Because of my train­ing as a state-cer­ti­fied tech­ni­cian for automa­tion tech­nol­o­gy and because of my work up to that point as an elec­tron­ics tech­ni­cian in the field of automa­tion, it made sense for me to also com­plete my fur­ther edu­ca­tion in the sub­ject area. I also found that elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing suits me and that I enjoy it a lot.” Furthermore, he sees the field of automa­tion tech­nol­o­gy as very future-ori­ent­ed and grow­ing strong­ly in the com­ing years. “I think that tasks that will have to be solved in the indus­try in the future require a good basic edu­ca­tion. I want to be pre­pared for this not only prac­ti­cal­ly, through my job, but also the­o­ret­i­cal­ly through my stud­ies. I want to gain a deep­er insight into the the­o­ry behind the things I apply and use in my dai­ly pro­fes­sion­al life.”

The study
The dis­tance learn­ing pro­gram at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences con­sists of 7 semes­ters of stan­dard study time, with the 1st semes­ter being a prepara­to­ry semes­ter, due to the lat­er­al entry from tech­ni­cian to master.

“Only when you have suc­cess­ful­ly passed the exams of the prepara­to­ry semes­ter, you are allowed to start with the actu­al stud­ies”, Dennis reports. He remem­bers the time well: “Getting admit­ted to the pro­gram at all is a chal­lenge. In addi­tion to an appli­ca­tion with a resume, a let­ter of moti­va­tion and a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion, you also need a good tech­ni­cal degree to be invit­ed to the entrance exam. If you pass the entrance exam and the exams at the end of the prepara­to­ry semes­ter, the actu­al stud­ies begin. From orig­i­nal­ly more than 40 lat­er­al entrants inter­est­ed in study­ing in the admis­sion process, only 4 peo­ple actu­al­ly start­ed the studies.”

The con­tents
Classroom lec­tures are held four times a month, usu­al­ly on Fridays and Saturdays, but some­times also on Sundays. The exams at the end of a semes­ter are divid­ed over two week­ends. Most of the knowl­edge has to be acquired in self-study after work or on the week­ends off. “This already requires a high degree of self-dis­ci­pline and moti­va­tion, espe­cial­ly after a long day at work,” Dennis tells us. Due to the Corona pan­dem­ic, there are cur­rent­ly no face-to-face events. This saves trav­el­ing to the uni­ver­si­ty, but makes per­son­al inter­ac­tion and knowl­edge exchange with fel­low stu­dents and pro­fes­sors more difficult.

In the first part of the pro­gram, stu­dents are taught in-depth fun­da­men­tals of elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing. Topics such as sys­tem the­o­ry and sig­nal pro­cess­ing are on the pro­gram. In the sec­ond semes­ter, stu­dents choose a spe­cial­iza­tion. Special meth­ods of con­trol engi­neer­ing, learn­ing con­trols, robot­ics and elec­tro­mo­bil­i­ty are just a few of the sub­jects. Interdisciplinary sub­jects such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy, employ­ee man­age­ment and labor law are taught regard­less of the spe­cial­iza­tion. The pro­gram con­cludes with a master’s the­sis and the aca­d­e­m­ic degree of Master of Science.

The mas­ter the­sis at QA?
Dennis is cur­rent­ly in his 4th semes­ter and his master’s the­sis is due in the com­ing sum­mer semes­ter. Here, of course, our first ques­tion was whether he would like to write it at QA or gain new expe­ri­ence in oth­er com­pa­nies. “I would like to do my master’s the­sis at QA, this has already been clar­i­fied and I am very hap­py about it. Only the top­ic still needs to be clar­i­fied,” Dennis tells us. Here at QA, he has many oppor­tu­ni­ties to direct­ly put into prac­tice what he has learned and is also sup­port­ed in many ways. “I’m very glad that QA has my back here, whether it’s from spon­ta­neous vaca­tions to study just before exams to my pro­fes­sion­al career after graduation.”

What’s next after graduation?
Dennis sees his future con­tin­u­ing at QA, after grad­u­a­tion he would like to stay with us, but ori­ent him­self more in the direc­tion of soft­ware devel­op­ment. There are already inter­nal agree­ments on this, he tells us. In his pri­vate life, too, things will change after grad­u­a­tion: “I am con­fi­dent that I will have more time for my fam­i­ly and friends again. After grad­u­a­tion, a new phase of life begins and top­ics such as fam­i­ly plan­ning and build­ing or buy­ing a house will also be on the agen­da in the next few years.”

We would like to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to wish Dennis every suc­cess in his fur­ther stud­ies, his pro­fes­sion­al career and, of course, that he achieves all his goals and wish­es in his pri­vate life.

Further tips for our readers 
If inter­est in study­ing or oth­er fur­ther edu­ca­tion and train­ing has now been aroused, Dennis has a few more tips: “First of all, you should be aware that study­ing while work­ing is very time-con­sum­ing. Friends and fam­i­ly often take a back seat, espe­cial­ly short­ly before exams. In gen­er­al, you should be very self-moti­vat­ed and have the will to fol­low through with your stud­ies. Good sup­port from your employ­er is also very impor­tant. In addi­tion, you should have the prospect of a posi­tion in your own com­pa­ny or in anoth­er com­pa­ny that fits in with your fur­ther edu­ca­tion, so that you can apply what you’ve learned direct­ly after your studies.” 

This year, we are once again a schol­ar­ship provider and are sup­port­ing Robin Feistel, a master’s stu­dent of elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing with a focus on automa­tion tech­nol­o­gy at the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, with a one-year schol­ar­ship. We are very pleased that Mr. Feistel has informed us that in par­tic­u­lar the receipt of the schol­ar­ship has also moved him to the deci­sion to pur­sue a Master’s degree after the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the Bachelor’s pro­gram. This is real­ly a great affir­ma­tion and shows that the schol­ar­ships are effec­tive in help­ing stu­dents to be able to achieve their desired degrees.

Mr. Feistel’s goal is to lat­er find a var­ied and chal­leng­ing job in the field of automa­tion tech­nol­o­gy, where he can con­tin­ue to devel­op and expand his knowl­edge. He is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in mas­ter­ing chal­lenges in automa­tion from a com­bi­na­tion of design, pneu­mat­ic and elec­tri­cal solu­tions. In oth­er words, a real all-rounder.

Unfortunately, we were not yet able to meet Mr. Feistel dur­ing the schol­ar­ship award cer­e­mo­ny. Due to Corona restric­tions, there was of course no face-to-face event in Aachen’s town hall with per­son­al pre­sen­ta­tion of the schol­ar­ships. Instead, the FH Aachen came up with some­thing great! Please have a look at the FH Aachen web­site for more infor­ma­tion: Scholarship Award 2020

We are look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing Mr. Feistel as soon as the Corona sit­u­a­tion allows for a per­son­al meet­ing and a pre­sen­ta­tion of the com­pa­ny. Until then, we wish him all the best and much suc­cess in his fur­ther studies!

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