In Kirchdorf an der Iller, Liebherr together with the initiative “Technology is the Future” recently conducted a “technology camp” for career guidance and information on engineering study programs. Liebherr produces the hydraulic excavators in Kirchdorf that have caused great fascination beyond the scope of their application.
Eleven students in the 11th grade of the Simpert Krämer Gymnasium, in Krumbach, enrolled as student engineers for the Kirchdorf “technology camp”. For a week, the participants designed, calculated, tested and built a real component of an excavator. They were able to breathe engineering air and had plenty of opportunity to catch the technology bug.
It commenced with an informative tour of the 325 000 square meter works of Liebherr-Hydraulikbagger GmbH. The youngsters were particularly impressed by the size and precision of the machines and components. The camp participants were then introduced by Liebherr engineers to the world of CAD and thereby to the most important tool for the design of a reversing lever for an excavator.
Work on the new reversing lever accompanied the student engineers throughout the week. As in the real development and production process, the design was followed by a stress analysis and thereafter tests to determine the actual load when attached to the excavator. The materials and the reversing lever were thoroughly tested in the technical laboratory. Finally, yet importantly, all the individual steps were fully documented.
Subsequently, practical exercises in welding and milling were carried out in the Kirchdorf training workshop. In addition, the characteristics of excavator hydraulics were simulated on the model. The grand finale of the “technology camp” week was a test excavation with “real” machines in a gravel pit. There the knowledge gained during the course the playful design experiment could be tried out as to the effect of force and the importance of the reversing lever tested in practice.
Liebherr evaluates the first “technology camp” as a success. The youngsters were able to experience first hand the interesting career opportunities that arise from studying engineering. It is planned that the “technology camp” in Kirchdorf is to be offered regularly in the future.