Not too long ago at South Ural State University an Industrial Engineering Division was opened, where future industrial engineers have the chance to learn, develop, and increase their qualifications. Working in many specialized programs, practical training on CNC lathes, and constantly improving one's skills enables students to become more competitive in the labor market.
The Industrial Engineering Center partners with the ADEM group of companies through ADEM Uralskoye Otdeleniye OOO (ADEM Ural Division OOO) is a Russian producer of software for mechanical engineering. The company’s products allow for the complete coverage of the full cycle of mechanical and design tasks. The Division also works with the dealer SolidCAM, which has begun to be actively implemented in businesses in our country. Among international partners, the division works with the company IMS Software, which works on the simulation, verification, and post-processing of CNC lathes.
The Industrial Engineering Division has offered employer training for various businesses. The list includes, for example, such companies as Polyot, Kopeysk Mechanical Factory, the Splav factory, and more. At this time, staff are being retrained by the company KONAR (BVK OOO) in the program entitled “Specialist in the development of technologies and programs for CNC lathes”.
We spoke with the head of the technological division Anton Nurkenov and found out how it is possible to raise one's qualifications and what prospects new specialists have.
– What is the role of the Industrial Engineering Division at SUSU?
The Industrial Engineering Division was formed in January 2017. Specialists of this division work on training industrial engineers for mechanical engineering businesses. Here people who develop industrial engineering processes and lathe programs with software management, and those who are increasing their qualifications in this area work.
We use various modules of software, for example: ADEM, SolidCAM, SolidWorks, and software from the firm Emka and HEIDENHAIN. We first teach the theoretical portion, then students learn part of the theory through practical lessons on the computer – for example writing programs or writing engineering documents, and then we can verify all of this on our equipment with digital management from the firm Emka: a milling center and lathe with a transfer block.
– What is education on the lathes like?
We have work and engineering specialties. The work specialties include operators and servicemen for CNC lathes. Students study and can work on the lathes and they will be considered highly-qualified workers. The second group of academic areas is everything related to CAM systems, specifically with the engineers who write programs on PCs, and then develop these programs together with the operators and servicemen.
In addition to this we teach them to provide training in the methods of describing processing, in which they will show all of the parameters, modes, equipment, transition, and time limits. At this time, product valuation is relevant. The technologies are formed, a few operations are completed, and then every transition completes some process in a given time. We are teaching the students so that they will be able to calculate the norms for these transitions and operations, and then, depending on the cost and time restraints for the machine and specialist, all of this is translated into its monetary equivalent and we determine the approximate prime cost of a product. Then the developer can establish this cost in the planning stage.
– How long do you need to study to work on a lathe?
– There are basic courses in which about 80% of the general knowledge is acquired. For example, if we take the working specialties - this means everything related to lathes – then this means from 50 to 72 hours of increasing qualifications, while professional retraining will take around 260 hours and will get you a degree. If you take the engineering specialties, it takes about 42 to 72 hours to master the main course. The principle is this: we give the most theory which works in practice as we can – the rest of the knowledge, the person can receive based on their personal experience, that is, as a result of their work activities.
Increasing one's qualifications, a student receives a certificate which shows what course he completed, and if it's retraining, then the number of hours are shown, the name of the section the student completed, and the final grade.
– Given that this field is quite a difficult one, are there only men on your team or are there also some girls?
We have some girls, but not more than 20%. My personal experience shows that around 40-50% of the operators and servicemen in businesses are girls. This is related, first of all, to the fact that the work is quite monotone. It's harder for men to do monotone work. It's easier for girls to work in this environment. Secondly this is related to the fact that girls today wish to make more money in their professional activities, and working as servicemen they have this opportunity.
– Where can students who have learned how to use lathes go to work?
They can go work in any business which has a manufacturing aspect. It doesn't specifically have to be an industrial engineering job. One example is Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine, where they have a division entitled the “Mechanical and Repair Complex”. They prepare and repair the majority of equipment in metallurgy. Students can also go to any business with an engineering aspect.
Of course, it's difficult to imagine a small, young woman working with lathes. But Anton Nurkenov's team includes the specialist Yulia Bykovskaya, who is an engineer and knows her job which is atypical for girls very well.
– What did your work in the Industrial Engineering division begin with?
– Everything started with me enrolling in the Mechanical and Technological Faculty. I am completing the first year of my master's degree and this year, Anton Nurkenov offered us the chance to complete courses. After completing them, I transferred here to work and noticed that it became much easier to work at the lathe. I already know what to press and how so to process the item. This is of course surprising to me as a girl, but I like it!
– Did you experience any mistrust toward you as a girl from the men?
– No, I didn't. Quite the opposite, they are very careful in their conversations with me. There's a girl in the team after all! They were nicer to me, helped me, and gave me tips. The boys understand everything, but now there's a girl here – you have to explain things and give her time.
– What does your work in the Industrial Engineering Division include?
– Right now, we're learning to work at lathes to move on to different courses. Operators from different factories also came to visit. We are teaching them. We show them the set up. A few cycles. And, of course, we work in the ADEM program and are teaching this to the first-year students. A different part of the work is traveling to factories. There, we verify the technical processes and tell them how they can be improved, which lathes or helpful equipment they might buy.
– Who do you see yourself as in the future? Would you like to tie your life to this specialty or leave it?
– I haven't thought about it yet. Right now, I like working in mechanical engineering and also working with factories and helping students. Maybe I'll go into postgraduate studies or to work at a factory. In terms of leaving this field – no I don't want to! When it's easy to work, then it's not interesting. I want to always be challenged, not sit at home and be bored.