“Making things at Achenbach” - and robots join in!

At the beginning of the week, we welcomed the third year of the local primary school as part of the annual ‘Making things’ project. 43 children aged 9 and 10 were given the opportunity to get a first-hand insight into the exciting world of mechanical engineering.

This year's project focussed on various manufacturing processes and robotics, and thus on the question of how robots can literally help people to make things. Prof. Dr Andrea Dederichs-Koch, lecturer at the University of Siegen, travelled to the event with three small NAO robots on loan from Prof. Dr Daniel Schillberg, Bochum University of Applied Sciences. After a joint breakfast, she showed the third-graders at the Buschhütten campus in a playful way how such a robot can be programmed for various tasks, so that it can throw a small softball, for example. In the subsequent competition ‘Who can throw the ball the furthest with their Nao?’ there was of course also something to win!

The second part of the morning took the children through the large Achenbach assembly hall with its huge pre-assembled rolling mills to the Achenbach production department, where they learnt about the conventional manufacturing processes of milling, burning and traditional welding under the guidance of production manager Achim Niwar and were then even allowed to create a weld seam themselves using a COBOT welding robot. Each child proudly went home at around 12 noon with their self-made metal pen holder - dinosaur or butterfly - along with a specially created information booklet in one hand and a large ice cream in the other.

Young and old were completely thrilled: Max, nine years old, talking to production manager Achim Niwar, says excitedly: ‘Until now, I always wanted to be a policeman and earn a lot of money, but today I've changed my mind: When I finish school, I want to work right here at Achenbach.’

‘Making things at Achenbach’ has been taking place regularly at Achenbach since 2006 and is part of a long-standing friendship with Friedrich von Bodelschwingh Primary School, which we also support in the form of STEM promotion to get young people interested in technology.

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