MAs have a ping pong ball creating new conveyor belt workshop

MAs have a ping pong ball

MAs have a ping pong ball creating new conveyor belt workshop

Five Electrical Engineering Modern Apprentices (MAs) have had a ‘ping pong’ ball transforming another Forth Valley College workroom into a state-of-the-art conveyor belt training facility.

Janos, Kerr Taylor and Sergiy Tolkach who work for Petrofac, Callum Stark from the Wood Group and Joe Niven from AkerSolutions utilised their FVC training days – under the guidance of Electrical Engineering lecturers David Hughes and Technician Donald McPhail.

Over the last five years the ECITB (Electrical Apprentices) have undertaken the modernisation of various workshops - 57W-Isolation Centre, 22W Motor Control Centre and 20W Automated Conveyor Systems - and these assets are used to develop the practical learning skills of all MAs during achievement of the Level 2 award route.

This year’s project was to build a second conveyor system with the added extra of a ball filling machine, whilst honing their hand and problem solving skills.

One of the team – Janos Vasvari – made great use of the college’s 3D printer based in the Falkirk Learning Resource Centre to print out various components required for the prototype-filling machine. 

Remarkably, the group of five - who have their MAs sponsored by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and will all end up working offshore in the oil and gas industry – managed to complete the project in less than 60 hours of timetabled class time. It is hoped these assets will be rehoused by future MAs in the new campus.

Janos, who had the initial idea for the dispenser along with colleague Kerr, said: “I am pleased to see it all come together. It has given us practical hand skills and underpinning knowledge to allow us to do our jobs offshore.”

Kerr, added: “It really is good to see it finally working.”

MA Sergiy,  added: “It was challenging, but I enjoyed it.”

Lecturer David Hughes said: “Donald and I are very proud of the lads. They have done a great job and through this project their hand skills, knowledge and understanding has vastly improved. We have encouraged them to think outside the box in order to put table tennis balls in a box and they have done very well with this project.”

Nuala Scott, FVC Learning Resource Assistant, said: “The LRC was delighted to support Janos and his fellow students with the use of the 3D printer to successfully complete their project.”

For more information on the MA programme contact the Business Development Department on 01324 403068.

Ball dispenser
Printed components 1
Printed components 2


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