Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, recently hosted two complimentary VSD (variable speed drives) Schneider Teachers’ courses at F’SASEC (French South African Schneider Electric Education Centre) based at VUT (Vaal University of Technology).
The VSD training was focused on two different levels and headed by Mulalo Nengobela, Schneider Electric South Africa product application engineer. These courses mark the 24th Teachers’ Mission for F’SASEC VUT and are aimed at giving both students and employees an introduction to motors and variable speed drives, further enhancing their future ability to operate and establish machines. Riaan Greeff, F’SASEC VUT Coordinator, indicated that the training will be of immense value to future engineers.
Created in 2012 by Schneider Electric and its Foundation, Schneider Electric Teachers’ NGO aims at promoting and supporting voluntary commitment from Schneider Electric employees and retirees. The volunteers support the Foundation’s partners on a ‘no charge’ basis in the access to energy and fuel poverty fields, giving of their time and competencies. The volunteers fulfil these missions mostly during their holidays, attesting their personal commitment to sustainable development, in line with Schneider Electric values.
“Schneider Electric South Africa’s network of training centres forms part of our sustainability strategy to create access to education and to prepare students for the working environment. The students who graduate from these centres are highly skilled, well rounded and most importantly employable,” says Zanelle Dalglish, Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa Head of Sustainable Development.
Established by Schneider Electric South Africa in conjunction with the Schneider Electric Foundation, and the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research, F’SASEC VUT offers courses to young previously disadvantaged South Africans who are aspiring electrical artisans interested in pursuing a career in the field of energy.
“One of our biggest goals is to spread access to reliable, affordable and clean energy through a combined approach of training, business models and investments, thereby making a difference to the socio-economic landscape of the Southern Africa region. Essential to achieving this, is providing access to education through training programmes in the field of energy,” Dalglish says.
Students studying at F’SASEC at the Vaal University of Technology and CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) are already benefitting from a competitive edge in the workplace, thanks to the centres’ programmable logic control (PLC) automation labs.
These labs are equipped with the latest automation tools, including variable speed drives, instrumentation and robotics, and aim to empower students with interface abilities, programming, and basic electronics.
“The course offered by F’SASEC is inclusive of both industrial and domestic installations, where emphasis is placed on practical experience to prepare students for industry. The training centres feature the latest Schneider Electric technology, while also affording students the opportunity to benefit from advanced and digitised teaching methods,” Dalglish says.
“In the face of IoT and Industry 4.0, it is important that we pay close attention to how we develop the critical skills needed to adapt to this new business environment. In order for students to learn industry 4.0 skills, the industrial Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing, tertiary institutions need to be well equipped. Through strategic partnerships with academia, Schneider Electric South Africa is working towards making sure our network of training centres get the support they need when training the future of our industry,” she concludes.