HANNOVER MESSE: U.S. students display their innovation for their German peers

Students from Lower Dauphin High School, in Hummelstown, Pa., bring their cell phone-driven energy management system for schools, businesses to TecToYou pavilion at Hannover Messe’s conference

04/05/2011


The language of innovation is spoken at Hannover Messe’s TecToYou pavilion, where young people come together to show what they’ve learned about manufacturing and to find out what they can learn from others.

The students from Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown, Pa., don’t speak any German. Their trip to Hannover Messe this year, won through their own innovation, is their first trip to the country. They have little trouble getting their German peers to understand what they’ve built, and they are just as excited to see what others are working on.

“We’re in a little culture shock,” said Kellen Michalowski as he showed off the energy management project he and his fellow students created using Phoenix Contact equipment. Phoenix Contact annually stages a contest in Germany for high school students, with the winners coming to Hannover for the show. This year that contest was expanded to include U.S. students, and the group from Lower Dauphin won the contest and the trip to Hannover Messe.

TecToYou is a Hannover Messe event designed to bring young people more closely in touch with manufacturing. Being able to attract and retain young people in manufacturing in the United States is a major issue. Plant Engineering readers cite it each year as their top concern for the future. In Germany, programs such as TecToYou bring students and manufacturers together in large numbers. Each day of Hannover Messe, hundreds of German students swarm the fairgrounds, and are welcomed enthusiastically by vendors.

The sound of innovation in most of the other halls at Hannover Messe is the dull roar of business. In the TecToYou pavilion, the sound of innovation is higher-pitched, decidedly more excited, but no less businesslike. Michalowski and classmates Patrick Vares and Bryce Detweiler discussed their project, which uses Phoenix Contact I/O devices to create a cell phone-driven energy management system for schools and businesses. They demonstrated how with just a phone call, they could turn lights on and off. The application includes the ability to turn on other devices, including heat and external lights, and to monitor and create reports on power usage. The units can be mounted anywhere in the school or in the home. Text messages back to the phone verify the tasks were performed.

The group from Lower Dauphin included Michalowski, Vares, Detweiler, classmates Matt Melly, Tim Torres, Josh “Santa” Miller and Ronnie Myers and teacher Nancy Kiscadden. They began work on the project last fall after being introduced to it by Phoenix Contact officials who are based in nearby Middletown, PA.

“We thought, ‘This is a cool contest. Let’s do it,” said Vares. “It was definitely a lot of fun. It’s not like we were being dragged into this. We even asked our teacher if we could come in during Christmas break to work on it.”

If the students didn’t understand the direct connection between the contest and manufacturing before this week, the experience at Hannover Messe and at TecToYou changed that. “This is a massive convention,” Vares said. “We’ve been to most of the booths here, and we’re going to see other halls.” The students also have taken plant tours in the area and seen the cultural sites in the area.

That includes a few they hadn’t expected to see. “We were driving along and one of the people shouted, ‘It's a windmill! It's a REAL windmill!’,” Vares said.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.