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Volkswagen Academy apprentices build firefighting car for Pune plant

Team OD  /
09 May 2014 16:53:38 IST

Students of the dual apprenticeship programme launched by Volkswagen Academy India have built a firefighting car for the company's Pune plant. The students belong to the first batch, which was started by the company in 2011 and the vehicle is their final year practical project.

The keys of Firefighting car being handed over to the Fire Department of Volkswagen Pune PlantThe keys of the car being handed over to the fire department of the VW Pune plant

The programme is a three-year course on Mechatronics, a discipline that combines elements from the field of electronics and mechanical engineering. The students were assigned the challenging task of fabricating a fully functional vehicle, while sticking to a fixed budget. They were mentored by the Pilot Hall team at the plant, responsible for experimental projects. They pitched the idea of a special fire fighting car for the plant's fire and safety department to the students. With this concept in place, the car was built with 160 custom parts and a design based on the Vento. Parts borrowed from the Vento and Cross Polo models were teamed with scrap material from various departments to optimise resources. The power is sourced from a 1.6-litre TDI engine. The completed project resembles a pickup with a low loading lip and hinged tailgate to facilitate easy loading and unloading of luggage from the rear storage space.

The project car will be utilised by the fire and safety department to perform daily inspections and for movement of material.

KT Vijayan, responsible for the programme at Volkswagen Academy India, said, Through the apprenticeship programme, we intended to create a skilled force which could work in various areas of manufacturing immediately after finishing their course. The car-building project has successfully proven the intention behind our programme and has brought out high potential of the youth."

Pallavi Sabale, one of the apprentices who worked on the car, shared her thoughts thus, During the building of this firefighting car, we got hands on experience with activities like drilling, tapping, soldering, welding, riveting, painting and denting. We are extremely happy that we got an opportunity like this to prove our skills."

Apprentices from Volkswagen Academy India build a firefighting car for the Pune Plant


The students of Dual Apprenticeship Programme at Volkswagen Academy India undertake a unique project for their final year of building a firefighting car. Mr. KT Vijayan, Head of Volkswagen Academy, Volkswagen India Private Limited said, "The well-accomplished project of building the firefighting car shows the diversity of education our Academy students receive and the course's unique approach towards practical learning." Pune, May 9, 2014: The apprentices undergoing a three-year Dual Apprenticeship course at the Volkswagen Academy India built a firefighting car for the Safety Department of Volkswagen Pune Plant as their final year project. This unique task offered the students an opportunity to have hands-on experience with various activities involved in building a car. The Pilot Hall team at Volkswagen Pune Plant, which is responsible for experimental projects, mentored the apprentices throughout the process of building the car. Volkswagen Academy India had started its three-year Dual Apprenticeship Programme at Pune Plant in 2011. This programme is a Mechatronics course that educates the students in various branches such as mechanical, electrical, electronics and IT. The first batch of this programme is now in its final year. As a part of their syllabus, the apprentices had to undertake a practical project. To keep the focus on manufacturing, it was decided by the apprentices to build a car on a low budget. To bring in something different and exciting, the task for the apprentices was to build a special model a firefighting car which can be put to daily use within the manufacturing facility by the Fire and Safety Department. To keep the costs low, scrapped parts and components from various production departments of the Pune Plant were utilised in this project. The students got in-depth guidance from the Pilot Hall team members. The Project in detail: The group of 14 apprentices working on this project included four girls. Parts and components from a Volkswagen Vento and a Cross Polo were used for the project car. To fulfil the requirements of a firefighting car, various modifications were done to the design of the car's body. While the basic design was that of a Vento, several fabrications were done from B-pillar till the tailgate to create a 'pick-up' design. For adequate power and torque, a 1.6-litre TDI engine was used in this car. The tailgate was fabricated with its hinges at the bottom to facilitate easy loading and unloading of items from the rear storage space. In all, approximately 160 parts of the car were specially designed for this project. The firefighting car will be used for daily inspection around the plant as well as for the movement of material by the Fire and Safety Department. Quotes from involved personnel: Mr. Vijayan KT, Responsible for Dual Apprenticeship Programme at Volkswagen Academy India, said "Through the Apprenticeship Programme, we intended to create a skilled force which could work in various areas of manufacturing immediately after finishing their course. The car-building project has successfully proven the intention behind our programme and has brought out high potential of the youth." Mr. Frank Herold, Head of Pilot Hall, Volkswagen India Private Limited, said "It was fascinating to see the enthusiasm with which the apprentices accomplished the project. They have applied their knowledge in an appropriate and practical way by building this unique firefighting car for our Fire and Safety Department." Pallavi Sabale, an apprentice said, "During the building of this firefighting car, we got hands on experience with activities like drilling, tapping, soldering, welding, riveting, painting and denting. We are extremely happy that we got an opportunity like this to prove our skills."
  

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