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Amtec expands range with Schneider Electric solar benches as renewables sector explodes

4th June 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor

     

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Gauteng educational engineering equipment manufacturer Amtec Techniquip is expanding its range of didactic training benches, in response to the increased need for training in the renewable energy sector, with the development of Schneider Electric solar benches.

“Dedicated centres of specialisation are being planned to focus on renewable energy artisans to fill the gap created in the exploding renewable energy market,” says Amtec Techniquip sales director Roger Forte.

There is high demand for domestic and industrial renewable energy solutions throughout South Africa to mitigate the impact of the country’s energy crisis and address the need for green alternative power in the fight against climate change.

“This demand places massive pressure on our educational network to produce skilled technicians. Consequently, we have seen increased requests and interest from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centres throughout South Africa for equipment that can facilitate renewable energy training courses,” explains Forte.

While the bulk of the enquiries received by Amtec originate from TVETs, he adds that other markets for the Scheider Electric solar benches could include technical high schools, private training centres and corporate, industrial or mining customers with dedicated training centres.

“These didactic benches could also be used for short courses at smaller colleges or for upskilling the current workforce through the sector education and training authority.”

The solar benches, developed in partnership with energy management and automation multinational Schneider Electric, are in the research and development phase.

“To date, we’ve tested the raw trainer equipment and are developing the user guide. We have made considerable progress on the prototype and are excited to launch the solution in the coming weeks,” adds Forte.

Once Amtec has finalised the bill of materials (BoM), the layout and the design, the product will be manufactured using a production line, which can be easily scaled to increase output.

When production starts, Amtec will place BoM orders with its supplier network. Following the receipt and allocation of BoM components and raw materials according to their manufacturing lead-time, position and process, the manufacturing of semifinished products will take place – workstation assembly, wiring harnesses, soldering and preparing components, front facia computer numerically controlled drilling and populating.

After final assembly, the bench will undergo quality control processing and proceed to the equipment testing bench.

Over the last four years, Amtec and Schneider Electric’s partnership has expanded its reach beyond South Africa’s borders to include Anglophone countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Funded by the Schneider Electric Foundation, the partnership has accelerated access to education through the provision of “state-of-the-art training equipment to tertiary institutions that bridge the gap between theory and practice and form a critical part of vocational training".

Amtec and Schneider Electric also provide training material to their education partners.

“While high-quality education equipment is important, it must also be aligned with the curriculum to ensure that when students enter the workplace they are prepared to deal with everyday challenges,” says Schneider Electric projects and offer manager (Schneider Electric Academy) Avin Ramjeeth.

The Schneider Electric benches produced by Amtec also include domestic wiring solutions, an industrial wiring solution, an industrial automation solution and a home automation bench.

“Amtec is excited to form part of this collaboration with Schneider Electric and would like to thank the company for the combined effort and assistance in making this successful partnership possible,” concludes Forte.

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