MRO Magazine

Canadian Team Competes in Mechatronics at Worldskills Event

A Canadian team has competed successfully in the 37th WorldSkills 2003 Competition in mechatronics. The event was held June 19-22, 2003, in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The WorldSkills summits happen only...


September 1, 2003
By Chris Kalemba

A Canadian team has competed successfully in the 37th WorldSkills 2003 Competition in mechatronics. The event was held June 19-22, 2003, in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The WorldSkills summits happen only every two years and teams from several countries compete in a variety of technical skills events.

The WorldSkills mechatronics competition reflects the way people work on the shop floor — under pressure to design and implement solutions, maintain and constantly improve production — and to get machines fixed quickly when faults occur.

Details can be found on the Internet at www.worldskillsmechatronics.com. The website has links to about 40 trades competitions at the event, including mechatronics. During the competition, visitors to the site could follow the competitions first hand via web cam. Canadian teams were competing against those from 23 other countries.

Festo Canada of Mississauga, Ont., has been sponsoring and organizing provincial and national mechatronics competitions since the early 1990s. Mechatronics is a multi-technology discipline (MECHA for mechanical, TRON for electronics, and ICS for informatics or IT).

In partnership with Skills Canada, Festo has coached and prepared the gold medal winners of the Canadian National Mechatronics Skills Competitions every other year. The winners then compete in the following year’s international competition.

Each team consists of two members and a coach. Why two? While industry requires that each individual master the different facets of mechatronics, it also recognizes that each person has strengths and weaknesses — and that only people working in a team, constantly learning from each other, can master the challenges of manufacturing excellence. The competition demonstrates how these essential personal skills and qualities demanded by teamwork can be improved.

The 38th WorldSkills Competition will be hosted by Helsinki, Finland, May 26-29, 2005. For details, visit www.wsc2005helsinki.com.

Chris Kalemba, president of Festo Inc., Mississauga, Ont., reported from the WorldSkills event in Switzerland.