Friedhelm Loh Group
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We’re on our way! Fifty-seven new recruits join the Friedhelm Loh Group

Ready for the future! This summer, fifty-seven young men and women began either a vocational training or a bachelor degree course combining study and work experience at the Friedhelm Loh Group. In the first few weeks, the 40 trainees and the 17 cooperative-education students got to know the Group, gaining an insight into Industry 4.0 production, and having a “hands-on” introduction to digitisation and team building with their new colleagues.

“What can we learn from the winners of the 2018 Boston Marathon?”, Rittal’s CEO Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler, asked the new trainees during his welcoming address: “The runners fought their way through unexpectedly difficult weather conditions marked by sudden drops in temperature and storms - because they wanted to win.” This image was more relevant than ever in view of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Yet, regardless of this, other obstacles can suddenly arise in professional life. “Have the nerve to assert yourself and don’t lose sight of your goal,” Dr Köhler encouraged the young professionals.

In addition to 40 apprentices in twelve professions, 17 cooperative-education students have begun their professional careers in the Friedhelm Loh Group of companies. In the years to come, exciting tasks centred around Industry 4.0, international projects and perspectives, as well as activities based on the values of a family business await them – sticking together, bearing responsibility and showing commitment!

Shaping the future

At the new factory in Haiger, where Rittal manufactures according to Industry 4.0 principles, the newcomers were astonished to find that Rittal was one of the first industrial companies to receive a 5G frequency allocation for its production environment. With this powerful mobile phone technology, the huge amounts of data generated in production every day can be processed 100 times faster than with the previous LTE standard, allowing integrated processes to be controlled practically in real time. “These are impressive figures,” said an amazed Milena Manderbach, an apprentice technical product designer. “For me, a behind-the-scenes insight into production is particularly important. This way, I get to find out about the company and its products in detail and learn where I have to start in my profession.”

The Rittal Innovation Center in Haiger was the next point of attraction for the young employees. There, they gained an insight into how customers were already able to digitalise and automate their value-added processes. Sister company German Edge Cloud showed what could already be done with production data using its ONCITE product. Data is processed and analysed during production with the turnkey edge cloud data centre – so far unique on the market – for real-time Industry 4.0 application scenarios. This way, businesses can optimise their production processes digitally and in the shortest possible time, while still retaining control over their data.

With these developments we are pioneers and future partners for our customers”, Dr Köhler emphasised. “To this end we need people like you who are interested in innovation, have the courage to come up with new ideas and who can focused when it comes to implementing them.”

Preparing for upcoming challenges

The junior staff did not start off as lone warriors. The introductory orientation days also helped them make contacts straightaway. During outdoor activities, the young employees dealt with the importance of teamwork, trust and openness. In seminars, the training and study coordinators Matthias Hecker, Tina Pfeiffer-Busch and Anke Wojtynowski-Scharf gave them tips on communicating in a working environment and effective learning strategies. “We have acquired some motivated young people," said Ms. Wojtynowski-Scharf. “We are pleased to help them develop, not only professionally, but also in terms of their personality. An exciting future lies ahead for them all.”

Since the Friedhelm Loh Group was founded, education and training have been major priorities. Every year, several dozen young people start their apprenticeships, for example as warehouse logistics specialists, IT specialists for system integration or as industrial electricians. Since 2001, the students, who study in the StudiumPlus programme of the F.L.G. group and the Central Hesse University of Applied Sciences (THM) on Bachelor and Master courses, have also been part of the programme. The career entrants assume responsibility for their own projects, gaining experience through stays abroad or taking on a senior position at a junior company.

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Press release (PDF, 122 KB) Image (JPG, 12,1 MB)


Image: Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler (rear, centre), Rittal’s CEO, welcomes the Friedhelm Loh Group’s new trainees to the Rittal headquarters in Herborn.

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