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Engineering success 'inspires next generation'

17 February 2010

A group of land-based technology students from Cheshire recently embarked on a guided tour of Mitsubishi’s European base in the Netherlands

Thirty-nine students and four lecturers from Reaseheath College in Nantwich were given a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of a Mitsubishi forklift truck – from steel fabrication to application of the final coat of ‘Mitsubishi green’.

The students’ visit, the third of its kind, was organised as part of an effective reciprocal relationship between Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks and the college. The forklift manufacturer uses Reaseheath’s facilities for its own training needs and, in return, tries to help the college – and its students – in any way it can.

A team of senior Mitsubishi product trainers and technical support manager Dean Young led the tour of the facility in Almere. “Everyone was clearly impressed by what they saw – including me,” says Dean. “Every aspect of the plant has been designed with efficiency and ergonomics in mind... much like a Mitsubishi truck.

“For example, to reduce worker fatigue and speed-up production, trucks can be easily rotated during assembly. This gives easy access to the underside.

“The students are learning about manufacturing technology, so the tour presented them with the perfect opportunity to see how processes and standards are put into practice effectively within a productive, real world manufacturing environment where synchronisation, efficiency and high quality standards are an absolute necessity.

“Their course focuses intensely on customer care, so we ensured the tour took in the quality assurance area. It really piqued everyone’s interests to see trucks undergoing stringent checks and rigorous testing – it doesn’t take long to realise just how serious Mitsubishi is about creating trucks that meet the highest standards.”

In the custom shop modification area, the students found trucks being adapted to the needs of a new owner, including modification of a truck to meet the needs of a particular industry or painting it to match a company’s branding.

Finally, the party was shown the Mitsubishi training school where employees can learn and develop the skills needed to work on the site’s state-of-the-art production line.

Reflecting on the visit, Dean Young concluded: “The focus on training that’s obvious at every level within Mitsubishi is our pathway to ensuring excellent product quality, total reliability and unbeatable customer service. We hope many other companies will be inspired by our success and recognise the importance of investing in young people.”


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