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Internationaal bezoek

Internationaal bezoek

Excursion to VTI

Monday, February 28, 2011

TIELT – On Monday morning 28 February 2011, the Austrian, Cypriot and Belgian students taking part in the Comenius-project walked from De Bron to the local technical school called VTI. Getting there only took three minutes.

First, we were welcomed by Mr Ward Vervaecke and he offered us a drink. Then we were looking forward to listen to his presentation about the process of making plastic things to use in daily life. He told us that many companies producing plastics are located in Tielt. Some of them co-operate with the VTI. But Mr Vervaecke informed us most of all about the mould. We learned that such a mould weighs about 40 kg. The price of one simple mould is € 5,000, but it can rise up to € 300,000 for a complicated mould, for example to make parts of a car. Inside the mould, only a deviation of four thousands is allowed. So, it has to be made with great precision.

After the PowerPoint-presentation, Mr Vervaecke led us to a machine room in the VTI. Over there, a class of the fifth year was working at their own mould. They have to finish it in the sixth year. He showed us the injection moulding machine. It was very impressive to see. Mr Vervaecke put some plastic beads into the hopper (a kind of funnel). Then, the machine could be observed working. In 10 seconds a plastic product came out: six flat little bears with a hole in their belly from one to six. These little bears served the purpose to help pupils of the first form in elementary school learn to count. The injection moulding machine costs € 150,000 and only has a good efficiency if you can produce something in vast numbers. We were told that there is a lot of work in the plastics industry. In the sixth year the VTI students who are in the particular plastics class have to do an apprenticeship in one of those companies. Even before they are graduated, they are offered a job in the company where they are doing their training.

This excursion was very interesting and we learned a lot. We had never expected the VTI students would have to create moulds with such accuracy!