Engineering company Flann Microwave has been sharing its expertise with a pair of international students keen to get an insight into the work of the global market-leading business.
Bodmin-based Flann opened its doors to the two machining students from Lycée Réaumur vocational high school, in Poitiers, France, giving them hands-on experience working with Flann’s precision engineers in the company’s machine shop during a two-week placement.
The machine shop manufactures bespoke machined components to specific drawings and models using lathes and mills to achieve exacting standards and pin point accuracy. Once assembled these components are used in Flann’s waveguide products for application in the telecoms, aviation and space industries.
It was an opportunity for the students, Damien Subileau and Thomas Biet, to not only get an insight into industry as part of their three-year course, but to do so in another country. Both said it has been a hugely beneficial experience.
Damien said: “I’ve been really welcome as a trainee at Flann. The opportunity to have my two-week internship here and of working in another country and culture brought me a lot because I discovered new ways of working. Thanks again to everybody.”
Thomas added: “The two-week placement I did with Flann was for me an exceptional professional experience and I am very grateful to them. It allowed me to exchange about machining techniques and parts, I even improved my English! From time to time we talked about the different habits from our respective countries and it was a rich experience for everyone. I appreciated a lot the opportunity to work on my own for some tasks.”
The students, who were presented with certificates at the end of their stay, were accompanied by English teachers, Regine Leriche and Veronique Thoreaux, and technical teachers, Oliver Pohu and Bertrand Maillard.
Steve Chesson, Machine Shop Supervisor at Flann Microwave, and line manager for the students during their stay, said: “Both students showed a real interest in the daily routine of the machine shop. They showed a natural ability in machining and it was a real pleasure having them work with us for two weeks.”
Phil Pering, who manages the well-established apprenticeship programme at Flann, added: “Flann incorporates a wealth of disciplines, skills and experiences that most schools and colleges just do not have the time or capacity to teach. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to manufacture our precision products. Welcoming Thomas and Damien from Lycée Réaumur gave us a chance to share our knowledge as well as witness the methods that Thomas and Damien were already very proficient in using.
“Thomas and Damien were very professional in their approach to this experience, given that they were in a strange country and living with a local family that they had not previously met. They started with us looking rather nervous but by the end of the two weeks, they had been accepted as part of the team in our machine shop. They were a credit to their college and the teaching staff.”
Ian Proctor, Director of Cornwall Language Services, organised the placement and acted as liaison with the college. He said: “I would like to thank all the staff who were involved in training the students, I am very grateful to them. I think that Flann Microwave were particularly pleased with the technical skills of the students.”