In the beginning of 2016 BITZER opened the doors of the new SCHAUFLER Academy on their premises in Rottenburg-Ergenzingen, Germany. The training centre is dedicated to educating service technicians, system manufacturers, consultants and operators all around the globe. Especially in the fast evolving RAC sector, proper training and high quality education is needed. Handling natural refrigerants requires special knowledge about systems and components. BITZER now offers various courses at the SCHAUFLER Academy’s multifunctional building with three rooms for practical training and five rooms for theoretical work.
In addition to offering trainings on general thermodynamics, system design and safety issues, BITZER offers specific trainings on transcritical and subcritical CO2 systems. In these practical sessions, participants are taught to deal with operating demands, filling of systems and commissioning of new installations.
Special: Interview with Patrick Koops – Head of Public Relations, BITZER
Does BITZER pursue a train-the-trainer concept to help the accelerated transfer of relevant knowledge on a global scale?
Currently there are no appropriately certified trainings. However, we take care that the relevant information is available where it is needed. This means at a global level as well. The SCHAUFLER Academy is active at a multinational level – through our training centres around the world, and we forward all training materials to our local BITZER training centres.
At the same time our employees spread the contents of the trainings in our subsidiaries. This ensures a flow of information on several levels. And this strategy turned out really well: the first trainings of the SCHAUFLER academy took place even before the official opening and the demand was immense. Since 2015 we have already counted more than 1000 visitors. Most came from abroad. No wonder! With an export share of more than 90% BITZER technology is in demand all over the world.
Is a participation for non-BITZER clients possible as well?
Absolutely – and we look forward to each participant. We generally see a great demand. Especially since the rapid technological progress and new regulations constantly increase the demand for well-trained specialists. Here the Academy makes an important contribution with a curriculum that is particularly focussed on the practice training sessions. We provide participants - such as planners, system builders and service personnel and operators - the necessary tools for the demanding tasks of day-to-day business with the simulation of realistic conditions.
Are there any plans to include more natural refrigerants in the training curricula (in addition to the CO2 and Ammonia courses)?
We do that already. As for us CO2 is one of the refrigerants of the future with its low global warming potential, our course programme has a clear focus on CO2 with over 35 courses in 2016. The first ammonia trainings took place in April of this year already. We have reserved a total of twelve dates 2016 for ammonia applications. In addition we will offer hydrocarbon training as of July this year. The training will for example involve the use of propane in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. And we have trainings for inverter driven compressors in the programme as well. Energy efficiency and environmental protection are essential components of BITZER’s corporate philosophy. Of course, we have the suitable compressors in the product portfolio for all these sustainable technologies. For more information on our trainings simply visit the BITZER website under service and seminars.
What distinguishes the SCHAUFLER Academy from other similar training facilities?
Compared to other similar training centres the SCHAUFLER Academy trains the BITZER employees, but also our customer and clients and everyone else who is interested in taking part in our trainings – this is part of the BITZER quality promise and our comprehensive service portfolio. Other schools in Germany focus more on the fundamentals of refrigeration technology, while we introduce the newest state of the art technology to our participants. That is why we offer a practice-oriented seminar program at the SCHAUFLER Academy, with fully operational installations using advanced compressor technology. This complements what other schools offer.
For our trainings, we make use of our employees’ potential which lies mainly in applications engineering but also in sales and product management. Our advantage: As our trainers are familiar with the issues that our customers are currently concerned with, they can address practitioners’ questions and challenges and offer help and corresponding solutions. To keep improving our courses, we are currently planning cooperation with other training centres. After all, BITZER is one of the industry’s driving innovators with an excellent international network. One example is the Green Cooling Initiative which connects experts and fosters transfer of technologies, thereby advancing environmentally friendly refrigeration and air conditioning technologies. This initiative has been initiated by the German Environmental Ministry and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Does the Academy offer its courses in various languages?
Due to our international focus we offer all courses in English. If a larger group is interested in a training to be conducted in another language, we will implement this together with our subsidiaries upon request.