- Mitsubishi Valencia Education Centre -
An educational institution in Europe that complements Mitsubishi Materials’ technology offering, delivering hi-tech manufacturing knowledge.
Mitsubishi Valencia Education Centre (M-VEC) was founded in 2008. Its primary aim was to identify the main technical fields of interest and meet the educational needs of distributors, employees and customers across Europe. It is strategically located in Valencia, Spain, within walking distance from the Mitsubishi Materials production site, where solid carbide tools and both coated and uncoated inserts are produced for the European market. Today the centre provides various services, such as application tests for R&D, technical assistance and customer consultancy, while maintaining its strong educational character.
M-VEC comprises a modern machine room, two fully equipped training rooms that can host small to medium sized training groups (up to 36 people) and a tool showroom. These facilities ensure it can respond to a wide range of requirements, combining the theoretical foundations of machining processes with in-depth application insights. Training programs are held throughout the year with sessions designed to fulfil individual demands, emphasizing the profound relationship between theory and practice.
“When we first introduced the idea of M-VEC, the biggest challenge was to make the building operational and also be consistent with our sustainable development plans. In an effort to differentiate it from competitors’ centres and maximize training effectiveness, we chose to focus more on customised training and customer closeness by optimising the training materials and resources for this purpose, and for learning efficiency keep visiting groups to a reasonable size. As a result, we are able to conduct high quality technical discussions, because most of the training participants are already experts in their application areas, and this simplifies the information exchange,” says Stephan Hulverscheidt, manager of the centre.
The current design and content of the curriculum reflects changes in machining technologies, emerging cutting tool trends and innovations in the metal working industry. Selected new tools, geometries and coating technologies are demonstrated in M-VEC for educational purposes prior to their official commissioning and are modified upon customers’ requests.
Eddi Melero and German Cabot (7 and 3 years with the company respectively) are the centre’s machine operators. “Every year we welcome participants from all over Europe who wish to explore the latest machining technologies and find out more about our tools’ performance. We also facilitate training sessions for students from Valencia Technical University, but our primary focus is to educate and consult our European customers and distributors, says Eddi. “There are cases where we perform several trials for customers to demonstrate our tools’ capabilities and this was the case when we had to find a successful solution for machining precision holes in hardened steel with solid carbide drills, Eddi continues.
“In this case the customer, a producer of plastic parts, made a request to drill holes of ø1 - 3mm, with a depth of up to 30xø for ejector pins. During the moulding process hot, fluid material is blown into the mould and after a short cooling period the mould tool is opened and the ejector pins are responsible for pushing out the finished part. The holes for these pins require extreme accuracy, including roundness, diameter, straightness and positional tolerance and a smooth surface finish. The process started with the R&D Department supplying prototype drills specially developed for this application and then had to investigate which type was the most suitable and to also find the best cutting conditions. After our initial research, the final tests were successfully conducted at the customer’s production plant. The customer is now using these drills intensively for this application and has been able to increase both productivity and finished product quality. The findings were so successful and resulted in the drill now being included in our standard product portfolio”, Eddie explains.
“The greatest value of our centre is that each MMC European office is free to use the facilities and customise training subjects according to individual needs. The authorised trainers of MMC adapt the training materials and we cater to their precise needs and provide the technical support required,” confirms German.
“We strive to continuously improve our training in matters of quality, relevance and usefulness. We constantly exchange technological advancements and market information with all other Mitsubishi Materials technical centres worldwide (Japan, USA, Thailand and China), and endeavor to keep pace with today’s high-tech global environment. The M-VEC project has proven successful and therefore merits to be expanded and enriched in the coming years,” concludes Stephan.