At the University of Skövde, there are several different engineering programmes and courses. One of the courses focuses on electric motors and the participants are employed at the Volvo plant in Skövde. The course helps in the transition that is currently underway in the car industry, not least locally in this part of Sweden.
There is deep concentration in the lab. The employees from the Volvo plant in Skövde work two by two. During the morning, the participants in the Electromobility course had a lecture, but now it is time to put the theoretical knowledge into practice. Among other things, it is about the manufacturing technology of motors and gaining further understanding of the characteristics of different types of electric motors through practical exercises.
Volvo asked for a course on electric motors
A few years ago, Volvo in Skövde presented a request to the University for a course focusing on electric motors. Stefan Ericson, Senior Lecturer in Production Technology, was asked to put together a course and since then he teaches the course in electromobility several times a year for Volvo employees. In addition to Stefan, Rikard Ed, Lecturer in Automation Technology, also teaches the groups.
“Now, not least since the announcement of the establishment of a battery factory nearby, courses on batteries and motor control are also in demand. The entire automotive industry is facing a change and needs to retrain personnel for the new skills needed. As a university, we can help the companies in that transition,” says Stefan Ericson.
Bringing together engineers with different experience
Back to the lab. The students from Volvo have previously constructed a direct current motor, now they will instead take on the task of manufacturing a small alternating current motor. Anders Ericsson and Martina Axén, who both work at Volvo Trucks, are constructing the small model. On the table in front of them are instructions, copper wire, a compass and a variety of other tools to be able to carry out the day's practical tasks.
“During this course we learn more about the entire process around electric motors and we really benefit from that in our work,” they say.
The majority of those who take the course come from Volvo Cars. Some of them have quite recently completed their engineering studies, others have many years of experience in the automotive industry. But they have in common that they are curious and want to learn more about electric motors.
“There are very good discussions in these groups and of course I get some difficult questions, because many have a lot of experience from the industry and can contribute with that knowledge,” says Stefan Ericson.
Stefan Ericson states that this is an exchange of knowledge that he likes and that they can really discuss how different things work. During the lectures, some calculation tasks are included, but over the years the course has been more adapted to the participants' previous knowledge and what is requested by the employer.
The University of Skövde has a close collaboration with industry and the course in Electromobility is an example of the collaboration between the University and the surrounding society.