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horizont trainees continue their winning series

HESSENMETALL's Hessian M+E Young Talent Competition "MY FUTURE" launched for the 10th time

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Nordhessen clears the board with two out of three awards - horizont group gmbh in Korbach continues series of wins - third gold medal in a row

Frankfurt am Main/Korbach, March 2018. At the Haus der Wirtschaft Hessen in Frankfurt, the trainee team of horizont group gmbh in Korbach was jubilant. For the third time in a row, the trainees convinced with their competition entry and brought gold to Korbach.

In the category "Administration and Human Resources Management", the horizont team with Kübra Gölcük, Colin Chotzko, Sabrina Heidl, Nils Grosche and supervisor Guido Kersting won. In order to get young people interested in their own company in the competition for suitable junior staff in technical apprenticeships, the trainees have founded "Die Forscherwerkstatt". Pupils of all ages are invited and guided by the trainees in the company to demonstrate the laws of physics in practical experiments in a playful way. In addition to conventional research methods, the focus is on the far-reaching development of digitalisation and the latest technical trends in order to increase affinity for technical professions and to present areas such as technology and multimedia in an interesting way. The integration of different social media channels appeals to additional groups of people who are not directly involved in the project. Here, the jury was not only convinced by the innovative idea, but also by the obvious potential for a targeted further development of the project. In this way, the company could successfully counter the shortage of skilled workers. In addition, the jurors praised the very good presentation of the team in a strong field of participants.


The winner in the category "Individual Products and Services" is the team from Continental Auto-motive GmbH in Bebra/Mühlhausen with "Design and Construction of a Simulator for Noise Testing and Order Analysis". The avoidance of background noise is an important requirement from the automotive industry. Therefore, the apprentice team Nick Pankraz, Tim Brendel, Thomas Fast, Leon Höfling around instructor Uwe Horn designed, built and programmed a simulator for noise testing - for the first time using the 3D CAD system and completed a basic CAD course (which is not part of the apprenticeship). The completely self-developed virtual prototype is to simulate different orders in the future and also help with troubleshooting. The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) method, which is normally used to determine interfering frequencies, is very complex and time-consuming. The project team has extended the method to include order analysis in order to save the calculation from speed and frequency.

The trainees also developed an electrical circuit, the interface between PC and simulator and created a presentation for their fellow trainees to share their knowledge, report on their experiences from their interdisciplinary teamwork and arouse curiosity for further projects. The jury emphasised above all that the apprentices had succeeded in an amazing transfer achievement into company practice with their project.


With the simulator for noise testing and order analysis, the team opened up a completely new growth field for its company and thus developed an innovation with great future potential. In combination with the perfect presentation, this convinced the jury in a category with many strong projects.

 The team from KAMAX GmbH & Co. KG in Homberg (Ohm): Tobias Gonther and Maximilian Dietrich, with trainer Jan Frischholz. By chance, the apprentices learned that an engineer in the research department was researching the validation of electrically insulating surfaces. The young people knew from dismantling an electric motor that current-carrying parts are covered by numerous caps or housings for safety reasons, which are time-consuming, material-consuming, weight-consuming and costly.

The development of a thin, durable coating as a replacement would be a breakthrough for KAMAX. Since there are no custom-fit test stands to buy to test the electrically insulating effect, the tests were carried out - at a cost - by the Technical University of Darmstadt. The team wanted to develop such a "test rig for validating electrically insulating surfaces on high-strength fasteners" especially for KAMAX's fasteners.

Ulrich Schumacher, jury chairman and board member of HESSENMETALL, was particularly impressed by the fact that a good third of the participants in the competition had even developed and implemented new products and services: "In order to develop a new product for your own company, you have to know very well where special competences of the company can be leveraged and where the customer's needs lie. In order to then develop and build the product, these young trainees have in some cases acquired knowledge that goes well beyond what is taught in training. Chapeau!" The comments also showed how important programming skills are now in all professions. Even if the trainees and dual students had developed ideas for their own company, these were basically transferable to all companies in the industry, Schumacher noted. Continuous, significant improvements in ever shorter cycle times are more important than ever for the German metal and electrical industry in order to hold its own internationally in the digitalising Industry 4.0. This realisation has apparently already reached the trainees.

Background: Providing impetus for the industry

The "MY FUTURE" competition is organised annually by HESSENMETALL to promote the innovative potential and creativity of young people in Hessen. 59 young people, trainees and dual students from 16 member companies took part this year.

The following companies from North Hesse took part: Bombardier Transportation GmbH in Kassel, Continental Automotive GmbH in Bebra, Druck- und Spritzgusswerk Hettich GmbH & Co. KG in Frankenberg, horizont group gmbh in Korbach, PRÄWEMA Antriebstechnik GmbH in Eschwege and Viessmann Werke GmbH & Co. KG in Allendorf/Eder.

The competition offers a platform to present the best ideas in Hessen's largest industry to the professional public and thus also to carry creative impulses into the companies. The competition is also intended as a stimulus and incentive to adopt the ideas presented and develop new ones. After all, ideas are also the most important currency of the future in Hessen's metal and electrical industry.

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