Eastern Promise

3 min read

Zaventem, Belgium. June 26, 2009: In the latter half of May, the Russian Haas Factory Outlet (HFO) - a division of Abamet Ltd - opened 5 HTECs, including one in the capital, Moscow. Abamet is one of Haas’ longest established and best-performing HFOs and has already founded 4 Haas Technical Education Centres (HTECs) in Russia and Belarus.

It’s not many towns that can celebrate two HTEC grand openings on the same day, but on May 25th in Samara, - a large Russian city located approximately 870Km east of Moscow - the Samara College for Industry and Pedagogical Sciences (SIPK), and the Samara Metallurgy College (SAMEK) both hosted their own HTEC ribbon-cutting events and celebrated the beginning of a new era in CNC training.

SIPK specialises in preparing staff for technical schools and its new HTEC is equipped with two Haas CNC machine tools: a TM-1 Toolroom Mill and an SL-20 Turning Centre. The opening event was attended by almost 40 people, including representatives from the regional Ministry of Education.

SAMEK, by contrast, prepares students for work in the local aluminum industry. Its new HTEC is home to several Haas CNC machines, including a TM-1 Toolroom Mill, a TL-1 Toolroom Lathe, and SL-10 turning centre and a VF-1 Vertical Machining Centre.

Samara is a large and important economic and industrial center of European Russia, which in May 2007 played host to the European Union – Russia Summit. The city is well known for its very high-standards of technical education (many alumni of the local State Aerospace University work for the Russian space program) and for its prolific industrial output over the past 70 years.

The following day, May 26th, the celebrations returned to the capital, Moscow, where state College PK 47 opened its HTEC equipped with four Haas super mini mills, four SL-10 Turning Centres and an HRT-160 Haas Rotary Table. A total of thirty-five people attended the event, including representatives from Haas Automation Europe, PK 47’s senior management and the Moscow Ministry of Education.

On May 27th and May 29th the Haas Automation Europe (HAE) HTEC team, including HAE Managing director Mr. Peter Hall, ventured into Siberia where a further two HTEC grand openings were scheduled, the first at Professional School Number 58 in Omsk, the second at Professional School Number 8 in Barnaul. The Omsk school is the proud owner of two TL-1 Toolroom Lathes and a TM-1 Toolroom Mill and the Barnaul school has a VF-2 vertical machining centre, a TM-1 Toolroom Mill and a Tl-1 Toolroom Lathe.

“I do not think I have had such an interesting week in my entire career,” said Peter Hall, on his return. “The enthusiasm for the HTEC program in Russia is staggering. We visited colleges where, before the Haas machines were installed, students were learning to program and operate machines that were decades old. Workshops have been transformed; renovated top-to-bottom in readiness for their inauguration as HTECs. It’s enormously gratifying to see the difference that the HTEC program is making, especially in these relatively remote locations.”

In keeping with the principal of the program all the new HTECs will be closely affiliated to - and supported by - the local HFO, working in partnership with the school or college to provide young and aspiring engineering students with the best possible start to their careers.

“By ensuring a steady supply of CNC technologists, Haas Automation Europe (HAE), its HFOs and the HTEC industry partners are making very significant contributions to the future prosperity of European industry,” says Mr. Hall. “It’s these young apprentices, from all over the European continent, who will become the manufacturers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. They will face some of the greatest technological challenges since the industrial revolution.”

HTEC – The Concept

The European HTEC program was launched to counter what Haas Automation regards as one of the greatest threats to sustainable economic development on the continent: the shortage of talented and motivated young people entering precision engineering industry with CNC machining skills. The program provides Haas Automation CNC machine tools to technical learning establishments in Europe and around the world. As part of their studies, students at HTEC establishments use Haas machines and in the process become familiar with the latest CNC machining technology. With this kind of hands-on experience, students have better employment opportunities when they finally leave full time education. The HTEC program also benefits local and national engineering companies, who have access to better-educated apprentices.

Haas Automation works with several, important industry partners who supply the latest CNC support technology to make the HTEC program a reality. HTEC industry partners include: KELLER, MasterCam, Esprit, Renishaw, Sandvik Coromant, Schunk, Blaser, Urma, Chick and Air Turbine Spindles.

Haas Automation Europe plans to open 200 HTEC’s across Europe within 5 years, including 25 in 2009.


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