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W&H is delighted about Marco Kern’s success: From left in the picture: Alexander Wagner, Austrian national champion 2014, WorldSkills participant 2015 in São Paulo and W&H machining technician, Stefan Rausch, W&H instructor, Marco Kern, Austrian national champion and WorldSkills participant, KR Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata, W&H Managing Director, and Matthias Hufnagl, W&H instructor. (Photo: W&H)
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Marco Kern is the best European in CNC turning and secured a gold medal in the team competition. In an exciting test of strength between the world’s best skilled workers at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 15 to 18 October 2017, 21-year-old Marco Kern from W&H put in an impressive performance with his exceptional skills in the field of CNC turning.

He demonstrated his technical talent with an excellent 7th place and the “Medallion for Excellence” performance certificate in “CNC turning” category and the gold medal for 1st place in the team competition. Marco Kern is proud to be part of the very successful Austrian national team. “We are truly delighted by Marco Kern’s success and we are proud that he has been able to achieve his personal aims thanks to his talent, his exceptional personality and his great ambition. This success confirms the cooperation we practise and promote because, behind a performance such as this, there is always a team whose members mesh together like gears in a gearing. This can be seen clearly in the success of the entire Austrian national team,” says W&H Managing Director KR Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata.

Personal world championship aim achieved! Expectations exceeded!
The aim at the WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi was to produce workpieces with maximum precision. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) provided the venue for the 4-day competition. In the “CNC turning” category, Austria’s best machining technician, young W&H employee Marco Kern, started with a total of 20 participants from all over the world. “The tension was palpable, I knew I’d have a good chance. My employer W&H, my instructors and my WorldSkills supervisor all prepared me superbly for the world championship. I’m absolutely delighted to have achieved my aim of entering the top ten,” says Marco Kern proudly. Marco Kern was accompanied by instructor Stefan Rausch and his colleague Alexander Wagner who were at hand at all times and actively supported him with their experience in both technical and personal matters during the preparation phase and also during the competition itself.

Complex tasks solved with perfection!
The demands placed on the young skilled workers were incredibly high. Highly complex tasks had to be solved on each of the competition days. For example, a precision component had to be produced based on a technical drawing. The competitors themselves, under enormous time pressure, were responsible for determining the intersection points (transition radii on the piece), programming the CNC machine and selecting the tools required for machining. The young competitors received no information in advance about which specific metals would be used. This made the tasks even harder and required flexibility and independent action. Spontaneous changes during the production process (series production and machining of castings) were a new feature at this year’s world championship. As a result of his professional preparation for the world championship, Marco Kern asserted himself with his technical skills and mental strength against the strong global competition and ranked among the top 7 in the world. He impressed the international specialist jury owing to his incredibly precise work and his speed.
Day 4 of the world championship was also particularly gratifying for the 21-year-old machining technician. In a team competition the aim was to produce parts for the famous skyscraper in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa, in a very short time and to assemble a miniature of the building. The 10-person team working alongside Marco Kern mastered the task effortlessly and won the gold medal.

W&H – Identifying and encouraging talents
Marco Kern first drew attention to himself when he took 2nd place at the national championship in 2014. In the same year he reached an excellent 3rd rank at the Austrian national skills championship and in 2016 he added the national championship title. This bought the W&H employee his ticket to the WorldSkills 2017 in Abu Dhabi. “We see skilled worker competitions as a great opportunity for our young employees to further their development and gain valuable experience for their later (working) life. Marco has matured this year, not just technically but also personally. The international competition in Abu Dhabi was a huge challenge for him which revealed his amazing motivational strength,” according to Markus Fegg MTD, Head of Human Resources at W&H. “During his training period, Marco showed that he has a high level of technical ability. Our instructors recognised this talent early on and encouraged Marco based on his own initiative and his personal interest in the profession of machining technician.”

The two W&H instructors, Stefan Rausch and Matthias Hufnagl, as well as WorldSkills supervisor Dieter Geisberger, who supported and accompanied the young machining technician throughout the entire learning process, all played a big role in Marco Kern’s success. They provided him advice and assistance at all times. Marco Kern’s world championship preparation included over 600 training hours in the Braunau training centre under the instruction of the WorldSkills supervisor, a training camp in Bielefeld and regular coordination meetings with the instructors as well as targeted mental coaching and team seminars at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

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