In a move that is set to further boost Lithuania’s growing electronics industry, Kitron, Scandinavia’s leading supplier of electronic manufacturing services (EMS), has funded the creation of a €100,000 electronics assembly laboratory at Kaunas University of Applied Engineering Sciences. The laboratory will provide students and professionals with the opportunity to gain professional certification with the IPC, a global trade association in electronic engineering.
According to Mindaugas Šeštokas, general manager of Kitron, IPC certification is crucially important for specialists in the electronics industry. “For a person working in an electronics company, IPC certification is like a driver’s license,” he explained. His company’s staff of 250 are all IPC certified, and there are about 1,000 certified professionals in Lithuania as a whole. Until now, Lithuanians could only get IPC certification in neighbouring Poland, so the creation of the new laboratory should see certification levels increase significantly.
Kitron provides electronic manufacturing services to companies in the medical, telecommunications, aviation, energy, and marine sectors, and counts Volvo, SAAB, Bombardier, Husqvarna, and Emerson among its international clients. Kitron has a manufacturing unit in Kaunas, hence its interest in developing Lithuanian engineering talent.
For Nerijus Varnas, the director of Kaunas University of Applied Engineering Sciences, Kitron’s proactive and positive approach enabled their collaboration to materialise. “Successful cooperation is possible only where both parties feel the need for it,” he commented. “This precious gift means trust in our institution which trains professionals.”
As demand for electronic engineering specialists grows, increasing numbers of young people with high marks from school are opting for Electronics Engineering Programmes. In turn, Kaunas University of Applied Engineering Sciences aims to train up these motivated individuals to meet industry needs, helping to further develop the market. So for Kitron, which is currently expanding its activities, the new laboratory is also a way to prevent a skills shortage developing.
The university already has a Certified IPC Trainer, and aims to train 120 students per year using the new laboratory, which is equipped with 12 work stations.
According to Mr Varnas, employees from any company operating in Lithuania will be able to train in the laboratory and gain certification. The university also plans to raise additional revenue by using the laboratory to carry out research orders, income which will then be used to further upgrade the laboratory.
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