AufBauWerk is a social service company for young people in Tyrol. The range of services includes a wide variety of training courses and support for all aspects of work and career.
The core competence lies in individualised and practice-oriented job training for people with special needs at five locations in Tyrol (Innsbruck, Telfs, Volders, Bad Häring and Nikolsdorf). Practical and training modules based on the labour market form the basic prerequisite for the trainees' later career entry. AufBauWerk employs a total of around 100 people. At peak times, 38 trainees with special needs are being prepared for the professional world in Innsbruck.
AufBauWerk accompanies the young people for up to 5 years, whereby ideally, vocational integration takes place after 3 years. The challenge here is that each young person has different skills, which must be developed and promoted until he/she can be integrated into the world of work. For this reason, the young people are individually accompanied at the AufBauWerk and are not only - as one might expect - occupied with "handicrafts", but they are also trained directly in varied activities and on machines that enable them to make a positive start to their working lives.
The special feature of the AufBauWerk is that here the young people's "fear of technology" is taken away and coaches do not orientate themselves according to the young people's deficits but rather according to their abilities. In addition to daily operations, there are also additional training modules and internships. The latter is very important for the trainees and the internship companies in order to gain first experiences on the job market and to check the performance and the fields of application in the company. Many companies show openness and give trainees who are accompanied by AufBauWerk opportunities to gain this experience. In order to make the whole thing as realistic as possible, the young people have very clear basic conditions which are very close to the labour market, such as fixed working hours, normal leave arrangements, use of tools and new technologies.
AufBauWerk produces a wide range of high-quality products for interior and exterior decoration, such as wooden nativity scenes, felt products, greeting cards, jewellery, birdhouses, door signs or therapeutic teaching aids, right through to the order-related production of cut-to-size pieces, which are then sold in the company's own shops and the organised Christmas market.
The decision for the laser technology was made to offer an attractive training program for the young people. AufBauWerk's own understanding of producing high quality products goes hand in hand with the conviction that working on a technological machine, combined with appreciation, increases self-confidence and thus increases the probability of integration. But of course the pedagogical work is in the foreground.
Before the application with the laser, the products were painstakingly cut out with scissors or saws and usually reworked by hand for a long time. As in other social enterprises, the youths sat for days on end grinding or touching up the work. However, because AufBauWerk wanted to get away from this "occupational therapy", they gathered information, obtained offers and, for cost reasons, bought a laser engraving machine from China through a German dealer.
Together with the company Aigner, Trotec Laser has now provided a Speedy 360 and a suitable extraction unit so that the trainees can continue to be well prepared for the professional world. In the meantime, AufBauWerk is examining legal action against the German dealer together with AUVA.
The 4 laser coaches only became aware of the qualitative difference between the two devices after the Trotec laser was put into operation. The two most serious differences are, on the one hand, the fact that reworking of pollution is no longer necessary at all. These had to be eliminated with a belt loop due to the insufficient supply of exhaust and supply air, for example, for woodcuts and engravings. Even with felt and fabric cuts, the China machine was not able to achieve an optimal result. The edges were mostly badly burned.
On the other hand, despite the short daily running time, the difference in speed is clearly visible and the coaches can therefore now produce more products with the young people or invest further valuable time in the pedagogical work.
If we had to decide again, we would definitely choose the Trotec laser!
Despite the time the AufBauWerk employees had invested in the pre-selection of the laser, they had to realize that simply informing and asking for offers is not enough for a good evaluation. One had to admit to oneself that one had trusted too quickly, had fallen victim to a cheap offer and had finally paid a bill (and it was after all about EUR 14.000) which did not bring any positive value into the company. That's why the much better product quality, the amazingly higher speed and the good feeling of an Austrian manufacturer easily lead Mr. Schöpf to say "If we had to make another decision, we would definitely choose the Trotec laser!
Thanks to the new laser, Mr. Schöpf has now also become aware of Trotec engraving materials and is already thinking about expanding the product range, which he could do, for example, by engraving metal signs with spray or paste from the Trotec online shop.