A social service company for young people based in Tyrol, AufBauWerk provide a range of services including training courses and support for all aspects of work and career.
Their speciality is personalised and practical-oriented job training for people with special needs provided at their five locations in Tyrol (Innsbruck, Telfs, Volders, Bad Häring and Nikolsdorf). The practical and training modules are based on the labour market and form the basic prerequisite for the trainees' later career. AufBauWerk employs a total of around 100 people. At peak times, 38 trainees with special needs are being prepared for the working world.
AufBauWerk accompanies the young people for up to 5 years, ideally with vocational integration taking place after 3 years. The challenge is that each young person has different skills, which must be developed and promoted until they can be integrated into the world of work. For this reason, the young people are individually accompanied at the AufBauWerk and are not only 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 AufBauWerk is that the "fear of technology" is taken away from young people and coaches orientate themselves according to the young people's abilities rather than areas they are not as skilled in. Alongside daily operations, there are also additional training modules and internships, with the latter 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 are willing to give trainees who are accompanied by AufBauWerk opportunities to gain this experience. In order to make the whole experience as realistic as possible, the young people have 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 produce a wide range of high-quality products for both interior and exterior decoration. These products include wooden nativity scenes, felt products, greeting cards, jewellery, birdhouses, door signs and even therapeutic teaching aids, right through to the order-related production of cut-to-size pieces. these products are then sold in both the company's own shops and the organised Christmas market.
To provide an attractive training tool for young people, a decision was made to invest in a laser machine, with the company's understanding of high quality product production going together with the conviction that working with technology, combined with appreciation, increases self-confidence.
Before investing in a laser machine, all applications were cut out with scissors or saws and usually reworked by hand, leading to long production times. As in other social enterprises, the youths spent days grinding or touching up the work. However, as 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 laser engraving machine 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 laser machines after the Trotec laser was put into operation. One of the main differences is 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 previous laser machine was not able to achieve an optimal result. The edges were mostly badly burned.
The other main difference 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 realised that information and asking for offers is not enough for a good evaluation. They had to admit that they had trusted too quickly and had fallen victim to a cheap offer, around 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 engraving machine, 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.