Vocational training at RUAG

RUAG attaches particular importance to promoting vocational training. Apprentices make up some 8% of RUAG's Swiss workforce. Training is an investment in the company's future, because our employees are the foundation of our success. Special training centres staffed with full-time apprenticeship supervisors are available to trainees.

Our apprentices receive a good, solid grounding at work as part of a thorough on-the-job programme in which qualified vocational trainers are there to guide, support and challenge them. Depending on their specialism, the programme is divided into basic, complementary and in-depth educational stages. In addition to training within the company, apprentices also attend the appropriate vocational college. RUAG works closely with partners swissmem and Swiss Skills in the area of vocational training. The aim is to make our apprentices the best in their profession.

Three Modules

For the BepiColombo project, RUAG Aviation produced the cabling for the three satellite modules MPO (Mercury Planetary Orbiter), MTM (Mercury Transfer Module) and MOSIF (Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Structure). In addition to the comprehensive engineering services in revising the production documentation, some of which was rather “undeveloped”, the project included the construction and manufacture of a mock up. The mock-up had to correspond exactly to the form of the satellite carrier.

The big challenge in this very complex cabling project is to form the approximate 130 cable harnesses in exactly the way they will ultimately be used later in the satellite. Here are some interesting facts that make the scope of the cabling more tangible: approximately 24,000 contacts – built into around 960 jacks – have to be connected later to the three satellite modules! And this does not even include all the cable harnesses that were made for the three satellite test models.

Satellite Integration in Turin

All the cabling and the associated transport containers are made in Emmen by ECSS-certified RUAG personnel (European Cooperation for Space Standardization) in a controlled, clean environment and then subjected to 100% electrical testing. Subsequently transferring the cabling from the mock-up to the satellite is a sensitive task. This is done at Thales Alenia Space in Turin (Italy) also using personnel from RUAG Aviation. Integration of the MPO module has already been completed. For this purpose, a number of staff from Emmen spent around six weeks in Turin: four weeks for the integration and two weeks for testing.

The enthusiastic praise received from those responsible at Thales indicates that our staff did outstanding work there. Integration of the MTM module is scheduled to follow in September 2013. The cabling for the MOSIF has been completed by RUAG; integration work is not required for the MOSIF.