Interview with a leading polymechanic

Silas Messmer was able to prove his skills as a polymechanic at EuroSkills. (Image courtesy of ZVG.)

Silas Messmer showed his skills at the professional championships

Silas Messmer has an eye for detail. This is essential, because his work as a polymechanic is all about maximum precision. "This precise and methodical work on the machine and on the computer is what fascinates me about my job," he explains. Not only is the 20-year-old from Grabs, St. Gallen passionate — he is also a very talented polymechanic.

Silas Messmer creates a model of the part on the computer, which he will later manufacture on the CNC milling machine. (Fabienne Böhler)

Promoting young talents

In this exciting competition, the best young professionals are selected and a wide range of professions are given the time to shine. This is the basic idea behind the annually alternating SwissSkills, EuroSkills and WorldSkills events. Brütsch/Rüegger Tools is committed to these competitions and supports the three polymechanic disciplines of automation, CNC turning and CNC milling. Through our involvement, we show our full support for the positive idea of using professional championships to promote excellence, professional experience and the image of apprenticeships.

Measured against the best

Thanks to his talent, Silas Messmer was able to participate in EuroSkills, the European professional championship, this September. After completing his apprenticeship at the nation's well-established company Hilti, he was allowed to compete for Liechtenstein. This year, the competition took place in Gdańsk, Poland. Around 600 young professional champions from 32 nations competed against each other in a range of professional disciplines. And how did the competition go for Silas? Before the competition, he had set himself the goal of delivering the best performance possible in the category of CNC milling, just as his colleague Yannick Schädler had done in 2021. "I managed to accomplish this and I am very happy with my performance," he says. Given the highly competitive field, he is proud of his fifth place in the European rankings.  

Once the part is created on the computer, the CNC milling machine must be calibrated for the part to be manufactured. (Fabienne Böhler)

Practice makes perfect

Of course, an ambitious professional competitor must train extensively in the run-up to a competition. For this reason, Silas also used the infrastructures of Brütsch/Rüegger Tools as part of his preparation. Silas had the opportunity to train on the CNC milling machine at the company's headquarters in Urdorf, Zurich over several days, which added the required final touch to his work process. This was highly valuable for his training — because the standards at EuroSkills were high and the assignment was correspondingly challenging.

At the competition in Poland, Silas and his rivals were provided with STEP-files of the parts that they had to manufacture. They then modelled them on the computer and adjusted the tools so that they could mill the required part. To that end, the computer program had to be rewritten to allow the machine to operate within the required parameters. These steps, all of which required a lot of concentration and skill, had to be carried out under enormous time pressure and the tension of the competition setting. A jury of experts then assessed the quality of the work and chose the winner. 

Eye to eye with the competition: Silas Messmer showing total concentration at EuroSkills. (Image courtesy of ZVG.)

No time to rest

With the competition over, Silas Messmer is already ready to embark on his next adventures: First, he will travel to Canada to work as a helicopter flight assistant. This is followed by a trip down under. A particularly personal highlight awaits him in Australia, where he will get stuck in behind the wheel of a large tractor. 

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