Over 40 French mechanical engineering students from the Claude Lehec Vocational College in Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët, Normandy visited Ransomes Jacobsen's European headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ipswich recently. The visit was part of a four-day educational visit to England to look at manufacturing processes and technology used in the agriculture and grounds care industry sectors.
All of the students were studying for an engineering qualification in agriculture or greenkeeping, while at the same time majoring in their chosen foreign language, English. The college has an old Ransomes 350D five unit ride-on mower, which is used in the college workshop as a teaching aid for hydraulics and basic engineering techniques.
The students and tutors were welcomed by Richard Comely, director of marketing and product management, who provided an overview of the business, its global reach and positioning within the grounds care industry. After being split in smaller groups, they toured the factory to see the processes that takes metal and components in at the beginning of the build, the cutting, machining, bending, welding, painting and eventual assembly on the production line that makes today's modern turf maintenance equipment.
They also toured the service parts division to see the after sales operation and the next day parts despatch system along with the warehousing and final delivery operations. Outside on the company's three-hole golf course they were able to view a wide range of equipment, especially the latest Jacobsen Eclipse 322 hybrid greens mower, which was of particular interest to the students.
Matt LeBrun, Ransomes Jacobsen's resident greenkeeper explained to the students the various tasks that different machines performed on a course and they also saw some of them cutting the course. Completing the tour was a visit to the test track to see the equipment being tested to its limits to ensure it performs in the field.
Commenting at the conclusion of the visit, Bernard Peron, lecturer at the college said, "The visit to this top site in England was a key moment of our stay in the United Kingdom. It was both enriching and very pleasant. We enjoyed a friendly lunch and the collective photo in front of the factory and would like to thank everyone at Ransomes Jacobsen who made this such an interesting experience for all of us."
The student group from Claude Lehec Vocational College and representatives
from Ransomes Jacobsen during the recent visit