The academy was established in 2010 and a number of employers, including JCB, Michelin and Continental use the training centre to develop their apprentices.

The academy wanted to enhance its welding training in 2016, so it converted part of its main building into a new 16-bay welding workshop. It already had eight Thermal Arc multi-process welders, but more machines were needed.

The Rebel EMP 215ic is a compact, portable, 120/230V, CC/CV, MIG/ MMA/TIG welding system that offers powerful multi-process performance with the added benefit of a ground-breaking operator interface. A special sMIG (smart MIG) function enables users to begin MIG welding – with a very stable arc and little or no spatter – just by setting the material thickness and wire diameter.

The Rebels were installed in September last year for the start of the new academic year. Every apprentice will gain experience with the Rebel machines for MIG, MMA and TIG welding, and people who enroll for evening classes will also benefit.

Comments Matthew Haines, apprentice learner manager at The JCB Academy: "Time constraints meant that we were not able to try a Rebel before we purchased the 10 units, but I am extremely pleased with them. They have improved our welding facility substantially, which benefits the academy, apprentices and employers.

“The machines help to bridge the gap in technology that often occurs with training institutions and industry. We now have the latest in design and digital screens, which makes it easier for apprentices to transfer their skills to industrial equivalents. As we can now train them on how to access the machine set-up and welding parameters, this should deepen their understanding of the thermal arc process.”