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Expertise to the power of 3: from beginner to expert with SKZ diplomas

The SKZ diplomas allow for a flexible response to the different goals and prerequisites of the training participants. Hartmut Kötting, an employee in the engineering department at Wavin in Twist, can already call the three SKZ diplomas "Certified Colorist", "Plastics Expert" and "Compounding Specialist" his own.

September 28, 2023
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SKZ degrees can pave the way for further career development (Image: SKZ)

In the interview, Hartmut Kötting explains his motivation for taking three SKZ degrees at once.

SKZ offers a wide range of degrees. These range from Plastics Processing Specialist to Extrusion Specialist, Process Optimizer or Injection Molding Tool Manager, Plastics Materials Expert, Colorist and many more. SKZ is highly regarded in the plastics industry for these diverse training opportunities.

Mr. Hartmut Kötting, an employee in the engineering department at Wavin in Twist, can already call three degrees his own. In 2019, he successfully completed the SKZ qualification as a certified colorist in the plastics industry, followed by plastics material expert in 2021 and compounding specialist in 2023. The SKZ congratulates Mr. Kötting on his successful qualification.

SKZ: What was your motivation for doing three degrees at SKZ? 
Kötting: "The main motivation was to broaden my knowledge in polymer and process engineering, which would help me to be better prepared for the current professional challenges. But to be honest, I hadn't planned to complete three full degrees at SKZ from the beginning; it just grew over time. The way in which knowledge is imparted at SKZ suits me very well, from my point of view it is a balance between theoretical knowledge based on the latest scientific findings and a practical part on various state-of-the-art technical systems. Thanks to the modular structure of the training, I was able to tailor the topics to my working environment to a large extent".

SKZ: Which course or course content was particularly valuable for you?
Kötting: "In every single module I completed, there were always a few "aha" experiences, so it's difficult to highlight individual topics. I was very impressed by the complexity of rheology or the seemingly endless possibilities of modifying plastics with additives and fillers, the measurability of color, the assembly of modular screw elements on co-rotating twin-screw extruders, the recycling of plastics, biopolymers and mechanical testing methods.

SKZ: What benefits have you gained from the content of the course in your daily work? Can you give a concrete example? 
Kötting: "I have been working for Wavin GmbH for 30 years now, and during this time I have carried out countless tests, always in search of the "Holy Grail" of matching extrusion lines to the required raw materials (and vice versa) in such a way that they produce as efficiently as possible, the products meet the quality requirements, remain easily recyclable, and all this, of course, at minimum cost. In many experiments, the interaction between raw materials and the complexity of process technology leads to surprising results that seem to defy logic. With a deeper understanding of polymer and process technology, these "phenomena" become largely explainable and thus more predictable - the basis for optimal experimental design. Or to put it in a nutshell: the mix of the 3 training courses has brought me a bit closer to the "Holy Grail".

The SKZ diplomas can be flexibly adapted to the different goals and requirements of the participants. The SKZ Plastics Passport documents the training until the respective goals are achieved. In this way, participants always know where they stand and what their next training step will be. Each degree consists of several compulsory modules and a thematically appropriate elective module. The first part of the program provides basic material and processing knowledge, as well as knowledge and skills relevant to the chosen field. Building on this, students can choose from a number of elective modules to customize their training. The SKZ training concludes with a final examination. The SKZ certificate can be used to pave the way for further career development.

Certified colorist in the plastics industry

Colorists deal with color formulation and quality assurance in the field of color. Participants will receive a neutral and comprehensive overview of available colorimeters, as well as the advantages and limitations of different measurement geometries. Problems in coloring plastics and communication of process errors will also be addressed.

Plastics Material Expert

Knowing what leads to the typical behavior of plastics is a decisive added value in the daily work in plastics processing companies. The Plastics Material Expert degree provides the necessary basic knowledge as well as advanced specialized knowledge - starting with the various synthesis options, the rheological, physical and mechanical properties and the specific application profiles of the respective material classes.

Compounding specialist

In today's plastics industry, compounding requirements are becoming more and more demanding. As part of the program, students will acquire a sound knowledge of process engineering as well as the various specialization topics that can be successfully integrated into their daily work.

Learn more about our degrees

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Contact Person:

Andreas Büttner
Group Manager Training and Technical Center | Materials | Compounding | Extrusion

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