The sound of metal on metal

Herningsholm Erhvervsskole (vocational school) has updated its metal workshops.

Troldtekt Herning Erhvervsakademi
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

The blacksmith trade is evolving, and new technology has long since benched the hammer and anvil. Now it's more about robot technology, CNC equipment, programming and quality control. In august 2018, a newly renovated building with forging and welding facilities was inaugurated at Herningsholm Erhvervsskole. The inauguration took place with the participation of, among others, the Danish Minister for Finance Kristian Jensen, who praised the school for playing an important role in the future of Danish industry.

The appearance of the rectangular building in itself is relatively anonymous. The renovated workshop has yellow-brick façades supplemented by black steel plates towards the west. Outdoor workspaces have been established in recesses, where the students can work on their projects in the open air.

Inside, the remodelling has clearly created a modern and attractive high-quality teaching environment. Daylight is pouring in through the skylights, and there is plenty of room for the students to unleash their creativity. There are 70 welding booths and 50 newly acquired welding machines offering the latest technology. The booths are very decorative with their shiny aluminium walls, black curtains and yellow fume extractors. 

Working with metal is not a noiseless activity. Angle grinders, welding and cutting machines require ear protection, but also the general noise level is important in large spaces such as these. The ceilings and the top part of the walls in these large workshops are covered with light-coloured Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool panels to take the edge off the decibels. The combination of wood wool panels, black steel trusses and shiny ventilation systems adds character to the spaces. In the area surrounding the welding booths the Troldtekt acoustic panels are placed fairly low to achieve optimal noise absorption.

“We’ve been wanting to gather our welding activities in one place for a long time,” says education and resource manager Brian Willadsen. Becoming a certified blacksmith takes four years. The profession holds good job opportunities and it is also possible to continue your studies to become for example a marine engineer or a production technologist.