How would you describe your career so far at LÄPPLE? When did you join the company?
I’ve been here at LÄPPLE for nine years now. I started training here as a maintenance technician for the press shop in 2008. At the same time I’m finishing an advanced training course, so a supervisor position is my next big challenge.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in engineering?
I chose this career path because I had a lot of experience in crafts from back home with my parents. Having an office job sitting at a desk would be quite boring for me. I was just a lot more interested in working with my hands and my head. Combining the two made a career in maintenance a natural step. On the job, I have to think about what step to do next, troubleshoot problems, and then use my hands to put plans into practice. I've always been interested and talented in manual technical work, and I’ve never thought about doing something else.
I also think being a woman in this kind of environment is quite special. How was that for you?
I was the first woman to join this training course at LÄPPLE in Teublitz, and the company provided me with plenty of support.
But at the beginning it was difficult, and it took a while before I was accepted. At first I had to really assert myself and demand open-mindedness from my peers, but then I found a happy medium and since then I’ve been very happy, knowing that men and women are treated as equals.
If there’s any advice I could offer to women in the workplace, I’d say do your own thing, never let anyone get you down and always believe in yourself. You can do it just as well as men can.
What do you do exactly?
My duties include preventive maintenance of presses in the Teublitz press shop.
We deal with a wide range of issues, including the repair of robots, press parts, conveyor belts, and pneumatic and hydraulic systems. I’m responsible for welding pipes that are subjected to high pressure.
It’s a job that comes with a lot of responsibility. If, for example, I install the wrong valves, it might pose a major hazard for other members of staff, which is something I’m acutely aware of every day.
What role do new technologies play in your day-to-day operations?
The measurement instrumentation we use here in the press shop is one of the newest technologies we have. For example, I have a computer with cable and line connections which I can attach directly onto the press in order to measure pressure peaks, generate charts and analyse data. This allows me to anticipate when a pipe could potentially rupture, when a light element could break and when bolted connections could come apart.
What do you like most about your job?
I think having a collegial atmosphere is really important. If I didn’t get along with my colleagues, then work wouldn’t be any fun. There’s also lots of variety at work; no two days are alike. Every day I have something different to do. For example, if a system breaks, then I’ll step in to either weld some pipework or replace the valves.
What does it mean to be part of the LÄPPLE Group?
We maintain a close-knit community at the LÄPPLE Group, sharing our interests and experiences with each other. But we also band together as a team when there are tricky problems to solve. So there’s always someone there who can lend support.