Andreas, after graduating from the HTL in Innsbruck, you started working at SFS as a design engineer. Can you still remember your first day at work in Polling?
Yes, of course, it was only a good year ago. I have to say that it was relatively easy for me to get started, because I had already worked for the company as a holiday worker in the summer. So I already knew a few people and knew what to expect. The responsible tasks I was then given in my first job, with virtually zero work experience, really excited me. On my very first day, I was given the task of independently designing a new test device. With this very extensive project and the ongoing support from my colleagues, I was able to get to know all the processes in the company directly and grow step by step into my work as a designer.
In the meantime, you have already successfully completed several projects. What has been the most exciting development project for you so far?
I think it’s the challenge that makes a project exciting, and there’s never a shortage of challenges with special technical solutions. However, I will always remember this one pressure regulator in particular (it had to be as small as possible, have very precise control and, best of all, cost as little as possible). Here, as almost always, the solution to the problem could only be achieved hand in hand with the customer. Because in order to meet all the technical and commercial requirements exactly, a lot of communication is needed. It is very important to have the appropriate foresight to understand the customer’s expectations and to come up with a clever solution that not only solves the actual problem, but also eliminates a second one. And that’s exactly what happened with the pressure regulator. The requirements seemed very demanding right from the start, but we were still able to develop a solution for our customer that ultimately more than fulfilled the requirements.
„It gives great pleasure when you see the product you have developed yourself and it comes into use and is used on a daily basis.“
Thanks to your efforts, several internal projects have also been successfully implemented. Please tell us about a current automation project.
I am currently working on a system that will take over our outgoing goods inspection for a very complex product. The most complicated part is that the machine has to outperform our quality-conscious employees who currently do the inspection by hand. In order to achieve this, everything has to be planned exactly. In CAD, I therefore developed the entire system. Everything is systematically arranged around the valve block to be tested. Cylinders, valves, controls, sensors, cables and hoses, everything has to find its place without ending up in a muddle. What I like best about these projects is how well we also work together between the departments. We start with the planning, then production makes the individual parts. Purchasing orders all the components and the warehouse then picks the individual parts together. In the end, the system is assembled in assembly, programmed to the individual requirement and put into operation. I like the fact that I can witness every step of the work and thus gain new experience. That’s the biggest benefit for me personally, because I can continue to learn in a wide variety of areas as I work. In addition, it’s a great pleasure to see the product you’ve developed yourself being put to use and being used on a daily basis.