That's what we do

Operating engineer in printed circuit board production

Part of the Hamburg STILL site is the Mechatronics Centre. Operations there include the production and customer supply of traction converters and printed circuit boards for the STILL products.

As an operating engineer in printed circuit board production, you and your fellow employees will be responsible for manufacturing the required quantities. This means being in regular communication with your colleagues and coordinating the department.

Operating engineer in printed circuit board production
Operating engineer in printed circuit board production

Interview - STILL Operating engineer in printed circuit board production

  • Name: Thomas Bartels
  • Position: Operating engineer in printed circuit board production
  • Playing field: Hamburg Head Office
  • Key player at STILL since: October 2007
  • Playing position: STILL Mechatronics Centre

What was your route into STILL?
Even during my initial vocational education and training as an energy electronics technician, I heard a lot about STILL from my fellow students; however, I only came back into contact with STILL some time later, as part of my studies in electrical engineering at HAW Hamburg, which I started after my initial vocational training. During my studies, I had to complete a placement, and when searching for a suitable company, STILL was my first choice. I did this placement in the Mechatronics Centre, and the offer to complete my thesis came about like this as well.

How did you get to your current position?
After my studies, I initially started working for another company as an electrical engineer in the series production of the hardware for inverters. But after just under a year, I saw a job advert for a test engineer at STILL, which satisfied my desire for a new challenge. The interviews with my superiors (who I already knew from my apprenticeship) and the Head of Human Resources went well and in 2007, I was able to rejoin STILL. After around three years as a test engineer, I had the opportunity to attend an internal assessment centre, which evaluated whether I was suitable for a role with managerial responsibility. I passed the assessment centre, and a few months later I was given the opportunity to take up a new position as an operating engineer in printed circuit board production.

Why did you decide to work at STILL?
Even during my initial vocational training, I heard nothing but good things about the company, and I was able to form my own impressions of it during my placement. The work and the cooperation convinced me most of all.

Describe a typical working day and your working environment:
In my current position, no two days are the same. As a manufacturing location, we are responsible for the required quantities being manufactured for the relevant departments. For me, this means constantly reacting to the changing parameters. Basically, I am highly involved in the coordination and organisation of the department. I constantly coordinate with my colleagues and employees and make decisions. This job provides me with a lot of variety; in terms of content, there are always new issues that come up, but the people that I come into contact with are all very different too.

What makes your work at STILL so exciting?
I never know what’s coming! You're quite suddenly confronted with challenges that need to be resolved as quickly as possible so that production can continue. Because of the proximity to production, I’m always in the thick of it.

Why are you a key player?
Along with my colleagues and employees, we are a team of key players, and this is because our team performance allows us to supply the entire Group with printed circuit boards for our products.

What have been the highlights of working at STILL so far?
2011 was a very exciting year in the printed circuit board production department because, for reasons linked to technology and cost-effectiveness, we decided to action high capital expenditure. First of all, however, we faced an intensive phase of strategic design and precise planning for the next two to three years. The new SMT line for our printed circuit board production was then finally commissioned in mid 2013. With the new facility, we laid the foundations for the coming years in terms of cost-effectiveness, quantity and quality. This means that we are fully competitive in printed circuit board production and are working to state-of-the-art standards. 

The next project then followed in 2014, which was centred around a complete overhaul of the manual assembly of printed circuit boards. Although these huge changes were a great challenge for all the employees, they made a lot of people very happy. 

Looking back, all our efforts were worth it. A great team performance!

Complete the sentence: Working at STILL is…
… always interesting!

Describe STILL (as an employer) in 3 words:
STILL has variety!

What do you like most about STILL?
I like the close collaboration between manufacturing, logistics and the order centre in our department. We work hand in hand, and because of our size we have the opportunity to come into contact every day. Even beyond the borders of mechatronics, there is good collaboration with colleagues from the truck plant. It is really the people that make working at STILL so unique.

What makes STILL stand out as an employer?
The personal freedom that you have. I can independently prioritise my tasks, meaning that I can respond flexibly to any challenges. The teamwork mentality at STILL also makes it possible for employees on the production lines to organise their work for themselves and draw up the shift plan.