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My apprenticeship as a tool mechanic at Bilstein & Siekermann GmbH: “The diversity of the different departments”

A report by Janine Black, tool mechanic apprentice in the third year of training

To understand the process that starts when the customer orders a product, from manufacturing to shipping, it is usual for all technical apprentices at Bilstein & Siekermann® to spend time in all the training-relevant departments, both technical and commercial.

My training department is toolmaking. This department handles custom projects within the organisation, builds special machines that are not commercially available, and maintains the individual tools. Special devices for the machines and systems are also produced here.

The next stop for me was the machine centre. The fitters there are responsible for all repairs and maintenance of the machines in the production department.

Then I spent time in the despatch department. As the name implies, this is where the finished parts are despatched to each customer. I was allowed to help with the sorting and correct packaging. Correct labelling of the packaged goods was particularly important here.

In the work preparation (AV) department, I had the opportunity to gain experience in planning production and machine utilisation. Here, everything that needs to be planned and managed prior to fabrication is prepared to ensure a smooth production process.

I also worked in sales. This is where the customer orders are processed and checked for production feasibility. Special offers for customers are also drafted here. At the same time, this is where customer deliveries are coordinated.

Next, I spent time in PMV, the test tool management department. Here I was taught how to make the test equipment available and what is important when using measuring equipment in the production process. I was allowed to help set up production machines and tools.

The design department is responsible for the creation and management of internal drawings. In this department I learned about how company drawings of tools and devices are created. At the same time, I learned something about the AutoCAD design program.  

Of course, the different fields of activity in each department are much more extensive. I really liked spending time in the different departments in my company as part of my training. My tasks were very varied and interesting. Now I understand what each department has to do to ensure that flawless goods are sent to the customer.

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