A day at FAWEMA
One day in the life of "Max"
Fawema has been in business for 98 years and one of the key reasons for the company´s continued success, is the maternal way in which it brings young people, both male and female, into the firm, nurtures them and trains them in a highly professional and structured manner. Let´s look at a typical example of this during a day in the life of Max, one of Fawema´s many rising young stars.
8am Max reports for duty at the Fawema plant in Runderoth. It´s early Autumn and outside the temperature is becoming chilly. The sky is still dark but already inside Fawema it´s a hive of activity.
8.10 am Max is changed into suitable work attire. This means overalls and safety shoes and now the day´s work begins. As Max is currently undergoing an apprenticeship at Fawema, his tasks are a mixture of learning new skills from certified and experienced technicians and also contributing to the manufacture, assembly and testing of new equipment in the workshop.
8.15 am – 11.00 am. Important work in the filler manufacturing department. Max Is learning some important 'tricks of the trade' from an experienced Fawema technician with over 30 years´ service. With packing machines working with volumetric fillers, it is absolutely essential that the filling system is designed, manufactured and fitted correctly. It´s equally important that the materials used (usually food-grade stainless steel) are of suitable quality and engineered to the precise dimensions. This hands-on approach enables Max to fully understand the intricate nature of the business and allows him to grasp the importance of one of the key elements in the complete packing line.
11am – noon. Max now spends an hour recording on his laptop everything he has learned during the last 3 hours of practical experience. This is a fundamental part of the apprenticeship and means that he can refer to his notes at any time for guidance. The notes will also form part of the final written thesis which Max must present in order to gain the apprenticeship qualification.
Noon – 1pm Max takes lunch together with his fellow workmates in the staff canteen at Fawema. The canteen serves a range of food and beverages and allows the workforce from both the factory and the offices to join together in a nice environment, enjoy some lunch and conversation before it´s back to work again.
1pm – 4pm Most of the afternoon is taken up with work on a FAT job. An FAT is a 'factory acceptance test' which is what every packing machine manufactured by Fawema undergoes before it´s allowed to leave the factory. Today Max will be part of the team conducting tests on a new machine for a client in South Africa. The procedure is very similar to what happens when your car is tested annually for road worthiness. Each component is checked while the machine is in operation to determine that every part of the total packing line is built to specification and is in perfect working order.
The machine today is a flour packing line purchased by a leading South African milling group for packing paper bags of 10 kg and 12.5 kg at high capacity speeds. Max diligently ticks off, one by one, all of the checked items until finally he and his supervisor are happy that all elements have been checked and are functioning properly. Now the machine is put through some rigorous tests using wheat flour itself and so the in-feed hopper on top of the machine is filled with product, empty bags are placed into the magazine and the ‘start‘ button is pressed. Here Max must check that the packing machine runs smoothly, packs the bags without any problems and achieves the speed and weight accuracy which has been agreed. Due to the limited volume of the hopper, several repeat runs must be made throughout the course of the afternoon until Max is finally happy and signs the machine off as being ‘certified & tested by Fawema GmbH‘ and duly approved for release to the client.
4pm – 5pm The final hour of Max’s day is made up of again logging down into his computer, all of the work done on the FAT machine testing. The apprenticeship program is a complex mix of practical work and theoretical study and the notes which Max make will all count towards total points at the completion of the apprentice course.
5pm. As Max heads to the changing room to change out of his work clothes and take a shower, he reflects on another day at Fawema. For a young man just starting out on the first rung of his career he feels happy and very fortunate to work at Fawema. It´s the perfect workplace for a young person, a place in which to learn a trade and obtain special skills and in such a welcoming and friendly environment. Max is just one of the latest young recruits to join the 'Fawema family'; over the last 98 years there have been many and it´s thanks to young men and women like Max who grow and develop with the company that Fawema has such a bright future. Innovation for the future is the key to success and this means investing in young talent who will create that innovation.