The challenge is in the complexity

Published on by Systems Assembly. The reading time is approximately 5 minutes.

Arie Vogels (44) is team leader of two teams of mechanics that work on various machines. Besides this, Arie works as team leader on New Product Introduction which means translating new assignments and projects to a reproducible process. The common factor in both of his roles is the complexity and that is just what is the main challenge to Arie. The overall objective is creating an optimally arranged process. This already starts at the design. For the time being Arie has enough challenges to make his work worthwhile. “I get a lot of pleasure out of mapping the disturbances, analysis and working with people.”

“At the moment I have two roles,” Arie explains. “I am team leader of two teams of mechanics namely of the business line Additive, Apostore and Solaytec and I am team leader of New Product Introduction. The teams I am responsible for work on the machines of Additive Industries: a 3D-metalprinter, Apostore: a pharmacist’s machine and SoLayTec, a solar cell machine the applies layers to Silicium boards. They are all very nice mechatronic products that we test functionally and deliver plug and play.

Translating new assignments into a reproducible process

“New Product Introduction means that I help translate the assignments and projects that are new for NTS into a process that can be reproduced. Our objective in this is: first-time-right. When something has to be developed three times again after it has been tested, it needs a profound improvement and I plan capacity for it.”

Focus on teams and customer’s question

“I’ve been team leader for almost ten years now and I have worked on New Product Introduction for the last six years. There currently is a vacancy for my role as team leader NPI. I’ve always worked on the subject with great pleasure but I now want to be able to focus completely on my teams and the customer’s question. The work I do now gives me a lot of pleasure. I really enjoy mapping disturbances, analysis and working with people. For the time being I have enough challenges to make my work worthwhile.”

Developed myself step by step at NTS

“The good thing about NTS is that you can start as a student and develop yourself step by step. When I look back at where I once started and where I am now, then I have learned a lot. I started at NTS’ predecessor, Te Strake as a pupil.”

Started with the internal training fine machining

“I accordingly participated in the internal training fine machining at Te Strake. Te Strake was highly recommended as training company, it participated in national and international professional competitions and Te Strake employed a full-time instructor. I participated in the learning programme for two years and after that I started as a mechanic in Deurne.”

Accidentally got to know mechatronics

“After there had been a fire at the factory in Deurne I ended up in the assembly department. Because of that I accidentally discovered that I liked mechatronics a lot better. Machining for production is kind of repetitive. At the mechatronics division the products, systems and activities are a lot more diverse and you deliver complete modules.”

Evening courses electro

“That is why I took a lot of evening courses in electro after my mechanic training. Mechanics and electro in those days were still completely separate. I already thought that was strange back then. While I used to hate school when I was young, I always really enjoyed the courses. I was genuinely interested in what I was doing and I could apply it directly in daily practice.”

The challenge is in the complexity

“What I enjoy most is working on complex mechatronic modules. The main challenge to me is the complexity. Assembleon’s pick and place modules for instance or the Agfa printers that we have developed together with the customer. Initially I was involved in that process as a mechanic and at a later moment as a team leader. In 2008 NTS merged. At that moment the way in which the organisation was structured also changed and I became cooperative team leader and later team leader.”

Combination of technology and working with people is very nice

“When I became cooperative team leader, I also took courses in that. These courses were aimed at developing soft skills. Combining working with technology and working together with people is what I really enjoy. Each person is different. It is very nice to make the best of things together. You cannot treat each individual in the same way. It is great to try to get the best out of each character. That is also part of the job, just like optimising processes.”

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