8 h with the service technicians

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8 h with the service technicians

This time in our ‘8h with...’ series we visited with the service team. Sometimes, they must travel to customer plants to perform on-site service.

7 am, assignment scheduling

A new working day begins for the team of eight service technicians. Every morning the assignment schedule must be reviewed and revised to accommodate urgent cases. Commissioning, maintenance, upgrades and repairs are on the agenda at various customer locations. “The range of tasks performed by a Brabender Technologie service technician is diverse, but that is what makes the job so interesting,” explains Dominique Python, a service technician who also mans the 24hr Hotline and therefore knows both sides of the service coin.

8 am, meeting

Dominique Python discusses the details of a customer assignment at a major plastics processing facility with a service technician. The call objective is to perform routine maintenance on the feeding equipment at the site. To make that happen, all settings must be checked and updated with the latest software. “We can plan such assignments well and are on our team’s everyday agenda,” the experienced service professional explains. Maintenance contracts, which are intended to trigger maintenance work at reasonable, fixed intervals and avoid foreseeable malfunctions, are helpful in this respect. Yet not every customer takes advantage of this service.

On-site assignments

Other on-site assignments must be organized quickly to minimize downtimes. “If a technical problem at the customer’s site can’t be solved beforehand via the Hotline or remote maintenance, then we act as the rapid reaction team, so to speak,” says Dominique Python with a grin and adds: “We are also happy to upgrade the feeder to handle other bulk materials and production processes if required. We may then need to provide the customer with advice on potential process engineering problems and issues. Our involvement can extend all the way to providing on-site training.”

Service technicians worldwide

Basically, our operational area is not restricted, and therefore Brabender Technologie service technicians go on assignment all over the world. “Whenever feasible, we try to cover assignments in other countries through our subsidiaries or agents. If necessary, we can help from here in Germany,” Dominique Python states. “The number of monthly assignments depends on its duration and on customer needs – sometimes two, sometimes ten.” Brabender Technologie employs its own service technicians at its subsidiaries in China, Canada, India, Russia and Dubai. A high percentage of our agencies worldwide also employ technicians, who can handle such jobs. In general, communication is by phone and email. “Periodically, we conduct training sessions and every three years, all the service technicians from all over the world gather at our Duisburg location for the Service Seminar. The seminar includes practical training in the course of which all service technicians are brought up to speed with what is state-of-the-art at Brabender,” Dominique Python explains.

11 am, repairs are pending

The service technicians have their own repair space in the plant. Today there are a number of repairs on the agenda. Peter Dümpelmann, who in manning the Hotline and working as a service technician is also familiar with all facets of the work involved, guides us around. “If a component is defective, it can simply be sent to us for repair. We then return the repaired component as quickly as possible. “Depending on what machine and faults are involved, we can also offer the customer replacement parts without delay”.

3 pm, commissioning on site

Since technology is always evolving, the team also handles upgrades to keep up with the changes, especially on our control systems. Peter Dümpelmann explains: “Despite long service lives, a customer can benefit from an upgrade depending on the situation. Even a change in production processes can make a modification necessary.” A service technician visits a customer site to commission equipment. The customer has installed their equipment and completed the electrical wiring. The next task that needs to be completed this afternoon: the customer’s employees need to be trained on how to handle and operate the equipment professionally.

5 pm, time to go off duty

A busy but satisfying day draws to a close. “The great thing about our job is that we are really close to customers,” Dominique Python sums up. “As problem solvers we provide valuable assistance and have established close relationships with many customers. That’s what makes the work we do so special.”

(published in FLUX 1/2021)