Machines are humming and the scent of metal hangs in the air. It’s a nice day. Not too hot and not too cold. Over here is a workbench, over there a large machine. While it may look like it was all thrown together, there is in fact a good reason for it: it means employees can easily locate their workstations. They work quietly and are very focused. And Waldemar is no exception. He is an industrial mechanic. He’s busy turning and milling components that will go into ZEISS products. Microscopes, measuring machines and lithography optics. Even though he works on tiny parts, the finished products simply wouldn’t work without them. That’s something Waldemar is proud of. He’s proud of himself and his work. “It’s a great feeling to look through a finished microscope and see that it contains several components that I myself have produced.”
Waldemar’s job is to focus on bringing other people’s ideas to life. Putting their theories into practice. To do this, he draws on his vast knowledge and his skills. He has to be both the master of his machine and a team player. “Every one of us is assigned to a particular machine and has their own workspace, but we all have to work well together.” The goal is to deliver top quality at all times. That includes having to tell your boss that some things just aren’t working out as planned. Ideas don’t always translate perfectly into reality. “A machine is much more than a theory applied to a product,” says Waldemar. So he and his colleagues make alternative suggestions. They discuss their ideas but spend most of their time putting them to the test. The most appropriate solution is then applied. “It’s a great feeling when your idea is the one that’s chosen. That’s when you know that you and your work are truly valued.” And when Waldemar sees the finished product, he’s incredibly proud that he has helped to create it.
For example, there are no words to describe the incredible feeling he got when he helped build microscopes that allow doctors to zoom in on a patient during surgery. The zoom function was produced by a purpose-built machine constructed by his team. Waldemar never tires of producing the same parts time and again. New products lead to new challenges, new machines and software programs. “I’m always learning something new, and I just love the varied nature of my work.”
Errors are bound to occur when people and machines come together. But any errors are usually detected by no later than the assembly stage. So complaints are to be expected. “We are only human after all, but we can learn from our mistakes instead of repeating them.” Taking action instead of simply talking about it is what Waldemar enjoys, and it’s what drives him to achieve each and every day.