The most exciting moment when constructing a new line is the one when the system is started up for the first time. Construction of the new combi-filter line in Himmelkron was the first project of this scale that I had been involved with. The line is nearly 35 metres long and will be used to manufacture cabin filters. The individual parts arrived in three trucks filled to capacity. The most exciting moment for me was of course when the system was started up for the first time. Of course, you ask yourself ‘is this all going to work?’ And it did indeed work perfectly, I am completely satisfied – and rather proud too.
To enable our machine builders to unload and assemble everything smoothly, I had to arrange the logistics in advance. On the one hand, I had to establish which hoisting devices would be required for assembly. Then I undertook layout planning: I prepared the area so that the brand-new equipment was well positioned and I would have no problems from already installed machines, plant or pipework. As we have a steel platform over this line, which serves almost as a second floor, I had to work together with the platform builders and make appropriate changes, for example to the positions of the girders, to ensure that they did not collide with the doors on the line or neighbouring machines. For structural reasons, this was by no means easy.
While the plant manufacturers were working on installation relatively independently, I was at the same time organising the layout of pipes, cable lines and construction of the bought-in items. These form part of the system but must be purchased externally. They include, for example, extraction units and air coolers. For me, this was a great organisational effort: everyone involved had to work in parallel and disturb surrounding production processes as little as possible. From time to time, improvisation skills were required. It’s a good job that we had well-established teams at work – without them, it would certainly not have been such plain sailing.
Operator training was now on the agenda. At the same time, we gradually introduced the various products onto the line. At the beginning, this required a lot of supervision from me, but when production was up and running well, it made all the hard work worthwhile. The weeks of planning, preparation, installation and supervision were very stressful but also really interesting. I have learned a lot and had some positive experiences from this project.