Specialist career in extrusion engineering

An interview with Angela Reisenbichler, senior process engineer at Greiner Extrusion

Angie has been with the Greiner Extrusion team for over 25 years and is speaking to us about her career to date. She is also letting us know how to best get young people excited about technology and talks about the biggest challenges facing extrusion as well as her most memorable experiences.

Hi Angie, what has your career path at Greiner looked like thus far?

I started at Greiner in 1996 and completed a three-and-a-half-year apprenticeship as a toolmaker. Until 2006, I worked in the die/manufacturing department at GPN Werkzeugbau. Over time, I increasingly looked for a new challenge, ending up as the first woman to apply for the technician training programme.

This was a rather unusual thing to do then, which needed some time. I also felt a certain scepticism from the customers towards me as a woman in the beginning, but I soon noticed that showing expert know-how was key to breaking the ice quickly. Since then, I have taken over the young technician training programme, which happened 3 years ago. I thoroughly enjoy it. I also head the post co-extrusion team.

What's the best way to get young people excited about technology these days?

It's almost too late for that when they’ve reached their teenage years – in my opinion, you should connect people with technology at a young age and show them that it's not difficult to learn. From secondary school onwards, you could introduce open door days where young people could learn how to bend sheet metal or create something out of metal. The most important thing is to take away young people's fear of technology. Nowadays, that no longer means heavy physical exertion – legislation has made lifting equipment such as cranes obligatory in a company. Of course, it is still necessary to have basic strength.

What’s more, working in the technical field is not dirty. Nowadays, more and more work is done with closed CNC machines and the technical working environment is generally very clean. Moreover, technology is no longer synonymous with manual work, but is becoming more and more diverse, for example in terms of electronics or programming. The technical field opens up a number of different career choices and allows for many opportunities for continuing education.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your technician training, what was particularly nice?

Satisfying individual customers is something I care deeply about. The challenge often lies in assessing the environment and the quality requirements of each customer as quickly as possible and to achieve the required profile quality, all the while displaying time and cost efficiency.

In the course of my training, there’d be clients who took care of me and did day trips with me on the weekends, for example, or invited me to a private barbecue party. That has led to one or two good friendships, many of whom I still keep in touch with.

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