19-year-old Adrian Trupina is an apprentice automation technician at Muller Martini and is in his fourth year of training. A few months ago, he had his first assignments as a service technician for customers. In this blog, he explains what he found particularly cool about it and why the job of an automation technician is so varied.
It was clear to me early on that I wanted to learn a trade. I've always enjoyed working with screws – on my bike, for example, or in the allotment garden with my father. To find out what I liked best, I did several trial apprenticeships, various vacation jobs and researched on the internet. And I also went out a few times with my brother Robin, who is one year older than me and is an electrician.
The job description of an automation technician
soon crystallized. This job appealed to me – and still does today – because it is very varied and covers a broad spectrum: software programming, control cabinet construction, wiring, troubleshooting and much more.
It worked at the second attempt
So in 2019, I did a two-day trial apprenticeship at Muller Martini. I was allowed to build a conveyor belt control system myself, which I found very interesting. So I applied for an apprenticeship as an automation technician at Muller Martini, but to my great disappointment they didn't take me on. However, I didn't let myself be put off, continued my search and found an automation technician apprenticeship in the automotive industry at a company specializing in steering and camshafts. Unfortunately, during my third year of my apprenticeship, the company closed the site where I was working.
My instructor then contacted Muller Martini. I was given a two-day trial job in the assembly of perfect binders. Obviously, they were impressed by my skills and I was offered an apprenticeship contract within a very short space of time. On the one hand, I was of course totally relieved that it worked out at the second attempt. On the other hand, I wanted to prove what I could do and that it was a mistake not to take me on as an apprentice back then.
Muller Martini has its own spirit
I really like it at Muller Martini. Although the job is varied, you can also specialize. For example, I worked on the perfect binders
(Alegro, Vareo PRO and gathering machines) right from the start, which I really enjoy.
Muller Martini is a modern employer
and gives us apprentices opportunities and the freedom to create something ourselves. I particularly appreciate the excellent interaction with long-serving employees who have a wealth of expertise. I can always ask them something if I get stuck. The exchange between us five fourth-year automation apprentices is also extremely collegial. Muller Martini has its own spirit – characterized by respect and collegiality.
"Learning by doing" just as important as school
I also like the combination of theory and practice. The vocational school in Baden imparts a lot of knowledge. In the first and second year of my apprenticeship, I spent two days a week at school. Since the third year, it's been one day. I'm doing quite well at school. This is certainly also due to the fact that we apprentices are well looked after at Muller Martini and are well prepared for intermediate and partial exams.
In my fourth and final year of my apprenticeship, school has become much stricter. Apart from automation, my favorite subject is electrical engineering because it is directly related to practical work. And of course I like the weekly sports lesson. Vocational school gives me a solid foundation, but I find "learning by doing" just as important. And I can tell you: you learn a lot at Muller Martini!
The first field service jobs as a service technician
One of the highlights of my last year of training last fall was three assignments with customers where I got a taste of working as a service technician. My first field service job was at the UN in Geneva. A vintage Panda perfect binder is in use there, and we "refurbished" it a bit. The second was at Schär Druckverarbeitung
in Wikon. There, as a softcover specialist, I took a sideways glance at our saddle stitchers
for the first time, as we supported the customer for two days during the commissioning of the second Primera PRO. Finally, I traveled to Xerox
in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, where I spent five days performing maintenance and troubleshooting on the Vareo PRO perfect binder
The atmosphere was perfect during all three customer visits. I thought it was cool – being in the thick of it instead of just being there! You can see live on site the direct benefits of our machines (which we automation engineers get up and running together with the assembly mechanics) and how the companies can produce interesting print products. I also like the interaction between customers and technicians, and my openness certainly comes in handy here.
Apprenticeship, military service – and then?
From a purely professional point of view, I could definitely imagine working as a service technician/customer service in the future. But I would have to think about it carefully, because it would affect my family (I have close contact with my parents), my private life (i.e. my girlfriend) and my hobbies of Thai boxing (where I also work as a trainer) and motorcycling. Quite frankly, a job that involves a lot of time abroad is difficult to reconcile with my lifestyle.
After graduating from the apprenticeship next summer, I would like to work for six months – preferably at Muller Martini. In January 2025, I'll then go into military service for eleven months. What happens after that is still open. I always set myself goals, but I never commit to just one. I could well imagine doing something with apprentices – not least because of my good experiences with the trainers at Muller Martini. Because I'm an open person who likes to talk.
However, I also have another option in the back of my mind. When I was a child, my dream job was to be a policeman. And I wouldn't rule out becoming a police officer one day. However, you need to have completed an apprenticeship for that, and a technical job is definitely an advantage. But I don't have a fixed career plan and am open to anything – including another career in the engineering industry.
If you are also interested in an apprenticeship at Muller Martini, please visit our vocational training website
and get in touch with one of the vocational trainers. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues!
Hope to see you soon!
Automation technician apprentice at Muller Martini