15.02.2022 / Fabian Leuzinger

Automation Technician is Exactly the Right Job for Me

I think I was similar to many other students visiting the last school year. I didn't really have a clue about what profession I wanted to learn and what job might suit me best. Mediamatiker sounded kind of exciting to me. But when I finally had a trial day, I was totally disappointed with the job. And so I decided to add another school year at the district school after finishing secondary school. 

But now I still didn't know which profession I would enjoy. So I went to the career counseling center. And that finally turned things around, because I was really well informed and advised there. My advisor introduced me to a wide variety of professions, including some that had not been on my radar at all. With the three that excited me the most, I again looked for a company to try out. I was able to look at a job with the structural and civil engineering draftsmen and the design engineers. I also had the opportunity to do a trial apprenticeship (only in German language) with the automation technicians (only in German language) at Muller Martini. 

Varied trial apprenticeship 
Here I liked it the best. And that was not only due to the perfect organization and support (which I had experienced quite differently in other places...). Already during these two trial days I got an impression of how varied this job is. I was accompanied by second-year apprentices who introduced me to everything and guided me through a detailed dossier. After a bit of theory, which was immediately reinforced by answering questions, the first practical exercises began. For example, I was able to wire up a conveyor belt control system. I was then allowed to test this right away, find errors and correct them. Finally, I programmed a crane control system. Wow, that was a lot of input, but I had a lot of fun with this work.

So I sent off my application right away and was invited for an interview. I was extremely nervous, but my supervisor Janick Suter made it very professional and relaxed. I was able to answer the various questions well and also passed the aptitude test. Surprisingly, I received the acceptance letter right after the interview. I was very relieved that I now had a confirmed apprenticeship one year before I finished school.

When it started, we all went to the apprentice camp together first. All the new apprentices spent five days in a camp house, where we learned a lot about Muller Martini and solved tasks together, but also had a lot of time to get to know each other. We had a barbecue, went hiking or had an afternoon of games. I thought it was cool, and for me it was a very good start to my apprenticeship. 
What I also noticed right at the beginning of the apprenticeship: the commute is perfect for me. Because I only live five kilometers from Zofingen. For the first two years of my apprenticeship, I was therefore always able to ride my bike to work, but now that I have my driver's license, I prefer to come by car.   

Besides theory also a lot of practice
Back from the camp, the training started. I spent the first two years of training mainly in the apprentice department. I first learned the basics and a lot of theory about the job of an automation engineer. Then it was time to build the first simple circuits. We did a lot of wiring and already looked at pneumatics and sensors. I was able to draw my first schematics, build controls based on the schematic and test whether everything worked. What I find particularly great at Muller Martini is that we are taught all the learning content here at the company. We can complete the so-called inter-company courses in our apprentice department and don't have to move to other companies to do so. 

In the second year of the apprenticeship, preparing for the partial exam took up a lot of time. Three positions have to be completed in the partial exam. In automation, you have a control system in front of you, where errors have to be found and corrected. This is then tested, measurements are taken and an extension is programmed. In mechanical production, a plate has to be drilled, filed and fitted with pneumatic parts according to specifications. Then the task is to make a cylinder extend and a lamp light up. In electronic manufacturing, the task is to wire and test a control system according to a given schematic. We were prepared very well by our supervisors for all these positions and so the exam went very well for me –and I am very happy with my grade.

From the third year of training, you change departments every six months to gain practical experience. At the moment, I'm still in the apprentice department to look after the first-year apprentices and help them get started with their apprenticeship. After that, I will get to know the assembly and technology departments. 

Everything except sensor technology 
I would also like to report briefly on the vocational school. I attend this in Baden, two days a week for the first two years, now only one day a week. There is practically no subject that I don't like. I like math and I find control systems very exciting. In the subject of interdisciplinary projects, for example, we were able to gain a lot of practical experience when we built and tested control systems in the lab. Only the subject of sensor technology is not really my cup of tea –but that's the case for most people!

It's still a little while before I complete my apprenticeship in 16 months. What will I do after that? First of all, I plan to attend recruit school in the military before I want to work at my job for a few years. I've even been offered a job already, so I hope that will work out and I can gain my first work experience there. The early job offer also shows me that with the profession of automation technician I'm learning a job with a promising future, with which I have good chances on the job market.

If you are also interested in an apprenticeship or in a career at Muller Martini, then visit our website and contact one of the supervisors. They will be happy to help you!

Hope to see you soon!

Fabian Leuzinger
Apprentice Automation Technician at Muller Martini
15.02.2022 Fabian Leuzinger Automatiker-Lernender bei Müller Martini