One man, one machine

Interview with Fabien Clarrysse, Loading foreman in Diekirch

How long are you working for Astron?
I started in 1990 as a welder. Then, Astron contracted me as assembler, in which corresponds to my background. I quickly moved towards different positions of foreman and since 3 years, I work in the Loading Department. I am in charge of the co-ordination of trucks loading.

What is a typical work day like?
We have a team of 18 people split in two shifts, this represents the loading of 12 trucks per day at the peak of the activity, if you count 23.5 tonnes maximum per truck. This makes a considerable volume! Managing such a volume requires to have a highly skilled team and a precise organization in order to ensure a good rate of loading.

What are the challenges you face?
The loading department is the last link in the chain and every day is a new challenge. We do not always know exactly when the drivers arrive, and the building elements are not always ready. We must anticipate and adapt to each situation to maintain the loading fluidity. Each loading is different, with high and/or low parts, each time it is a new Tetris game to find the optimum way to load the truck.

Have you seen changes in that area?
I believe quality has changed a lot. We care more the equipment, for example we have made good progress in the touch-up before loading and we have added protection elements. We have also adapted to the new standards for security. A real evolution is the loading optimisation that we have experimented with the “LEJ3” project and that we are now extending to new projects. The new tractor, our latest investment, allows us to hang and unhitch any type of trailer easily and safely. We can therefore better prepare the pre-loads and the truck driver comes only to pick up the loaded trailer, ready to leave for the jobsite. I like to see the truck ready to leave, it gives me the feeling of a well done job!