“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” – parents greatly influence how their children develop and the kind of adults they become. For some that influence is greater; for others it’s less. For Jana, production engineer at WEINMANN Emergency, the saying holds true particularly in the professional sphere. Here she was actually inspired by her father Harry, who has been working as a production technician at WEINMANN Emergency for many years. Twenty years ago he’d never have thought he’d be working alongside his daughter.
When did you join WEINMANN Emergency?
Jana: I started last year in May, so I’ve been working here now for almost a year. Before I managed to gain some initial experience at WEINMANN as a student trainee.
Harry: I need to count back a bit more. I started here in 1979. But now I’m only here once a week to provide support. Officially I actually retired last year.
Jana: But dad simply can’t bear it without WEINMANN (laughs).
What are your tasks?
Harry: I now mainly support plant planning by planning new production lines and I set up or optimize existing lines. I also look after the high-pressure plant and provide support with device fault analysis.
Jana: With me it’s always a mix of projects and operational day-to-day business. Operational day-to-day business includes change management, for instance. Here the planned changes are implemented in the plant as part of life-cycle management. This includes the planning, when and how the change is incorporated into production. I also have to modify master data in the ERP system and work instructions. Depending on the scope of the change, a test order or a pilot series is implemented, which we then also accompany in ME (Manufacturing Engineering). I’m now mainly working with the project for the renewed rollout of shopfloor management in production.
Jana, to what extent did your dad influence you to become a production engineer?
Jana: He showed me just how much fun this profession is. It started early on, I think I was about six years old. Sometimes I’d come with dad on Saturdays and help him. At the time it was more like a game. But the older I got, the more interested I was in natural sciences. That’s why during my time at school I did two internships here. The engineering work was so much fun that I decided to study mechanical engineering at university. During my time as a student trainee at WEINMANN, we always joked about how I could take over dad’s job.
Harry: And then the joke wasn’t that much of a joke anymore. Because the year when Jana graduated was my last year before retiring.
Jana: Unlike dad though I started out as a production engineer and didn’t slip into his role as a precision engineer. So it wasn’t actually his job that I took over. But it’s the same team.
What’s it like working together with your father or your daughter?
Jana: I’m still learning a great deal from dad and got to know the company well before I joined. What’s great is that we can talk about everything – even if our opinions differ sometimes.
Harry: I really enjoy working with Jana. It’s great to see how quickly she grasps things. It’s also fascinating to see just how much she learned at university.
Jana: This family relationship isn’t something though that only the two of us share; it’s something you actually find throughout the department. We talk to each other about lots of things and share our opinions.
Harry, what did it feel like when you realized that Jana was following in your footsteps?
Harry: I was absolutely over the moon of course. Not just for Jana, but for the department too. She brings a breath of fresh air and not only fits from an engineering perspective. She’s also a really good personal fit in the ME team.
Jana, do you find that colleagues simply see you as ‘Harry’s daughter’?
Jana: That depends. The people I work with a lot already see me as ‘Jana’. For the people I don’t have much to do with, I’m ‘Harry’s daughter’ at times. And then you have the odd comment like “You can ask your dad again over supper.” But that always comes with a wink and is always inoffensive.
To what extent does WEINMANN Emergency find its way into family holidays?
Jana: Oh, work’s often a talking point.
Harry: That’s right. I also met Jana’s mum here too, making us a real WEINMANN family.
Jana: But we’ve also got other passions as well. After work I look after my horse and you’ll often see dad out on his motorbike in his leisure time.