The operator

Calderys Expertise


The vital role of the operator

"If we weren't there, the line wouldn't work." That is how François Lefèvre expresses the importance of his job as operator on the precast line at Sézanne. "We're the pivot for quality and productivity, and our daily work increases our customer capital. The better we are, the better it is for the company."


What makes a good operator, and what makes him better?

It's not a job you learn in the classroom, according to team leader Cakil Cemal, who has worked at the Sézanne plant for 20 years: "What you learn on the job is the most important thing. To meet your lead times, you must know your machine by heart, and if you want to deliver a quality product, you must be fully familiar with the raw materials going into it."

Cemal feels closer to the customer today than he did when he started: "We're more quality-conscious now because we're better informed, thanks to training but also to customer feedback and traceability, which leads us right back to the source of the problem."

Last year Cemal was one of the operators chosen to visit the steelworks of major customer Arcelor Mittal at Dunkirk in Northern France: "When you see for yourself the critical role that your product plays, you can easily imagine the damage that could occur if you don't deliver the right quality to the customer."


Training and Communication are vital

When Bennie Nortje, superintendent at the Vereeniging plant in South Africa, holds his daily toolbox talks he has an unusual problem to face: "My operators have three tribal origins – Zulu, Sotho, and Xhosa – which means three different languages are spoken on the line! If I can't handle it in English I have to ask another guy to explain it."

Nortje confirms the direct link between training and productivity: "We've have ABET (Adult Basic Education Training) for three years now, with a tutor coming around to teach the operators how to read instructions. Since we introduced ABET, our productivity has gone up from eight to ten tons per hour."


Wherever the Calderys operator is located, whatever the product, and however automated the line may be, performance remains the number one priority, and all operators agree that performance comes from teamwork. Says Thomas Reinicke, an operator on Lines 2 & 5 at Neuwied, Germany, "For us productivity is the biggest challenge, and we have to meet it as a team: there are seven of us on the line and each one knows what he has to do."

Overall, the operator has a strong impact on productivity and customer satisfaction making him a major contributor to the success of Calderys.

ALL OPERATORS AGREE:“Performance comes from teamwork.”

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About Calderys

Our mission is to help you meet your ever increasing production and productivity targets, whilst protecting the safety of your people and the integrity of your equipment. Our focus is to deliver safe, reliable and high performing refractory solutions customized to your needs. Our international production and sales facilities allow us to develop and deliver customized solutions based on monolithic and ready shape monolithic refractory materials worldwide in a fast, efficient, and safe manner.

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