How I became a metallurgist and metal forming engineer

Since I started my apprenticeship I have been able to enhance my knowledge in the different areas of our company. I started out at the forge training workshop for a two-month basic course during which I learnt basic skills, such as filing, sawing, welding, drilling and forging. This was followed by two months in the laboratory where I gained deeper insights into the processing of samples, working with analytical devices, the methods of analysing the composition of our steel and the treatment of our water for and after various processes. After I had completed my first year of vocational school, I started in my actual job: the steel mill.

Being present at many batches enabled me to learn about the procedures of the individual work steps between tapping and the finished cast ingot of "standard" batches, as well as somewhat more complex VOD charges (note: high-alloy, stainless steel brands). This included the different types of samples and how you take them, temperature measurement, operating the ladle furnace and alloy facilities, monitoring the VD or VOD process, checking the casting pit, the process of ingot casting and double casting. Besides my activities in the steel mill, I also have different tasks in the office, such as production planning, recording production data and documenting the events. Furthermore, I'm supporting the management concerning occupational safety and was given the opportunity to be involved in the project "5S in the casting pit".

In order to get to know our raw material - the scrap - and the processes at the scrap yard, I got to spend one day there and was introduced to the variety of our scrap groups, the control of purchased incoming scraps and to the analytical procedures that are used to categorize the internal scrap into different groups. During my apprenticeship, I got an inside into the activities of our industrial electrician for one week and learnt some basics of electrical engineering and - among other things - how to wire a multiway switch.

At the end of my apprenticeship, my skills range from selecting scrap for the various batches to calculating the required quantities of alloying elements, monitoring the various processes, further processing the finished steel ingots, as well as analysis procedures. Plant engineering and a further specialization in metallurgy will be the future focus of my training.

Lena Knoll