“I wanted to do something new”

Mathias F. describes his career change into production at EUROIMMUN.

Please introduce yourself and tell us how you came to EUROIMMUN.

My name is Mathias. I have worked in production at EUROIMMUN since 2009, initially at the Luebeck site and since April 2013 in Dassow. I come from Rehna and at that time I was looking for a job in the region. From the press I learnt that EUROIMMUN had bought the CD-Werk ODS in Dassow in order to open a new company site there. I read some more about it, and when I saw a job opening in production I applied immediately.

Which department do you work in?

I work in the department of BIOCHIP Production. Here the BIOCHIPs are produced and then fitted onto slides. These are then used in the laboratory for the detection of many different diseases.

What exactly is a BIOCHIP?

BIOCHIPs are fragments cut from glass which are coated with various biological materials. Most of the BIOCHIPs that are produced and marketed have a size of 2 x 2 mm.

What do the production staff do with the BIOCHIPs?

First we generate a large image of the BIOCHIP surface with our scanners. Every single chip is checked at the computer to see if it can be used or not. BIOCHIPs of poor quality are marked and not used for further production processes. The BIOCHIPs are fitted to the slides using production machines in a fully automatic procedure. Then the production staff perform a visual check of all chips on the slides and pack them in air-tight bags for storage.

And what are your responsibilities?

I started in production at the production machines and performed all of the above described steps. Now I prepare the assignments for production. For example, I compile the correct raw materials according to the customer orders and ensure that my colleagues check the BIOCHIPs to our high quality standards. Further, I ensure that the machines run continuously and that there are no production stoppages.

What characteristics should you have in your opinion to work in production?

Good sight is important, but glasses are not a problem. If a BIOCHIP is not sitting properly or is subsequently damaged, it has to be removed with pincers and replaced manually with a new BIOCHIP. For this you need a steady hand and good dexterity, as the BIOCHIPs are small and sensitive. Patience is important, as there is a lot to learn. You should not expect to be able to do everything in a month. You should also have a basic interest in mastering the tasks – and not give up too easily. Since we are a large department, teamwork is important. You should also have basic knowledge in using computers, since we work with them a lot.

Which profession did you learn?

I trained as a mechanotronic technician, which requires gross motor skills. I would never have thought that I would end up working with small pieces and logistics, as I do in my current function.

What was the biggest challenge when you started working here?

I had no idea what was expected of me and I had to learn everything from scratch. It is a job that doesn’t exist anywhere else and is difficult to explain to outsiders. The tasks are very demanding. However, you get an intensive training and are not thrown into cold water. And if you have any questions, there are always colleagues to help.

What do you enjoy particularly about your work?

My work is on the whole fun. I like coming to work, as the collegial atmosphere and the work environment are super. I have new challenges every day and learn many new things.

What do you like especially about EUROIMMUN?

I like that even as a young person you are respected from the start. Good ideas are always welcome at EUROIMMUN, irrespective of who they come from or in which department you work. The working atmosphere is easy-going due to the use of the informal form of address “Du”. This makes it easier to ask colleagues for help. Various extras from coffee for free to massage chairs in our leisure area contribute to making you feel comfortable at EUROIMMUN.

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