For the latest edition of our Newsletter, we spoke with Account Manager Herbert “Hebi” Hansman, who has been working for Steinemann since 1970, and asked him a few questions about his career and personal life. Read here what he has to say about himself and his everyday work at Steinemann.
Interviewer: First we would like to ask you a few personal questions …
If you could meet a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I don’t really know. I met Roger Federer once! He signed my daughter’s shirt in Monaco and posed for a selfie with her.
Generally speaking, I’m pretty outgoing about approaching new people. Even famous people, if I ever met one!
What actor would you want to play you if your life story were ever filmed?
Harrison Ford, because I like seeing him act. The Indiana Jones movies are great, because they’re action movies full of surprises.
What did your parents want you to be when you grew up?
I can’t remember! In any case, they were not against what I chose.
Can you describe your career path?
I completed an industrial mechanic apprenticeship at Steinemann in spring 1974, and followed that up with my mandatory military service. After that I wanted to travel on assignment doing machine installation jobs. Unfortunately Steinemann wasn’t looking for mechanics at the time, so I spent several months working for another company. But in the fall, I returned to Steinemann.
We were still manufacturing the Trafomat1 back then. Service assignments for that sheet metalworking machine lasted around five to six weeks each. The machine was over 30 meters long and weighed 560 tons.
Today you’re an account manager at Steinemann Technology AG. Can you describe a typical work day?
That depends. Usually I visit customers to conduct belt and insert tests. While I’m there, I inspect the machine first and take vibration measurements. Subsequent testing then takes three to four days. I also give customers advice on operating the machine and making the right settings.
What do you like most about your job, or what part of it do you enjoy most?
That I’m on the road a lot and have a lot of decision-making freedom. (laughs)
No matter which customer I visit, I always have new experiences, be they good or bad. I have known some machine operators for years. In their case, you can really sense the depth of their experience and see it in the quality work they do. Otherwise I always give people a few tips, remind them of what’s important to keep a machine running as planned.
1 Machine for cutting thin, layered sheet metal
What was the most memorable experience you had in all your years as a service technician?
Once when I was in Sao Paulo, a Formula 1 race happened to be taking place. And in Australia, I will never forget seeing the Australian Open. Back then in the early Nineties, I went to Australia and New Zealand for twelve weeks; my wife accompanied me on the trip.
Another time I traveled all over South America for several assignments; that was a wonderful experience, too!
You visit customers, and not only when everything’s running smoothly. What problems do you encounter most often and what is the usual solution?
Quite frequently the belt tracking unit isn’t set correctly. But Ludi always had good solutions for that.
For Ludi’s tips, click here.
I also see machine operators use the emergency stop function a lot when they want to change belts. That causes increased wear of the braking system and drums.
You’ve been doing your job for many years now. What still makes you love it?
When customers are happy.
I have had good experiences with the new TSQ belts when carrying out tests on customer systems. Most customers are very pleased with the results. Difficulties come up in very large companies because it’s not as easy to quickly change the belt type.
Customers also praise the simple handling of our inserts compared to products from other suppliers. With Steinemann inserts, there is no need to drill holes or sand edges. That saves a lot of time.