Mark Bagnall, Electrician
At Sewtec Automation, we aim to develop the skills of all our people. We provide training workshops to cover a whole range of specialisms, whether it’s an engineer looking to learn how to operate a new machine or a designer wanting a progress their leadership skills.
Joining our team as an electrician in 2018, find out what Mark Bagnall thinks about our move to the new Wakefield facility and how he looks to develop his skills whilst working here.
Q: Tell us about your typical working day
Mark Bagnall (MB): Typically, after a discussion with the designer or lead electrician, I will use designs and documentation to identify which components to use to produce a control panel, or to do the field wiring and cable management to complete the machine, ready to hand over to the controls engineers for commissioning.
Some days, I will assist the controls engineers with testing. After the machine has been approved by the customer, I occasionally travel to site to install and complete the project. Once on site, I will rewire the machinery whilst liaising with the project managers from Sewtec and the customer’s team to ensure a smooth installation.
Q: What made you choose a career in automation?
MB: Previously, I worked as a maintenance engineer for a door manufacturing company, and worked on projects with an automation manufacturer to install new machinery and to do some improvements. I saw the positive impact automation had on production: less wastage, capacity to deal with larger order books and an improvement on safety for the operatives, with a lot of heavy and repetitive manual handling removed. I enjoyed the work and wanted to do more of it.
I had worked at machine manufacturers in the past, but found the work repetitive after a while. With special purpose machinery you get a wide variety of work and no two projects are the same.
Q: What would you say the best thing about working at Sewtec is?
MB: A commitment to getting the best out of you. A lot has been invested to provide us with opportunities to train and gain more qualifications.
Q: Name three characteristics you would say are needed to work in automation?
MB: The three characteristics I’d say you need for a career in automation are:
Flexibility – Some projects will need extra hours or require you to travel abroad
Patience – A lot of factors can be causing an issue and need a lot of attention to find a root cause to eliminate it
Teamwork – So many departments are involved with a build, so the ability to work with others is important
Q: What’s been your proudest moment whilst working at Sewtec?
MB: Seeing the machines running in full production after getting signed off by the customers. It’s good to see everyone’s hard work has paid off.
Q: Do you feel inspired by working as part of an award-winning team?
MB: It’s hard not to feel inspired. Being involved with a team which is getting recognised for the progress it is making by being nominated against some of the UK’s biggest manufacturers is really inspiring.
Q: How have you developed your skills whilst working at Sewtec?
MB: Working on more advanced projects has improved my skills a lot. I have also gained some extra qualifications and have been on training courses to help develop the skills I need to give me an opportunity to progress onto other roles within the company.
Q: What do you make of Sewtec’s move to the brand-new facility at Wakefield?
MB: It’s nice to have space, and everything around you is new and working as it should. I feel as a company we are well equipped now to go for more ambitious projects and keep growing.
Q: How do you think the new facility will help improve your day-to-day role and help the business grow?
MB: Having an assembly area which can adapt to accommodate numerous projects at the same time or larger projects, whilst having enough space for everyone to work safely, will help with productivity.
Q: What aspirations do you have for your career at Sewtec moving forward?
MB: Keep on with what I am doing, developing more skill and maybe have a hand in training the next generation of engineers.
If you like the sound of working at Sewtec, visit our Careers page for more details on our current vacancies.