Sam Lockwood, Controls engineer
Working at Sewtec Automation brings with it a new challenge every day. As a turnkey solutions provider of industrial automation, all the machines we invent are catered to meet the needs of our customers.
Joining the Sewtec team in May 2019, our controls engineer Sam Lockwood tells us about his daily to-do list and what he thinks of our new facility in Wakefield.
Q: Tell us about your typical working day
Sam Lockwood (SL): No working day at Sewtec is ever the same. Depending on which project I’m involved in, I may be commissioning machines in house while working with the electricians and mechanical fitters, writing PLC software for upcoming machines, or assisting other colleagues with their projects.
Once a machine has been approved by the client during the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), I then liaise with the project manager for any modifications which may need doing before the machine is installed on site, with further testing done during the Site Acceptance Test (SAT).
Q: What made you choose a career in automation?
SL: Coming from a background of installing pharmaceutical apparatus, I saw what advantages automation had on production, especially the safety side of using robotics for tasks unsafe for people to carry out. When I first came for my interview at Sewtec and saw the sort of machines which were being produced, I knew I wanted to be a part of that.
Q: What would you say the best thing about working at Sewtec is?
SL: I’d say having the opportunity to work with some of the biggest companies in the world and seeing the positive impact our machines have. I don’t think there are many people that get to say they work with robotics too!
Q: Name three characteristics you would say are needed to work in automation?
SL: For me, the three main character traits you need to work in automation are:
Patience – Sometimes things don’t always go as expected and you come across issues and have to fault find and problem solve. Having a calm head is definitely needed.
Teamwork – With so many departments involved in the machine building process, the ability to work with others is very important.
Communication – The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in many situations: by email, verbally on the phone and with body language. Communication also includes listening skills, following directions and providing feedback.
Q: What’s been your proudest moment whilst working at Sewtec?
SL: I’d say my proudest moment is being promoted to a controls engineer after starting Sewtec as an electrician. It’s been a huge ambition of mine and Sewtec gave me the chance to progress my career even further.
Q: Do you feel inspired by working as part of an award-winning team?
SL: It’s definitely inspiring to work within an award-winning team which motivates you to strive for more. I was lucky enough to attend an awards night in London where Sewtec was nominated for its achievements in the automation world.
Q: How have you developed your skills whilst working at Sewtec?
SL: My skills have grown massively since coming to work here at Sewtec. With no two machines being the same and with software constantly changing, along with new robots being manufactured, it has meant that our knowledge has had to grow to cater to all projects and clients.
Q: What do you make of Sewtec’s move to the brand-new facility at Wakefield?
SL: I think it’s very beneficial for the business and the staff, and it’s nice to have everybody under the same roof. The new building is definitely a statement to other companies which Sewtec wants to be seen alongside in the future.
Q: How do you think the new facility will help improve your day-to-day role and help the business grow?
SL: Just from hearing the feedback from clients visiting the new factory, I know it’s having a positive impact on the business. I think Sewtec can be really proud of what’s being achieved and to have somewhere to properly show off what we’re capable of.
Q: What aspirations do you have for your career at Sewtec moving forward?
SL: I want to gain further knowledge and become experienced and proficient as some of the mentors that have helped me during my first year here at Sewtec.
If you like the sound of working at Sewtec, visit our Careers page for more details on our current vacancies.