Stewart Hall, Applications engineer

We are very proud of the talent we attract here at Sewtec. Every member of our team inspires creativity and passion in the work they do every day.

Sewtec Applications Engineer Stewart Hall

In our latest ‘day in the life’ series, we caught up with Stewart Hall, one of our applications engineers, who walks us through what it’s like working at Sewtec and what the future has to offer.

Q: Tell us about your typical working day

Stewart Hall (SH): Each day starts at 8am sharp, with the Applications Technical Review meeting, where the apps and sales teams get together with the Technical Director to review the details of quotes being prepared. This ensures we are confident the solutions offered will satisfy the customer requirements.

Then it’s on to the Bid Review meeting where all new enquires and outgoing quotes are presented to the directors for approval. There are no ‘back of the envelope’ quotes here at Sewtec, every enquiry is given its due diligence.

The main function of my role is to develop the system concepts, prepare written quotations and project costings for customer enquiries. So, most of my days are spent on CAD, Excel, Word, Project or Teams (mute off!!).

Q: What made you choose a career in industrial automation?

SH: At school I really enjoyed Tech Drawing, metalwork and woodwork, so I decided an apprenticeship was for me. I completed a 4-year apprenticeship in production engineering at IMI Norgren. At the end of my apprenticeship, I was offered a role in the industrial engineering department, designing all sorts of production tooling and fixtures. It was in this role I started designing and building automatic leak test equipment, which sparked my interest in automation. Once I started to see the world of automation and some of the fascinating machinery being produced, I was hooked.

Q: What would you say the best thing about working at Sewtec is?

SH: Apart from the free tea and coffee, it must be the range of industries we work in. We see so many different products and processes, no two projects are the same. We love a challenge, so we take on some very complex enquiries that many would shy away from.

Q: Name three characteristics you would say are needed to work as an application engineer?

SH: Good Communication – gathering the correct information to ensure we meet our customers’ needs and presenting our solutions clearly.

Creativity – producing imaginative and efficient proposals, to help our customers improve their production processes.

Flexibility – being involved in the sales process requires the ability to react quickly and be open to changes in requirements or new ideas for the solution being offered.

Q: What has been your proudest moment whilst working at Sewtec?

SH: That would be any time I show people around the new facility, it’s great showing off what great machines we’re capable of producing.

Q: How have you developed your skills whilst working at Sewtec?

SH: The biggest learning curve for me has been the involvement with high speed machinery and large production lines, but there’s always somebody willing to sit down and work through it with you.

Q: How does the new facility help improve your day-to-day role and help the business grow?

SH: Although I mainly work from home, when I do come to the office, it’s great after the journey up from Birmingham to come into a comfy & clean environment. For the future of the business the new facility will make a massive difference, now we have a factory space that matches the quality of the machines we produce.

Q: How has the covid-19 pandemic affected your role at Sewtec and the wider business?

SH: The restrictions have meant less journeys up to Wakefield, but with the use of online meetings and chats, it’s not been too disruptive. There have obviously been some adverse effects on the business as customers are unsure about releasing capital in these tough times, but it has also opened up new avenues as companies look to automation to help with traditionally labour intensive processes or the increased demand for certain products.

Q: What aspirations do you have for your career at Sewtec moving forward?

SH: Sewtec has an ambitious vision for the future, so I’m looking to help be a part of that whilst developing my skills, broadening my understanding of different process techniques and technologies.

 

If you like the sound of working at Sewtec, visit our Careers page for more details on our current vacancies.