Operator of Paper Machine no. 1
Thomasz Wierzchucki joined Mondi in 2007. He is taking care for the Paper Machine 1 in Mondi Swiecie, a containerboard plant in Poland.
When did you start working for Mondi and what have you been doing since?
I have been working for Mondi since 5 November 2007. A colleague who started working for Mondi a year before convinced me to submit my CV. I was employed to work at PM1-2 and I have been working here until today. At the beginning, I worked as a wire and felt section operator, however, due to the needs of the team (brigade) I moved to the position of a winder operator. At the end of 2009, I passed the exam dedicated to the position of a refining section operator and I worked at this position for more than one year. At the next stage, I started the training related to the drying section. In the meantime, within the brigade I was learning the process running issues as a PM operator. Since 2012, I have been working as a paper machine operator. Now, I am preparing to take over the role of a shift supervisor.
How has you department and your job changed over years?
PM1-2 department has not changed spectacularly over these 10 years, except for PM1 major modernisation project completed in the first half-year 2017 that included the complete rebuild of the press and drying sections of the paper machine and modernisation of the winder. However, if it comes to the crew/ staff, I can say that at least 70% of the crew members have changed in the course of my work. The changes were mainly related to the start-up of PM7 (ECO7). Also, a lot of colleagues have retired. No doubt, over the last 10 years I have had the possibility of meeting and cooperating with great people. I have learnt a lot from them. Taking the occasion, I would like to thank all of them very much.
What is your job? What are your key responsibilities?
First of all, I run/ lead and control the process in the area that reports to me and if necessary I adjust the operating parameters for specific equipment to optimise paper production. The process is controlled and run mainly using computer systems from the control panel. Also, I give permissions for maintenance personnel and contractors to work in the event of any failure or maintenance work needs to be done.
What is your normal daily work routine?
At the beginning of the day, I take over the shift from my colleague who ran the process during the previous shift. By taking over the shift, I mainly learn if any issues and problems have occurred, for example such as downtime (web breaks, machine shuts) and the causes for such issues, if any failures of equipment occurred and what the repair status is. If this is the morning shift, I also prepare to take part in the morning meeting by analysing the reports for the previous day. The meeting is attended by maintenance personnel (mechanical, electrical, automation and IT people) as well as operators, process engineers and managers of the department. Priorities are set for the day and long-term activities are planned. Next, I manage the process based on the analysis from laboratory results of the finished product (paper).
What do you like most of your job?
One can think that when working at the paper machine, my job is predictable and not very exciting. But every day is different and brings other challenges. We usually say, „a machine comprises one thousand and more tiny things and it can surprise us”. And this is what I like most of my job.
What do you appreciate/ value Mondi for?
Thanks to Mondi, I have the possibility of working with the state-of-the-art paper-making technology, but also in other fields. This is possible because we are able to use innovative solutions and because of machine and equipment modernisations that are done from time to time. Another aspect is that people have the possibility of personal development, by working closely together with professionals on a daily basis. Mondi also offers a wide choice of trainings. Everyone can find a valuable training that will help them to improve their skills. In addition, Mondi is committed to support the local community. Among other things, this is done through “Let’s decide together”, where employees can submit and vote for local projects.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Playing a musical instrument has been my hobby for several years. I used to be a member of the Świecie Brass Band where I played the tuba. Now I spend most of my leisure time with sports. In spring and summer, I go running or roller-skating and during the autumn and wintertime, I also enjoy swimming in an indoor swimming pool.