You can call me Jack! I’m with Continental for 5 years and you can consider me a true nerd. I specialized in Manufacturing Execution Systems and in there particularly in MCAT and Grading. Most of you might wonder what that is? Let me try to explain in short: MCAT is Continental's material control and tracking system for the Final Finishing area in tire production. Final finishing is the step after the tire has been cured, and it includes several operations supported by MCAT. To name some of them: Visual inspection, tire routing to test machine, tire scale evaluation, integration with tire uniformity, geometry, and balancing system on testing measurement data. Even you might not understand the details of these steps, you might get an impression of the complexity of this process step and why MCAT is so important.
In Manufacturing we go crazy with our project and tool names. All Manufacturing systems are animals to be easy to remember, e. g. Puma, Mustang, Tiger.
We as a global team of 12 in Manufacturing Execution System are spread across 7 IT HUBs worldwide and cover all time zones. I enjoy working in this global team, because we manage to work very closely despite the distance. This requires a lot of trust.
I tend to say: “Together we achieve miracles.” Sounds a bit hyperbolic, but that’s sometime how I actually feel. In previous workplaces I never experienced this close bond. We can cover and help each other and we actually do so.
With different projects and project teams I have been nominated for various internal awards since I joined the company. It feels just great already when receiving the message that someone nominated the project team and recognized the efforts put into it. For our ContiTireAward for example each year hundreds of projects are nominated from all over the world. If you then receive a message that you are among the finalists you are head over heels in pride!
The award nomination I’m most proud of is a ContiTireAward nomination on a new MCAT version in the category “trust”. We made it to the round of the 3 global finalists. Why we got nominated? Previously MCAT was on a legacy software and we wanted to replace it with a .net technology to standardize all systems around manufacturing execution systems. Usually when replacing a technology we travel to a plant. But it was Covid times and we could not travel. The plants had to trust us for a 100% virtual roll-out into production for the first time. We were in very close contact with our key users, asked for a 2 hour production break and did it all in that timeframe. We managed to not produce any delay by working hand in hand and counting on each other.
The award nominations are a very nice extra recognition of our work, but anyhow I can sense the impact of my work on a daily basis. Being close to the users of our systems I can learn and see how IT helps enhancing production technology, with that produce higher quality, and making the work of the users easier at the same time. It’s not just crunching numbers and code lines.
Before I joined Continental a tire was just something that carries me through the traffic. Now knowing the details I’m very proud that my work helps keeping people safe on the road.
Another aspect that helps feeling how it helps is that we visit each plant ~once a year. Any changes in the system are explained to the plants directly. I’m always willing to take responsibility for topics as I always want to achieve the best for “my” users. This is really driving me and I feel a lot of ownership for my topics.
With all the serious work and high concentration mode we are also a team making a lot of jokes.