On April 1 Christopher Bentz started the trainee Engineer4Future program at KHS. In 18 months he will get to know KHS from various angles before joining the Inspection Technology Competence Center in the long term to assist in the development of electrical and optical systems. New to the job and in the final stages of his doctorate, he gives us his first impressions of KHS, telling us which tasks he faces and why electrical engineers are in good hands at KHS.
Mr. Bentz, off the top of your head, which three words do you immediately associate with KHS?
Inventiveness, internationality and precision.
Where do you see this at KHS?
I saw a number of brilliant developments which inspired me before I even joined KHS. In my first few days at KHS this impression was merely strengthened. For now I have a more detailed insight and am learning which correlations and effects have to be thought through with the utmost precision for each product. This diversified technological challenge and mixing with colleagues and customers who are active all over the world while staying close to home form an ideal combination.
What particularly appeals to you as an electrical engineer at KHS?
I'm pleased to be able to master exciting tasks on my own and in a team so that at some time in the future a product is manufactured which I can also contribute to. What particularly fascinates me is being able to study the technical causes of something, as understanding these can often be helpful in finding a solution to a great variety of tasks. I'm especially interested in inspection technology with its diverse challenges. Inspection technology utilizes a number of physical effects and radiometric and optical processes to characterize specific properties.
You worked as a research associate for a chair for a good three years and now you've gone into industry. Why did you opt for this particular avenue?
Going into industry gave me the chance to work more closely on specific projects which produce a tangible product in the foreseeable future. I also wanted to learn as many new things as possible. The program offered by KHS was therefore very attractive. Here, I first get an overall view of many different areas of KHS and gain insight into how they work together and how the individual production sites interface. I don't just develop products but also have the opportunity to further my own development. In the future I can build on the experience I gain here and on the knowledge I've brought with me.
During my time as a research associate I developed an error detection measurement process for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks and worked on the manufacture of multilayer dielectric mirrors. During this period I had plenty of freedom in how I organized my time, always with the project objective in mind, of course. By way of contrast, in the first few weeks of the trainee program especially I felt I was again being taken firmly by the hand. The trainee program seems well organized from start to finish, with everything well prepared and assignments carefully planned . I find this pre-planning helpful and exciting, for although many of my future tasks are already fixed there's still enough new specialist terrain to be explored.
What do you enjoy most about your work at present and the trainee program in general?
I've only been working at KHS for a few days, therefore any list of the tasks I find interesting would probably be incomplete! However, I can already say that I feel very happy here as I've been very well received both personally and professionally. Here I can impressively combine theory with practice. I was very pleased that on my second day here my desk was already completely taken up by a camera setup for the detection of foreign objects in glass bottles. This gave me a fast and instructive introduction to one of the many areas of inspection technology. Inspection Technology is my head department and is of course just one of the many stations I'll pass through in the course of the trainee program. Once I'm through the program, I'll return to this department. In the coming 18 months I'll get to know the various KHS sites in Germany as a trainee and in this way gain an insight into areas other than inspection technology. Longer stays are already planned at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg and the KHS factory in Zinacantepec in Mexico. I'm really looking forward to these!
What do you wish for the future?
I hope that my work continues to be so exciting and that I'll continue to steadily learn more. And this not only includes expert knowledge and new ways of thinking but also getting to know new people and to cope with an increasing number of responsibilities.