Name: Andrew Leimgruber
Job title and company: Owner of Smart Engineering & Technologies
What exactly do you do?
As a maintenance engineer, I install, fix and maintain machines. This involves machining, welding, fabrication, cutting, technical drawings and documentation. My role is to minimise machinery downtime, fix breakdowns and advise on preventative maintenance.
What made you interested?
Since I was really young, I’ve been obsessed with figuring out how things work. I used to pull all my toys apart. Thankfully, I got better at putting them back together.
A trade certificate in fitting and machining is where to start. You also need a good sense of logic. I did a four-year apprenticeship and some extra studies along the way.
Your job entails?
Part of my job is problemsolving and trouble-shooting for packaging machines. I also
design machines and parts for particular applications. My job is to get machinery
working at the highest possible performance level.
Any myths to debunk?
Not everything can be fixed with coat hangers, cable ties and duct tape.
The strangest thing you’ve ever had to install?
Relocating a chicken-slaughter line from Sydney to Newcastle was an adventure. The last chook came off the line at 3.30pm on a Wednesday and the line was back in
operation by Monday morning.
The most rewarding part of your career?
I really enjoy the thrill of working on a machine and tweaking it until it’s just right and runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. There’s a real buzz when you solve a problem that may have been causing havoc or low productivity levels.
The most challenging part?
Delivering and installing a quality product within tight deadlines and short lead times
can be a real challenge.
What is your proudest career achievement so far?
I recently co-ordinated a large team of tradespeople who un-installed a large manufacturing line and reinstalled it 200km away. We had a very short lead time and had to work within a strict timeline. But we got the job done within the time constraints,
which was great.