René da Silva
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“Challenges are really important. They help us to learn and develop”

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In our NORMAPeople series, employees around the world talk about their day-to-day work, how they came to the company, and what they appreciate most about their jobs.

René da Silva is an IME Manager at the NORMA Group site in Guichen, France. In this interview, he talks about his daily work routine, current projects and his goals for the future.

René, how long have you been working at NORMA Group?

Norma Group acquired the Autoline business in 2016. I had been working there since 2001. That means I have been with the company for more than 20 years.

What do you do at NORMA Group?

As an IME Manager, my job is divided into two distinct areas. One is the production of injection molds. We currently have around 170 molds running in production. Here, our goal is to ensure that we are always state-of-the-art. I am also responsible for the development of new molds together with my team. It takes about a year from the initial concept to the production of the mold, so we have to start planning early.

The second part of my job involves our assembly machines. On the one hand, I am responsible for the development and the start of production of new machines for new or existing products, and on the other hand, I manage the machine modification to integrate new products.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on a major electromobility project: At our site here in France, we are working closely with our colleagues in Maintal, Germany, who develop this new product. I am responsible for the machine modification.

What does your typical working day look like? Is there even such a thing?

Actually, there isn’t. When I get to the office, there are new challenges waiting for me every day. That’s what I like about my job – that there are no routines. Every day is different with new projects and new struggles.

What else do you like?

I’m part of a team and don’t spend my time sitting alone in my office. I not only work closely with my direct colleagues, but also with other departments like production, purchasing and accounting. And even though personal contact is currently limited due to the Corona pandemic, we are constantly in touch, even when we are at home. Our team is a family and we try to maintain a strong team spirit.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?

The biggest challenge is keeping the tools and machines up to date. If something breaks down, it could have far-reaching consequences. For example, it could mean that we can’t process customer orders. That’s a big challenge with a lot of responsibility.

What do you look forward to every morning?

To a day without problems – but that’s not possible. Challenges are important. This is the only way we can learn and develop.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to travel and do a lot of sports – I often go jogging with my colleagues during my lunch break. My favorite sport, however, is badminton: I play two to three times a week. And a few years ago, I started a badminton team at our site and together we compete against other companies.

The badminton team

What goals are up next for you?

One goal is to complete the project I mentioned earlier. Another one is the production of new connectors. Three NORMA Group production sites are involved in this project. The process is really exciting and quite intense because we have to work in close coordination with each other.

And finally, please complete the following sentence: I work at NORMA Group because…

…NORMA Group is an international company with a diverse range of projects. The exchange of information and ideas with colleagues is pretty much constant.

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