Martin has made his way. His milestones were his apprenticeship as an automotive mechanic, continued training at night school to become a state-certified mechanical engineering technician, and his start at ZEISS plus further training as a technical business administrator. Martin wants knowledge. He has been working in Oberkochen for 20 years, since 2002 in the then newly founded ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment. A man of the start.
A visitor ID badge at the start
"I came to ZEISS by chance – as part of a project during my technician training," he recalls. "For the first few weeks, I still came to the plant with a visitor ID badge. On the way to my project workplace one day, I noticed a job posting on the bulletin board. I applied spontaneously – that was my start as a permanent Zeissian."
First, Martin worked as a polisher in series optics production: "Over time, I then went through almost all the processing routes in our departmental area. We were already producing optics with aspherically shaped surfaces that were used in lithography systems." A short time later, Martin and the entire production move into the newly built plant – and from there, he takes on more and more organizational tasks. "I've always been curious and open to different things," he says, explaining his motivation. "And I wanted a job that challenged me every day and where there was never a dull moment. My supervisor at the time was aware of my plans and supported me during my development toward project management." With this tailwind, in his late thirties he completed continued training at night school to become a technical business administrator; later he also obtained certification as a lean manager. "It was never a problem if I needed to study for an exam or a school project took a little longer. The solution was unbureaucratic through flexible working hours or flexible leave."
With his business administration degree in his pocket, Martin is increasingly being deployed for overarching tasks. He plans special tools and production equipment, organizes the start-up of new products with the associated qualification of the production processes – and does this across all sites, from Jena to Wetzlar. "I'm helped by my experience from 20 years of manufacturing and – last but not least – the many colleagues I've met during this time and who I can rely on," says Martin, explaining his success. "I'm good at getting people on board. And I'm a pragmatist. I always try to solve production problems quickly and in a practical manner."
Martin's current role is in the development, engineering and manufacturing environment. Sometimes directly on the machine, sometimes in planning workshops, sometimes as a reviewer for development. Or as he puts it: "I organize, coordinate and inform. And from time to time, I smooth the waters when people with different points of view don't agree."
Martin is particularly proud when he walks through the production hall and sees the traces of his work and ideas. For example, certain processes or tools that he has developed together with his teams. Or the software tools for managing employees and for machine data acquisition, whose introduction he was instrumental in initiating, designing and supporting.
Success leads to obligations: "I'm grateful and also a little proud of being to implement my ideas here and make things happen. And that's why I also enjoy encouraging my young colleagues to continue their education as well and to strive for greater things. From machine to manufacturing project manager – at ZEISS you can develop entirely according to your own ideas and strengths."
I'm good at getting people on board. And I'm a pragmatist. I always try to solve production problems quickly and in a practical manner.