My first steps in the world of automation

by Noë van Bergen, winner of the Egemin ie-net Award 2013

Five weeks passed by since the day I started at Egemin. I just reached the middle page of my notebook. Time for my first post on the Egemin award blog about my personal experience during my three-continental internship; Europe, America and Asia.

“I will start working in an automation company that does loads of different things in many different countries.“ That was the answer I gave to the one hundred and first person who asked me what I was going to do. “Egemin develops for example those far out automated guided vehicles that drive around autonomously and pick pallets in warehouses just like ants in an anthill do.”

The day I won the Egemin ie-net award, I could hardly imagine what was going to happen. Today, dozens of company names and exotic abbreviations later, the unreal became reality. I’ve seen different installations in several European countries. I’ve been impressed by the 13,000 flower trolleys being auctioned in one morning, by the huge robotic ‘ants’ carrying four ton paper rolls, and by the tiny ladder descending deep into the immense lock gates of the Van Damme lock in Zeebrugge. Finally, I start to feel what kind of a company Egemin is. The last weeks have been ones of first times of all different kinds: first working day, first sales meeting, first customers visit, first business trip, first interview and the first time to have colleagues around you talking passionately about automation and willing to talk with you for hours about the projects they’ve been working on.

Since the start of my professional career I learned about the difference between theoretical and real constraints, about tackling complex problems with lean solutions and about the team you need in order to succeed. I still have a very long way to go compared to the experienced people surrounding me. I’m curious what the next months are going to bring me and what I will have gone through by the time I reached the last blank page of my little notebook.