Having progressed from working on the assembly line to Mechanical Test Engineer, Rutger Andriessen has been with Stoneridge-Orlaco for 12 years now. He feels completely at home here, as he is always learning new things and gets to do what he loves doing. "Something like conducting a water test is still unbelievable fun."
Name: Rutger Andriessen (33)
Position: Mechanical Test Engineer
Lives in: Voorthuizen, Netherlands
Number of years with Stoneridge-Orlaco: 12
"Each test moves us up a level"
Rutger: "Our technology delivers, even in the most extreme conditions. None of our cameras and monitors leave the facility until they have been thoroughly tested. That's because every workplace is different. One machine has to operate in extreme cold, for example, another in fierce sunlight and yet another in wide-ranging temperature fluctuations. Our technology is designed to cope with every potential situation. Our cameras remain intact and in position, even when subjected to strong vibrations caused by a digger operating on a hard surface. I always enjoy seeing a product come through testing and then be put into service. We really put them through the mill."
"Preparation is crucial"
"Being a Mechanical Test Engineer involves preparing test plans, creating prototypes for testing and conducting tests. I really enjoy that last aspect in particular. For a water test, we spray a product with 100 liters of water per minute to check that the housing is waterproof. And the vibration test—which is carried out at an external location—involves using huge speakers to make sure that the technology can cope. The preparations often take longer than the actual testing, to make sure that the test itself runs smoothly in accordance with the predetermined requirements. Sometimes that can mean that I spend a full day drilling a hole in a panel so that I can subsequently carry out a vibration test. My job is definitely never boring."
"A whole new world opened up"
"I've always been drawn to technology, even though I come from a completely different background. After completing my training in international wholesale, I was looking for a job. Then I read that Orlaco was looking for people to work on the assembly line. I joined the company and a whole new world opened up for me. As an 'outsider,' you are completely unaware that there are all these cameras and monitors for people who work at height, for example, or for on ships — and how important they are. But I soon learned all about it, of course. I started out working on the assembly line but right from the start I was able to handle custom jobs: technology with specific requirements. Four years ago, I was asked to move up and take on the role of Test Engineer and it didn't take me long to make up my mind."
"I learn something new every day"
"I've now completed a course in technical English and I've also learned a lot from experience — and I learn something new from each test. My job means I have to know something about everything, from mechanics and electronics to computers. At the moment, I'm working with colleagues from Stockholm to develop a new camera. I also learn a huge amount from seeing how they approach the task. That's what I enjoy most about my job: there is so much that can change, especially in the automotive world. Cameras that started out analog become digital, new testing techniques are being developed and protocols are changing all the time. And I'm seeing it all firsthand. I learn something new every day."