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April 15, 2019

Helmut Ziervogl

In our relay interview, we regularly invite employees from one of the individual companies of the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group to talk to us.  This time Helmut Ziervogl will answer our questions.  As workshop manager at MGG Metran in Kematen, the 50-year-old is a much sought-after man. He makes sure that all systems and vehicles run smoothly. But this is only part of his work, as the jack-of-all-trades from Krenstetten tells us.

Mr. Helmut Ziervogl, you have been with MGG Metran for 16 years. What have you experienced during this time?

Helmut Ziervogl: There would be a lot to tell. I started working in shifts on the old Sink-Float sorting plant. There I got to know the materials we handle at MGG Metran like everyone else here in the company. Being on the conveyor belt for the first time was a challenge – I would have preferred to run away right away. But one learns quickly and so I often dueled with my colleagues who picked more material from the belt. I have also been involved in repair work time and again, and I think that’s where my skills as a trained automotive electrician were recognized. So I soon ended up in the workshop that I now run. 

But you are much more than just a workshop manager here in the facility…

Ziervogl: Yes, indeed, I am actually an all-rounder. I drive a truck just as I operate wheel loaders. My area of responsibility also includes internal truck traffic, container loading, ordering materials or loading and unloading our rail wagon transports. I also step in if one of our three production managers is unavailable. However, I have to admit that this task is often not so easy when you have not done it for a long time. It just changes so much in detail all the time. 

With so many different activities, you definitely keep track of the big picture. This is also necessary when it comes to service work on the various separation systems. What do you have to pay attention to?

Ziervogl: The most important thing is to catch the right time. In the past, we often repaired the machines on weekends and over Christmas. However, this had the big disadvantage that the partner companies we needed to work with were simply not available during these weekends. That is why we now carry out this work on normal working days. However, this means planning the shutdown exactly so that we don’t have to process a lot of material just at this time. Then we have to work through the checklist – the faster our team is, the faster the machine can be put back into operation. 

How many employees are available for such work in the workshop?

Ziervogl: Our workshop team consists of a locksmith and an electrician in each of the two shifts. In addition, there is an employee on the day shift. Of course, the respective plant crew also helps with repairs to the plants. It’s exciting every day anyway, because many repairs have to be carried out unplanned because an important part has broken down, for instance. We also have to make sure that our 15 or so vehicles – from wheel loaders to forklifts – function properly. In any case, we always have action! 

There will certainly also be action when new equipment has to be installed…

Ziervogl: Absolutely! But here it is also important to coordinate everything well with the production managers, to coordinate material availability and with the team accordingly and then pack it up properly in order to set everything up quickly. In a few weeks’ time we will be installing some new systems at MGG Metran again, and everyone will be really challenged again. I still don’t know exactly how we will do this, but we will definitely succeed. We can’t, there simply isn’t! 

The material flow in the plant must also function properly. So every day fully loaded wagons that transport recycling material from other MGG subsidiaries as well as from external companies come to Kematen. As you have already mentioned, this is also your area of responsibility…

Ziervogl: Yes, here I can often be found on wheel loaders or on trucks. The railroad wagons arrive at about half past eight o’clock. Then they have to be unloaded and the material has to be weighed in before it is temporarily stored or immediately processed. Of course, we then have to load the railroad wagons again before they are taken back to Amstetten at three o’clock. 

A fully loaded truck often takes you to the neighboring plant of MGG Polymers…

Ziervogl: I deliver the plastic material to our colleagues at MGG Polymers together with my junior, who now also works at our plant. We have to start every morning on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in order to be able to make the delivery without any problems. We then transport up to 600 tons per month to our sister company. Here a lot depends on what plastic material we have and what material our colleagues need. 

Keyword colleagues – what makes the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group so attractive to you?

Ziervogl: It is simply a big family. You’re not a number, even if we keep on growing. We all enjoy going to work – and we know that our boss always has an open ear and stands behind us. 

Finally, a question about the private person Helmut Ziervogl: What does he do in his spare time?

Ziervogl: When I want to switch off, I spend time with my family or enjoy hiking. However, I have to admit that in my spare time I often tinker around in my own workshop – it’s just a lot of fun. 

Then we hope you continue to enjoy doing handicrafts and your work!