Christoffer Bengtsson and Laszlo Alacs, Commissioning Engineers at Tetra Pak Dairy & Beverage Systems AB are based in Lund, Sweden, but travel all over the world. You might think this sounds exciting, and indeed most of the time, they get to visit a client site, making the final adjustments to one of our machines. At the same time, they try to explain what they’re doing to someone who usually doesn’t speak Swedish or English.
“For this job, we need to know all about automation, electrical installation, mechanical engineering, process technology and the machine itself. That’s about 70 percent of the things we need to know. The other 40 percent – because we always want to surpass our customers’ expectations – is all about communicating, adapting to the situation and being diplomatic,” says Laszlo.
When a machine has been ordered, it’s built at one of our production centres. This is also where the machine is tested. These tests may take anything from a day to several weeks to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the equipment. It is then dismantled, packaged up carefully and transported to the customer’s factory, where it’s reassembled. Christoffer and Laszlo then head out to the customer’s plant.
“We make sure the machine is commissioned and working when it’s in place, before sterility testing is carried out. The machine always requires a bit of fine-tuning while we’re there,” explains Christoffer.
For a commissioning engineer, this job is never routine. Every day brings with it new challenges. And of course this requires huge amounts of creativity, flexibility and practical skills, all combined to make the perfect mix.
The Dairy & Beverage and Prepared Food categories within Tetra Pak Processing Systems have ten or so people working as commissioning engineers. This job involves lots of travelling over long distances, which has its upsides and its downsides. But both Christoffer and Laszlo really enjoy their work.
“It’s very rewarding to experience so many different cultures and places, too,” says Christoffer.
“The best thing about this job is when we see our customers smiling. Our customers telling us that we’ve done a good job is the only thing that means anything,” says Laszlo.