First Korea, then China: Freelance engineer and Hays Business Partner, Wilfried Kolb reviewed planning, design and construction of exhaust air/exhaust air treatment systems.
Through a large German supervisory agency, we were asked to assess the quality and safety of the exhaust air systems of several Asian production facilities. The end customer for this project, as we soon found out, was one of the world‘s largest manufacturers of electronic communications technology components. The task of our freelance Hays specialist was to highlight existing errors, develop troubleshooting solutions and enumerate opportunities where improvements could be made in follow-up projects for the customer.
According to our agreed schedule with the customer, we sent Business Partner Wilfried Kolb to Korea for an initial twelve week period. We then subsequently dispatched him to China for seven months to identify potential errors in the planning, design and installation of systems. While on site, Mr. Kolb worked as part of an international project team composed of engineers and translators concerned with reviewing and checking the entire production system. In pursuing this work, each engineer specialised on a specific area of the system. Our independent expert was responsible for ensuring compliance with all specifications, standards, and guidelines with regard to exhaust air and exhaust air cleaning systems. As part of his construction monitoring, Mr. Kolb inspected the construction site almost daily, photographing shortfalls and deviations in quality and documenting these in NCRs (non-conformity reports). Together with the other members of his team, he analysed the causes of errors and developed approaches until both the project team and the customer were in agreement with the proposed fix. Before giving the green light for production, Mr. Kolb scheduled and monitored the agreed measures so that in the end all relevant provisions could be met.
During his diverse and interesting deployment in Asia, Wilfried Kolb found himself facing a variety of challenges: For instance, the project in Korea required a complete rebuild while the project in China resulted in an existing system being expanded. Both projects were under immense time constraints, so troubleshooting was carried out using planning documents that were still being edited. „Many activities were taking place at the same time. The fact that the project was being designed only slightly ahead of the actual construction required an extreme degree of flexibility and precision on the part of us all.“, says Kolb.The task of communicating information was also more demanding than usual: In extreme cases, documentation and reports (including reports on any errors detected) had to be translated from German via English into Korean and Chinese. This made the accurate and unambiguous description of errors an imperative so that any possible mistranslations could be avoided from the start.
In particular, the needs of the various on-site stakeholders often made the whole project very challenging for the Hays specialist: „It was not always easy to find a solution that satisfied all the required standards and national regulations of the respective countries as well as those of the customers – i.e. their concerns around economic efficiency“, says Kolb.“In the end, however, it was a great success. Not just in terms of providing the customers with the required solutions for the existing project, but also in being able to highlight effective improvements for the future. Personally, it was a unique opportunity for me to get to know what daily working life is like in two Asian countries. This made a big impression on me and is an experience I will never forget.“
Hays reviews exhaust air systems in Asia.