Industrialization

Inside Views

Elina Product development and industrialization Manager
  Listen to the interview in French only (mp3  

​I have been in charge of product development and industrialization at the Saint-Saulve facility in northern France and the Mülheim plant in Germany since 2007. These two plants design similar products and have comparable manufacturing processes.

My role is to:

  • Manage the industrialization of new products devised by R&D: when a new product is created (following a request from a customer or the marketing department), it is first developed in the laboratory at the research centre. The product is then tested on an industrial scale in a short run of a few tonnes. This is where I become involved, organizing the necessary tests with the plant's R&D correspondents
  • Improve existing products, in terms of their quality, properties, etc.
  • Identify and standardize best practices at each plant, as a means of enhancing product quality.

Although predominantly technical in nature, my work also requires interpersonal skills, given that the success of a project depends not only on the support provided by the research centre and the R&D/Quality personnel at manufacturing plants, rolling mills and steel mills, but also on the assistance offered by the Group's sales divisions.

I joined Vallourec in 2002, upon completing my PhD in material science. I was already familiar with the Group, because the Vallourec research centre (CEV) subcontracts certain tests to the laboratory where I was preparing my thesis. Several aspects of the Group appealed to me, including its international dimension, the nature of its products (metallurgy) and the bright career prospects. It seemed a natural step for me to apply to join Vallourec's R&D division.

I spent five years at the research centre, working closely with the steel mills on topics relating to steel-making and the quality and cleanliness of products manufactured in continuous casters. My subsequent move to a role in industrialization was a logical progression.

Several career paths are now open to me, including becoming a quality manager at a plant, or joining the technical sales promotion team.

Industrialization

Mission:

  
Coordinate and supervise the various development phases for new products as they reach the industrial stage, including prototyping, pre-production and ramping-up industrial production

  Working in partnership with plant-based Quality/R&D personnel, Vallourec's industrialization engineers are responsible for industrializing new products, improving quality and enhancing the performance of existing products, as well as identifying and standardizing best practices at plants with a view to boosting quality and/or productivity. Their role includes producing manufacturing worksheets and defining any specific tests or inspections that may be necessary.