I studied electronic engineering and first came to Corbion in 1993 when I was 20 years old as a student, for work experience. It was my father who suggested I come: he worked for Corbion (then Purac) for 38 years – although he worked in the Finance department. For me, finance was never my passion. I've always enjoyed scientific things and the challenge of solving practical problems. Which is why now, as the Maintenance Manager for Corbion in Montmeló, I am in the ideal job.
Quite simply, my role is to maintain all the equipment and machinery at our manufacturing facility, ensuring maximum availability at the lowest possible cost. I have a team of around 30 people and in the factory alone we are responsible for 9,000 different pieces of equipment. Our mantra is that prediction is better than prevention and of course we believe that smooth running machinery preserves what matters. The better we are able to predict and repair – the smoother the operation. We use various technology and instruments to monitor the health of our equipment. And we also conduct planned maintenance where, for example, we will visually inspect oil levels. If levels are too low in a piece of equipment it could start failing and affect production. Bottom line: it's easier and cheaper to inspect the oil level than to repair a failure due to lack of lubrication!
Here in Spain we are part of the global maintenance platform. What exactly is the platform? It's a place where we can learn from each other, share experiences, and adopt new ways of improving our maintenance – in a standardized and consistent way. Corbion seems to be doing a good job: in recent years we have advised the Catalan government on energy efficiency and savings based on advanced maintenance; we were invited to coach a multinational agribusiness and food company in how to improve their maintenance; and we shape the syllabus of the Maintenance Post-Degree from our local university.
We are not there yet, and there is still room for improvement. When I began in this role in 2009 I was not an expert. I relied on my colleagues, especially in Gorinchem, to mentor me. Now we are adopting this attitude right across Corbion with our maintenance platform. I have spent time with global colleagues learning about new reliability methodologies that help us make better decisions on maintenance strategy that affect the day-to-day running of the factory. My ambition is very simple: to improve every day!