Our Day in the Life series takes you behind the scenes at Lomas Engineering, to find out more about the people who make everything happen. This time, we caught up with Natasha Cartledge, Despatch Controller.
‘I started at Lomas in 2013. Prior to that, my roles had mainly been in the catering industry, including a stint working in Turkey. So, joining Lomas in the engineering industry was definitely a big change for me. I was trained on the job though, which I always think is the best way to learn, and I picked it up quickly.
My job as Despatch Controller covers many tasks, one being a laser marking technician. This task is to laser mark the required product and batch information on to every tool we manufacture, so that it can be tracked and/or reordered later with full traceability. When finished tools come in, I enter the relevant product information on to my laptop, which is linked up to the latest laser marking machinery. That could be the serial number, date of manufacture, size etc. The information is then sent down to the machine and the tool gets lasered / etched in a very high definition.
It’s quite a quick process, and each machine can take up to eight tools at a time. I can get through hundreds, or even over a thousand of tools in any given day. It all depends what jobs are coming through from manufacturing.
Once the lasering process is complete, the tools are counted arranged and packaged with some tools being dipped in a special plastic coating which protects the cutting edges of the tools. The packaged items are then labelled with the product and part number information stickered on, and then boxed ready for dispatch.
I’m the only person working full time in this section, although there are other people trained who can take over if I’m away from work. I’m on the factory floor area but I have my own room which houses the laser marking machines and all the other despatch materials. So, I can choose to be in the thick of it, or in my room getting the job done. It’s the best of both worlds.
I enjoy all aspects of the job. I work on a huge variety of tools and that keeps things interesting. The most challenging thing is working and marking very small tools. The positioning must be exactly right, otherwise the laser can miss, or the data can be incomplete, and I have to start again.
Lomas is a great place to work. It’s very relaxed and everyone gets on well. There’s a great atmosphere.
Outside of work, I enjoy relaxing at home with a good series or film, and spending time socialising with family and friends. Life’s all about the simple pleasures!