Job Series #17 Method technician at Microtec
In relation with customers and operators responsible for manufacturing electronic products, Quentin Descamps’s role is to define and improve technical production solutions.
Take a fan of electronics since high school. Add a pinch of sense of challenge, a ladle of methodical spirit and fibers of relational qualities. Stir it all in a Toulouse SME specialized in wiring and electronic cards. You will get Quentin Descamps, an industrialization methods and process technician.
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At 29, he already has some experience. After a baccalaureate STI Electronics in Toulouse and a BTS Electronic Systems alternately in the company Diehl Arospace in Blagnac, he went to Savoie in a start-up called Lisa Airplane, which develops a high-end ULM. During a six-month contract, Quentin Descamps was in charge of the ULM’s electrical systems.
But eager to pursue his studies, he joined a professional aviation and aeronautical electronic license at the IUT of Rouen, as well as the company Matra Electronique in Compiègne as an apprentice – a company he contacted at the Paris Air Show, his CV in his hand . In 2012, his license in hand, the technician specialized in measurements and tests is hired by Matra in a fixed-term contract then in a permanent contract, as a method products technician. « I was trained in the method on the spot, I did not receive any school training on this theme, » said Quentin Descamps. The desire to return to Toulouse encouraged him to apply to Microtec, that recruited him in August 2016 as an industrialization methods and process technician.
His mission : supervise and optimize the production operations by taking into account all the parameters (standards, quality, costs, deadlines). Within the SME, he operates in three categories of products : electronic cards, cables and complete calculators. These will eventually be integrated in planes, satellites, equipment for industrialists and hospitals … He explains his various tasks : « I study first of all the documents of the customers : the number of references, the components, the plan of implementation of the electronic card. Then I do the costing, by determining the cost and the time of manufacture of the card. If we win the contract, I order the necessary tools, I create the placement program of the CMS components on the card for machine manufacturing. In other words, the technician prepares the cooking recipe of an electronic card, but he isn’t the one who cooks …
« Then I create the documents with the manufacturing instructions that I send to the cable operators, inspectors, varnishers, » he continues. His role does not stop there : by visually following the manufacture, he must seek to simplify and improve the process at the same time. « The method is to make the operator on the map make the operation as simple as possible. In the background, he must monitor and support the shop floor for all products : update the manufacturing range, complete or delete obsolete manufacturing information, and so on.
It seems obvious : to be a good method technician, you have to be … methodical. Rigor and a keen mind are essential. « We often have data and files to process simultaneously, we must succeed in not getting lost ». Relational qualities are also important because we deal with customers, operators in the workshop, who must know how to listen. Their feedback is crucial. Expertise in the core business of the company, here electronics, is not necessarily critical. Quentin Descamps thus met many method technicians who didn’t know much about electronics or other know-how. The world of method applies of course to any sector.
In this SME of 110 people, he actually feels good. « What I like about Microtec is the challenge. When I worked at Matra, I was on one process. As overhere I have to manage the whole method around the electronic boards. Look for means and new machines, new assembly techniques, show the advantage to evolve our existing practices. « Corollary of this business interface, the relationship with some people » that can be difficult. » When standards and processes must be enforced and the habits of workers shaken, « change is rarely well accepted. « Succeeding in imposing change requires firmness and skill and this is perhaps, according to our technician Toulouse, « the least pleasant aspect ».
Concerning the salary, we can manage after a few years of activities to reach and exceed 2000 euros net per month. With the pleasure of working in an attractive sector, which is really great. For Quentin, evolving in aeronautics, avionics, space, has always attracted him. His childhood dream was to become a pilot. « As I was color-blind, » he says, « I thought, if I could not fly a plane, well, I’ll make them fly ! As for his future, several paths are open. « If a method service is created at Microtec, why not become the leader of it … » Or try the adventure in other companies to evolve in a design office, as a business manager or responsible for industrialization. One thing is certain : be a method manager is a position more and more sought after by companies.
Age : 29 years old.
Education : Bac STI Electronics in Toulouse, BTS Electronic Systems alternately in the company Diehl Arospace, then professional aeronautical and spatial electronics license at the IUT of Rouen alternately at Matra Electronics.
Entry to Microtec : August 2016