Next up in the PlastikMedia HotSeat we have Michael Wilson, a Sales Engineer at BOY Ltd. From starting as an apprentice nearly 10 years ago, Michael has worked his way up, first to a field engineer, gaining valuable product knowledge before taking on his latest role as a sales engineer. We chatted to Michael about the challenges and achievements he’s gained during his time at BOY Ltd.
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will BOY respond?
Without any doubt, the recent sharp increases in energy prices have made our customers more aware of running costs and what they now have to consider to be able to remain competitive. This along with the rise in inflation, cost of living and wage increases is having a dramatic effect on production companies forcing them to consider all aspects of running costs and maximising capacity through additional and highly efficient equipment.
For us this is where BOY comes into its own. With the latest versions of its well proven ALPHA 4 controller, combined with the latest main servo drive moto, some astonishing results have been achieved in real time environments. Energy savings to a max, and with lower cooling requirements from these machine means less demand is placed on cooling plants and chillers, further reducing running costs.
Our machines are very well known for having a compact design and minimal footprint making it feasible to put more machines into a small area thereby increasing capacity safely.
At Boy we are constantly studying and understanding our companies’ requirements and feeding back the information to Dr BOY in Germany to create the next innovation.
How has BOY developed during your tenure?
During my time at BOY Ltd, much has changed as indeed business itself. The machines have become more and more advanced, and even more user friendly for the customer. This has been driven by the skill set shortage in the industry. Our newly updated computer system makes it even easier for us to log onto the machines remotely to help customers with any issues they may be having and assist without having to send an engineer to site.
And at minimal costs to the customer.
This skill shortage has driven our company to offer from basic to more in-depth training to any of our customers who feel that they can benefit with the staff that they have. We cater for all levels and abilities which in the end makes our job a little easier in the long run.
I started at BOY and completed an apprenticeship as a technician and believe this is an important route that is imperative we pursue to maintain a flow of highly skilled personnel for the future.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
I was very fortunate to have been a field engineer for 8 nearly 9 years, giving me a sound technical knowledge of how the machines work helping me in my role in sales and also it allows me to help out in the service department if and when required.
I am a very up front and honest person, gaining peoples trust is very important, without trust there can be no relationship, whether that be with a colleague, a customer, a good friend, without trust it just wouldn’t work.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
The greatest challenge of my career so far would be that my son was born in lockdown 2020, dealing with the pandemic, then being a first time Dad and starting a new role at BOY Ltd on the sales team. It was a lot at first and I found it hard to juggle work and home life. Fortunately, I had a great team at BOY around me to help me over the initial hurdle, and it’s much easier now!
What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?
The Plastics industry is a fantastic and very rewarding industry to be involved with. There is always plenty of opportunities and challenges that keep you aware. There are many innovations and changes that make life in plastics interesting.
Never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly they may seem. If you’re not sure or don’t fully understand, just ask. No-one is going to laugh or mock you for trying to better yourself. There is always something you can learn from anyone, no matter how small that thing is, there is always something you can learn from that person.
The one thing I would always recommend to an apprentice engineer now, is DON’T BUY CHEAP TOOLS! At BOY ltd, we have a tool club to help cover the costs of the tools for any of our engineers, I made use of the tool club when I first started, and I still have most of my tools from that first day. The advice I would give an apprentice in any role at BOY ltd, would be to listen. If you don’t listen you won’t learn, and if you’re not sure then ask. Its better to ask and understand, than pretend you understand and have to ask again. Also, if said apprentice had any suggestions on how things could be improved, don’t be afraid to voice these opinions, it may be there is a reason why things are not done in that way, but it may be a simple case of it being overlooked and no-one else has considered that option.
We work as a team here at BOY ltd, no matter how long you’ve been here, we are still always learning and always willing to listen and learn.
What hidden talents do you have?
I enjoy riding motorbikes, road bikes or off-road bikes. I don’t get much time to get out on the bikes much anymore as I’m normally to tired from running around after a 2-year-old, which is probably harder and more tiring than any gym workout, but also worth every second.
Read more news from BOY Ltd here.