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Interview with Alain Marchand- engineer

Mr. Alain Marchand made a settling tank for the wastewater in the plant where he works, and I went to interview him about his job and his project.

1, – Could you tell us what your job as an industrial automation engineer is and what is being done in your plant?

The job of an engineer consists first of all in a perfect knowledge of all the manufacturing processes of the plant, then it is necessary to be able to solve all the problems.

He must be able to calculate a lot of parameters such as the stability study of the lifting hooks for the manufactured concrete parts.

In our factory, we manufacture prefabricated concrete products such as power poles, electrical transformer cabins, garages and occasionally various concrete parts.

2, – What studies have you done to practice your profession?

I did three years of general humanity then three years of industrial scientists (math and technical orientation), wanting to be a civil engineer, I did a preparatory year in “special maths”.

I missed my first application in polytechnics and fell back into electromechanical industrial engineering with a specialization in robotics and automation.

3, – Is ecology important to you?

Ecology is important for everyone, I have the chance to work for a direction that is ecologically sensitive and so we are acting in this direction… It is not the case everywhere!

4, -How did you come up with the idea of making a settling tank? And why is that?

The legislation imposes certain rules on the discharge of waste water and my management is very sensitive to these rules, so it authorised me to carry out the project, which has been installed in the parent company in Flanders.

5, -How did you make the bin (plan, materials) and with whom did you make it?Can you briefly explain how it works?

The process consists of four concrete tanks and one plastic tank: the first two keep the heavy materials by gravity, the third retains the oils and the fourth still settles the few materials that could still be present.

I designed it and with the help of our workers we made it.

The oils are then poured into a plastic bin and the dry materials are disposed of in Big Bags to a specialized landfill.

The oils are disposed of in an oil recycling station in a 1 cubic metre cubitainer.

6, – In your opinion, did the settling tank have a positive effect on water quality and nature?

Of course, the water we discharge is probably not pure, but it contains practically no solid matter and no oil.

Now we are not acting on water chemistry because it would require greater knowledge and investment.

7, – What advice could you give to future engineers like yourself and to people who would like to work in the environment?

Ecology is very important not only for the world of tomorrow but especially for the one after tomorrow, the engineer will create less polluting machines, and for all reasons and as much as possible with larger budgets, the engineer is the main actor in ecology.

In the future, it will be the one that will limit the release of pollutants into the environment.

In conclusion, we have only one land, let’s preserve it!

What are the consequences of the automation of industrie ?

Industrial automation improves a company’s turnover by significantly increasing the production rate. The concern is that this approach has serious consequences related to the systematic automation of manufacturing processes. These industrial machines are becoming more flexible and efficient.

The energy challenges of industrial automation

The disadvantage with industrial automation is that the work will gradually be replaced by machines. To be ever more competitive, the number of industrial machines used in most manufacturing processes is multiplying exponentially. The multiplication of machine tools implies an increase in energy consumption. The increase in production leads to the implementation of systems related to environmental issues.

The growth of electricity has a direct impact on the cost of production. Since electricity prices are very high, it is sometimes profitable to invest in new energy sources. For example, for Germany, electricity expenditure for companies benefiting from industrial automation is 8% lower than in France for the paper sector and 21% for the steel sector. The fact is that the German government largely supports the use of renewable energies compared to France.

Industrial machines that replace man

The problem with the advent of the computer numerical command or CNC is that it is now possible to control a machine from a computer. By directing the actions of the robots in this way, this could result in the elimination of the jobs of many employees, especially those employed to operate the machines and verify that operations are running properly.

The consequences of industrial automation are worrying, since according to a study carried out by researchers at Oxford University, in the space of 20 years, nearly 47% of the jobs currently in use are about to disappear. Industries rely mainly on highly qualified technicians and engineers to program robots to meet new market conditions.

The effect of industrial automation on employment

Automation is certainly beneficial for the company because by investing in these sophisticated devices, we benefit from a machine tool capable of mass production in large quantities, while reducing the number of defective products. Some industries operate entirely with an internal communication system that guarantees synchronization of all equipment. This era of robotization heralds a great wave of technological unemployment. The digital revolution is a phenomenon that is leading to the loss of many jobs.