Case Study

Julie S NHT Electronics Production Assembly Operative

Below Julie tells us a bit more about her role at NHT Electronics over nearly two decades. Joining the industry after a mid career change, with no prior experience of the job, she looks back on her various roles and tells us a bit about what it’s like to work in an electronics manufacturing environment:

“My job at NHT is really varied and that is one of the reasons I like it, there is no such thing as an average day. The main types of activities that I do are soldering through hole components onto circuit boards and rework if there are shorts in circuits.

I have been at NHT for over 18 years now and during my time here I have worked in all departments on the factory floor which include stores, surface mount lines and production assembly cells. When I was in stores I would book in stock and store them in the correct area. When a job came in we would prepare all the parts that are needed for that job into kits and label them ready for the machines.

I really enjoyed working on “surface mount”, running the big machines. I would load the trolleys into the machines and then make sure that the machines were working well, fixing any blockages. I am not able to work on surface mount any more because the trolleys are quite heavy and I have a bad back. At the moment I am in the through hole and rework area.  We have a production folder for the job which we follow. I solder the through hole parts onto the board which can’t be done by the surface mount machines. I also clean the boards removing any solder balls and, making sure there is no excess solder forming bridges between components.

I haven’t always worked in electronics and I kind of found this job by accident. I didn’t really get on at school, I wasn’t really a model student. There were not any subjects that I did really well at but thinking about it, I do quite like maths. After school I worked as a mental health nurse. This was a job that I really liked but it was very stressful and the hours were really long. When my children were growing up I decided that I needed to change jobs because I was not getting any time to spend with them. I took the job at NHT because it was a job available at the time, I did not have any experience of electronics before I started working here.

It’s a great place to work for me because I like to be busy. There are always opportunities to try different areas in production and you get really good training here. The people who work on the factory floor are really good at showing you what to do and there is always somebody that knows what to do if you get stuck. I have learnt more here than on any other job and I am still learning new things today. There is a really good atmosphere at NHT, everybody helps everybody out and it’s really friendly. It’s not really a male dominated workplace, there are lots of women here too. There are no gender problems and if there were I would set them straight!

If I was starting out again, I would still do the same thing because I really like working here, after 18 years I have made some really good friends for life. I don’t really have any good advice or pearl of wisdom, just always do your best and give it a try. You never know, you might surprise yourself and really like it!”