Here at GAI-Tronics, we like to think our products speak for themselves, but there is a whole other world working behind the scenes that contributes to our success. Whether it's our assembly line staff, office-based teams, product developers or design engineers, we know that every cog, regardless of its size, contributes the overall running of the machine.
One of the many unsung heroes you may not be familiar with are our service engineers. These are the people who visit you on site if you experience a problem, need our expertise to find an effective solution, or require advice when planning a new project. They may look like any other ordinary member of the public, but there is more than meets the eye to these multi-skilled professionals.
"Many of our service engineers come from an engineering background to begin with and have years of invaluable experience already under their belt", said George Chaggar, service manager at GAI-Tronics. "They then undertake a rigorous recruitment and training program with GAI-Tronics. These guys are on call all year round and may have to drop everything to fly half way around the world, so it takes a special kind of person to do this work. Many of the locations our products are used in are extreme areas - what we call 'harsh and hazardous' areas - which means the service team need to be fully trained to deal with difficult environments."
A typical scenario might find a GAI-Tronic's service engineer flying from the UK to the Middle East at a moment's notice. After a seven hour flight they will arrive in the destination country. They will then travel to another location where they may be required to take a helicopter to an offshore oil rig. There they will be expected to deal with extremely difficult conditions, often working twelve hour days, seven days a week for up to 21 days straight, in all kinds of weather, until a satisfactory solution to the specific problem is found. Until recently, accommodation saw them "hot-bunking", which meant taking it in turns to sleep in a single bed shared among multiple other workers. Food is basic at best and access to the outside world is virtually impossible. And then there are the qualifications and certifications that service engineers are required to have, some of which include passing a full medical, achieving their offshore training certification and their safety training certification.
"One of the more challenging training exercises is helicopter underwater escape training (HUET)," continued George Chaggar. "This involves being strapped in to the 'dunker', a helicopter simulator that's submerged in an indoor pool. The simulator is then rotated 180 degrees so that escape from an upside down position, i.e. a capsized helicopter, can be practiced. It's an essential, but extremely taxing exercise and can often be difficult for people who struggle with claustrophobia."
So next time you shake the hand of a service engineer on site, spare a thought for the long journey of training and experience that has brought them to that point. At GAI-Tronics we value our customers by valuing our people and our exemplary service engineers are one of the best examples of this simple but effective ethos being put in to practice.
GAI-Tronics® owned by Hubbell Incorporated, is the world's largest company focused on the communication needs of the world's industrial markets. Founded in 1946, GAI-Tronics' earliest products set the industry standard for durability and reliability. While maintaining our commitment to the principles of quality and customer service, today's GAI-Tronics® aggressively applies leading edge technology to solve the world's most challenging communication needs, and is backed by stability, reputation, and financial strength of Hubbell Incorporated, a worldwide leader in electrical and electronic products.