Interview with Saminath, Production Quality Engineer at Valeo
As a fresh graduate working for a small company that supplied parts to Valeo, Saminath always dreamed of working for Valeo. A true engineer who likes orderliness and processes to achieve his goals, it was Valeo’s systems and methodologies that drew him to the company. We talk to Saminath, a young dad from Chennai, India, about the daily challenges of his role and whether working at Valeo has lived up to his expectations.
Tell us about your job and what you do at Valeo.
Saminath– I take care of customer demands on the downstream assembly line of Valeo lighting systems. Here, we assemble lighting parts and supply them to several customers. I work on product quality and processes to assure value to customers by achieving zero defects. I’m responsible for resolving customer issues through different methodologies. For example, the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) methodology, which is part of Valeo’s DNA to achieve robust quality in all of our industrial processes.
That sounds like a role that needs intense focus. How do you relax? Any hobbies?
S. – I like to read biographies and books about facing challenges in life. I also love playing cricket. Besides this, I have an 18-month-old daughter who I enjoy spending time with!
You joined Valeo five years ago. Why Valeo ?
S. – Valeo has always been my dream company. After graduation, I worked at a company that supplied parts to Valeo. This was where I learned of Valeo systems and was impressed by how Valeo had the same standards for every product and project. I dreamt of working at Valeo since then and was incredibly happy to finally get the opportunity to do so. Within 10 days of hearing “you’re hired,” I started working at Valeo, I could hardly believe it!
Now that you are here, what motivates you to give your best at work?
S. – I’d say achieving zero defects is my motivation. We are at 99% zero defects now, but for our client Nissan, we have had 100% zero defects for the last 38 months. My team and I received appreciation from the PG Quality VP, R&D and Customer Support for this achievement. It was a proud moment for us.
Zero defects sounds challenging! What are some other challenges that you face?
S. – I face challenges almost everyday. For instance, if I find any abnormality in the quality of our products, I need to stop the assembly line. It’s a constant battle but we manage it with our quality and our on-time-delivery mindsets. We put in extra manpower and time to fix such issues.
What would be your advice to future APU Quality Engineers?
S. – Teamwork is the core of all good work, so learn to be a team player. Be confident and transparent in your communications. As for the work itself, besides knowing manufacturing processes, you also need to be rigorous—filling out quality documents precisely needs real skill!
What makes Valeo special compared to the previous companies you worked for?
S. – The standards and methodologies at Valeo make it stand out, in particular the 5 Axes methodology to improve overall operational excellence and PDCA methodology to solve problems. Also, we have a great e-learning system with about 400 topics. I take these courses to better my skills and learn about the latest developments in the industry. Valeo ensures that we are constantly improving in all ways possible.
In the future, what role do you see yourself in?
S. – I’d like to work in product development and R&D. I have assembled several products, so I would definitely like to come up with ideas for new products in the future!