André has been working in the role of Product Compliance Engineer at the Pepperl+Fuchs corporate headquarters in Mannheim since March 2021. We caught up with him to hear about how much variety there is in his job and how he prefers to relax and unwind during his free time.
Hi, André. What are your responsibilities in the role of Product Compliance Engineer at Pepperl+Fuchs?
André: My role as Product Compliance Engineer involves various duties, including serving as a standards expert for electromagnetic sensors in the area of explosion protection. To put it more precisely, I’m responsible for making sure that both existing Pepperl+Fuchs sensors that are affected by changes in standards and newly developed sensors approaching the end of the development process receive the desired certifications. Such certifications are required for market entry by testing and certification bodies like Germany’s TÜV. The combination of the two, technology and approval, is crucial for us to succeed on the market in the first place and then to occupy a leading position.
So I work with the development team in an advisory capacity right from the start every time a new sensor is being developed to make sure the rules and standards are observed. The same applies to changes in standards that have to be translated to existing products and interpreted whilst complying with the interests of Pepperl+Fuchs and the safety requirements. And then, for new or existing sensors, I prepare the relevant documentation to record the technical and normative aspects. This is roughly the basic documentation required for a sensor to be approved.
Working day of a Product Compliance Engineer
What is your typical working day like?
André: There’s no such thing as a typical working day for me actually, although I do go through my e-mails at the start of every day. After that, what I do depends on which phase the relevant projects are in at the time. At the beginning of the development process, for example, I review the technical requirements that arise from the applicable standard and apply them to the sensor. Or I prepare, review, and manage the various documents for existing products and for products that have already reached the end of the development process.
If there are issues with existing products, I draw up a risk analysis as soon as possible and help with decision-making on the next steps. There’s truly a lot of variety in my job, and I really enjoy delving into these complex technical matters, discussing possible approaches with experienced colleagues, and coming up with solutions.
An affinity for standards and guidelines….
What key qualifications are especially important for your job?
André: A fundamental affinity for standards and guidelines is essential. I focus on explosion protection, so having pre-existing knowledge in the field is a plus, of course. But there are plenty of other areas at Pepperl+Fuchs as well, of course. In general, you should have a technical background of some kind, which could be in electrical engineering or circuitry or in mechatronics, like me. Since there’s a lot of discussions with testing bodies, good communication skills are important, too. I also frequently work with colleagues at the Pepperl+Fuchs branches in Twinsburg, in the United States, and in Singapore and Trutnov, in the Czech Republic, and since all of the documents are written in English, fluency in English is a must.
Working at Pepperl+Fuchs
What do you like about Pepperl+Fuchs as an employer?
André: Although Pepperl+Fuchs is an international group, I like the fact that it has kept the atmosphere of a family business and that employees are valued. Especially now, during the pandemic, employee health is paramount. I haven’t been with Pepperl+Fuchs all that long yet, and I had a wonderful onboarding and initial training period even with all the difficulties of working from home. My mentor, supervisor, and colleagues really made starting the new job at Pepperl+Fuchs easy for me, and they’re still here for me now, ready to provide advice and practical help.
What do you do when you’re not working?
André: Physical activity has always been a great way of unwinding for me, and I’m active four to five times a week these days. I played soccer and swam competitively as a kid, and I’ve been lifting weights several times a week for more than 15 years now. Right now, I’m in a phase of transitioning to endurance sports. Running is a great way for me to relax and de-stress. Getting out there in the fresh air really does me good.
Would you like to learn more about the career opportunities in the fields of Compliance at Pepperl+Fuchs? Have a look at our career portal!
Product Compliance Engineer
Joined Pepperl+Fuchs: March 2021
Me in 3 Hashtags: #curious, #openhearted, #sportslover
Favorite dish: Idar-Oberstein style grilled pork chops (Schwenkbraten)
Wanted to be when he grew up: Farmer