The first female forger at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace in Kapfenberg 4 minutes spent reading
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The first female forger at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace in Kapfenberg

Christopher Eberl
Christopher Eberl is editorially responsible for the topics on the blog as well as for the apprentice website. With his stories he provides deep insights into the diverse world of the voestalpine Group.

Since spring 2021, the aerospace team in Kapfenberg has had female reinforcement in forging technology. Ever since then, Marie H. has been using state-of-the-art equipment and great instincts to forge future aircraft parts at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace.

She likes to trust her gut feeling, even back when it came to choosing a career. Marie has always been very practical. She simply could not imagine pursuing a classic career. When her friends encouraged her to check out the technical working world at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace, she was hooked. She wanted to become a forging technician. The initial skepticism she encountered from private quarters gave her additional motivation to continue on her path. A decision she has not regretted to date. Marie has been part of the aerospace team in press production at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace in Kapfenberg since 2017. In March 2021, she successfully passed the final apprenticeship exam to become a forging technician.

Forge Technician Marie Haase

Forge Technician Marie

Precisely formed

Today, Marie’s working days start at four in the morning. She now finds it easy to get up so early; only when it is cold outside does she need a cup or two of hot coffee to help wake her up. But by the time she gets to the forging machines on the preforming line, she is highly concentrated. Her work requires the utmost precision and alertness because this is where heavy forming machines are used to preform high-alloy steel, nickel-based alloys, and titanium alloys before they are further processed into a wide variety of aircraft components. She uses a forklift or manipulator to place the forgings on the machine, attaches dies (tooling/negative mold for forging), and sets up and operates the machines. That is how different aerospace parts weighing anywhere from about 25 kilograms to 1.3 tons are made. Marie has nothing but good things to say about “her” shift:

"I have really great colleagues. We all get along great, and the fact that I’m the only female forger among many men doesn’t really matter at all."
Marie H.

Theory and practice

In the past few years, Marie has vastly expanded her practical knowledge along the entire manufacturing route. Professionally speaking, she has virtually grown up with the state-of-the-art hydraulic high-speed forging press on the preforming line. “We are constantly running tests with the new machine and improving the processes so that we can form the pieces to meet the strict aerospace quality requirements. That makes my job really exciting,” comments Marie. For even more diversity, she will be combining theory and practice in the future by adding checking run cards to her many other tasks. She will ensure that all production steps for each part are correctly documented. After all, the parts for the aerospace industry are extremely safety-critical, which is why the entire manufacturing process must be 100% traceable at all times and transparent for the customer. To guarantee this traceability, all the production steps for each forged part are meticulously checked and recorded on run cards.

 

Marie Haase at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace

Marie at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace

Music as a balance

Even though aerospace is her professional passion, flying is not one of Marie’s favorite things to do outside work. “I like to go on vacation, but I’m not always comfortable with the way I get there. But knowing in the back of my mind that airplane parts go through so many checks and controls does make it a little easier to deal with my fear of flying,” she says. When she is not on vacation, the talented musician is passionate about playing modern and classical pieces on the piano. Marie has put away her horn (which she played in several company bands), guitar, violin, and drums for the time being due to a lack of time. But devoting more time to her instruments soon is high on her list of priorities.

By the way, Marie is a familiar face. As the first female forger at voestalpine BÖHLER Aerospace, she presents “her” apprenticeship in metal technology/forging technology on the voestalpine Lehrlingsportal.

#voestalpineanbord—about the Group’s focus on aerospace

voestalpine has been an established supplier to the aerospace industry for around 100 years. The Group manufactures extremely complex, highly stressed, safety-critical components for renowned customers worldwide so that virtually every aircraft flies with a piece of voestalpine. After the severe turbulence during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company with its focus on aerospace is providing insights into the very special (aero)dynamics of this business area.

Christopher Eberl

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