Rheinwerk's sisters in aluminium
They are sisters. You need to know them quite well to figure out who is Julia and who is Lisa. Our colleagues in Neuss know them, because both work at our aluminium production plant in Germany.
Julia Greiss is more technically skilled than her sister Lisa Lauda, who is commercially oriented. The differences became visible when Julia as a kid preferred changing light bulbs and crafting activities, while Lisa was more interested in playing “office.” In fact, in several areas they complement each other, like good colleagues should do.
No wonder Julia ended up being control room manager with several years’ background from production, and Lisa as purchasing administrator working in an office at Hydro’s aluminium smelter Rheinwerk in Neuss, Germany.
Each year the 750 employees here deliver 230,000 tonnes of liquid aluminium and 235,000 tonnes of sheet ingot to fabrication companies that help make bicycles and cars lighter and safer, buildings more energy efficient and soda cans and other kinds of packaging lighter and more environmentally friendly.
From bauxite to alumina to aluminium
What they do is part of a long value chain, starting with extracting the vital raw material bauxite in Brazil, refining it to alumina that ends up being transformed to aluminium metal in Neuss. At Rheinwerk, Lisa in the purchasing department makes sure that they get all the input materials with the right quality in order to help production run smoothly.
In the other end of the smelters’ production chain, Julia in the casthouse makes sure that the customers get the high-quality products they require.
Discovered Hydro at a job fair
Julia discovered Hydro at a job fair back in 2003, got a job as a production mechanic and started working in the casthouse in 2006. Over the years, she often talked with her sister about the company and in 2011 she “recruited” her.
“When I finished my training, there were no vacancies in my area of work, but Hydro offered to keep us on if we went into production. That’s how I got the job as a picker in the warehouse – so I’m basically an industrial clerk with a license to operate forklifts and cranes,” Lisa says.
After some time, the opportunity came to start working with purchasing, exactly what she had been trained for. Today, she is a purchasing administrator who can help out as a picker at any time, which does actually happen on occasion.
Collaboration and career opportunities
Her sister Julia worked seven years in the casthouse as a production worker. There, she got to know the operations and processes and also proposed some improvements. Her initiatives were appreciated and after some time she was promoted to control room manager with responsibility for production planning.
The sisters find that their jobs require collaboration, involvement, good work habits and a very strong focus on safety. In production, safety always comes first but it is also on top of the agenda for Lisa and her colleagues in the purchasing department.
The light metal they produce may end up as a vital part in your next car, making it safer and lighter.
We are aluminium.