Many roads lead to Hauni and no two are alike

From the apprentice in Hamburg to the accountant in Tokyo and the internationally operating Sales Manager – these stories from our employees will quickly give you a sense of the diversity and opportunities that Hauni offers.

Our employees

Focused – with minds wide open.

Apprentice technical product designer

Mia Krohn, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, Hamburg-Bergedorf

While I was at school, I did several internships to help me find a career I would enjoy: confectioner, scenery painter, kindergarten teacher. But I applied for my apprenticeship at Hauni a full year before taking my higher school leaving exams (the German Abitur) in 2017. Because of changes in the school system here, I’d had to complete my high school education in eight years, rather than the traditional nine. So I decided I wanted to make the most of this advantage. The experience that made up my mind was a conversation I had with a Hauni apprentice at vocatium – a trade fair for vocational training and education in Hamburg. And after the selection day at Hauni, I knew this was the place I wanted to start my career.

Currently, I am one of four apprentice technical product designers. The project we are working on will last several months and involves handling every aspect of a fictitious customer order from the first drawing to the finished product. In the first year of our apprenticeship, projects like these help us to learn the basics of our job. From the second year, we look out into the wider world and get to know the other specialist departments as well. I’m really enjoying my training so I can certainly imagine wanting to go deeper when I’ve completed my apprenticeship – ideally with a Hauni scholarship to study mechanical or industrial engineering.

The nice thing is: I don’t have to decide yet. Hauni offer us very good support and the trainers are always happy to take time for us apprentices. This gives me the confidence that all my options are open at any time. And, by the way, I have already achieved one of the aims my father set me when choosing my career. He said that I should find a job which puts a smile on my face in the mornings. And Hauni does that.

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On the road in the name of the technology.

Customer service technician

Marco Rethorn, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, Hamburg-Bergedorf

After training as an electrician, I travelled the world as a non-commissioned officer in the German Navy for four years. After that, you know there’s one thing you don’t want – an office job. Instead, I continued my training and qualified as a master electrician. One day, I saw that Hauni was looking for a technician for deployment on assignments around the world so I applied immediately.

I now do 15 to 20 assignments a year as a customer service technician in the areas of logistics and electronics. That’s a total of up to 250 days on the road – sometimes for just one day, sometimes for weeks at a time. The tasks, technologies, customers and cultural environments are often very diverse. The challenges are always new and require individual, or even creative, solutions. As the number of technical innovations from Hauni grows, so do its customers’ expectations – with the wonderful side effect that nothing ever becomes routine.

Even after more than 20 years in this demanding job, which has taken me to 53 different countries, I still love to travel. I still enjoy getting to know new countries, people and cultures. But although my work sounds very exciting and varied, it would be impossible without my family. They give me enormous support.

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Digitization means change.

Team Digitization

Matthias Lönnecker, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH – Bergedorf

As a trained mechanical engineer, I’ve always been fascinated by the speed and functions of machines. It’s not easy to ensure reproducible quality at such a high pace of production. That’s why I soon knew I wanted to join Hauni. I went to university in Münster, Germany, and completed my master’s degree in mechanical engineering – including my master's thesis which I wrote at Baltic – in 2013. I was employed as a project manager in the same year.

In 2017, Hauni advertised for a project manager in the area of digitization and I applied for the position. My experience in Körber AG’s Smart Factory Sprint and the project for additive manufacturing at Baltic meant the job was tailor-made for me. I’ve been a member of the digitization team since 2017.

I have two main roles. Firstly, I’m the programme manager for the smart factory for digital initiatives in the value chain which aims to improve processes and throughput times. Secondly, I’m the product owner of the innovation process at Körber in the new Business Area Körber Digital. Here, we’re building a central network for additive manufacturing in order to supply customers with spare parts as quickly as possible. It’s important to stay in close contact with the customer at all times.

I’m fascinated by the innovative, pioneering nature of the job. We have the opportunity to build much more extensive and tightly woven networks and apply new working methods. Naturally, there are always challenges because digitization means change and a radical transition period in the Business Area Tobacco. Together with my great team, I’m looking forward to making further progress in this important field.

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A firm grasp of control systems.

Software Manager

Tomo Kelava, Hauni Primary GmbH, Schwarzenbek (Deutschland)

Hauni’s reputation precedes it. I’d heard great things about the company long before my first day. I wanted to work here. That’s why I sent a speculative application to the human resources department. I thought I had good chances because of my CV: a higher school leaving certificate (the German Abitur), then an apprenticeship as an energy electronics technician specializing in production technology – and finally a degree in electrical engineering from HAW Hamburg. In the end, my optimism was justified: I had a job at Hauni Primary Gmbh soon afterwards.

Here, I develop, test and document the control software for the “primary systems” which supply our cigarette makers with high quality cut tobacco. I also provide support and specialist knowledge for my colleagues involved in producing or updating the documentation for industrial plants. And final quality assurance is especially important. Prior to delivery, my team and I carefully inspect the functionality of every piece of equipment.

As an engineer, I particularly enjoy working in an interdisciplinary team with experts in mechanical engineering, hardware and software. I learn something new every day. And that in a company, which offers the best of both worlds – the family atmosphere of a medium-sized business and the international flair of an innovative global market leader.

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The precision specialists.

Cutting machine operator (milling)

Bernd Noetzel, Baltic Metalltechnik GmbH, Hamburg

I always say that, compared to a cutting machine operator, a watchmaker is like a farm labourer. Of course, I’m exaggerating – but there is a grain of truth in there somewhere. That’s because one of my jobs is to make highly complex parts for cigarette and filter makers tasks with the help of a range of very special production machines.

The raw material is machined in several stages by grinding, turning and milling. Each of these steps requires the highest level of precision. Consequently, cutting machine operators require a deep, specialist knowledge of the materials, machines, clamping technology, tools and control software for processing. But they also need the ability to work in a team, e.g. with the tool service and work preparation departments when preparing and optimizing the production process. Or with quality assurance to ensure that the finished part matches the specifications of the drawing.

By the way, I owe my current job to chance – as well as my attention to detail. The journeyman's examinations for my apprenticeship, as a universal cutter at Airbus in Hamburg, just happened to take place at Hauni. So that’s why I’ve been working here since 1984. First at Hauni and then, since 2004, at Baltic Metalltechnik Gmbh. As a specialist manufacturer for the Business Area Tobacco, Baltic has a very long and rich tradition here at the headquarters in Hamburg-Bergedorf. So I’m not just proud to work at Baltic – but also to have been a point of contact for the trainees in our department for many years.

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Circuit training.

Electrical design engineer

Thomas Pehlgrim, Universelle Engineering U.N.I. GmbH, Schwarzenbek (Deutschland)

From a very early age, I used to tinker around with faulty devices until I could get them to work again. So I think my career was also my destiny. I first worked for a few years as a trained electrician and then did a two year course to qualify as state-certified technician. In April 1992, I joined Universelle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hauni Maschinenbau Gmbh. The company was founded in 1989 and, like me, was in the early stages of its development – that’s exactly why it appealed to me. It meant that, from the outset, I was able to gain experience in a variety of departments, such as the electrical workshop, commissioning, or the SAP team. It was not until 2000 that I chose electrical design as my professional home.

Today, I design electrical hardware. In other words, the control cabinets for our machines – sometimes new developments, sometimes refinements of existing models. It’s nothing like tinkering in a garden shed, of course. I work closely with the mechanical and software designers to ensure that, when it’s finished, everything fits and functions correctly. In many cases, I use a computer to do this. I use 2D software to produce the circuit diagrams and 3D software to visualize the integration of the control cabinets into the machine. Once a design is complete, I supervise the assembly of the prototype and use my specialist knowledge to support our technical writers in producing the manuals.

And if any technical questions arise during series production, I provide the answers to the assembly department. Basically, there are two things at Universelle which I have always liked – the freedom to work independently and a working environment that is small and friendly yet amazingly international. It’s just a great place to work.

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At the heart of the action. From the beginning.

Head of Department, Project Purchasing

Jörg Härtel, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, Hamburg

When I started at Hauni in 2006, I was a trained power plant electronics technician, master electrician and qualified technical manager. I had already set up a project purchasing department for a large German vehicle manufacturer. The attractions of Hauni, for me, were the technological demands of being a global market leader and the high intensity of development – a constant stream of new and interesting projects at very different stages. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Today, my team and I are always involved in new technologies and products from the earliest stages of development. That’s because the production costs are largely decided in the design phase. Our main task is to select qualified suppliers and purchase high quality parts from them at competitive prices. Sometimes, we can use our suppliers’ innovative know-how to Hauni’s benefit. That’s also exciting.

We are the in-house experts for the procurement market and something like the company’s “business conscience”. Communication and process management are also important for ensuring that the different areas of the company work together as smoothly as possible.

Externally, we have to find the best possible suppliers for development work and subsequent series production. To do this, we analyze the international market in consultation with our product group management. And because my project purchasing team also has to visit their production facilities, we get to travel quite a lot around the world.

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Numbers are my world.

Accountant

Kyoko Sawanobori, Hauni Japan Co. Ltd., Tokio (Japan)

Japanese people love sophisticated technology. So Hauni has a very good reputation here as a market and technology leader with many innovative and high-quality products. That makes my work as an accountant much easier when I phone customers or suppliers. And it also makes me a little proud.

I’m responsible for all the accounting at Hauni Japan. It’s a comparatively small location in the Business Area Tobacco with 32 employees. I also support the management in issues relating to controlling. This was a new task for me when I moved to Hauni in 2007 – although I had already worked as an accountant for other American and German companies after studying accounting in Japan.

My job is very varied in other ways as well. In addition to my colleagues on-site, I have many other contacts outside the company: suppliers, customers, banks – and Hauni’s headquarters in Germany which can be quite a challenge because of the large time difference. However, I schedule my work so I do all my local tasks – such as entering invoices or travel costs – in the morning. That leaves time in the afternoon to communicate with the headquarters in Hamburg.

My core task, though, is to continuously gather and prepare data for financial reporting using a wide range of accounting software solutions. But as I said: we Japanese love a challenge.

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I couldn’t have designed a better job.

Mechanical design engineer

Bastian Wolff, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, Hamburg (Germany)

It’s rather unusual in the modern world of work but Hauni makes it possible: a linear career. I joined Hauni as an engineer in 2002, directly after graduating in mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. And I’m still here. However, I should mention that the job in special mechanical construction is the perfect match for my interests.

First and foremost, I am responsible for a wide range of technical and organizational matters. These include working on special customer enquiries, analyzing problems in the event of faults, supervising the design process and introducing new developments into the machine. I especially enjoy the close collaboration with other departments, such as assembly or technical customer service. But I also work directly with our customers. As soon as I know their needs, I prepare a suitable offer with customized solution concepts, a cost estimate and precisely defined schedule.

Experience and an awareness of the risks play an important role here. My working day at Hauni is never routine. The varied projects and international nature of the work constantly provide new challenges which help me to grow both professionally and personally. You simply never stop learning here – and that’s something I really appreciate.

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Around the world for 100 days.

Sales Manager

Clemens von Oppeln, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, Hamburg-Bergedorf

My professional life began quite modestly. I first completed a dual degree in business administration, then got a job working for a family business. But one day a desire for adventure awoke in me. I wanted to meet interesting people in different countries and learn about other cultures. In short: I wanted to move to a larger company where the work would be even more international. That’s when I joined Hauni.

I’ve been working here as a sales manager since the beginning of 2012 – in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. I can be out on the road for up to 100 days per year – meeting customers and presenting new products from the entire Business Area Tobacco. Of course, it’s very helpful that I’m representing Hauni – the global market and technology leader in the field of cigarette makers. If a potential customer shows interest, I work out what he needs, produce a suitable offer, and finally present our technical solution. Naturally, I also handle the final purchase contracts and conditions. In other words, I accompany customer projects from the first contact through to their successful implementation on-site.

Whether it’s a traditional family company or a state monopoly with thousands of employees – the tasks are similar: I assess the requirements with colleagues at Hauni and work out a suitable offer. I also coordinate customer projects with other companies in the Business Area Tobacco. And, of course, I am responsible for our customers when they visit us in Bergedorf. You can't always be on tour.

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I develop a lot of things. Including myself.

Group leader of filter process development

Nadine Leichsenring, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, Hamburg-Bergedorf

To be honest, I’ve always had a low boredom threshold. That’s why – after completing my dual degree in mechanical engineering at the HAW Hamburg and an automotive supplier in Hamburg – I had one goal above all: a job with lots of variety.

Becoming a development engineer at Hauni offered me exactly the diversity I wanted. My responsibilities ranged from project management, collecting ideas and design work to test planning, test execution and field testing. Today, I have also taken on responsibilities as a group leader: I develop new ideas, review them and secure their further development. This is especially exciting when we immediately implement and test promising ideas in small preliminary tests.

Capacity planning to ensure consistent utilization is another of my major tasks. If an express development project comes in unexpectedly, we have to work quickly and flexibly as a team. Then it’s really important to communicate rapidly and efficiently with my colleagues. If I want to contribute to the discussion, I have to keep up-to-date – not only with all the processes in process development but even work at the machines myself. Life couldn’t be less boring.

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A company is only as good as its employees

Human resources manager

Jean Klele, Hauni Richmond, Inc., Richmond (USA)

My job requires one personality trait above all: an honest interest in people. Not just in what they can do, but also where they come from, how they tick and what drives them. This has always had fascinated me. So it was only logical that I should apply for a position with a highly international company such as Hauni.

As human resources manager here, at our US location in Richmond, Virginia, I am responsible for every aspect of human resources. But it has been a long road to get where I am today: with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in human resources in the bag, I worked in the human resources department of a paper company for three years. Until I got this great opportunity to work at Hauni. I'm as thrilled by the diversity of my job now as I was on my first day. I deal with all sorts of issues: from staffing, training, visas and immigration to managing the personnel evaluation system – and even compliance with internal practices and guidelines.

The annual negotiations with insurance companies for our employees’ social benefits are also very interesting. All these aspects not only require know-how and diplomatic skills, but the willingness to learn constantly. By the way, there’s a wonderful side effect to working with so many interesting people from interesting countries – a boundless love of travel. And so, today, I use every opportunity I get to see as much of the world as possible.

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