As a shade and handle coordinator for a textile manufacturer, Simon is responsible for ensuring the fabric is the right colour, weight and texture. Find out more:
Job description: Simon works closely with the quality control team, customers and production line workers to make sure the textiles produce meet customer standards and expectations.
Subjects studied: English, Australian Studies, Art, Graphics, Textiles technology and development
Further training: On the job training and work-related short courses
With a strong art background, Simon originally wanted to work in advertising, but after six months studying at TAFE he began to wonder if he would be better suited to something else. But what? After working in various positions, mostly in the hospitality industry, Simon landed a job at Bruck. He originally meant to take this job in order to gain work experience in the textiles industry, but ten years later he finds himself coordinating a large department and about to take on the role of Quality Control Manager. Not bad for work experience!
Bruck is one of the largest textile manufacturers in Australia, making fabric for clothes and furnishings, such as curtains and upholstery. A large amount of their work Includes manufacturing camouflage material for the army, & proban fire retardant fabric for the CFA. In fact, they have recently developed a world first new fabric which can't be seen through infra-red goggles.
As you can imagine, producing such textiles means that quality control is extremely important. That's where Simon's role comes in. If a quality inspector notices a problem relating to the shade (or colour) of the fabric or the hang of the fabric (whether it is too stiff, too soft or just doesn't drape properly), this is brought to Simon's attention.
If Simon agrees that the fabric doesn't meet the standards, he will either contact the sales team to see if it can still be used, or he will go back to the manufacturing department and get the problem fixed. Simon also assists the sales department by arranging for samples to be prepared for potential customers, supervises quality control people and fills in on the inspection line when a supervisor is unable to work.
With all of these different roles to fill, Simon says that there is really no such thing as a typical day at work for him. "I would need to be a fortune teller to plan my day," he says. "Generally I will try to act on any sample requests and look at any problems that arose in production during the night and try to fix them. Apart from that, my day really depends on what happens next."
So although he's kept very busy, Simon loves the fact that he is never bored at work. "I hate being stuck in a routine, and there is certainly no routine with this job. I also work with a great bunch of people - there is no way I could do what I do without the team. I also love that I have worked up through the company and have rewritten my job description, giving me more responsibility."
Simon says that his studies in art, design and textiles at school have also helped him a lot in this job, as it all relates to colour and shade. In addition, Bruck has put him through a number of courses in colour, textiles, computers and frontline management.
And as for the future? In Simon's words: "I would still like to be working in the quality side of things, perhaps as the manager of the department. But so much as happened in the past 10 years, who knows where I'll end up!"
Quality assurance inspectors examine manufactured products, primary produce and services to make sure they meet all standards of presentation and quality.
Quality assurance inspectors may perform the following tasks:
- study product specifications
- sample products to determine whether they meet specifications and quality standards, and take corrective action if necessary
- analyse quality assurance data and make recommendations for improvement
- train and assist operators to carry out their quality control functions
- check details of assemblies
- compile reports
- enjoy clerical and administrative work
- good communication skills
- able to work as part of a team
- able to work independently
- eye for detail
- methodical approach to problem solving
- safety conscious
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).