Power meets precision
Really getting stuck in with both body and soul to achieve a common goal is sometimes exactly what you need when dealing with working processes at Kuhn Special Steel.
It is just such a moment that Oliver Sieber, a manager from our despatch department, has managed to capture with his camera. His picture entitled Manpower shows a metal-machining colleague as he manually releases the clamping jaws of a carousel CNC lathe. These devices are designed for machining extra-large components, which first have to be crane-lifted into the operating area of the lathe. The jaws shown in the picture centre up the workpiece and hold it in place while it is being turned.
Although Mr. Sieber’s favourite photography subjects are flora and fauna, he also proves to have a good eye for capturing the people around him, as he has clearly managed to express the fascinating interaction of physical presence and vital skill, and make them accessible to an outside observer.
The loading of the lathe is not the only feat of strength on display here; the turning process itself also demands much energy and maximum concentration. This part of the machining process represents an advanced stage in the value-creation chain, so if the team makes just one false move at this point, the almost-finished workpiece may be rendered useless. Good observational skills and an ability to think ahead, coupled with team-based support, are therefore essential; as is the extremely valuable individual experience of each employee involved.
Kuhn Special Steel operates one of the world’s biggest ranges of corresponding plant machinery in its centrifugal casting facilities. The image shows one of the company’s fifty-plus CNC lathes. The 10,300 m² facility concerned also houses various CNC milling machines and other highly specialised items of production equipment designed for the conventional machining of steel, along with cutting, sawing, welding and honing. Components can be supplied to order ready for installation (in accordance with drawings provided by the customer).
The comprehensive set of available equipment permits the production of an equally wide range of components, running from individual items of just a few grams in weight right up to subassemblies weighing various tons, measuring up three metres in length and with a maximum diameter of 3.5 metres.
The Kuhn calendar initiative, a creative project carried out jointly with the painter Cindy Kuhn-Chuang and employees of Kuhn Special Steel, aims to capture photographic impressions of our working environment.
A snapshot of the photographer
Since when have you been working for the company?
What do you do there?
I’m a shipping controller in Despatch. Before that, I was in Quality Assurance.
How and when did you take up photography as a hobby?
Well, I’ve always liked to take pictures, but once I was lucky enough to see the Rocky Mountains, the experience inspired me to concentrate on photographing the natural world. I was deeply impressed, and have since been really interested in using my photos to capture beautiful moments in life and nature.
What kind of camera do you use?
A Nikon D5100.
What are your favourite subjects?
Animal and nature photography.