Meet Achim König - our internal Coordinator Casting Materials!
Good morning Achim. Thank you for taking the time to have this conversation....
Achim: Not a problem!
Let's start directly with the first question: Do you actually remember who was the Federal Chancellor at the time when you started at DELORO?
Achim: Oh, good question! That would have to be Willy Brandt...or Helmut Schmidt...that was in 1974!
You began working at Deloro 2 years after the foundation of the DELORO site in Koblenz. With 48 years of service, you are currently the longest-serving person at our company...
Achim: Yes, that's right. However, I won't make it to 50 - but I'll manage 49!
48 years - that's really an extraordinarily long time! What exactly was it that kept you with DELORO for so long?
Achim: The work was always very versatile and varied - I really enjoyed it! I completed an apprenticeship as a pattern maker and then worked in various positions in the metalworking department, in pattern making, investment casting, sand casting and centrifugal casting. I also often had the opportunity to take part in training courses and visit other foundries.
How did you become aware of DELORO back then?
Achim: Deloro was brand new in Koblenz at the time and I did not know the company. I was made aware of Deloro by the job centre when I was 14 years old. At that time - shortly after the oil price crisis - it was not that easy to get a job or an apprenticeship. But the Foundry Manager at the time, Mr. Winthang, was very supportive and said directly: "Come on, young man!” For this I am indebted to him for the rest of my life! I even called him "Dad" sometimes as a joke.
What is your current core role at DELORO?
Achim: I am the internal Coordinator of Casting Material Managment, so I am responsible for the correct charging and melting of our casting raw materials.
What position or time has shaped you the most?
Achim: I was always open to everything new and very inquisitive. The time when we started producing large centrifugally cast bushings with over 500 kg of material was particularly exciting. There was real "action" here in the plant - that was fun and an inspiring time!
Why was this time particularly good?
Achim: Mainly because of the good cooperation with my colleagues. We were a great team and were really productive in "getting things done"! In between, there was always an opportunity to do something "stupid" together with the colleagues, but when there was a "need on the man" again on Saturdays...nobody said no...and most of them wanted to work together with "the King". I was Foreman at the time...
What do you look forward to when you drive to DELORO in the morning?
Achim: I make sure that the chemical composition of our casting components is correct. I always check that first thing in the morning - and when I see that the casting result is as I calculated it beforehand, then all is in order with the world for the time being. I am happy when I see that everything is running smoothly!
...and when you drive home in the evening? What does a day have to be like for you to go home in a good mood?
Achim: When there was "action"! I always have to be a little "energized"! So completely calm....that would just not be for me!
Achim, what drives you?
Achim: Of course money also plays an important role. For example, I have many quite expensive hobbies and a large fleet of jeep, motor home and motorcycles.
During which activities are you in "flow" and completely forget about time?
Achim: When I do the charging calculation, for example, I am completely concentrated! In general, however, I just like to work physically and with my hands....when I build something with my hands and see in the evening what I have achieved! Privately, for example, I like to restore old Harley Davidson motorcycles. I spent two years tinkering with the last "Harley" from 1942.
Do you listen to music at work? Is there a song that you specifically associate with DELORO?
Achim: Yeah sure, Rockland radio station is always on! One song I associate with Deloro is "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. Reminds me of the good old days....
Which mastered challenge still fills you with pride today?
Achim: That we have managed to produce the large centrifugally cast bushings in perfect quality. When we started, we were still struggling with blowholes, for example - but over many years we have repeatedly adapted the manufacturing process and ultimately perfected it.
What do you remember most fondly from your time at DELORO?
Achim: When I was very young and Deloro was a very small craft business, I once connected the compressed air gun to the water tap. With it you could spray for meters...and I hit everyone!
From your point of view, how has the world of work and your field of activity changed over the last 48 years?
Achim: The scope of work has increased, and the qualifications of the employees must be much broader. The advent of digitalization has of course also brought major changes - mostly for the better!
What challenges do you see in the next 10 years?
Achim: As far as I am concerned, it could stay exactly as it is now. However, the young people will be working with many new computer programs in the future. In general, I believe that our products and our colleagues are capable of adapting to and mastering any upcoming challenge!
If you could start over again at DELORO today in 2022: Which vocation would you choose?
Achim: I would most definitely want to do physical work. I really enjoyed my training in model making, for example! For my son, I would recommend learning to be a toolmaker or studying mechanical engineering. The most important thing though, is to simply enjoy your work!
DELORO builds highly wear-resistant components that you can rely on in the field. Which colleague with this characteristic spontaneously comes to mind?
Achim: There was more than one! For example, Mr. Buggenthien and Mr. Eisenmenger - together we were a super team! Among the colleagues who are still around today, I am thinking in particular of Marco Bebbon. He is very hardworking and curious, which in my opinion is very helpful!
Our core values at DELORO are courage, credibility, and respect. What personal values do you base your daily actions on?
Achim: Respect for colleagues and the courage to try something new.
What are you very proud of in general and personally?
Achim: The fact that I am still "here" and fit, I would say! I have been confronted with many difficulties and strokes of fate in my life. But I have always been a fighter and always got up again - I have rarely missed a day of work! One of the most important things in life is to keep your job!
After work - what are your favorite hobbies outside of DELORO?
Achim: I have so many hobbies! My dog is unfortunately no longer here - I was on the road a lot with him! I go shooting, climbing and am often on tour with the camper, the bike, or the Harley. I even used to box! There is always something to do! But motorcycling is always in the first place!
Last question: What 3 things would you take with you to a desert island?
Achim: A woman, my Harley, and a good whiskey.
Thank you very much for the interview, Achim!
The interview was conducted by: Sascha Hannappel on April 27th, 2022.