Ian Myring, an experienced engineer who works within the AMS Engineering Workshop gives Furniture & Joinery Production his background in the woodworking machinery industry, his experience and the changes that he has seen in the industry in the last 50 years.
How many years have you been working in the woodworking industry? When did you start and why?
I first started in 1965 as an apprentice, so that is over 50 years ago. I started at the main Wadkin Factory in Green Lane Road, Leicester, and really I worked most of my working life at Wadkin and in the woodworking industry.
I don´t know why I chose this industry. Nobody in my family was working there but when I finished at school the apprenticeship seemed a good opportunity, I came through an interview at Wadkin and they liked me, I liked them and so I joined.
What are you doing in AMS?
I work on refurbished machinery and rebuilds as well as servicing machines at more local customers. I also use my experience to carry out installations and commissioning on the new Wadkin Bursgreen equipment, customer demonstrations of the new machines in the showroom and now I am teacher as well. (he laughs!)
We have five apprentices in the workshop and I like to help them and teach them what I know. I have 50 years experiences in the woodworking machinery industry, so they ask me a lot of questions and I try to answer and help them. It is fantastic to see that AMS is totally committed to training these youngsters, and it is very satisfying to see them develop and gain these new skills.
Do you think that the woodworking industry has changed in the last 50 years? How? Why?
When I first started the machines were all the same colour. They were green machines and they weren´t very user- friendly. Health and Safety was also not taken seriously, with very few guards in place, the customers used to say: “You weren’t a proper machinist unless you had lost part of a finger” …not a very good test of anyone’s ability.
If you look at the machines nowadays, they look really colourful. They are definitely safer and easier to operate, and produce a consistent quality of product. You can’t even open the machines if it is working, keeping the operators away from danger, and there is more attention to the look of a machine rather than merely its functionality. In this respect, safety, design, colour, and quality of output are the ways they have progressed greatly.
Can you advance the AMS future?
AMS is constantly working to expand in all the areas of the business. I think it is excellent that we continue to train our own apprentices, so we pass over our years of knowledge about woodworking machines to the next generations.
Now, we are also looking for field service engineers in the south of England, so if you are an engineer or wood machinist looking to move into a wood machinery support role or you would like to learn a lot about the woodworking industry, don’t delay and contact us 08448 449949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.