Customer Story | Baumeier - Schaal CNC
How it All Began
Luana Schmid, a bright young mind, decided to enter the manufacturing industry and began her career as an apprentice in 2015. After two years, however, frustration began to set in. The company she was working with wasn’t able to provide the proper training she needed to keep learning and growing. At one-point Luana even considered stopping her apprenticeship altogether. That was until December of 2017 when Luana found an opportunity with Schaal CNC Fertigung, a machine shop that would be able to provide the training she needed.
In the beginning of her time with Schaal CNC, Luana worked primarily on a Hermle C 22, setting up parts and running existing programs. As she learned and grew, she began creating her own programs with SolidCam and she was able to machine her own programs. In addition, she also worked on CNC-lathes to develop a better understanding of different types of equipment.
It’s fair to say Luana took full advantage of the opportunity she was given and after two years, her persistence, determination and hard work have paid off.
“In my two years with Luana I have seen first-hand that she is incredibly resilient and never loses her courage,” said Jochen Schaal, Owner of Schaal CNC Fertigung. “After reaching a point where she almost made the decision to leave the apprenticeship program, we are happy that she never gave up on her dream and she has proved that the manufacturing industry is where she belongs.”
A Unique Opportunity
After graduation, she immediately began working with Schaal CNC as a journeyman and a full-time programmer/machinist. Shortly thereafter, Luana expressed her desire to take full advantage of her opportunity and relocate to Canada.
Since Luana graduated from the apprenticeship program and was recognized as one of the top apprentices in all of Germany, she earned the very unique opportunity to receive a year-long work and travel VISA and continue her professional growth in Canada.
Knowing Luana’s desire to go to Canada and how beneficial the experience would be for her professional and personal development, Schaal contacted Hermle to see if they could help match her with an employer.
As a company, Hermle is always focused on building lasting relationships with customers and providing solutions to their toughest manufacturing challenges. In this case, the challenge for one Canadian manufacturer was finding the highly-skilled machine operators needed to operate their machining equipment. Hermle USA President and Chief Operations Officer Manuel Merkt saw what a great opportunity this could be, and in June of 2019 he connected two Hermle customers on different sides of the globe. Merkt’s goal was simple: serve those two customers while also making this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a reality for Luana.
Schaal CNC was introduced to Baumeier Corporation, a machine shop in Cambridge Ontario. Immediately, the companies felt a sense of a connection, which led to a plan quickly coming together that would allow Luana to relocate to Canada and work on a temporary basis for Baumeier.
“We never saw this as a competition for a talented employee but rather a partnership between two like-minded companies connected by Hermle,” said Schaal.
Settling in at Baumeier
Nicolas Gaube, Machining Manager at Baumeier Corp., grew up in Germany and is very aware of the high standard required of German apprentices. He knew that if Luana was recognized as one of the top apprentices in the country, she would be a very valuable asset to add to the team even if it was for a limited time. On top of that, Hermle machines arrived at Baumeier in February of 2018 and were fairly new to many of the machine operators. As such, having someone with a tremendous base knowledge and experience working with the machines would help the team grow as a whole.
Luana arrived to begin her work with Baumeier in August of 2019. Gaube says she settled in very well, quickly adapting to her new role and he never had any doubts about her ability to do her job well. In fact, Gaube says Luana has exceeded his expectations in every way.
“Luana has all of the intangibles that you want to see in an employee,” Gaube said. “She has a very strong work ethic, she is self-motivated, and she has confidence in her abilities.”
In her new role with Baumeier, Luana is a machine operator, working primarily with the five-axis C 400 Hermle machines. Her main duties are working with the programming department to setup machines, speeding up processes, and operating the machining equipment. Gaube credits her apprenticeship training and experience with Schaal CNC as a major factor in Luana’s ability to perform her core job duties at a very high level.
As for goals in her time with Baumeier, Gaube says, “I would see this as an absolute success if Luana is able to adapt into our system and grow with the team, continue to learn the language, and improve her machining skills with new tasks on a daily or weekly basis.”
Luana is also very grateful for this opportunity not only for her professional growth, but also her growth as an individual.
“The truth is, you can only learn so much from a book,” she said. “Experiencing the lifestyle here in Canada and developing life skills is something that will benefit me for the rest of my life. When the time comes for me to return to Germany, I will go back having learned a new language and an understanding of a completely different manufacturing market. Overall, I know that I will come out as a stronger person and a better professional.”
Outside of work, Luana says she has also enjoyed discovering an entirely new country and culture. She says some of her favorite things to do since moving to Canada include meeting and mingling with the people, going to live music events, and exploring southern Ontario and parts of West Virginia. In the coming months she would like to travel to other parts of Canada and in the spring she plans to travel to the west coast of Canada.
A Global Community
Looking back on how the situation unfolded, Merkt says there is much for Hermle to be proud of. “This is further proof that the Hermle community transcends continents and cultures - it’s truly a global community,” he said. “Being a former apprentice myself, what makes me most proud of Luana’s story is that she was resilient even when she reached her most difficult time. I’m also incredibly proud that despite how competitive our industry can be, the people at Schaal CNC and Baumeier Corporation were able to see the positives of working together and, along the way, provided a life-changing opportunity for Luana.”