#LoveMySafranJob: “Coil winder, a job that suits me down to the ground!”
There was little to suggest that Céline would end up working in industry. She was actually headed for a career as a carer when she decided, on a whim, to apply for a job at the Safran Electrical & Power factory in Méru (France), which produces aeronautical electrical systems. There, she discovered the job of coil winder, a job that can only be learned in the workshop. Her enthusiasm and dedication are evident as she describes this unusual profession.
As a student, Céline took a course in health and social care, thinking she wanted to work with old people. However, she found she was “too sensitive to work in that field,” and worked her way through a series of contracts in textile sales. When the time came for her to start a family, she started looking for more professional stability.
In 2015, almost by chance, she replied to an advert to become a coil winder at the Méru site (France), which produces aeronautical electrical systems, an entity acquired by Safran Electrical & Power in October 2023. “I’d never even heard of it before I applied, but I was delighted to learn a manual trade, because it was something I felt really motivated by. I loved it from the outset: it’s a job that suits me down to the ground!”
The satisfaction of making a part from A to Z
So what does a coil winder actually do? Céline’s main task is to produce parts, such as permanent magnet generators or PMGs and stators, which are used in the alternators of aircraft engines like the A380 or the A400M, among others. In Méru, there are no fewer than 112 part references.
“What I like best is the diversity. We don't work on a line, we make our parts from A to Z. I really take pride in each project and enjoy a lot of autonomy in my work.” After several stages –winding, wedging, cabling, welding, fitting, painting and impregnation– the finished part is ready for the quality inspection.
A craft learned in the factory workshops
There are no schools for coil winders. It is a job taught by the training center in the factory. Céline now helps train new recruits, encouraging them to develop their expertise and autonomy.
According to Céline, a good coil winder has to be patient, meticulous and appreciate manual work, which can be physically difficult at times. “Some of the machines are hard to manipulate. You might think it is a rather masculine job, but not at all! There are just as many women as men in the team.” The team, which comprises around fifty coil winders, is proud of its good working atmosphere. “I had no idea what to expect in a factory, but was pleasantly surprised! Solidarity and good humor are essential in our everyday routines.”
Good career opportunities
In 2018, Céline was offered a promotion to become a coil inspector. She is now responsible for inspecting the parts at each step to make sure there are no non-conformities and also performs the electrical tests. In 2022, she was trained in finished product inspection, i.e., the inspection before the parts are dispatched from the plant. She now does this job, but is also versatile, helping out if the teams need backup. “Even though I have no qualifications in electromechanics or electronics, management still recognized my potential and I have been given promotion opportunities. I am very grateful, because this is not the case everywhere.”
Céline has even become a training instructor, enabling her to pass on her know-how and share her expertise with new recruits.
“I was never really very sure what I wanted to do for a living, but I’m delighted to say that I have found my calling. If I had to start over, I would join the coil winding workshop earlier on in my career!”
#GuessMySafranJob : Would you be able to guess Céline's job?
Technical recruitment opportunities in Méru: coil winder, coil winding activity coordinator, rectifier and many more. We aim to have more than 80 coil winders by the end of December 2024.