Lewis Thompson

Lewis Thompson

Vehicle Manufacturing Technician

Lewis' job title is Mechatronics Technician at Toyota

What I do

I work behind the scenes at Toyota, fixing broken robots and machinery to keep the production lines open.

Hear more about Lewis's role by watching the video below...

How I became a technician

A typical day
in my working life

Every day is different. Sometimes a breakdown could be a robot with a faulty cable, or a broken part. I’m part of the team who will try to fix it while others step in to do the robot’s job in the interim. For instance, if the exhaust pipe lifter fails, then some of the team will physically pick up the exhaust pipes and hold them on to the car while the production staff fit them. In the meantime, other members of the team work to fix the machine – it’s all about teamwork.

A surprising fact about my job

The thing I wish people knew about my job is the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. On a daily basis there will be a broken robot or a machine which I have got to try to fix to make sure the production lines are always kept running smoothly. This means we get to produce hundreds of cars a day. It’s really cool.

A little more about
my everyday role

The best bits about working in a team

I work in a team of 13, which includes a group leader and two team leaders who have five people working under each of them. There are three shift rotations. The youngest in my team is 21 years old and we have people in their mid-50s. They are all brilliant – they all teach you in different ways and some are more strict than others, but it pushes me forward. They all have such great knowledge.

What I wear to work

On the shop floor I wear steel toe capped boots, maintenance trousers and a hard hat which stays on at all times. We also have safety gloves and goggles, and I wear knee pads as we often have to get on our hands and knees and lift heavy things like tyres.

My favourite piece of equipment

My favourite bit of kit is a small factory line which lifts the engines into the cars. Once, one of the blocks which secured the engine lifter to the rail had completely blown. We were given two replacement blocks but they were too big so I was asked to mill them down to the correct size. I got to use the milling machine, it’s one of the most complex bits of kit in terms of use but it is really interesting. It can be mentally challenging sometimes, but they make sure you are fully trained and make it clear that if you ever struggle, there is always someone to give you a helping hand.

The next steps in my career journey

I would love to stay with Toyota, finish my current apprenticeship in the next year and work my way up the career ladder with them.

The advice I'd give to
someone younger

I would highly recommend an apprenticeship. At university you only learn in one way, but here you are taught in the classroom and on the job, and you can learn a lot from the people you work with too.

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