Furnaces, pumps and robots

It is mid-fall, and it has already been six months since I started my second placement as an Elkem trainee at REC Solar. After eight exciting months at Elkem Technology it was time to move on – even if only a few hundred meters across the industry area. Although it is a common characteristic for trainees to be light on their feet, the site at Fiskaa having many of Elkem’s business areas represented has a large variety of interesting challenges to offer, and in my case staying in Kristiansand for one more period also meant that I could enjoy the beautiful summer we have had here at “Sørlandet”.

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Working with digitalisation

After finishing a great trainee period at Elkem Silicones in France, my journey went back to Norway and Kristiansand. I got the opportunity to work for Elkem Foundry with data analysis and data mining. With this, I was able to take part in exploring some of the possibilities of the new and enlarged focus on digitalisation. Digitalisation is a major tool to increase profitability.

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A very warm welcome in a very hot city

In February this year, I packed my bags and moved nearly 7000 kilometres southeast – after completing trainee rotations in Orkanger and Oslo, it was time for a change of scenery. The change from an office environment in Oslo to an industrial plant in India has been a big one, not least because of the sudden temperature increase of around 30 degrees. Fortunately, I have received a very warm welcome, and my third and final trainee rotation in Elkem has been a very special one indeed.

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Living in an industry village

It has now been almost nine months since I started my position as a technical trainee, and Elkem has already given me the chance to see an incredibly wide range of academic challenges, people and Norwegian nature.

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Maintenance – A world of continuous improvement

Robots are amazing creatures. These beautiful beings with long gracious arms, brains made from copper wire and circuit boards, and hearts of cold hard steel. There are few things as mesmerizing as watching a robot buzz around as it carefully but determined picks up and places hundreds of pieces of silicon. 

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Getting a solid overview of silicon production at Elkem Thamshavn

As I write this, my first period as an Elkem trainee is coming to an end. The sun is shining on the Orkdal fjord and the furnaces are humming quietly. There is a warm atmosphere in the office I am sharing with a few of the process engineers here at Elkem Thamshavn, one of the most energy efficient silicon smelting plants in the world.

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Process Safety in a Silicones Plant

Two years after Bluestar Silicones was merged with Elkem in June 2015 and after the renaming of Bluestar Silicones to Elkem Silicones in June 2017, I had the great opportunity to be the first employee of the Silicones division to participate to the Elkem Trainee Program.

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From university to heavy industry: A slow transition

It is nearly winter holiday, and us first year trainees have already reached halfway through our first trainee period in Elkem. My first placement has been at Elkem Technology in Kristiansand where I have had the privilege of being welcomed by many engaging colleagues, and working with a few remarkably interesting projects with plenty of guidance from enthusiastic co-workers, and a lot to learn. Along with that, the past four months have offered an abundance of excitement through many courses, traveling, social gatherings, and even a trip to Venice.

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Leaving Iceland with a heavy heart

Hello faithful readers of the Elkem trainee blog! It has now been 8 months since I packed my bags and headed for Iceland, and I honestly have no clue where the time has gone since then. With only a few days left of my stay here, I thought I would use this opportunity to share some of my experiences from the land of ice and fire.

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Silicones and the French way of life

In April, I moved from the small village Svelgen, to one of the largest cities in France, Lyon. This was in itself a big change, but also the production and the language was completely different.

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Elkem’s trainee programme: a unique opportunity

Half a year ago, I wrote a blog post about my first trainee period in Elkem, working with and learning about all the mechanical equipment around the smelting furnaces of Elkem Thamshavn. I have now been employed in Elkem for over a year, and it feels a bit sudden that I am already more than halfway through the trainee programme.Taking this chance to look back though, I have already learned a great deal about the industry: installation, use and maintenance of a wide array of machinery; our furnaces and high temperature processes in general; industrial and personal safety; lean thinking and continuous improvement. 

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Working with new challenges

Time flies, and I am already halfway through the trainee programme. This summer, our “old” trainees Heidi and Marie moved on to new and exciting tasks within Elkem, as Bård, Sofie, Marthe, and I took their place as second year trainees.

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Train your brain – Trainee style

In the middle of June, all the trainees were lucky to return to the academic world to attend Silicon Summer School, hosted at Reykjavik University in Iceland. The course consisted of lectures from both industry and academia, with 50 participants representing 6 countries around the world.

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From the everyday life at a plant to an R&D environment

For the last 5 months, I have had my third trainee placement in the R&D department of Elkem Silicon Materials (ESM) in Kristiansand. Now that the summer holidays are approaching, so is the end of my trainee adventure and the start of a permanent position in Elkem.

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