Engineers at GETRAG
Director Prototype & Testing
We are looking for hardware innovators.
1. What is your department’s role at Transmission Systems (formerly Getrag)?
Nowadays transmissions are the result of elaborate calculations and simulations for all parts, components, functions and features. Despite this it is still extremely important to test and validate functions and the durability of new developments to the hardware in the testing area.
Over the last few years testing has moved away from the vehicle and the road and towards the testing bay, CAE calculations and simulations.
We only give our final approval once the transmission system has been positively validated accordingly on the test stand and in the vehicle. It goes without saying that every development department eagerly awaits our final test reports.
2. Who works in your department?
The department prototype shop and testing sees itself as competent partner for the product development department. We have the following functions and teams:
In our prototype shop we are responsible for sourcing, production and quality assurance.
While in testing, we work on the prototype assembly, the end of line approval and the testing of new transmission developments. This includes the integration of the transmissions into the test vehicles and the execution of driving tests. In addition, we are responsible for measurements as well as for functional and endurance running tests on our test bays with detailed appraisal, backdocumentation and preparation of descriptive test reports.
In general, our employees are all very well trained. We have cutting machine operators, industrial mechanics, precision mechanics, mechatronics engineers, master craftsmen, technicians and engineers from various technical fields.
When I started here in 1982, there were five of us: two engineers and three mechanics. Now there are 184 people at the organisation sites, Untergruppenbach, Neuenstein and Bari.
3. What development opportunities do you offer to young colleagues?
Most testing specialists are engineering graduates from universities or colleges. But after several years of experience and further training, our mechanics also have the opportunity to become a master craftsman, a technician or a testing specialist.
As experience increases, a move out of testing to other areas such as construction, calculations, simulation, quality assurance or programme management is also possible.
4. How would you describe dealings with your staff?
We have a good, friendly atmosphere. I think my team members know where I am coming from - and appreciate that. In return I ask for a high level of commitment and precision when performing our tasks.
Not all processes can be foreseen and planned for in our prototype shop and testing. We need to be able to react to events quickly, capably and according to the situation. In general, test bay validation runs around the clock, in other words 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This demands certain flexibility and readiness from our staff to undertake special activity – sometimes even on weekends.
5. What is your ideal candidate?
We need ‘implementers’, the hardware innovators. But due to the complexe system technologies we also look for software specialists and mechatronic engineers who enjoy to develop, test and validate our products directly on the test bays and the test vehicles.
Wearing a tie is rare in our department and even dangerous in the test bays. I regard asking critical questions as an important quality in someone among us in the testing department. But adherence to process is also part of our everyday life in order to be able to achieve test results that can be reproduced.
Manfred Greiner studied mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Science Ravensburg.