PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-May2019

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116 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 experience. When you start to relax, it is easy to reach for the gear lever with the wrong hand and also a bit disconcerting when you glance at the rearview mirror and see the top corner of the door. Once I arrived in Idstein, I drove around and around looking for the right road. The problem with having a written set of instructions is that it does not allow for anything going off course. All you can do is to try and retrace your steps until you get back to one of your listed way - points. When I finally found the right place, it was within a residential area, so right until the last minute, I was still convinced I was going the wrong way as I was expecting an industrial area with other commercial buildings. I walked into the office and realised immedi - ately that something was very wrong. To date, I still remember it as one of the most difficult mo- ments I have had to deal with. There were two men and a woman who were at the back of the room, and all of them were quite visibly upset. I had never met any of these people before, so I carried on, introduced myself, and explained who I was intending to meet. Quite a few seconds passed before one of the gentlemen said, "You don't know, do you?" I was still wondering how I should respond when he explained to me that the engineer I was travelling to meet had been killed the day before in a car accident on the motorway. In that tragic situation, there was so little I could do or say to comfort the people involved. The three people at the office had just lost a col- league and friend. I apologised profusely for my intrusion, left the office, and sat for a while in my hire car. I had never met any of these people before, but I still experienced a huge feeling of loss and sadness. After some time, I thought about what to do next. I guessed that the customer still knew nothing about the situation, so I decided to trav - el to the factory to explain what had happened and to help in any way that I could. I had a mobile phone, but the capability at that time was limited to voice calls and texting. I called the Viking office in the U.K. and took down an address and some rough directions for reaching the customer site. The hour it took me to travel there was long enough for me to decide that I should make all efforts to proceed with the ma - chine installation if only to try to keep pressure off the grieving people at the Idstein office. The customer was very understanding and helpful and did not put pressure on me. He showed me through to the machine and the as- sociated packages and left me to it. The machine was supplied by Microcraft in Japan, and I have to give them some serious credit for an excel- lent machine manual (Figure 1). There was a stage-by-stage installation guide along with pic- tures. It gave good details of what parts to con- nect where, how to connect the computer, how to load the software, and most importantly how to fit, level, and calibrate the print head. I got lost in the task in hand. I wasn't aware of the time passing, but progress was being made, and I remember feeling a solid sense of achievement when I could see the first bright white images appear on the green calibration panel. I looked at my watch and realised it was almost 10:30 p.m. in the evening. I thought I should probably stop for the evening and try to find my hotel and get some sleep. I had the name of a hotel, and I knew it was located in the nearby town, but that was the limit of the information I had been given before travelling. I found my way into the sleepy, small town, and managed to track down the hotel, but I was faced with some problems again. There was nobody to be seen. The hotel was locked, and my slightly suspect German-language skills were enough to work out from the written infor - mation on the board outside that it was an unmanned re- ception and I needed to type in the entry code on the key- pad to get inside. However, there was no phone number visible on any of the signs outside, and it was starting to snow a lit - tle. I didn't have the entry number, and there was abso- Figure 1: CraftPix machine.

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