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Verfahrenstechnologe Metall - Metal Process Engineer

Country: Germany
Type of training: Work-linked training
High School Leaving Certificate: Baccalauréat general Baccalauréat technologique
Training duration: Anytime

New name: The profession of training engineer in the iron and steel metallurgy industry is now modernised and has a new name in addition to the substantive changes. As of 1 August 2018, the official title of the training profession is "Process Technology in the Iron and Steel Metallurgy Industry or the Metal Metallurgy Stream" - or briefly: Metal Process Technology.

What does a metal process technician do?

Metal creation : In blast furnace and steel plants, you produce cast iron, steel and ferro-alloys and, for example, you make tubes. The process technicians work with cast iron or steel, either glowing or liquid, so it gets very hot at work and protective clothing must be worn.

What is an alloy? An important term that you will always come across as a future process technician is alloy. Alloys are mixed metals that result from the fusion of different metals. An example is brass, which is made of a mixture of copper and zinc. For iron alloys and accompanying elements, the technical term ferro-alloy is used.

Production of cast iron from ore: In the field of iron and steel metallurgy, process technologists produce, among other things, iron from iron ore, which is needed for steel production. To do this, they control and monitor the work processes in blast furnace companies, which are mostly automated. They combine mixtures of various kinds of ores, coke, scrap metal and aggregates and add additives such as quartz sand and lime, which fill them in the blast furnaces.

Steelmaking from cast iron: Steelmaking is comparable to ironmaking and also takes place in the blast furnace. The process technician calculates the amount of alloying metals required for the production. During the furnace process, he regularly checks the temperature and composition of the melt.

Carrying out quality control: The process technician is responsible not only for the production of various metals and useful objects, but also for quality control - before, during and after the production process. For example, before each production run, he checks the raw materials and intermediate products by comparing the preparation data with the material master records. In addition, he regularly checks the wearing parts of the machines.

Carrying out maintenance and repair work If the quality control reveals defects in the machines on wearing parts or other parts, the process engineer is responsible for maintenance and repair. For example, she lubricates moving parts and replaces hoses or pipes.

What are semi-finished products? 

In the past, the profession of process engineer was still called process mechanic for the metal and semi-manufacturing industry - but what are semi-finished products? Semi-finished products refer to prefabricated forms of raw material in the simplest form. These materials usually consist of a single raw material that has been brought to the basic geometric form. Semi-finished products are, for example, simple profiles, bars, tubes and metal plates.

Your tasks at a glance :

  • Metal creation
  • Production of cast iron from ore
  • Steelmaking from cast iron
  • Quality control
  • Carrying out maintenance and repair work

Why become a metal process technician?

As a process technician, you already earn a good salary during your training and you also receive a very good salary in your career.

How does the metal process technician training work?

The training as a metal process technician is dual and lasts three and a half years. During the practical training, you work in the training company and attend the vocational school for the theoretical courses. This takes place on fixed days, during the week or in blocks.

The training is divided into two main parts, both practical and theoretical: The first and second years give you the basics, such as handling hand tools and controlling component manufacturing machines. The third and fourth semesters are more about basic knowledge and specialisation. The focus is on how you manufacture specific materials and how you carry out general quality control.

At the end of the three and a half years of training, the final examination is held.

Qu’est-ce qu’un technicien des procédés de métal apprend-t-il à l’école professionnelle ?

At vocational school you will learn the theoretical basics and practices that are important for the profession of process technician. This includes, for example, knowledge of various technical processes such as manufacturing and testing technology or electrical engineering. In order to get to know the chemical aspects of working as a process technician, you will learn about various chemical processes at the vocational school.

1st year of training:

Learning field 1 : Manufacturing of components with tools: Although the process technician does most of the work with mechanical assistance, it is still necessary to work by hand for some practices. For this reason, you will learn to use tools by hand and to manufacture components as early as your vocational school.

Learning field 2 : Manufacturing components with machines: Most building components are nowadays manufactured by machine. There is a lot to note: For example, the amount of each substance you use to equip the blast furnace or the necessary temperature you adjust. That is why you will learn step by step at the vocational school how the process works, so that you do not make any mistakes during mechanical manufacturing.

2nd year of training :

Learning field 3 : Installation of technical systems: In process technology, many processes are automated. You are therefore responsible for installing and commissioning the control systems required for this purpose. It is necessary to check them regularly, which is why it is particularly important to have sound know-how of the technical aspects of industrial metal production.

Learning field 4 : Metallurgy refers to all processes for the extraction and processing of metals and other metallurgically useful elements. Many metals are only produced by certain chemical processes, such as alloying. At the vocational school you will learn all the techniques and processes, from chemical separation to transformation processes.

3rd year of training :

Learning field 5 : Creation of materials: Based on the metallurgical processes, you will learn at the vocational school the concrete processes of manufacturing different materials. One of the most important materials is steel, which is known as a low-carbon iron alloy for its properties such as hardness, rust resistance and dimensional stability. In addition, you will learn how to modify the properties of materials.

What does a process technician learn about metal in practice?

The practical training in the company is divided into two main parts and prepares the trainees optimally for the examination. As a rule, the first part runs from the first to the 18th month of training and ends with the intermediate examination. After the 42nd month of training (i.e. three and a half years), the apprentices then take their final examination.

La première partie de la formation pratique met l’accent sur le travail artisanal. C’est pourquoi les azubis apprennent aussi bien à manier différents matériaux d’œuvre et adjuvants qu’à utiliser différents moyens de travail et d’exploitation. Sur cette base, ils fabriquent des composants et des groupes initiaux, comme des tubes métalliques. Ils apprendront également à connaître la maintenance des systèmes de production et des installations en exploitation.

The second part of the practical unit serves mainly to deepen the knowledge gained in the first part. In addition, your instructor will give you both work organisation skills in the field of logistics and show you specific practical operations. In this way, the trainees are already allowed to control production processes and to check materials independently. In addition, they put their theoretical knowledge of metallurgical processes into practice.

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