Lady Engineers from Hindalco Mouda Plant stepped up in the pandemic to operate the mill and chose to face the challenge.
The pandemic has bought many surprises, and although businesses witnessed unpleasant surprises in the phase, the industry also witnessed many pleasant surprises. Hindalco experienced one such proud moment in their factory wherein, the inexperienced lady engineers stepped up to fill the positions of mill operators.
During the lockdown, Akansha Raj’s Manager in Hindalco Mouda, which is one of the largest aluminium foil plants in India, called her: “Will you learn to operate the mill?” Women had never operated a cold rolling mill in Hindalco. It is a lot of hard work demanding manual intervention, stamina and precision.
Being the largest producer of pharma foil, Mouda had to ensure operations re-started quickly to meet customer demand for Covid packaging medicine. The biggest obstacle was the absence of mill operators who didn’t turn up due to Covid. Neither Akansha from Reliability or Mamata from Automation had any experience as mill operators, yet both relished the challenge.
They helped Hindalco do the unthinkable – produce medicinal foil without expert operators. For management, giving Akansha and Mamata this responsibility was a leap of faith. And what a difference it is making.
Today the Operations team is designing gender-neutral PPEs as they see more women operating the mill. The girls’ close interactions with male workers are changing how men on the shop floor communicate. Their turn at the shop floor happened six months back but their achievements are now part of Hindalco lore.
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