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20 Feb '14
20 Feb '14
Article written by Mathieu Desmarais, Applications Specialist, Creaform Metrology Services
Related categories 3D Hardware , 3D Scanning Projects , 3D Technologies , Oil & Gas , Power Generation , Travel
Recently I was given the opportunity to work for a few of our customers in Europe for a few months, based from our Grenoble office in France. I jumped on the opportunity, feeling that this new assignment would be filled with amazing experiences. From then on, everything went so fast: the first thing I knew, I was on the plane, ready for the new challenges that would arise.
Yet at that point I had not yet envisioned how special this trip would be. As an Application Specialist working at the Creaform HQ, I mostly travel to the USA and Canada, thus I am used to hopping on planes and I work primarily in English. But in Europe, I was about to visit 5 different countries in 8 weeks, each with their own language, which certainly would be a challenge. However, the major surprise in this multicultural environment was definitely finding out that English was merely a way of expressing the words of a much deeper common “language”: that of the Creaform technologies and metrology principles.
As part of every project I would cover in Europe, I would find out how much our customers knew about our technologies and their benefits. TRUaccuracy was a must in the projects I completed in Slovakia, South Africa and Italy, since they were done on shop floors near working machines. TRUportability was also a definitive advantage, since the parts to measure were huge. That was a good thing for me as well, since it was way easier to bring myself as well as the equipment to South Africa than to bring the turbine casing to Europe! Customers knew about that, and because they were so knowledgeable, we were easily able to communicate in that common language, even if some people were struggling in English.
My first project as an expat was in eastern Slovakia, for a major power generation company. I had to gather all the data required to recreate two sets of gas turbine blades, including the driving shaft. The challenges there were quite the same ones we face in North America: accuracy, speed, space constraints… When I arrived there, I found out that I had to do my job in a single day, instead of the expected two. Well, thanks to fast and accurate scanning of the MetraSCAN 210, I got it covered in about 16 hours.
While in Europe, I found that the customers’ reactions to our technologies were very similar to the ones we get in North America. Other than being amazed by the live, fast rendering of 3D scans, I specifically remember the reaction of a customer in Italy. When he asked me where the parts needed to be placed for scanning, I simply told him that he could leave them there on the shop floor. He was surprised and impressed that the Handyscan 3D was so versatile. A definite time saver!
Europe was also an amazing place to learn about different ways of living, since there are so many countries and distinct cultures. It even made me reconsider some of my own ways, as I shared my working habits with others. That is the essence of travelling: understanding that some very trivial parts of your daily routine are peculiar and wonderful to others, and vice-versa! Still, one thing doesn’t change: anywhere we go in the world, we find that people are curious and captivated by our technologies. At Creaform, travelling and meeting with customers constantly remind us that the products we use every day are indeed really impressive and powerful.