[Job portrait] “We are one of the first links in the production chain”

13 November 2020 Defense Naval Surface ships Human ressources Story

“We are one of the first links in the production chain”
When he first came to Naval Group’s Lorient site, Ewen Seguin was initiated into the trade of the forming-planing worker on the FREMM Lorraine. The young work-study intern eagerly recalls how he discovered the ins and outs of the trade through on-the-job training.

“The forming-planing workers are among the first teams to intervene in the shipbuilding process. Once the design office has sent the technical files for the hull to the planning technicians, the flat sheets from which the hull will be made are cut on plasma cutting machines and sent to us at the workshop.
Forming is one of the tasks carried out by the team I joined as an apprentice in September 2019. It involves using various techniques – rolling, bending, hot hammering, etc. – to give the flat sheet the shape and size defined by the design teams.
The sheet is then fitted by a hull sheet metal worker. During this stage, it may become deformed, in which case the planers use different processes – hot or cold – to restore it to the dimensions specified in the production plans. The sheets can then carry on being assembled, or are sent on to the prefabrication hall.
The mentor who is teaching me the forming and planing techniques and processes has been a trainer at Naval Group for nine years, and has worked on the entire FREMM series. My experience on the Lorraine has been very formative, because the ship has so many complex shapes! The knowledge I have acquired is very useful for me to pursue my apprenticeship on the other ships currently being built at the site.