Passing on know-how, raising peer skill level, these are the issues that Eugène Allanic, an experienced welder, takes to heart before taking retirement in summer 2016.
After training as a fitter-toolmaker, Eugène Allanic completed his blacksmith “compagnonnage” (apprenticeship mentoring) at the sides of Henri Gallon, France’s best craftsman. He has spent twenty years on board submarines for their through-life support in addition to thirteen years within DCNS’s nuclear propulsion department on the Toulon site.
In view of his extensive experience, Eugène Allanic has become an essential point of reference for sensitive operations requiring an in-depth knowledge of metallurgy and a pragmatic approach to respond to the quality and safety requirements imposed in the field of welding for on-board nuclear reactors.
You are recognised as a specialist in your field. For you, what are the qualities necessary for carrying out the profession of welder at DCNS?
“Above all, each welder must be ambidextrous. He must completely master the so-called “mirror welding” technique and, last but not least, must be capable of working with specific equipment (air hose for example) in a restricted and confined environment, such as that found on a submarine. It is an additional constraint that we must be able to handle. This profession requires rigour and commitment at all times.”
Why have you developed a training course to transmit your knowledge?
“My team manager asked me to put in place a training programme for new recruits. This programme aims to raise the skill level of the teams. I felt the need to transmit my knowledge in mechanics and metallurgy and support skill improvement in specialisations such as metalworking, welding and piping. Developing a welder/metalworker two men team is essential for learning our profession as it is a key factor for success.”
“My mission is to bring the apprentices to produce high-quality work for our clients whilst complying with the imposed deadlines. It is the combination of these two factors that represents one of the keys to the success and efficiency of our Group.”
What can be learned from the course?
“Ahead of the phase, I carry out “compagnonnage” (apprenticeship mentoring), to transmit my know-how to prepare the students as well as possible for obtaining the qualifications issued by the training centre department in Toulon. During this training, we first focus on design quality and thereafter the time factor comes into consideration. My mission is to bring the apprentices to produce high-quality work for our clients, to master these specific techniques whilst at the same time complying with the imposed deadlines. It is the combination of these two factors that represents one of the keys to the success and efficiency of our Group.
All tasks executed during the training course respond to actual needs. This practical course is also completed with theoretical aspects, which are necessary for a better understanding of the welding techniques and realised at the DCNS training centre, on the Toulon site. In a first instance, they follow intensive metallurgy lessons then take the tests for T3 and T4 licences.
In particular, they learn how to work in the specific environment of submarines and nuclear reactors. Mock-ups representative of the submarines, to place the apprentices in a real situation, are made available to facilitate their initiation.
The colleagues currently receiving training represent the generation of tomorrow, which will in particular work on nuclear attack submarines or the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. DCNS must durably maintain its know-how at the service of France’s interests and the interest of its foreign clients. It is this mastery of the most sophisticated naval techniques by successive generations of men and women who form the foundation of the success of our Group across the world.”
“DCNS must durably maintain its know-how at the service of France’s interests and the interest of its foreign clients.”