9th Nov 2023
Life in Billy-Berclau

My Gigafactory, my job: Laurie is a quality technician

Laurie Delcroix joined the Gigafactory ACC in Billy-Berclau on 1 March 2023. Her day-to-day job is quality control.

Laurie Delcroix joined the Gigafactory ACC in Billy-Berclau on 1 March 2023. Her day-to-day work involves quality control, which is essential in one of the most demanding industrial processes in the world.

More comfortable in her workshop than sitting in a small room talking about herself? No doubt. Laurie Delcroix is discreet. But her eyes light up as soon as you mention her latest career move, which led her to join the teams at the Gigafactory ACC in Billy-Berclau.

She joined the Gigafactory as a quality technician in the Chemicals department, and more specifically in Mixing. Mixing is where raw materials are mixed to create an "ink", which takes the form of a black paste, to be fixed onto copper or aluminium strips. 

Laurie Delcroix, quality technician at Mixing, is the next logical step in a career that began at the Lycée Gustave-Eiffel in Armentières. With a chemistry A-levels and then a BTS in her pocket, Laurie was immediately taken on, at the age of 21, at a company in the Lille area that manufactures rolls of polypropylene fibre. "I spent 9 years in the laboratory, plus 4 years in quality control".

Laurie Delcroix a rejoint les rangs d'ACC le 1er mars 2023.

Then came the desire for change, fuelled by the emergence of the Automotive Cells Company project: "I read articles in the newspapers announcing the arrival of a battery manufacturing company. For me, it's an innovative project, the first Gigafactory, an ambitious project, something new. It's a great opportunity to learn new skills.

Laurie looks ahead to the future and immerses herself in the ACC project: "I did my homework, I read everything, I tried to understand everything. I knew nothing about batteries. I regularly looked at the job ads...". Two of them caught her eye. She applied successfully and landed a job as a quality technician, where she also found the 'laboratory' atmosphere she loved so much. "You leave your comfort zone a bit. You have to start all over again, relearn everything. And leaving your colleagues behind is a bit scary." 

Laurie Delcroix took the plunge, and has no regrets today: "I wanted this, it's very motivating. The transition required quite a bit of commitment, including a month and a half spent at the ACC pilot plant in Nersac, near Angoulême. With her small family behind her, Laurie took her new role in her stride. "I settled in quite easily thanks to a great team. We help each other out, we're all here for the same thing. We all want to see this business grow. It's not easy at first, everything's new. But we help each other and there's a lot of goodwill." 

Laurie, who lives just a few kilometres from the Gigafactory, remains amazed: "When we see the building being constructed, we say Wow! We can't wait to see the future and get things off the ground..."

Laurie Delcroix a rejoint la Gigafactory ACC de Billy-Berclau le 1er mars 2023. Son quotidien, c'est le contrôle qualité.

On a day-to-day basis, Laurie Delcroix has a mission that is crucial to the life of the Gigafactory: "We make sure that the inks sent to the coating conform to the specifications". The inks produced are analysed and must comply with a number of technical data criteria. Ink samples are taken, and the plant operators carry out the initial tests. Laurie then steps in immediately afterwards, and carries out numerous checks, including on the correct composition of the product that is to be delivered to the next stage, coating. 

Naturally, this is a job that requires rigour, precision and organisation. Although assigned to Mixing, Laurie is also capable of coating and calendering, the next two stages. "It's good to do this to understand why we make ink. You have to be versatile and take an interest in the rest of the production process."  Laurie is well aware that she occupies a key position in the production process, given that the quality requirements are among the highest in the world: "We're already fussy, we don't let anything slip through the cracks. We're going to be even more so in production. And that's just around the corner." 

"We all want to be in series production," confides Laurie, who remembers one of the team's finest moments: the production of the very first ink, on 20 July 2023. "There was a lot of excitement about making this first ink. Everyone applauded. Being there at the start is a powerful thing." That's the pioneering spirit!