– When you see the products, you think ‘I did that!’
Easee operates as a family of both employees and partners. Together, we take the journey from ideas to finished products that reimagine our relationships with energy and transportation.
An integral element of this process is the partnership with our manufacturers, Norautron.
From their factory in Horten, Norway, the Norautron team produce Easee chargers and Equalizers. We took a trip down to Horten to meet the people who spend their days changing the world – one charger at a time.
Horten – a “normal town” with unique skills
Driving into Horten, you are greeted by a traditional Norwegian town with a compact and characterful centre that spreads out into residential areas and down to the banks of the Oslofjord. You could be forgiven for thinking that Horten is a “normal” town, but the mix of modern and historic industrial units hint towards Horten’s true character. Here, they are a key manufacturing centre for electrical products, including as the home of Easee production in Norway.
Within the walls of the Norautron factory, you can find a diverse workforce who utilise their specialised technical skills to produce finished chargers ready to ship to their new owners. Developing these unique skills in the local area is a key part of Norautron’s role as a cornerstone of the community. Together with local high schools, Norautron runs apprenticeship programmes to develop talent in specific fields.
Ellen Aaas Nilsen, Marketing and Sustainability Manager at Norautron, pointed to the pride the people of Horten feel in their role producing Easee products. Since Easee began manufacturing in Horten many new employees joining the company to work on the Easee production lines. Their passion for their work and the products could be seen across the production floor.
Stepping onto the (dance) floor
The production floor for Easee products starts where the components enter and are sorted. These components are mounted onto circuit boards and assembled into Easee products using state-of-the-art machines and highly skilled humans.
What is striking on the production line is this relationship between people and machines. The machines on the line are collaborative robots, or ‘colbots’, meaning they can safely work alongside people. Together they work to assemble and inspect highly technical components with both the latest technology and the human eye. The result is a product that rolls off the line having been through the hands and conveyor belts of the ultimate experts.
The human experts spend their day on the floor rotating through workstations which are specialised to each element of the production process. This work varies from more manual assemblies, to inspections, fixes, and packing. It is the variety that the employees point to as part of what they love most about the job. That, and the social element of working closely and collaboratively with their colleagues.
The social energy is clear to see when you step on the floor, and no more so than at 12 o’clock when the exercise break starts. It all begins with Blanka Jura, Production Operator, flicking on the CD player in the back of the workshop. That’s the cue for everyone to get up from their stations and switch their work shoes for dance shoes. Together, they move along to the music, sharing laughs, and a well-deserved break.
Playing a role in changing the world
Speaking with Blanka after the musical interlude, it was clear that she and her colleagues take real pride from their work:
– I feel like I’m working towards something good. All of us here are thinking that we are playing a role in changing the world.
– When you see the film on YouTube, when you see your products in the shop, when you see your neighbour using your products on their wall – you just say, ‘I do that, and my friends do that’. That is very important for us.
Roselyn Nilsen, Production Operator, also spoke of her experiences of being part of the Easee production process:
– It makes me proud. Even on TV, the first time we saw it, I was like ‘oh my god, we did that! I know how to do that’.
– We know how to assemble, and we feel proud. We feel like we are in the Easee family.
These women are not only part of the Easee family, but also part of a new and diverse generation of people who are making waves in the electronics industry. With each component they mount and each charger they make, they are effecting change in their communities, in the wider industry and in the power grid of the future. It was a pleasure to spend the day with them as they continue to change the world – one charger at a time.