Unit 7-11 Vantage Park, Coborn Avenue, Sheffield, S9 1DA, United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1709 918 120
Matthew Hoffman - Tester
Matthew Hofman has been working in the Testing department at ICD Europe Ltd for just over a year. Originally from Johannesburg in South Africa, he now lives with his family in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As part of our Day in the Life series, we invited Matthew to tell us more about his role.
‘Every single piece of material we receive needs testing to make sure that it is what it’s supposed to be, so we’re essentially looking for anything wrong with it.’
‘We do this in a number of different ways. We have various testing equipment from the latest hand held XRF to more artisan, specific techniques. Each material has its own unique pattern that represents the chemical elements which in essence creates a fingerprint. Specific lines in the spectrum represent individual elements like Chromium or Nickel. Most of our testing comes from years of experience and being able to recognise possible issues others wouldn’t realise were there.’
‘If the material conforms and is what we’re expecting, it moves on to be processed. If it’s not, it’s quarantined and the supplier has the option of taking the material back. Any material out of specification could contaminate the whole batch.’
Although Matthew has only been working at ICD since April 2018, he’s been in the industry for many years.
‘It took me over three years to fully learn how to use my first machine and I’m still learning now. It’s impossible to know everything as the makeup of materials is always changing and new industrial processes are being introduced. It’s vast.’
‘Every batch is subject to the full range of tests available for that material so that we can be completely sure of what we’re dealing with. We have to be completely accurate in our assessment of the materials and also with the corresponding paperwork. There are so many different metals – it’s so vast, you have to be 100% on the ball all day.’
‘The job is challenging but there’s always something to learn. You’re always busy, and you’re always on your toes.’
Outside of work, Matthew is a real family man, with a passion for the beautiful game.
‘Back in South Africa I used to coach football in schools. I don’t play any more but I still enjoy watching and writing about it.
‘We moved to the UK in 2002 from Johannesburg to escape the growing crime rates there. We try to go back to visit family every few years but the UK definitely feels like home now.’