Seppo, Coordinator, Quotations, has witnessed business development for 35 years
“I came to Raute in 1984 almost straight after graduation. My Raute career started as Electrical Design Engineer at Lahti. I didn’t have much experience in design engineering that time but by doing and with the support of more experienced design engineers we got things started. My tasks included line electricity documentation and programming control logics for lines and line commissioning. At that time, Raute machines were controlled with RIC 85 logic which was Raute’s (Lahden Vaaka) own product."
Raute operated in Lahti until 1988. At that time my work tasks included design engineering, programming, and line commissioning. Five to six years went fast in that field of tasks. I would dare to say that I have visited and worked in every plywood mill in Finland, some of them aren’t, however, running anymore.
When my family started to grow I expressed my wish to give up traveling abroad on business. The year was 1990 and there became an open position in Raute’s Quotations team. The task was quite new and there weren’t actual tools for line cost accounting. That was something we had to do ourselves.”
Working as part of the bigger picture
I cooperate a lot with automation engineering but also with procurement and production. Tasks vary based on what else is happening at the office. I participate in quotation preparations by pricing automation parts for the line. In addition, I purchase switchboards and cases for projects. In my opinion, these functions complement each other very well.
The more you know the big picture, the easier it is to understand your own work’s value in the process. Human relationships are an important part of success. Having contacts in both directions of the chain will allow you to see things much more widely, which will make it easier to manage your own work. This kind of project work requires team spirit.”
Automation develops fast
“Basic functions in lines, such as peeling or drying, have remained quite the same over the years, but automation has increased and developed very much. Nowadays lines have variable speed drives, field buses, distributed control systems, and safety systems. Increased automation brings for machines and lines more usability, adjustability, safety, and diagnostics to monitor line operations. At the same time, we will get much production-related information from the lines which can be collected to data collection and production control systems.
The need for machine and line development results from some new function that is needed and would be useful for the customer’s production. The idea may come from the customer or from our technology experts. Based on the idea we start to create and develop a new machine or functionality for the existing machine. Upgrading automation systems to old machines and lines is one way to boost their efficiency and safety, and to upgrade them to a technology level we need today.
In so-called old days, projects tied 1-2 employees from automation. Today, there are easily 4-5 automation players in a project. One is familiar with user interfaces, the second with safety logics, third with machine vision system, and the list goes on. Automation is more fractured, and we need diverse competence. It requires continuous training and learning new stuff to keep up with fast-developing automation. In addition, we need to learn customer’s values and technology.”