Hearing ”Thank you”
gives the feeling of success
”I began at Outokumpu company as a designer back in 1985, continued at Upcast Oy as Chief Designer and last year I was appointed to the position of Engineering Manager. The actual equipment design no longer forms the major part of my daily work, but I mainly concentrate on coordinating all the design tasks. We have a small and aligned working team and our co-operation is very seamless.
When starting a new project, I prepare the design schedule including the distribution of work between the designers. As the project progresses, I make certain that we are on schedule and when the design drawings are done, I will go through them with the designer to assure that they are consistent with what has been sold to the customer. I personally consider it to be very important that our casting lines will meet all the agreed upon values when it comes to the quality and the capacity of the cast product.
We also prepare 2D drawings and 3D modelling for the various needs of sales, service and spare parts as well as the process development. We sometimes receive requests for updating some very old casting lines and equipment, for which we will dig through our archives looking for design drawings from centuries ago. In this way we can hopefully deliver the right components to the customers.
During the design/checking phase we do everything we can to minimize any possible mistakes, which could cause problems to our customers when installing and commissioning the line. We also train our customers here in Finland, and mostly they all seem to be very grateful and happy that they have taken the time to travel to learn the important details. When they say thank you, we know that we have succeeded in our part.
I spend most of my free time in the nature. I inherited my Father’s home place with a little bit forest – and some wood work. During the summer we travel with the family camper (RV) and wander in the national parks. In the winter, it is perfect time to ski in Lapland. I plan to retire within two and a half years – and then just do some forest work, play badminton and travel a little bit.” •
Pertti PihlajamäkiEngineering Manager
No need to be too
self-confident in this job!
I am a very practical person and like to work with my hands. Before Upcast Oy, I worked at its predecessor, Outokumpu, as a commissioning engineer, but left to work elsewhere for a while and returned to the familiar Upcast team in 2007 as the Customer Service Manager. This job requires a lot of technical know-how and experience, which I have gained over the years. It’s only four years since my last commissioning – I was available to go and had the necessary skills while the commissioning engineers were working on other sites.
I’m helping our customers to solve and find solutions for their technical issues, whether they’re deficiencies or challenges. The work is mainly problem-solving and thus requires patience and flexibility. Many times you bend in your personal life, and that can mean even postponing your vacation if the customer has some acute situation that just has to be resolved.
Now, after almost 25 years of experience in the business, I can say I know the routine and have some know-how for the job. That said, you have to maintain a humble attitude, because all the time you’re facing new issues, questions and problems which you haven’t solved earlier. Working with metal melt – using expensive equipment in an environment involving risks to the safety of people – you must never be too self-confident and take overly quick actions, but rather always consider whether you yourself can overcome the problem or if it’s better to get some advice.
Nowadays, I don’t give in to too much pressure at work: I know we can take care of all the issues and difficult situations sooner or later. But it always feels good to be able to help customers by solving their problems. It’s also great to see how Upcast Oy has been successful all these years. In addition to providing work for our own employees, we give it to many of our suppliers and enable the operations of our customers at the same time. It shows we’re doing things right! •
Ismo RossiManager, Customer Service
Already an engineer
at the sandpit
“ I was interested in building and constructing all kinds of things at kindergarten, and the teacher said that I would definitely become an engineer. How right she was: I got my Master’s degree in engineering. I have never thought that much about my career path. I have always chosen the direction via my interests and where life has taken me.
At UPCAST, my responsibilities are like those of a project manager. I am in charge of projects related operations in general and executing individual projects from the very beginning until the end. I am in contact with customers, all possible suppliers and other interested stakeholders. My job is right in the middle; it’s a kind of hub role. The phone and email are the most important tools, and taking part in various types of meetings is a vital part of my work.
You never know what kind of working day is ahead when you get up in the morning. There are always new questions and challenges to which we are looking for answers and solutions together. My job requires general knowledge about many different things and especially the ability to distinguish critical issues from the less important ones in the constant flow of phone calls and emails. The most rewarding thing in my work is solving everyday challenges and of course when a project gets completed on time and within budget.
Even though every now and then the work does not go exactly to plan, you should never get overstressed or give up. There are always surprises and unexpected problems. However, we never leave the customer alone – we always aim to finding a working solution.
When your work is sitting in the office all day, there has to be something to balance that in your free time: I like to exercise at the gym and explore Finnish nature by fat bike. Also, music, cultural experiences and good food are close to my heart. I love cooking and I play guitar every now and then, mostly just for myself but sometimes for the joy of others as well.“ •
Sami OllilaProject Manager
I joined the company in 1997. During my career I have been very lucky as I have had the chance to work in the wire and cable industry for example as a Process Engineer, Project Engineer, Maintenance Superintendent, Project Manager, Production Manager and Plant Manager. This makes me aware of the customers’ needs from a customer’s own point of view.
Yet awareness is just part of the equation. We are able to build solid relationships that translate into a valued company image. That is perhaps the most important return for us in Upcast Oy.
I believe that the key for success is the level of passion that we put on what we do. I am passionate about my work and indeed about everything I take part of – even watching a movie, eating hamburgers, listening to music or ramming an inductor.
As we move forward we also build self-confidence as any experience, good or bad, gives us a lesson and becomes a part of our personal base of knowledge.
There is a saying ”You must like what you do”. I am one of those lucky persons that do what they like. It is simply a coincidence that I like so much what I do!
Juan Carlos BodingtonTechnical Advisor, Barcelona, Spain
I had never been to Pori before coming here for the job interview in 2001. A few days later I was living in the city. The company name was different back then, but the familiar team is still around.
You often hear that people living in Pori are very introverted, but people saying that most likely have never visited Pohjanmaa, where I come from. We have an excellent working atmosphere at UPCAST, and that is one reason I have enjoyed my work and stayed for this long. The employees are given enough freedom and independence, which also, of course, brings responsibility.
I started off in electrical work as a project engineer, since my background and training was as an electrical engineer. I was responsible for on-site commissioning and electrical design. For about a year I worked in our customer support service team and since 2008 I have been in the sales department. However, being a small company and a compact team, we all carry out various tasks, myself included.
When I am talking with the customers, it is a huge benefit that I’m familiar with the technical aspects of our equipment. At the moment I am looking forward to getting the sales really growing for one of our recent developments – a line utilising 100% recycled material. The best reward for my work is when a project is finalized and the customer has a high quality, properly functional line. And when we get some positive feedback, it feels even better.
I get along with all kinds of people, and that’s a big plus when travelling around the world. And I have travelled a lot, which means that I haven’t been able to keep up with any regular hobbies. However, I do like to swim and jog whenever possible. I also have two sons, with whom I spend a lot of time when I am off duty.