I work as a Production Development Engineer at our Kaavi factory. My work includes the design of jigs and other aids needed in production, as well as customer orders. A lot of product design is done in cooperation with the customer. Cooperation with the customer is important already in early stages of the product design, when we can better influence e.g. on the manufacturability of the product. My job description also includes making product structures and coordinating welding together with a colleague.
Even though I work on the design department, people working in the production are really familiar to me. Our work community is very nice and tight-knit. There are two of us production development engineers here at our factory and we collaborate a lot. For the design of jigs, we receive orders from production foremen and management.
I started at Stera, at the time called Levyosa, more than 30 years ago. I had graduated from Vocational Institute in field of machine fitter and machinist and got a job here in 1991 through a course organized by Levyosa. The course was somewhat comparable to modern-day recruitment training. In the beginning, I worked as a manual welder, and in addition to this work, I also gradually started working with welding robots as a user and operator. At some point I also got more responsibility as team leader. During my working career, I have increased my professional skills with various degrees. In the 2000s I completed a Specialized Vocational qualification for Production supervisor. There I got a little spark to use the 3D modeling program and later I was able to use what I had learnt in practical jig design work. When our customers began to have demands for the development and monitoring of welding quality assurance, I completed the International Welding Specialist (IWS) qualification. In my spare time, I have also completed other professional qualifications for the transport company I founded. As a side job, I move material between Stera's own production halls.
The best things in my job are definitely the versatility of the tasks and the independence. I like to work and figure things out alone - and this job enables that.
In my opinion, this job requires strong welding experience. It is a good starting point to further develop yourself as a welding specialist. After completing the IWS training, I have learned to better understand how the material acts when welding. For young people interested in this field, I would like to say that you should actively absorb information and gain experience by doing practical work. You can learn how to use the programs, but you can only get experience by doing!