Behind the gaskets | Expert interview: A persistent and motivated problem solver

Teemu Piipponen, Production Manager at TT Gaskets, is at his best when problem solving and in unexpected situations that require a quick response. He especially enjoys motivating the team and developing their ways of working.

Teemu is very determined, and values being productive, so he tackles all kind of challenges energetically.

– Customers’ problems are almost always solvable in one way or another. When it comes to thought work, I’m at my best in the morning. That’s when I drink a big cup of coffee and focus on solving various challenges.

Issues that might need solving can be related to, for example, the operation of machines, the availability of components, the quality of products or employee matters. Teemu is responsible for ensuring that the resources needed for customer work are just right – both for employees and production.

A long career has taught a lot

Teemu began his career at TT Gaskets as a summer help in the year 2005. Back then, he worked in the post-processing of laser cutting. His actual career with gaskets began in 2009 and now the mechanical and production engineer has 12 full years of work behind him. Ambitious Teemu wanted responsibility – and he got it!

– I started as a design engineer, and gradually moved on to more demanding projects. Finally, I was honored to be named Production Manager in 2015. The stars have aligned many times and the result has been, so to speak, a win-win for both me and the company, Teemu says.

Teemu’s varied duties have taught him a lot about human resource management, the company’s financial management as well as the gasket industry in general.

– I’ve had to digest, among other things, the finer details of labor legislation, the management of machine investments and what the LEAN philosophy means in manufacturing.

Developing and working together are close to his heart

Based on feedback surveys, TT Gaskets has done all the right things to build a comfortable and safe working environment. Both productivity and competitiveness have been improved by actively reforming various processes. For example, the recent expansion has made the factory flow more efficient and productive. Applying LEAN methods has really worked – the results started to show right away.

– I like the family business model of TT Gaskets. The owners are present and therefore decisions can be made very quickly when needed. The employees are listened to, and the company invests heavily in new technology and digitalization every year.

Continuous renewal is important as the field will certainly change with the development of technology. There will always be a need for gaskets, but traditional flat gaskets may be replaced by various extrudable gasket masses. The demand for a wide range of service products, comprehensive maintenance and Kanban systems is also increasing their demand.

In addition to the company, self-development is important to Teemu. He also gets a lot of motivation from helping his colleagues to develop their skills. Cooperation makes the work especially meaningful.

– It’s truly motivating to have this 60-piece orchestra playing the same tune at the same time. We have a youthful, relaxed, and supportive work community with a great attitude. We are all focused on one goal – satisfied customers.

A variety of hobbies balances demanding work

Teemu doesn’t spent much time at home. He’s an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and enjoys a wide range of sports.

– I currently play padel and ice hockey all year round and I also go jogging and to the gym regularly. In the summer I play golf and go water jet skiing, and in the winter, I go snowboarding and cross-country skiing. I’m also a friend of good food and wine and I love to travel around the world.

Teemu enjoys busy days both in his free time and at work. While he works every day with different industries, he has one particular passion.

– I’ve always been fascinated by engines and machines. They’re always wonderful to work with. The bigger and more complex the machine, the more interesting!