Behind the Gaskets | Expert interview: Experienced design manager is a valuable source of tacit knowledge

Celebrating 30 years at TT Gaskets, design manager Jari Suoniemi’s skills and expertise have grown together with the company. TT Gaskets’ numerous innovations have introduced new tasks and work methods.

Gasket design is at the core of Jari Suoniemi’s competence. His experience is so vast and varied that he spends a lot of his time passing on important information and skills to his peers and colleagues.

– I’ve always had the privilege of learning new skills in my work. For example, water and laser cutting are gasket manufacturing techniques that were originally introduced to me as new work methods, Jari says.

In addition to his design work, Jari is also in charge of managing the TT Gaskets production facility.

– I know the building very well, and I’m sort of looking after it. Our building automation and control system helps me monitor changes in heating and expenses. However, my main passion is still designing and creating, so these other duties are kind of a distraction, Jari says with a laugh.

”Gasket design needs to start as early as possible”

Jari started at TT Gaskets in 1992. His introduction to the company came in 1988 with an eccentric press automation project he designed as a thesis work for his engineering studies. The project proved to be significant as the machine is still in operation today. Jari has seen and experienced the progress in gasket design and manufacturing during his long career.

– Our work used to be more customer-driven as we were focused only on production. In my opinion, the industry is now headed towards a good direction. We begin collaborating with our customers in the early stages of their projects which enables us to design gaskets that match their needs, Jari says.

Jari feels there is still room for improvement in the business.

– Gaskets are small and often forgotten until the final stages of a project. This means that we often have only a couple of months to create a plan and design the final products. The industry is very hectic these days, Jari illustrates.

Working in a hurry is not ideal, but Jari is still motivated by the diversity in TT Gaskets’ projects. Interesting and varied tasks ensure that his work does not become monotonous. Jari likes the fact that he now shares his responsibilities with a colleague and doesn’t have to work alone anymore. Other departments and management also chip in.

Spare time with the family

An active working life keeps Jari refreshed also in his spare time. He has four children and seven grandchildren, the youngest of whom was born in February. The family spends a lot of time together.

– We have big get-togethers a couple of times per year. Food is an excellent incentive for luring everybody in, Jari says with a laugh.

Jari’s active everyday life also includes jogging and skiing. His mornings must include a cup of coffee and 100 grams of blueberries with no sugar.