Behind the Gaskets | Expert interview: People are the best part of Customer Service Manager Sonja’s work

September 14, 2023

TT Gaskets’ Customer Service Manager Sonja Karne delights our customers by solving even their trickiest challenges.

Sonja Karne

There will soon be cause for celebration as Sonja celebrates her 20th work anniversary with TT Gaskets. Originally starting out in our water cutting department, Sonja has been a permanent fixture of our sales department since the turn of the decade.

Interested in engineering since her youth, Sonja has studied multiple degrees at different schools, the latest of which is a degree in mechanical automation from the Tampere University of Applied Sciences. She has also developed her expertise while working at different companies. The opportunity to advance her career at TT Gaskets has resulted from her own initiative. Sonja’s greatest source of motivation in work is learning new things.

“My goal has been to learn as much as possible in every job I have done. I’ve only been in my current role for a couple of years, but I feel that the future holds a lot for me,” Sonja says.

Sonja’s work consists of drafting offers, receiving orders, and supporting the sales department in addition to her own team. Variation ensures that the work remains challenging, but Sonja is known for her positive attitude in any situation.

“When you’re juggling several things at once, it’s important to remain calm. Even though I’m often receiving multiple inquiries from different directions simultaneously, the work gets done swiftly and systematically.”

Immediate atmosphere makes work meaningful

Customers rely on Sonja with many issues relating to orders, delivery times and our products’ technical properties. She has succeeded in gaining our customers’ trust and has built lengthy relationships by helping them through tricky situations.

“I am warmed when I’m able to brighten up our customers’ days. It doesn’t have to be something big, but the knowledge that I have made someone’s day better is rewarding. Over the years, many customers have become good acquaintances, and we’ll talk about a lot of non-work-related matters.”

In Sonja’s role, collaboration is close with both customers and her own colleagues across departmental boundaries. In her opinion, the best part of the job is quite simply the people.

“Our workplace, with fewer than a hundred employees, is truly close-knit. Everyone knows each other and has become close over the years. TT Gaskets is flexible as an employer, and the overall atmosphere is one where employees are well taken care of.”

Sonja warmly recommends her field and current job to anyone who wants to learn new things and challenge themselves.

“This is the right job if you want to develop yourself. It’s inspiring to work in a company that constantly strives to move forward and stay ahead of development. The attitude of moving forward rubs off on the employees as well.”

In her free time, Sonja recharges her batteries at her summer cottage and enjoys spending time with her dogs. You can also run into her at concerts and summer festivals.

“My spouse and dogs ensure a balance between work and leisure. Cottage life is also important, as thoughts easily detach from work matters at the summer cottage.”

Behind the Gaskets | Expert interview: Energetic Export Coordinator tackles challenges head-on

June 7, 2023

Having worked at TT Gaskets for over 20 years, Export Coordinator Sari Suoniemi is a trusted partner for both our customers and her colleagues. She is often the first point of contact for TT Gaskets’ customers.

Sari Suoniemi

Sari Suoniemi’s main task at TT Gaskets is to ensure that our order process is a success from start to finish. Sari’s colleagues and clients are mostly located outside Finland, and she really enjoys the international atmosphere. She works in close collaboration with customers and production staff, and succeeding in her position requires the courage to quickly react to changing situations.

“I can quickly figure out different options and contact the right person through my extensive experience and expertise. Our production staff understands urgent situations and promptly addresses orders. I like to think that my customers and colleagues consider me a reliable partner. They can always call me if there is a challenging situation that needs to be solved together,” describes Sari.

Despite constant challenges and rapid changes, Sari finds the changing situations and successful problem-solving to be the best part of her work.

“Once, when a ship traveling to Norway needed spare parts for its engine, we arranged the gaskets with our production ex tempore on the same day and flew them to the location. The passengers had no idea that the engine was being repaired while they were exploring the city. We managed to fix the situation, and the journey continued,” recalls Sari.

Changes require courage to embrace the new

Sari is a second-generation member of the TT Gaskets family. Over the years, she has developed a strong connection with customers, the company, and our products. Her career has progressed by seizing interesting opportunities. Sari has studied international trade, logistics, supply chain management, marketing, and tourism. Continuous learning is essential for success in her work.

“I can’t rely on things staying the same in my work. International trade and logistics regulations and official requirements can change even weekly,” she explains.

Twenty years ago, the export share at TT Gaskets was significantly smaller than it is now. The world has opened up to our Finnish customers over the years, and TT Gaskets’ exports are expected to grow by 20 percent within a few years. Sari is not intimidated by these changes.

“TT Gaskets has a tremendous desire to grow and innovate. We keep our doors open for new opportunities, which requires the courage to embrace the new. Such an atmosphere can evoke uncertain feelings, but I personally embrace the opportunities it brings,” she says enthusiastically.

New projects inspire

Sari is involved in developing TT Gaskets’ packaging and shipping functions to become more sustainable. Sustainable development motivates her both in her professional life and personal choices.

“The importance of sustainable development among our customers is constantly growing, and they want to develop sustainable solutions together with us. I want to contribute to the development, and I also prioritize recycling and sustainable choices outside of work,” she explains.

Sari is the go-to person for different digital systems within the workplace. She has been involved in the development and implementation of our new sales system and has trained the team to confidently adopt new systems.

Nature and mindfulness help relax after a hectic workday

To unwind after a hectic workday, Sari focuses on taking care of her body and mind. She values healthy nutrition, yoga, and Pilates. Nature and mindfulness also help balance her mind, and she has taken courses at Tampere University to incorporate mindfulness into her work.

“I love going to the forest; I get my daily dose of the forest with my dwarf spitz every day. Mindfulness has been a great help in calming my mind,” she says.

Sari is equally passionate about travel, self-development, and ice hockey, which she has been involved in since her teenage years.

“When I put on my skates and step onto the ice, that feeling is hard to find elsewhere. I’m no longer actively playing or coaching, but I participate in the Finnish Ice Hockey Association’s board work. When I get on the ice with children every year, it never fails to bring me joy.”

Behind the Gaskets | Expert Interview: Work planning is a real-life game of Tetris

February 9, 2023

A keen visual eye, interaction skills and detective work – these all come in handy in the work of our water cutting planners.

Team lead Hanna Lehtonen and work planner Jenny Virta oversee work planning at the TT Gaskets water cutting department.

Hanna’s career at TT Gaskets spans almost two decades. With a vocational qualification in business, Hanna has worked her entire tenure with the company in water cutting ­– and has no plans for switching departments. She has advanced from working in after treatment to operating water cutting machinery, work planning and finally to her current position as team leader.

”I’ve had such a great time that I haven’t really considered anything else,” Hanna says with a laugh.

Precision mechanic Jenny has a background in different factory positions. She has now been with TT Gaskets for four years, three of which in the water cutting team – she started out in rubber metal gasket production and silk screen printing. Before becoming a work planner, she also operated water cutting machinery to learn about the practices and limitations she must consider in her current work.

Looking at the bigger picture

The work planners’ days differ depending on their shift – no workday is the same.

“We work as a pair alternating between day and night shifts. The day shift includes reporting, emails, collaborating with production and sales, running errands and occasional detective work when we need to find out where our shipments are located,” Jenny lists.

The night shift is calmer compared to the day shift, giving time for the planners’ most important task: planning out the blanking programs for the cutting machinery. Both planners describe this work as a real-life game of Tetris.

”Scrap-free blanking requires a keen visual eye to maximize material efficiency. There are a lot of pieces to cut, and they can vary in shape and size wildly. This requires the ability to look at the bigger picture, which of course only comes through experience,” Hanna says.

Hanna’s workdays also include team lead and foreperson duties.

“It’s a matter of pride for me to assume as much responsibility as I can and deliver on my promises. My team includes Jenny, the water cutting staff as well as the department’s warehouse workers, so there is a lot of daily interaction. We have established great mutual trust and I love hearing that my team members are enjoying their work,” Hanna says.

Flexibility in workdays and realizing your dreams

Jenny and Hanna are both extremely satisfied with their current positions.

“I currently have no aspirations for other positions. So far, the company has given me great opportunities for professional development. I feel that the possibilities are there if I should want to advance my career,” Jenny says.

“My career has progressed through the water cutting department. I never would have guessed that I’d be in my current position back when I started. I’m sure I could advance even further within the company, but right now I’m extremely happy with my job,” Hanna fills in.

A great atmosphere, excellent colleagues and mutual trust are highlighted by both work planners when asked about their employer.

”TT Gaskets is an encouraging and flexible family company that trusts their employees. Turnover tends to be very low, and the business is financially stable. As an employee, I feel that this creates a feeling of safety,” Hanna says.

The employer’s flexibility and willingness to accommodate for personal lives is also illustrated in the planners’ free time activities – both are avid world travelers. Hanna visits national parks and has recently completed her tour of all Unesco’s world heritage sites. Jenny is a keen hiker and has just returned from the Himalaya where she trekked to the Mount Everest base camp.

“Being able to take my summer holidays in the early winter displays great flexibility from my employer. I really appreciate that TT Gaskets helped me make this dream a reality,” Jenny says.

Behind the Gaskets | Expert interview: Senior purchaser Matti Alasuvanto is at home in unexpected situations

September 6, 2022

Senior purchaser Matti Alasuvanto oversees TT Gaskets’ raw material acquisition. He is also an expert in making sure that our customers succeed in their material choices.

The TT Gaskets nomenclature includes over 3,500 different raw material options. The procurement and logistics of these materials is Matti Alasuvanto’s everyday business.

– My job is to make sure that our customers have the right raw materials available at the right time, right price and right place. The goal is to ensure service security and keep our clients happy, Matti lists.

­­Matti’s workdays include handling offer requests, orders and assessments as well as continuous metric analysis. He is a valued problem solver and specialist when sudden material sourcing or recommendation needs arise.

– This job often features sudden and unexpected situations which is why it’s useful to have plenty of previous experience to lean on. I love it when I can tackle a challenge that has previously remained unsolved, Matti says.

Problem solving and nerves of steel

Purchasing has been Matti’s bread and butter since 1998. He considers procurement an interesting field thanks to its versatility and continuous learning possibilities. His passion for purchasing may be at least partially inherited: Matti’s father worked in purchasing and logistics for half of his career.

– My original plan was to stay at TT Gaskets for five years or so. However, I’ve really enjoyed this job and have been able to develop my role that I’ve now been here close to 12 years, Matti says.

With no shortage of duties, Matti’s days can be quite hectic.

– I calculated that I received approximately one job or request every 160 seconds on average in 2021. Great organizing skills, creativity, quick problem-solving and nerves of steel come in handy in my line of work, Matti says.

Jogging around his hometown Pirkkala, playing basketball and his astronomy hobby bring a much-needed balance in Matti’s everyday life.

Continuous development and lifelong learning

In addition to his wide-ranging work, Matti has developed his expertise by completing degrees, qualifications, courses, and other studies in both Finnish and international universities. Matti is grateful that TT Gaskets has provided versatile options for personal development.

Staying up to date on the latest technologies and methods requires continuous learning, but at the same time Matti highlights the importance of his core competence.

– Software robotics, machine learning and IIot (Industrial Internet of Things) are examples of new technologies that can truly streamline purchasing. However, I’ve learned that before you can take advantage of digitalization and other new applications you must have a solid foundation – those tried-and-true principles and processes that I’ve practiced since the 1990s.

Matti gives nothing but praise for the TT Gaskets community.

– Our truly skilled production employees and teams work seamlessly across department boundaries. I’ve made several great friends while working at TT Gaskets.

”I believe in lifelong learning” – Matti Arpiainen celebrates 50 years at TT Gaskets

May 18, 2022

Matti Arpiainen, long-time CEO of TT Gaskets, has reasons to celebrate. The president of Finland granted him the title of Yrittäjäneuvos (honorary title awarded for entrepreneurship) in December 2021. Additionally, having started in the family business in 1972, Matti Arpiainen celebrated 50 years with the company in April.

– I had actually been doing small tasks and odd jobs at the factory for ten years before signing a contract. However, my first real job was at the Tampereen Trikoo sewing factory where I spent one summer folding women’s underwear at age fifteen. That was something I was too embarrassed about to mention to any of my schoolmates, Arpiainen says with a laugh.

From wartime innovations to a flourishing business

The history of TT Gaskets starts from the year 1943 when Väinö-Kustaa Järvinen and the Arpiainen brothers Eino and Jussi founded a business specializing in spare parts and gaskets for military equipment. With a mind for innovation, Matti’s father Jussi had proved his competence during his military service by designing gaskets for oil sumps and exhaust pipes of armored vehicles.

– My father was an inventive man who devised a boot grease substitute that was used in Winter War battles. Another of his inventions was a lacquer for wooden airplane wings. It was manufactured with celluloid that was sourced by melting old film reels of Finnish movies. My father used to say that he had done an atrocious act to Finnish culture, but war is war and desperate times call for desperate measures, Matti Arpiainen says.

After the war the company began manufacturing gaskets for heavy machinery required in rebuilding work. The rest is history: known then as Tampereen Tiivisteteollisuus, the business flourished and became known as an innovative company with the ability for solving customer problems quickly and manufacturing gaskets from any available material.

The essence of a family business

After starting studies at the Vaasa School of Economics, Matti Arpiainen had no intention of returning to his father’s business. Fate had other plans, and so Matti soon found himself in charge of the company’s binder-manufacturing functions.

– During my studies, I spent time in Germany and the Netherlands and gained a wealth of insight on what multi-generational family entrepreneurship is about: accumulating know-how and passing it on to the next generation. I have always encouraged our employees to keep an eye on new ideas and methods when traveling the world. In the old times industrial espionage was considered a taboo, nowadays sharing knowledge and skills is an accepted practice.

Competitive advantage from water cutting

Jussi Arpiainen passed the torch to his son Matti in the 1980s. During Matti Arpiainen’s tenure as CEO, TT Gaskets saw a large increase in international exports and activities.

– I wanted to automatize our production and find a competitive advantage to stand out in the Nordic market when I took charge. I encountered a revolutionary technology in Denmark: water cutting. I had a hard time accepting that the concept was actually viable, cutting gaskets with water sounded like science fiction to me. Nevertheless, I got to witness the technology with my own eyes and realized quickly that this is the future of gasket manufacturing. Water cutting is still one of our key methods here at TT Gaskets, Matti Arpiainen recounts.

Matti Arpiainen has been a global ambassador of Finnish gasket expertise during his long career. Having conducted business on all continents, he garnered thousands of driving kilometers all over Europe during the 1980s and 1990s with his working partner Jukka Sunila. Always in motion, Matti Arpiainen is driven by two key themes: people and machinery.

– I’m a firm believer in lifelong learning. I’ve always kept on studying new things and wanted to work with people from whom I can learn something. I am also endlessly interested in all kinds of machines, technologies, and mechanics, Arpiainen says.

Passing on the torch

The family ethos extends beyond ownership at TT Gaskets: nowadays you can find children, spouses and siblings of long-time employees working in the production hall. Matti’s son Aleksi Arpiainen became CEO of TT Gaskets in 2018. Matti is still involved in the business as chairman of the board, and he is overseeing the construction of TT Gaskets’ new solar power plant among other projects.

– When Aleksi started as CEO, it was clear to me that I must step back and let him establish himself. In some family businesses the older generation might have difficulties in letting go and they start undermining the younger generation by trying to wield power from behind the curtain. Aleksi has proved himself to be a modern leader with a strong vision of the future, and that is something I have no business meddling in, Matti laughs.

Behind the gaskets | Expert interview: Sales Engineer Jarkko is a passionate problem-solver

May 10, 2022

Equipped with a strong background in machine design and product development, sales engineer Jarkko Lekkala started at TT Gaskets in April 2022.

– The best part of working in design is diving deep into technical challenges and finding the best possible solution. However, design can be a very lonely line of work, which is at times in contrast with my social and slightly competitive nature. I’m a restless soul at heart: I like my work to be variable and it’s especially nice if it includes travel, Jarkko says.

Driven by a will to develop himself in a varied work environment, Jarkko found himself at TT Gaskets.

– In this job I get to solve problems together with our clients and combine design with human interaction in the best possible way. Every customer case is different and requires tailored solutions. The solution-oriented mentality that I adopted in my previous design positions is a key asset also in sales.

Jarkko’s first weeks have been a crash course in the workings of the gasket industry.

– Of course, I’ve had some previous experience of working with gaskets, but in my earlier positions they have always been only one part of a larger whole. It’s fascinating to dive deep into a new field and gain knowledge from the gasket professionals here at TT Gaskets, Lekkala says.

With a diploma in engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, Jarkko Lekkala originally pursued a career in sports.

– Nowadays sports are a dear hobby of mine. Racket games, bicycling, motocross, gym training and many different endurance sports fill up my free time. As a balancing activity for sports, I also play the guitar, Jarkko lists.

Behind the Gaskets | Expert interview: Eternal learner Jukka Sunila loves a good challenge

May 2, 2022

Our valued employee and important colleague Jukka Sunila passed away in June 2022. Our longing is great, and we want to remember and honor Jukka in many ways. His strong customer service spirit lives on as a legacy in the way we serve our customers.
– colleagues in the TT Gaskets’ work community

May 2, 2022

Key account manager Jukka Sunila is one of TT Gaskets’ most senior employees with a career of over 40 years. Over the years he has gathered a wealth of tacit knowledge which he now passes on to younger colleagues. For his clients, Jukka is a valued problem-solver.

– I have the longest career here out of all current TT Gaskets employees. I’ve seen a lot, but one of my mottos is that you can always learn something new every day, Jukka says.

Born in Rauma, Jukka spent his youth in Turku and moved to Tampere for work in 1979. He had completed a degree in mechanical engineering from the Turku Technical School a year earlier.

– I’m an extrovert personality, and I like interacting with people and meeting new clients. I really got to apply myself when I started working as a sales engineer, Jukka says.

Gasket solutions for factory needs

Jukka started his career in domestic sales. In the 1980s TT Gaskets began exporting products to Sweden and expanded into the Middle-European market in the 1990s. The sales department grew, and the sales staff’s work became more solution oriented.

– Our importance to our clients has grown as we are able to do more and more collaboration with designers in the early stages of factory projects. Our gasket solutions need to be competitive, so financial literacy is also important in my line of work.

Jukka travels frequently in Europe and Asia for his work. Before the COVID pandemic he often garnered over a hundred travel days per year. A large portion of his clients are engine factories, and TT Gaskets is often involved when new engine types are in development. Participating in development work is beneficial for the whole company.

– The best part of my job is that it constantly offers new challenges and opportunities to get to know different cultures. A typical customer relationship often starts with me solving a problem such as a leakage. I’m driven by interactions in which we are able to solve our clients’ problems. Luckily, I often also get to see our solutions implemented in their actual working environments.

Investments in machines and personnel

Jukka started his career at TT Gaskets under the leadership of CEO Jussi Arpiainen. Jussi was followed by his son Matti Arpiainen, who in turn was succeeded by his son Aleksi Arpiainen.

– Leadership here at TT Gaskets has always been encouraging and respectful towards the employees. I’ve enjoyed a rather natural career progression. I applaud the company for always striving for innovation. CEOs have been willing to make investments in new machinery, our factory, and personnel.

Jukka is looking to retire in a few years. Before retirement, he intends to pass on his tacit knowledge to younger colleagues in the exports team.

– I have a positive outlook on the future. I love reading and spending time in the outdoors, and I’m looking forward to traveling the world with my wife. I have visited China a lot, but it would be nice to return to the country in my free time, Jukka plans.

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

February 28, 2022

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.

Behind the gaskets | Expert interview: Coffee keeps the positive Quality Manager going

January 17, 2022

The working days of Matti Järvinen, LEAN and Quality Manager at TT Gaskets, are always different. He strives to integrate routine work into processes to save time for innovation and development.

TT Gasketsin LEAN- ja laatupäällikkö Matti Järvinen

Matti is responsible for the development and maintenance of quality, environmental, safety and corporate responsibility processes. His tasks require a holistic understanding of how a company operates. Resilience, pressure and stress tolerance, and good interaction skills are also needed.

– My work includes quite a few surprising situations and challenging encounters that must be coped with creatively. We all work together as a team. The goal is always that the customer gets what they want and has peace of mind about us having it all under control, Matti says.

”My own interests guided my career development”

After studying mechanical engineering, Matti started working for production at TT Gaskets in 2010. The last six years he has spent as Quality Manager and Environmental and Occupational Safety Manager. Matti’s career path has developed according to what he has learned and his own interests.

– I’m at my best when managing, developing, innovating, and solving problems. I understand what creates value for the customer. LEAN reasoning is a characteristic of mine, and I master the tools of the LEAN philosophy pretty well. I also know my co-workers, machines, products, and our system very well.

Matti is motivated by interesting and varied tasks and the results of his work. The satisfaction of customers’ and TT Gaskets’ employees is important to him. Matti draws strength from a great work community, which he praises as a receptive, pro-development and change-friendly team.

– The dialogue is good, and people have a lot of ideas. We’re a work community that builds the same gasket together, Matti concludes.

The future is inspiring

As befits a person who does development work, Matti still learns new things every week. He thinks the company is never ready, but things can always be done smarter and better. Matti praises TT Gaskets’ strategy, values, and style of doing things.

– We have the courage to do things the right way. We care about employees and stakeholders. It’s great that we’ve been able to adapt to a changing world. We haven’t got stuck in old habits; we have boldly sought the optimal ways to do things.

Matti is eagerly awaiting the future, as something new and interesting is coming up almost every quarter next year. He sees a lot of great opportunities in the future of the industry.

– Our corporate responsibility is growing in line with our strategy. Smart gasket solutions are on their way. Our goal is for the gasket to be more than just a cheap piece in an engine or piping. That would clearly save environment and money. Gaskets will provide a rich source of data, Matti says enthusiastically.

Plenty to do in free time too

The daily life of a father with three small children is full of action with family, a wide circle of friends, and sports. Matti has an extremely positive attitude and therefore feels that a fast-paced life is in excellent balance. He puts the job out of his mind when he gets home.

– There’s always something to do or somewhere to go, 16 hours a day. I must admit that the coffee keeps this man going, and besides that there are only a few other routines in my life except for brushing my teeth, Matti says and laughs.

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

November 26, 2021

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!