Fifty shades of manufacturing
During his 12 years at Wärtsilä, all the positions Timo Nuotio has mastered have been related to manufacturing. Having been part of manufacturing development projects, training on manufacturing technology, looking after design for manufacturing in R&D and doing some co-development projects with Wärtsilä’s component suppliers, ensures Timo has quite a wide understanding on the topic.
“Even if my work has always somehow been about manufacturing, it has also changed frequently, which has kept my career interesting,” says Timo who is currently working as an Operational Excellence Manager at Wärtsilä’s Delivery Centre in Vaasa.
Within all these ‘manufacturing roles’, being one of the trainers in the Basics of Manufacturing Technology course back in 2010 is the career memory that Timo cherishes the most – so far. “After doing the training several times within a year, mostly in Vaasa, we went to Shanghai to give the training there. It was all so new, exciting and interesting since it was my first time in China and it was also the biggest training ensemble we had organised by then,” he tells.
Timo’s responsibility in the course was to educate the participants about forging. “I didn’t know much about forging then, so I had to first familiarize myself with the topic and then create the 2-hour material based on my own learnings,” Timo recalls. “Within years, several hundred Wärtsilians from all over the world participated in the training.”
During that time, Timo learned in very concrete manner that great results can be achieved when enough time, effort and resources are given to people who are development-oriented and cooperate well together. “We had a team that continuously got together, went through the feedback and agreed what to do to give better training. And it got better all the time, as we had good team spirit.”
Luckily for Timo, his current team is also rich in spirit. “I find working with my Delivery Centre colleagues easy. I can say out loud what I think, I am being listened to and when we agree that something will be done, I don't have to think if they will do it or not. What we agree, we also do. It is that simple.”
Continuous improvement for a lifetime
Clearly, the mind-set of continuous improvement has been planted in Timo already years ago. However, the principles of Operational Excellence that he is now mastering came only later during his Wärtsilä career.
“In 2015, I was part of Vaasa’s first Operational Excellence initiative which we ran in our factory together with external consultants. This development project was set up very quickly and we needed to learn lots of new stuff. My experience in both manufacturing and training came in handy when we made presentations and worked with colleagues in the factory. With my background, it was easier to understand the manufacturing processes and engine functions, and I was able to discuss more deeply with these colleagues.”
On top of his Operational Excellence position, Timo is a project manager in Wärtsilä’s Smart Technology Hub project – naturally, in the manufacturing stream. “Smart Technology Hub is one example of Wärtsilä concentrating more on advanced solutions, cooperation with different partners and technology development,” Timo answers, telling why he enjoys this dual role.
“Being part of the Smart Technology Hub project team, I want to do my part in shaping Wärtsilä’s future – especially our company’s future here in Vaasa. Hopefully I won’t stop when the hub is ready but will continue to be part of Smart Technology Hub operations.”
“I am a development-oriented person and I want to be part of making Wärtsilä better in different areas, such as in safety, efficiency and comfort at work.” Evidently, Timo’s job roles have been – and are – supporting this intent. But these topics are important for him also in his private life. “On the development side, I also learn new things as I repair old cars and play the guitar. To make the world a safer place, I’m part of a voluntary search and rescue boat crew in Vaasa,” Timo shares – ending with a remark that he is pleased to see that Wärtsilä’s focus on safety has also been strengthening over the years.