DEVELOPMENT MANAGER RAULI YRJÄNÄ: WE WANT TO USE DIGITALIZATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR CLIENTS AND THE ENTIRE SURFACE TREATMENT INDUSTRY

FSP’s Development Manager Rauli Yrjänä believes that digital solutions can be put widely to use in the surface treatment industry, From basic paint shop work to creating new business possibilities. It is essential to maintain control over changes that reshape the industry and transform employee roles. Every digital solution must be well advised. It is also important to focus on managing the change, not only bringing new technology into people’s work.

 – First I digitalized myself, and now I plan to digitalize FSP, Rauli Yrjänä laughs.

The machinery engineer and long-standing offer calculation professional has recently returned from study leave, now a brand-new Master of Sciences in Technology. In his thesis, Yrjänä studied how digitalization could be utilized in surface treatment process. 

Along with new skills came a new job: Yrjänä started as FSP’s Development Manager on May 1st. His job includes quality and QHES matters and especially the implement of IoT technologies in production. 

– This is my dream job, Yrjänä says. – I’ve always been a bit creative and artistic, and now I have the chance to innovate and develop the Internet of Things and its implementation.

FROM EASIER EVERYDAY ROUTINES TO
MANAGING WITH DATA

By digitalizing himself Yrjänä is referring to his digital cochlear implants. They restored his impaired hearing, enabling him to continue working, studying and playing music on his spare time. A single thing may have large, even crucial impact on a number of other things. 

In the surface treatment industry Yrjänä sees many possibilities for applying digitalization, from helping with everyday paint shop routines to large-scale information distribution and management with data.

– At a paint shop, for example, measuring the painting circumstances and reporting the results can be done automatically. That would take some routine work off the employees’ shoulders while making the measuring regular and real-time, Yrjänä says. 

Real-time data has a number of benefits, from traceability of products to predictability and transparency of processes. When applied properly, digital solutions and data utilization can yield significant benefits. 

– It’s beneficial for the customer, too, when we gather data from production and utilize it in various ways. Process productivity may increase greatly for example when you cut down waste through digitalization. 

IS AUGMENTED REALITY COMING TO PAINT SHOPS? 

Rauli Yrjänä says that while digitalization is already well underway in FSP, we must maintain a common sense and avoid unnecessary solutions. 

– We have been using ERP for a long time, as well as digital office tools, and we have a presence in the social media, Yrjänä says.  – We are starting the digitalization of production with pilot projects in a couple of units. These pilots are developed so that we can later expand the system to other units. In the beginning, it is important to gather data into a cloud as early as possible, which enables developing the system in the first place. 

A challenge for digitalization is not how to gather data but how to refine the raw data into information that is beneficial for business. 

– Technologically, there are numerous possibilities, but finding the right solution requires consideration and choices. There are no patent solutions in the industry yet that would clearly state: “use this sensor, this cloud solution and this analytics tool”, Yrjänä says. 

– Each development point must be assessed as a business investment. If digitalization gets out of hand, you may implement features without thinking whether they really benefit the company or client. It’s easy to go wrong there, he says. 

For Yrjänä, the first development points in FSP’s digitalization are found in cutting down manual and routine-like work phases. 

– The order to invoice process, for example, should be made as automatic as possible. We are also developing our quality documentation and boosting production with more detailed monitoring. 

– A potential development step is to make use of visualization tools in reporting. It is arduous to follow numeric figures alone, but visualization allows you to illustrate information better, Yrjänä says. – It makes it easier to manage with data.

In the future, AR (Augmented Reality) could also make everyday work at paint shops easier. 

– AR solutions could be used with objects that require complex protection. AR would tell the employee where to apply protection. This would also prevent situations where an employee is standing in for someone else but, despite formal instructions, doesn’t possess the same tacit knowledge that the original employee does.

NO SOONER SAID THAN DONE – BUT HOW?

A challenge that often appears in transformation processes is how to take it into practice.  

– Digitalization is a complex entity and so is its implementation, Rauli Yrjänä says.  – Digital transformation can lead to changes in working methods, workplace culture and people’s working practices. It is therefore important to focus on change management, not only bringing new technology into people’s work. 

Yrjänä would like to see more digitalization and discussion about it in the entire painting industry. He thinks that the surface treatment industry has lots of potential for digital development. There is also a need for a “digital ecosystem” in the industry. 

–  It would include clients, paint and equipment providers as well as contractors – various stakeholder groups. Cooperation and dialogue are required for driving the change. 

In FSP, at least, there is a will to push the progress. 

– Digitalization is a strategic choice for us, Rauli Yrjänä says. – Smart data can help create entirely new business opportunities. We want to utilize digital solutions for the benefit of our clients and the entire industry. 

DUTIES OF FSP’S DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION

• Management system coordination 
• QHES 
• Quality tools development 
• Digitalization of production 
• Managing investment schemes 
• Internal and external audits, customer  audits 
• Innovation activities and development 
• Production simulation and optimization 
• Expert services 
• Occupational safety and security

RAULI YRJÄNÄ
Development Manager

  • 53 years old, living in Kankaanpää, born in Nakkila  
  • Machinery Engineer 1988, M.Sc. (Tech.) 2019 (University of Tampere, management and computer science in software development) 
  • in surface treatment industry since 1997, at FSP since 2001
  • part-time farmer; hobbies include partner dancing and playing the drums

Rauli Yrjänä in LinkedIn

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