In late 2018 the Finnish aerospace and defence company Patria and FSP agreed on a long-term cooperation at the Hämeenlinna site where Patria’s products were being surface treated. The surface treatment functions of the site were transferred to FSP this January. What is our Hämeenlinna unit like? Read on to learn more about its operations and personnel.
– We are conducting secret projects with public outcomes, says Kristjan Gilden, supervisor in Hämeenlinna, smiling.
He is referring to the work done for Patria. There are armoured vehicles on the paint shop yard, familiar from Finnish Defence Forces parades. Photography is forbidden. Working with military equipment requires every employee to sign a non-disclosure agreement and pass security clearance by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo).
Besides Patria, the unit serves nearby industry, handling for example parts of crane vehicles and energy industry products.
From pre-treatment to packaging
Functions of the Hämeenlinna paint shop include pre-treatment with centrifugal blasting as well as wet coating in painting chambers and painting line. The line is used for smaller workpieces, while the chambers fits workpieces up to 15 metres long and weighing 50 tonnes, such as a tank.
– We are capable of processing different kinds of workpieces in a number of ways, Kristjan Gilden says. – And there are also new plans, such as a washing facility for large workpieces, which will remove grease and offer chemical pretreatment.
The unit also offers packaging and other value-added services.
Excited for the new
Kristjan Gilden became an FSP employee along with the transfer of the Hämeenlinna unit, but he has worked at the paint shop for several years.
– We work for five of our largest customers on a daily basis, and we also have around twenty other customers, Gilden says. – My work is quite varied, including production planning, incoming goods reception and inspection, and organizing logistics.
Quality control is a crucial part of all work and paint shop operations.
– We make control reports and measure the conditions of all workspaces. Machines and equipment used in production are maintained on a regular basis.
Gilden is feeling positive about the transfer to FSP.
– Things have gone surprisingly smoothly. In our work community of 14, everybody can stand in for each other. There are no stoppages, and the team is very professional.
Atmosphere at the shop is happy and hopeful.
– The painting work itself has not been affected by the new ownership, but there is now more investment in quality control and personnel competence. We have also been briefed into FSP’s procedures. The training is ongoing and it’s spicing up the daily work nicely.
Kari Nostaja, head of the Hämeenlinna unit, is also pleased with his agile and adaptive team. The future is looking bright.
– We’ll keep our promise of quality and reliability. Our aim is to increase production capacity, he says, hinting a future investment.
Gilden says he is constantly improving working methods.
– With the development of production methods, there is less and less to tape up and cover up, for example. This is speeding up the entire process.
It pays off to specialize
Kristjan Gilden’s colleague Armi Alamattila is an experienced surface treatment professional. She wanted to pursue the crafts and studied to be a painter. During her studies, Alamattila specialized in spray painting and later, along with her work, in camouflage painting.
– In school I had no idea that industrial painting could be this diverse, and I didn’t know anything about camouflage painting. Now I am very pleased with my choices. The work is nice and varying.
At the moment Alamattila is especially motivated by the possibility of progressing in her career.
– I am interested in technology transfer projects, for example. I am able to train the use of painting systems to other operators. We have also already had talks with the new employer about the possibility of studying further, she says.
Kristjan Gilden finds customer feedback rewarding.
– It is always nice to get good feedback and hear that we have succeeded.
- Washing and cleaning
- Shot blasting with steel grit
- Centrifugal blasting with steel grit (1.2 x 2.3 x 11 m)
- Wet coating
- Lifting capacity: 4.0 t
- Maximum workpiece size: 4 x 3.6 x 11 m (Dimensions: width x height x length)