Surface treatment specialist Sami Pappinen: ”Consulting and comprehensive solutions are the future of our industry”

”Painting alone is not enough to survive,” says Surface Treatment Specialist Sami Pappinen, bluntly. His work is centred around quality and developing expert services in surface treatment. “In order to offer our customers high-quality work and consultation in quality-related issues, our own internal quality must be impeccable,” Pappinen adds.

Sami Pappinen joined FSP in September 2019 as Surface Treatment Specialist and Quality Manager. His field of work is broad, but it especially focuses on quality as well as developing and implementing quality systems.

Pappinen is familiar to FSP since many years. Before starting at FSP, he worked at Valmet in Rautpohja, Jyväskylä for around 30 years. During that time, his work included cooperation with FSP for a period of 20 years.

– It was like returning home, Pappinen describes his new job.


A key element of quality development are internal audits. 

In practice, an internal audit means inspecting one of FSP’s own surface treatment facilities and its systems. Processes, methods and knowhow must be in perfect shape in order to fulfil the standards – and exceed them.

– Earlier, employees of the surface treatment facilities performed internal audits through cross-inspection, visiting each other’s facilities. – Nowadays I do the audits together with our QHES Manager Kati Pajunen. Pajunen focuses on systems auditing while I concentrate on the actual surface treatment. We also cooperate with Bureau Veritas.

Pappinen thinks that openness and cooperation are needed to get the best results in auditing.

– Nobody likes to have outsiders inspect their work, take notes, and in the end tell them how it should be done, Pappinen says. – However, with open conversation we can make a change that is beneficial for everybody. In the beginning, I usually observe work and conditions at the paint shop, but after that I want to discuss employees’ views directly with them.

Pappinen also believes that, in development work, it is important to be familiar with the working practices at a surface treatment facility.

– I have experience in using the paint sprayer myself, which really helps in both communication and surface treatment development. 

Pappinen stresses the importance of audits and other types of internal quality control.

– Internal quality is number one. If our own quality is flawed, we can’t sell quality to others either, Pappinen sums up. – It is crucial for us that all units work in a similar way when it comes to quality. The work and products may vary, but quality may not. That is why quality is pushed forward in a similar way across all FSP units. I believe that internal quality is also a good reference point: we can show others how we operate and offer the same quality and operational model to others as well.

In November 2019, FSP established a new quality team. It handles reclamations and makes development proposals for other functions and units – and also follows up that the changes are implemented.


Sami Pappinen does not think that surface treatment work has fundamentally changed during his career, although parts of the work have for example been automatized.

– Products and materials have of course improved. The biggest change is that, today, surface treatment work has to be complemented by developing and offering services around it. It is important to create comprehensive solutions.

Pappinen still works in close cooperation with his former employer, Valmet.

– My role is that of a consultant and a kind of subcontractor. I plan and oversee surface treatment projects from the beginning to the finished product. A comprehensive surface treatment consultation includes planning and controlling as well as inspections.

Pappinen believes that there will be more and more demand for this kind of expertise.

– All of our customers cannot be experts on surface treatment and its processes. We can help in creating plans for surface treatment and inspecting any plans that have already been made. In addition, we offer our support in designing and developing surface treatment facilities, from laying the foundation to maintenance, Pappinen says.

– Naturally, we are also glad to perform the surface treatment itself, he adds with a smile.

Consulting always aims at producing extra value.

– It is a win-win situation if we can discover more cost-efficient modes of operation or, for example, more befitting products for the customer. This will reduce the overall cost of the surface treatment process and cut lead-times.


The wide-ranging working field or the complexity of surface treatment industry don’t scare Sami Pappinen, on the contrary.

– I have always said that I like it most outside my comfort zone, with lots of challenges. It keeps you alert.

Pappinen also finds motivation in digging deep into a problem, which often results in a lasting solution.

– Challenges in surface treatment are quite recurrent. For example, problems arising from work performance usually resemble each other. These kinds of problems cannot be disregarded, but instead you must spend time in finding out where the problem originates. Once you find the primary cause, it can be fixed.


Sami Pappinen
Surface Treatment Specialist
+358 50 317 1057

  • Work technician, painter
  • Surface Treatment Specialist at FSP from September 2019
  • Has worked at Valmet as blower, painter, surface treatment specialist and coating coordinator
  • Born and raised in Jyväskylä
  • Ice hockey enthusiast: plays and follows ice hockey. Other activities include trekking in Lapland and abroad, and travelling.