High-quality products and continuous quality improvement are at the core of Valmet Automotive’s operations. From Valmet Automotive’s quality department Jussi, Quality Development Manager, and Jonne, Manager Product Quality, shared their thoughts on why working on quality is an interesting and important part of the vehicle manufacturing process.
At Valmet Automotive, the quality department offers a wide range of jobs and opportunities to challenge oneself
Jonne works in Valmet Automotive’s product quality department and his main tasks include auditing cars according to customer instructions, working on the customer interface, as well as problem-solving. Jonne says that his job also involves a lot of small firefighting. An important task is to work in new customer projects as product quality representatives. Jonne and his team have an important role in ensuring that high-quality cars continue to be manufactured at the Uusikaupunki plant.
“In product quality, we get to collaborate with different functions in the VA organization, and our work is not limited to our own team. We also work alongside the customer and we get to be on the customer interface, developing operations and solving problems.”
Jussi, on the other hand, works on operational quality, of which the various quality systems, including the quality system of the automotive industry, the environmental quality system, and the occupational safety system, are an integral part. Jussi and his team also carry out internal audits and ensure that the operational instructions are up to date.
“My team ensures that our operational instructions meet the standards. The team is also responsible for internal audits and we ensure that the operational instructions are up to date,” Jussi says.
Both Jonne and Jussi also participate in the quality group, which meets weekly. The quality group discusses development issues and problems and looks at how quality could be improved.
Valmet Automotive’s quality work differs from that of many other plants in Finland, or it is even unique, as there are not many similar large-scale production plants in Finland. Valmet Automotive has very high production volumes.
“The automotive industry is a fairly unique industry in Finland, and if you are interested in working in this kind of industry, your only chance is in our company. For example, if you’ve studied quality more, this is one of the few jobs where you can implement quality development in a large-scale way. And if you’re interested in LEAN principles, for example, you can find activities related to them here,” Jussi describes.
Contract manufacturing also creates its own quality requirements, because as a contract manufacturer we have to be flexible, and we get quality requirements from the customer that we have to meet. Towards the customer, quality is one of the main indicators by which we measure our performance.
“We drive in the customer’s quality requirements and we are good at it. We can meet the quality specifications required by the customer. When the quality is good, the customer is also satisfied and we create a reputation – that our work is of high quality” Jonne describes.
“When quality is good, the customer is satisfied and that’s how we build our reputation – that we deliver high-quality results,” Jussi adds.
What kind of skills should you have if you want to work in quality with Valmet Automotive?
Jonne and Jussi tell us that it would be good if the new employee had a basic knowledge of quality issues. It will help to get started and also enable the person to better develop Valmet Automotive’s current quality processes.
We train our own people for the job, so no in-depth knowledge is required, but for example, an engineering degree preparing you for quality work is a good foundation.
“You can go a long way with an attitude, a willingness to learn new things and an interest in the subject. There’s in-house expertise and good training for the job itself,” he describes.
Jonne also emphasizes that Valmet Automotive offers good opportunities for career advancement and has strong personal experience of this.
“For me, it’s gone pretty fast. I started working in the company in 2018 as a quality engineer. I worked in that role for 1.5 years and then moved to SCM. After that, a position as a manager in this current team opened up. I applied and got the job. I have now been in my current role for 2,5 years. And I basically came from the school bench, so I had no previous experience in the field.”