A factory career spanning 45 years
Ahti Raita has played a strong role in the development of the factory.
Ahti Raita’s work history in the engineering industry goes back to 1973, when he began working as a welder at the Murskauskone factory in Hollola – on the premises that today are home to Makron’s operations. After completing his military service, Ahti had spent a couple of weeks at home in Lammi, southern Finland, when his mother gave him the transportation fare to Hollola and sent him to find work. By that point, Ahti had already gained professional skills at a vocational college and engineering school in Karkkila.
The operations have continued on these premises for more than forty years, even though the company name above the door has changed. Soon after Ahti joined the company, Murskauskone changed its name to Roxon, before being bought by Kone a few years later. Andritz acquired the factory in 1994, and the premises together with the manufacturing business were sold to Makron 10 years later. Ahti’s job title too has changed over the years, first from welder to fitter and then to foreman.
Ahti has had his finger in many pies over the decades. When the factory launched quality-control activities more than two decades ago, the personnel were on board from the get-go – after all, the system was created as an in-house initiative. Ahti emphasizes the significance of the quality-management system for the company’s operations and customers alike. In the course of day-to-day work, trust has developed into a defining characteristic of Ahti’s relationship with customer representatives. As a sign of this, the customers are happy to pick up the phone and ring Ahti when they are faced with a challenge.
Work in this factory has changed over the years. Methods and tools have become more efficient, and a single worker can now handle tasks that previously required two employees. However, production cannot be fully automated, because the products being manufactured vary, depending on the project. This means that having highly skilled personnel is extremely important.
Ahti is full of praise for the company’s HR operations. He says, “You feel well looked after here. It’s a rare occasion when someone resigns.” This is attested to by the large number of employees who have worked at the factory for four decades or more alongside Ahti, who has clocked up nearly 45 years. He says that the work atmosphere is excellent, and coming to work in the morning has always been a joy. For Ahti, an important factor in this is the fact that he has gained more responsibility over the years. The factory will continue to need foremen who offer more junior employees support and space to grow.
Even though his retirement has already been marked with celebrations with co-workers, Ahti is still a regular visitor to the factory. Will he put his feet up now that he has reached retirement? The summer home is in need of a kitchen renovation, and trips to Lapland are being planned. And there’s no doubt that Ahti’s phone will continue to ring.