“Originally I came to Nor-Maali’s tinting department through a recruiting company. I got the job after a trial period and worked in tinting for a couple of years, until I got the possibility to switch over to the filling department. The chance to learn something new and all of the different work tasks were intriguing, so I decided to try it out. Now I have been working at Nor-Maali for four and a half years and the time just flew by.”
Anssi Niemi works at one of Nor-Maali’s filling departments with two of his co-workers. Speaking in in-house terms, his department is called “downstairs filling”. In addition to coatings, Anssi and his co-workers fill our thinners as well. They work in two shifts, the first starting at 6 AM and the second at 8 AM. Two workers usually come to the earlier shift. The morning starts by mixing the surplus left from a previous matching batch to the one made, in order to minimize any loss of materials. The batch is mixed until it is homogenous and laboratory tests that the coating’s quality passes our standards. When laboratory gives their permission, filling the product to its designated packaging begins. As the cans move through, our machines fill them, add lids to the cans and close them firmly. Cans get labeled before set on a pallet and moved to storage. Sometimes the coating might be on its way to a customer on the same day. After every batch, the machinery and work premises are thoroughly cleaned and set ready for the next batch. This is also done at the end of the day, making sure our production operators can get started right at the beginning of the next day.
One of Anssi’s favorite parts of his job is knowing ahead what is in sights for the following day, which also makes it easier to influence his own tasks. It also helps with planning for any additional work that needs to be done. His workmates make it so that every day you get a good laugh. The only drawbacks in the filling department are repetitive trajectories and, of course, working with hazardous substances. With these two, careful attention to occupational safety and ergonomics, as well as recycling work tasks help. “We rotate work tasks so that two of us are filling coatings, while one takes care of filling thinners. After a batch one person from coating filling switches to thinners and vice versa. If there is no thinner filling for the day, one of us ensures that we have all necessary tools at hand and that needed lids and jars are found in the small storing compartment nearby.”
Outside of work Anssi keeps busy with his two daughters and three family pets. Evenings are filled with daily chores and his older daughter’s weekly football training.