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An Interview with Tarmo Rintala – Senior Technology Manager – at Atexor Oy

Posted on: 17.12.2018

Over the past few months, we have been helping you get to know some of Atexor’s team members.  To conclude 2018, we caught up with Tarmo Rintala, our Senior Technology Manager who has been with the company for over 20 years.   Read Tarmo’s charming story below:

How long have you been a part of the Atexor team?

I began working for Atexor in 1996, so 22 years ago.   Back then the company was actually named Centaurea and it joined forces with Mica Elektro Oy Ltd to become Atexor in 2013.   I joined the business as an Export Manager and have since delivered a variety of key certification and quality projects and naturally progressing to the position of Senior Technology Manager.  During my time in this role, my team and I have gained over 100 health, safety and quality approvals and certificates which strengthens the backbone of the business.

Why did you choose to work for Atexor?

I had an interesting start with Centaurea, now Atexor.  My wife actually applied for the role of Export Manager originally and was the successful applicant.  Despite really liking the company and the people, she realised that the role and its responsibilities were not quite right for her but she knew someone that would excel in the position – Me!  She respectfully declined the role but encouraged me to apply, which I did that very day and I was delighted when Atexor met me immediately and offered me the job.  I honestly haven’t looked back since and this really demonstrates how agile we are as a business.  We recognise opportunities and move fast to make positive things happen.

What have been your main responsibilities including your role within EX committees?

In the earlier days, I was heavily involved in the sales and marketing function but this changed around 2002 just before the ATEX directive was coming into force in 2003 putting a higher focus on HSEQ.  I changed role to Technology Manager and my role involved the review and development of robust processes and procedures.

This has since evolved over the years and I have found my role is based on understanding and explaining ATEX industry standards.  I thoroughly enjoy this as I find it extremely important to have an in-depth knowledge of best practices, trends and developments so that we can be proactive and predict change in the fast paced world of technology.

As a business supplying products and services to extremely hazardous industries, it is very important that we consistently maintain and improve our standards to ensure that they always correlate with the latest technology and we remain at the forefront of technology. By doing this, it makes Atexor available and open to new products as well as giving us a competitive edge.

Where did you previously work?

Before joining Atexor, I worked for the Finnish Wood Processing industry, which included a lot of exporting.   I soon realised that I could understand more than just the Finnish language so I decided to broaden my knowledge and experience by finding a company which I could network and build business relationships internationally.

Have you got any particular views with regards to Atexor and Brexit?

I don’t see there being any challenges for the Atexor team mainly because we are a global business and Atexor Ltd. includes two established UK operations.  A dedicated, experienced team work with our UK customers at a local level including warehousing and logistics.   I actually think that perhaps UK manufacturers may have more issues when exporting outside the UK.

How do you see the future for safety culture within hazardous working environments? 

Safety culture within hazardous working environments has always been taken extremely seriously.  However, there is always room for improvement and exploring new ways to communicate the importance of reading and digesting the small print included within user manuals is a priority.

EX-lighting manufacturers alongside other developers of equipment being used by industries are obligated to provide printed manuals filled with instructions and guidance on potential dangers and how to avoid them.  Quite often these users assume they know what should be done with the product, rather than fully reading the instructions.  Despite this being a slightly arduous task, it is a very important step to complete before working with equipment.  A failure to skip this step can result in catastrophic consequences.

To put it simply, people expect everything is OK until something happens.  This can be very dangerous and is a major issue when working in such hazardous areas.  Atexor and I are incredibly keen to work with our employees, clients and the wider industry to adopt more rigour around reading safety manuals and instructions as we strongly believe it will reduce accidents and could save lives.

Could you tell us more about your participation in the design groups for EX regulations?   For example, what does it involve?

I am involved in a national committee, TC31 some of their sub-committees and also to some extent the IECEx scheme.  Together we update and prepare industry standards and the aim of the committee is to consistently improve and simplify recognised these global standards across all countries and industries.   To do this, we, meet regularly to share ideas and experiences and discuss how we can make this happen.

My specific role is obviously related to lighting solutions.   One recent issue we have been working on is LED’s and optical radiation also known as “op-is”.

Do you have any hobbies/passions that you like to do in your spare time?

My family and I are keen on researching ways to adopt a healthier lifestyle through sports, improved eating and sleeping habits which greatly improves performance at work and home.

I also spend most of my free time with my kids.   My son is at University and is currently living away from home, so I spend a lot of my time with my 13-year-old daughter who is part of a gymnastics squad.  It is a busy hobby between training and travelling to competitions and I enjoy supporting her and the club whenever I can.

You can connect with Tarmo on LinkedIn and learn more about his career path.  You can also see just how much Tarmo enjoys supporting his daughter’s gymnastics club by visiting their Instagram page.