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An interview with Ossi Knaapi, Production Engineer at Atexor Oy  

Posted on: 15.7.2019

At Atexor we recognise that our people are our greatest asset and through a series of staff interviews we not only help you put a face to the name but we also love to show off the awesome people who are responsible for helping our business thrive.

We recently met with our Production Engineer, Ossi Knaapi who joined us four years ago.  In the interview below, Ossi explains what it is like to be part of the team and how his personal values are very much in line with the Atexor ethos, driving everything he is involved in.

 Tell me about your current role and what you enjoy most.

I have been at Atexor for four years now, and I can honestly say that every day is different!  I never know what challenges I will be facing on a daily basis.  As a Production Engineer, I am responsible for overseeing the manufacture of Atexor’s ATEX-lighting products, ensuring that final products are of the highest standards, in compliance with strict health and safety regulations.

For me variety is what I enjoy the most as it makes every day interesting.  As well as assisting to develop of our products, I also work closely with the sales and procurement team which allows me to full lifecycle of our products.  This includes understanding the customer requirements, being part of the customisation process and sourcing the correct materials.

As well as having such variety, we often work against tight manufacturing deadlines, which can be challenging.  But I work best under pressure, so I get a lot of satisfaction from co-ordinating the workshop production schedule, ensuring we meet and exceed expectations whilst always focusing on safety, quality and industry regulations.

How did you get into this line of work?

I studied Industrial Management at the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) and this provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge on various functions within an organisation.  This has been incredibly beneficial for my role at Atexor.  I’m involved in the operational side of the business which of course is linked heavily to wider areas of the company and I have an understanding of these areas so I’m confident providing guidance and support as required.

I have always had a curiosity in understanding how whole systems and operations work and this combined with continuous improvement has made my role here at Atexor a natural step.  Also, my wife’s brother was a contractor for Atexor back in late 2014 so when an intern vacancy became available, I jumped at it and the rest is history as they say.

What is it that you enjoy about helping customers with ATEX lighting challenges and requirements?

The one thing I enjoy the most is problem solving and thankfully, this is a huge element of my role!  Every client has specific requirements, restrictions or circumstances that must be considered.  For example, some have limited timescales and it is a challenge to accommodate these deadlines within our production schedule. It can be very rewarding when the job is completed, on time and within budget.  Happy customers means a happy team!

Can you tell us what makes Atexor stand out as an employer?

Atexor stands out from the crowd as they put an exceptional emphasis on work safety in everything they do.  The top priority is to ensure we keep our people and assets safe which maximising productivity and efficiency.  We work with the best equipment allowing us to be at the top of our game, developing products safely and always maintaining the highest standards of quality.

Staff are encouraged to participate in training and development programmes.  The company has a strong value around continually improving our methods as well as professional development through learning from one and other.

What advice would you give a candidate who wanted to join the dream team?

Passion is key.  This can be underestimated but I believe it is vital to be passionate and enjoy what you do.  If you are someone who has passion and drive, that is willing to be pushed out of their comfort zone, you would be a great addition to our team.

What are the values that drive you at work and in your home life?

I am extremely dedicated and committed to everything I do, and I think this is why I fit in so well at Atexor because the company holds the same values.   I strive for excellence and accuracy as I work with a huge amount of data so I must ensure everything is precise in order to make informed decisions on the production of our range of EX-lighting products.

How do you re-charge your batteries and what do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Spending time with my family is the best way to unwind.   Although I have a new-born who was born in January and a three-year-old daughter, therefore I really come to work for a rest!  Luckily my wife is a professional at keeping our children happy!

I also have a German Wirehaired Pointer puppy called Reko who requires a lot of training, so we have a very busy homelife!  But I would not have it any other way!

To relax, I brew beer in a micro-brewery which I set up with my colleague and friend, Production Foreman, Jarkko Perkio.  About a year ago, we attended a home-brewing course at our local brewery and we both really enjoy the science behind it.  We are already seeing demand to increase our production as a result of the high-quality product we make.   Even when we make beer, we live by the Atexor ethos, always striving for excellence in everything we do.