Tapojärvi and Outokumpu have entered into agreements for the equipment installation and excavation contracts at the Kemi Mine
Employee training takes into account the digitalised equipment and new diagnostic technologies
There has been a shortage of professional competence in a number of sectors for a long time. At Tapojärvi, the lack of resources has been particularly reflected in the availability of skilled heavy equipment installers.
“The automotive sector is manual labour-intensive industry. There is a shortage of drivers in all areas”, states Jyrki Kurti, a teacher of the automotive industry at the Kainuu Vocational College.
Five years ago, Tapojärvi started to train its installers in cooperation with Kainuu Vocational College (KAO). The training will cover the basics of vehicle electrical, hydraulic, and electrical systems that play an important role in today’s machines and in maintaining them.
“In general, the education mainly focuses on finding faults and reducing unforeseen interruptions. We go deep into diagnosis mechanics and focus on handling challenging situations”, says Kurtti as he talks about the background to the training is designed to meet the needs of Tapojärvi.
Jorma Veteläinen, 60, participated in the training provided by Tapojärvi and organised by KAO five years ago and received a professional qualification as a heavy goods vehicle technician. According to Veteläinen, training was particularly useful for practical tasks.
“Machinery and equipment develop, as does technology. I updated my own competence and learned a lot of things that were just being introduced to the industry”, he adds.
Technology changes competence requirements
Tapojärvi’s competence training teaches installers the technologies that are being introduced or will be available to the automotive industry in the coming years. Training is currently being conducted at the Keminmaa Central Workshop of Tapojärvi to learn how to use the sound cameras to support fault diagnostics.
The camera is directed into tubing and the camera screen displays a yellow area where air is leaking. The leak is audible and is detected by the sound camera. It is impossible to hear noise with human hearing.
The use of a sound camera in daily servicing is still quite rare in Finland, but its use is growing rapidly.
“The camera can detect faults and prevent larger and more costly equipment damage. The most expensive minutes for your fleet are downtime. By using a sound camera, fault diagnostics speed is clearly faster”, adds Kurtti.
When a student gets to know and learn how to use new equipment, it makes sense to invest in development as well.
“For example, in the case of repairs to equipment, a comprehensive view is needed of what is being done, under what conditions, and what is affecting the cause of the fault or problem. Competence requirements are changing rapidly and, for example, mechanical engineers are increasingly required to utilise data and technology for repairs and maintenance.
Competence is Tapojärvi’s value
Markus Partanen works at Tapojärvi as a project engineer of the technology team, and takes care of, among other things, utilising equipment data to support day-to-day maintenance.
“With new technologies, Tapojärvi wants to provide customers with safer and more efficient work.
At the moment, there are just under 100 installers working at Tapojärvi. 12 of them are currently undergoing a vocational qualification in the automotive sector (workshop service competence), four employees are taking a specialist qualification in the sector, and two others are studying specialist qualifications in the field of production management.
Competence is important at Tapojärvi.
“It is one of the values of the company. Our competence is seen as a resource that enables continuous improvement”, summarises Partanen.