Versatility and flexibility as career drivers
All-rounder Henri Veittikoski at the Outokumpu Tornio mill has worked his way through all the different jobs of the ferrochrome smelting plant. Soon he will graduate as a mechanical engineer.
Henri’s 2017 summer job as a regional supervisor of sintering plants 2 and 3, including raw material processing, was his first supervisory role at Outokumpu. His duties included management of daily operations, ordering and receiving raw materials and cooperation with maintenance. He also stood in for colleagues who were on leave.
”It was great that I was offered this opportunity to gain experience in supervisory roles as the plant’s ’summer foreman’, responsible for all its daily operations. After several skilled worker roles over the years, it was very interesting to see the process from a new perspective,” he explains.
The sintering plant processes some 600,000 tons of Kemi mill chromite concentrate to pellets which are then used as raw material in ferrochrome production.
Best part of the job: meaningfulness and flexibility
Henri’s career at Outokumpu started in 2008 in the ferrochrome smelting plant, first at the first and second furnace, and later at the third furnace.
”I have a vocational degree in paper making but I found an apprenticeship in the steel industry. I haven’t regretted it once. At the smelting plant, I’ve had various roles as a caster, melt transferrer, crane operator, front heater and smelter. I also have experience at the walking beam furnace in the hot rolling mill.”
The third furnace, put in place in 2012, is the biggest electric arc furnace used in ferrochrome making in the world. Henri was involved in the project from the very beginning.
”First, we spent a year installing and testing the equipment. After that I worked for a couple of years as the third furnace front heater and smelter, while studying at the same time. I really have experience in all the different roles of the process.”
The best things about Henri’s job are great colleagues and wide-ranging responsibilities.
”At Outokumpu, there are good opportunities to influence your own work. At the smelting plant’s third furnace, we were able to put together our own melt transfer team which greatly added meaningfulness to our work. We had a team of three people and we could flexibly change our shifts within the team. I have never experienced any problems in combining work and study over all those years I’ve done so.”
After an impressive steelmaking career of nine years Henri will soon graduate as a mechanical engineer at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences.