Looking for digital solutions
Research and development manager in digitalization, Juha-Matti Pesonen, at the Outokumpu Tornio Research Center ensures that the company processes are kept up-to-date in the constantly changing world.
Tornio Research Center serves all Outokumpu operations and the entire portfolio worldwide.
"We develop applications to support the whole Outokumpu Group. At the moment, our projects are mostly related to data sourcing and management, and the use of data. All process data also has to circulate smoothly between operations," Juha-Matti explains.
The biggest project lately relates to experimenting artificial intelligence at the Outokumpu ferrochrome furnaces. Another large experiment involves testing cloud solutions. Sometimes it's only about learning to see things in a fresh way.
"Simple things, such as automated data search may facilitate processes in a significant way. Our task at the R&D center is twofold; first, we actively look for solutions to improve the everyday tasks and processes and second, we prepare for future situations."
Juha-Matti's team of three experts cooperate with all Outokumpu operations and external suppliers. Other cooperation partners include universities and VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland.
"My work is really wide-ranging and I deal with many new aspects all the time. I greatly enjoy our large expert networks and the fact that I can work with highly interesting things which are new to everyone."
A career path with many twists and turns
Juha-Matti has a Master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Oulu. He started his career in wind power but applied for a job closer to his home in Tornio in 2010.
"I was hired as a maintenance engineer but already before I started, I was asked whether I'd like to take up another job as a development engineer in operational business excellence. I took up on that challenge because it sounded more interesting. After 18 months I moved on to the Research Center, as a quality development engineer. I stayed there for some four years, including one year at the Outokumpu Calvert mill in Alabama, US."
Lappish-born Juha-Matti really enjoys working with his colleagues from the Sea Lapland region.
"I get along very well with everyone, and things move forward. I'm proud to work at one of the biggest producers of stainless steel in the world."