Story | 12/01/2022 10:40:21 | 3 min Read time

Setting the Standard: Jarno Merisalo caters to customers' needs in timber kilning

Team Leader Jarno Merisalo monitors and develops the timber kilning process. Jarno´s work involves being on his toes all day long as situations come and go – no two days are the same. Despite the occasionally hectic work, Jarno feels genuinely rewarded by improved results and positive customer feedback.

Who are you and what do you do at UPM Timber?

"I'm Jarno Merisalo, a production worker and Team Leader at the UPM Kaukas sawmill drying kiln in Lappeenranta, Finland. My job is to monitor the timber kilning process and product quality. In addition, I am the chief union steward at the sawmill and a deputy representative of the occupational health and safety committee."

What does your typical working day consist of?

"I work a day shift in the drying kiln, where I measure the moisture content of timber and monitor the success of the drying process for sawmill products, comparing the results with previous measurements.

I am in daily contact with production planning and sawmill operators to ensure the continuity of the kilning and that fill rates are maintained in the event of any production outages. I work with UPM Timber to develop processes and participate in the initiative committee.

As chief union steward, I work together with the employer's representatives to develop our cooperation forum. As a deputy health and safety representative, I am involved in promoting safety at work. Normally, about half of my working time is spent on kilning and the other half on personnel matters."

What are you most proud of in your job?

“There are always measures to take to improve timber kilning – it genuinely makes me glad when we improve the processes. I am proud of the strong professional skills and experience of my colleagues around me. The enthusiasm of our younger team members further complements our proficiency.

As for the positions which I have been trusted with, I take great pride in building bridges and in working with everyone I can to contribute to our processes and foster a more functional working community.

For me, the new customer promise means seizing opportunities for learning and training, more varied job roles and more meaningful work.

And what is the most challenging aspect of your job?

"Customer demands have constantly increased, with the number of different products to be kilned multiplying. There are many variables, from timber sizes to the initial moisture content and seasonal variations. Process monitoring and management is intense, making time management demanding, but also rewarding when there are successes."

How is your handprint reflected in UPM Timber products?

"My handprint is reflected in the quality of the kilning process, which results in the customer receiving quality timber with the desired moisture content, whether it is ship-dry or specially dried timber. We have received positive feedback from customers in the construction and joinery industries."

What does our new customer promise, Setting the Standard, mean to you?

"It means development in both processes and personnel. For me, the new customer promise means seizing opportunities for learning and training, more varied job roles and more meaningful work. It's good to be able to meet our customers' demands when our ambitions are high, and we also strive to succeed in a competitive environment."

 

In the Setting the Standard series, we feature UPM Timber employees from a variety of job profiles, both at headquarters and on the production lines. All our employees are committed to our customer promise Setting the Standard to continuously strive for better results. In the series, staff members share their own work and how they raise the bar every day. 

 

Text: Anu Ritvanen

 

Read also about Ville Laitinen's Setting the Standard story

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