Long-term employments at Leinolat Group – Jan-Peter Sandqvist worked at Leinolat for 48 years


Jan-Peter Sandqvist was born in Kokkola, but he has lived his whole life in the Kvarken Archipelago. He has worked at the Oy Leinolat Ab for 48 years. After finishing his vocational school and getting a degree in sheet metal and welding practices on June 1st, 1974, Sandqvist started his 48 years long career at the Leinolat.

– My school ended on Friday and the following Monday was my first workday at Leinolat, Sandqvist tells.

He retired on the 31st of July 2022, but he has already been back several times to help his colleagues in the Leimec factory. It is important to Sandqvist to be able to transfer years of know-how forward in the work community.

– The work community is still very important to me, and I do not want to leave my colleagues in the lurch. I have enjoyed working through my whole career and I still enjoy it very much.

Versatile Career in the Same Company

Sandqvist's first work task was sorting of metal chaff from where he moved to install air ducts and do demanding assemblies as well as manufacturing the Bobi mailboxes from the 90's onward. Sandqvist grew up in a Swedish speaking community and he has been able to utilize his language skills while working at Leinolat.

– From sorting of metal chaff, I moved to the building sites to install air ducts. I did this for five years. I worked a lot in Swedish speaking areas like Närpiö because I had the needed language skills.

Already in the early 1980's, Leinolat delivered comprehensive solutions for the customers. From 1982 Sandqvist participated in manufacturing of elevator- and air conditioning room combinations, for construction companies. During that period, Sandqvist also installed many sheet metal roofs in the Vaasa region.

– My work tasks at Leinolat have varied a lot. In 1988 Leinolat purchased the first plasma cutting equipment.It was my first time to ever see a milling machine, but by far not last, Sandqvist laughs.

Sandqvist has also participated in the purchasing process of new machines for the company. This gave he a chance to travel quite a bit during his career.

– I have visited Austria once, France twice, Germany five times and Switzerland more than five times. I have also worked in Sweden. In Finland the work has taken me from Tammisaari in south to Kokkola.

Sandqvist Enjoys Designing and Developing

Manufacturing of Bobi mailboxes started at Leinolat in 1991, and in 2002 the company purchased a welding robot to increase the automatization of the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, the welding robot did not work as hoped – the production volume and efficiency were not even close to the desired levels. Sandqvist took the challenge and he dived into the programming of the robot. As a result of this development work and re-programming, the robot was then able to produce 200 mailboxes in a day. This was a remarkable development leap back then.

– Developing is something I have enjoyed the most in my work. Understanding the principles of a welding robot is only the start, to succeed one need also to optimize the product design for the specific manufacturing process. Knowing different materials and their behavior is also important and a skill which takes a long time to develop. When the design process is in an active phase, I don't leave it behind when I close the factory doors. Great ideas can pop-up for example when I am fetching my morning post, Sandqvist sums.

Sandqvist also participated in developing cost-efficient sheet metal frames for the Leimec air handling solutions. Earlier Leimec used welded iron frames which were not as cost-efficient as the new sheet metal frame. In 2017 the first prototype was made and from there on, sheet metal framed units have been delivered to Leimec's power plant customers and to other demanding industries, to secure reliable and efficient ventilation of the plant.

– We have improved the air handling products prototype during the years. The development of this version started already in 2010 so these projects takes time. Reliable and effective ventilation depends on many small details, but with focused development we can always improve those, Sandqvist points out.

Beside his working career Sandqvist has worked as a Shop Steward at Oy Leinolat Ab between 1996–2008. In his free time, he has also been the chairman of several associations.

– These positions have given me more perspectives, both to my personal life and to my work life. When one has troubles in life or at work, it is important to keep up with the good spirit and try to do things better than before, Sandqvist ends.

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