Jaana Pesonen has been working with veneer for a decade, two years of which have been at the UPM Joensuu Plywood Mill. What brought Jaana to Joensuu was a love for her job, and her passion is evident when she talks about veneer production and her job on the surface veneer patching line.
The patching machine hides knot holes and other small surface veneer flaws with a smooth patch. Jaana's job is to make sure the patching process fulfils all quality requirements and to ensure that the patch looks good and holds well.
“First, I put the correct programmes into the machine, then I move the veneer stacks to the patching machine with a forklift and then move the processed veneer to bonding. I monitor the patching machine and inspect the quality of the patching. If the quality standards have not been met after the patching process, I call in other experts to make adjustments to the machine,” explains Jaana.
Although Jaana explains that all production stages are important, she particularly emphasizes the importance of her own tasks in terms of ensuring high quality of the final products. If the patch isn’t suitable, this affects the end quality.
“If I don’t achieve optimum quality at the patching stage, this means more work during the sanding and finalizing stages. Production comes to a halt very quickly if there is no supply of surface veneer available,” says Jaana, explaining her role in ensuring top quality.
The work is mostly independent but when disruptions do occur, it’s essential that these are communicated with the people in management and maintenance. Jaana speaks very clearly, which is useful when she is training summer interns.
Self-made quality plywood
“Sometimes I use plywood at home in DIY projects. My children admire the surface of the plywood and ask if I made it. I’m always proud to say that yes, I played a part in producing the plywood. I think everyone at the mill feels this way,” Jaana laughs.
Jaana is proud of her work and is eager to show her family and friends how interesting plywood production can be. She would also like to work at the lathe: “It’s just so fascinating how a solid log is turned into a beautiful sheet of veneer and then into high-quality plywood products. I often marvel at how cool that is!”
Our Behind the Scenes article series introduces people working for UPM Plywood and provides a glimpse into modern plywood production.