Meelis from Incap Estonia: in electronics, you can be in the centre of innovation
Today we are excited to introduce you to another superhero from Incap Estonia related to the national campaign promoting education in the field of electronics. Meet Meelis Reinumägi, NPI project manager in our Kuressaare factory!
We asked Meelis more about his work and career choice.
What are your main duties?
Meelis: My job is to implement new products into production and coordinate the calculation of their prices. The main role is to be the link between the customer and our production team. It is necessary to ensure that new products will be produced according to the customer’s needs and that the various departments of our factory have the necessary inputs and documentation to perform their work smoothly. Since my background and education are related to mechanics, my task at the moment is also to focus on the external part of products around electronics – mainly the cases of devices and their mechanical details, but there are also some occasional printed circuit board projects.
What does your usual work day look like?
Meelis: A focused look at Excel and product drawings, and a cup of coffee on the table are inseparable parts of my working day. Also interacting with customers, suppliers, and our fun team. In addition to the challenges in the availability of electronic components, which our procurement department is skillfully dealing with, sometimes there are surprises with mechanical components, which are normally available but in these times of broken supply chains, they suddenly run out. In these kinds of cases, a solution must be found, either from alternatives or by organising the original ones from the other side of the world. When a project goes into production for the first time, I will also be there monitoring and guiding so that everything can be produced according to the documentation.
What is the most fulfilling and inspiring thing about your work?
Meelis: I like to see how, after working through the documents and data, a functional physical product is finally completed, especially when it comes to some innovative and smart solutions. In addition, in my job, I get to interact with many interesting and smart people.
What are the greatest challenges in your job?
Meelis: The biggest challenge is time management – in general, it is uncommon to deal with one project at a time, as there are always several things going on at the same time. And when something really crucial comes up suddenly, usually it’s not only one thing, but several things will require immediate action.
Which skills does your job require?
Meelis: My job requires a general understanding of the working principles of electronics and mechanics, product quality requirements, and production processes. The ability to read technical drawings and communication skills are also necessary. The most important skill is to find solutions to all kinds of problems so that projects would continuously move forward, and when you run out of ideas, you need to know who can help you with more specific questions.
For how long have you worked in this profession?
Meelis: I’ve only been in my position for a little more than half a year – so I’m still pretty new in electronics manufacturing and there’s still a lot to learn and explore in this field. My previous experience in this has been related to CAD projection, CAM programming, and CNC processing, which means that I have been in contact with automation, electronics, and programming also in the past. I have been involved in the mechanical side of production and product development since 2013.
What did you learn in school and why did you decide on this specialty?
Meelis: I graduated from Tallinn University of Technology majoring in mechanical engineering. I chose this profession because already from an early age I became interested in how different devices work and how they are produced. A recommendation from a current good colleague also played a role in this choice. I believe it is a good foundation that has provided me with a lot of practical skills and general knowledge of manufacturing processes. The world is developing fast, you have to learn more every day.
Why would you recommend young people to study electronics?
Meelis: It is a very exciting and explosively developing sector, without which modern life could not be imagined. There are more and more smart products with higher value and also more products using modern information and communication technology possibilities that shape our living environment and everyday life. When you work in electronics, you can be at the centre of innovation and develop innovative products while still studying at school. In Estonia, we have a number of exciting projects going on that are worth participating in and where young engineers can get wind beneath their wings early. Such as the developments of the Solaride solar car or Formula Student Team Tallinn.