While studying engineering at university, Alfred Hedblad became very curious about Lean and Toyota’s TPS production method. At Scania he got to put those methods into practice.
What Alfred Hedblad likes best about Scania as an employer is the company’s desire to continuously work on improvements. It’s a good fit, because that’s exactly what Alfred himself works on, i.e. improvements in production.
“For instance, I work on analyses and evaluations of ergonomics and cycle times, how work can be done more efficiently,” explains Alfred.
The improvements relate to both people and machinery, and it can be tricky to understand where and how changes will have the greatest impact.
“There are often complex systems involved that may include, for example, ten machines and five people. It’s not always easy to see where the bottlenecks are and what needs to be changed.”
Despite Alfred only having worked at Scania for two years, he has already been involved in several projects, both large and small. These can involve developing lifting tools so that operators do not have to lift items by hand or a feasibility study of filters for laser machines to reduce particle emissions.
“At the moment I’m looking at a punching machine. It is a large project under pressure of time where we want to add a new row of holes to the truck to make adding bodywork easier. It may sound simple, but it could deliver savings and also increase the resale value of the truck.”
In this particular project Alfred is working with an experienced colleague in order for him to gain greater knowledge of project management.
People at Scania are open to listening to young people
“Something I appreciate very much at Scania is that colleagues help one another without prestige. There is great openness and humility at the company. We young people are encouraged to say what we think, people listen to us, and employees who have worked here a long time are open to new suggestions.”
While studying engineering at Luleå University of Technology, specifically technical design with a focus on production, Alfred became very interested in lean and Toyota’s production system, which at Scania is called SPS (Scania Production System). He thinks Scania has come a very long way in terms of those methods, although there is still more to learn and develop.
He also likes the fact that Scania offers great opportunities to move around within the group.
“As employees we are actually encouraged to move around. Internal recruitment works well. I think the managers see the big picture. After a period in Södertälje, for instance, you can return to Luleå with new insights. That ensures that good ideas are spread, and the group achieves a common corporate culture.”
When Alfred started at Scania Ferruform, he attended the Scania Engineer Program in Södertälje.
“It was a great start. I got to learn about many different areas. But everyone coming direct from education gets a really good introduction to the company.”
How does he see the future then? Well, he says that he will certainly remain at Scania for many years. Preferably in a project management role.
Name: Alfred Hedblad
Role at Scania Ferruform: Production engineer
The best thing about the job: Scania respects development and continually presses forward towards improvements – both for the company and for the employees.
Leisure activities: Games, downhill skiing, long-distance skating, music and socialising with friends.