Göran Carlstrand has been with the company for 44 years. Now he is retiring but first he takes us on a journey. From Siverts Kabelverk in Falun, via Stockholm, back to Falun and Siverts, which became Ericsson and today is NKT. Come along!
It all started at Siverts Kabelverk in 1978. Immediately after the military service, Göran Carlstrand took a job as a warehouse worker and truck driver. There and then, a journey began in the cable industry that lasted the rest of his professional life. In 1980, Göran travelled to Stockholm to work as an engineer at the company's transmission lab. Four years later, he moved back to Falun to start up a new high voltage lab.
“28 years old, I had to bring equipment and tools more than 200 kilometres from the city of Sundbyberg to Falun to build the high-voltage lab there. It was a tough but fun time, and that is why I have a big heart for that lab,” says Göran.
Both engineer and manager
In the lab, he worked as a high voltage engineer until 1992. In the meantime, Siverts Kabelverk became Ericsson. From 1992 and the 30 years until today, he has combined the role of engineer with different management roles. Everything from quality manager and production manager to lab manager and construction manager. In recent years, Göran has had a managerial role in the high voltage lab. Since 2013, NKT has operated the factory.
“I have had the privilege of being both a mentee and a mentor in various internal and external mentorship programs. It has been incredibly rewarding and uplifting for me,” says Göran Carlstrand and continues:
“In my leadership I have been inspired by making employees believe in themselves and that they are talented based on their qualifications. I have appreciated the great opportunity to grow as a person with different tasks, roles and to be able to work with a large personal responsibility.”
The factory is as large as in 1978
A lot happens in a workplace over 44 years and Göran Carlstrand has seen the changes up close. He mentions, among other things, the Cable Section Measurement (CSM) equipment, which has reduced mismeasurements and the installation of scales in the injection process which has reduced overconsumption of insulation material. Over the years, there has always been a work environment with a focus on personal safety.
“Guiding principles for me have been personal safety in the work environment with high voltages and high current in the lab, and that we will manufacture and deliver high-quality products,” says Göran.
The factory in Falun is as large today as it was in 1978, with the difference that there are more machines. It is a little tighter, but also more efficient. Göran remembers when the computers came in the 1980s and 1990s and also when the communication radio and the landlines in the office were exchanged for cordless phones, and later for mobile phones.
Participates in product development
For many years, much focus was placed on internal training to retain and develop the knowledge of employees. In addition, NKT has over the years been able to develop new products for a, according to Göran, conservative market. He mentions, among other things, the Universal Cable family, the AXAL-TT PRO family and telecom products. And says that the upgrade of the regulation for the 1 kV cables was a project that worked extra well due to focus and commitment from employees.
“It has been important for me to be involved in developing and bringing forward new products, above all to test the cables electrically and to do mechanical tests.”
A positive work environment
Göran also mentions that the employees in Falun always have been very loyal to the company. Activities have been arranged for colleagues and during the 1990s, when the company was part of Ericsson, a group championship was organized in various sports. In addition, they have been on theatre trips, mountain trips and fishing competitions, among other things, where they met colleagues from other parts of the company.
“It gives so much to meet other colleagues than those you work with on a daily basis; it spurs closer collaboration,” says Göran.
On the same topic he also mentions:
“For me, it has always been important to have fun and laugh a lot, regardless of different organizations and management over the years. It is up to all of us to create the positive environment.”
Does not leave NKT completely
So, now that it is time for retirement, what will Göran miss the most after all his years at NKT?
“The wonderful commitment of everyone, the wish to do well and to contribute to our wellbeing to be able to deliver quality products. I have changed colleagues many times over the years and it has always been just as inspiring to get to know new people. Today I feel young, as all of my colleagues are younger.”
What awaits the new "pensioner", are all older people?
But with that said, Göran Carlstrand does not leave the ship completely. In addition to taking trips with his wife Ewa in their motorhome, going hiking, doing long-distance skating with his friends and trying his luck in his new greenhouse, he has promised to continue to support NKT with his skills as needed.
Thank you Göran for 44 fantastic years!