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Working to ensure pharmaceutical and patient safety

Päivi Holck is in charge of a team that is responsible for Orion’s supply chain automation’s factory systems. Thanks to the team, patients can rely on the fact that Orion’s product packages are genuine and that the contents have been manufactured and stored in the appropriate conditions.

Automation Manager Päivi Holck and her team are responsible for the automation of the factory systems in the production process that control the serialisation process of medicines, for example. This means that when a patient buys a medicine prescribed by a doctor, they can rely on the fact that it is genuine and has not been falsified.  
“Each product package has its own unique serial number, which is tracked by serialisation systems so that it is possible to trace each medicine back to its original packaging line, both at the packaging and transport stage and at the pharmacy,” says Holck.  
Holck’s factory systems team is also responsible for the pharmaceutical production conditions monitoring system, which keeps track of the temperature and humidity conditions during the pharmaceutical manufacturing process and storage. Process controls systems, and on the other hand, ensures product quality during the manufacturing process by measuring the properties of a product, such as the hardness of tablets. The team is involved throughout the life cycle of the systems: from acquisition and commissioning, through to production use and the controlled decommissioning and replacement of systems, e.g., with another system. 

The three best aspects of my job – Päivi Holck: 

  • Meaningful work. Pharmaceutical products improve quality of life for patients and consumers, and they even save lives. When I do my job well, I can help a lot of people.  
  • Safe and inspiring working environment. In the working community we are encouraged to come up with ideas and to develop in our careers.
  • Wide range of training opportunities. Orion offers a wide range of training on topics related to the content of your own job, leadership or specialist skills, or even EHS and responsibility issues.  Orion also has a positive attitude towards education and training provided outside of the company.

Pharmaceutical industry’s regulated environment is a world of its own 

Holck applied for a job at Orion because she wanted to help other people through her work. She started as a project engineer and progressed through various roles to become an automation manager, which has now been her role for two years. 

I feel that it is important that the product or service provided by my employer helps people.”

“I feel that it is important that the product or service provided by my employer helps people. Because I spend a lion’s share of my days at work, and I am away from my children during this time, my work has to be meaningful,” she says. 
Holck says that in a regulated GMP, which stands for Good Manufacturing Practice -environment, employees are required to work in a precise and careful way and to understand that the rules are there to ensure patient safety. 
“In a pharmaceutical factory, changes are always made in a considered and controlled way. After the change is made, the functionality of the system is validated, which means that we verify that it works, and then we finally implement the change after that.” 

Opportunity to change roles within the company 

Holck’s team consists of eight automation engineers and one hourly employee, and the team is supplemented with trainees during the summer. When recruiting a new employee, Holck considers experience of working in a regulated environment to be an advantage. If you are familiar with working in a GMP environment it will help you succeed in other roles at Orion. 

Orion offers a wide variety of roles and tasks within the company. You don't have to change companies if you want to progress in your career.”

“Orion offers a wide variety of roles and tasks within the company. You don’t have to change companies if you want to progress in your career. Job rotation and changes in responsibilities are common and encouraged,” says Holck. 
Holck works in three different locations: Espoo, Turku and Salo. She says that an inspiring and safe working environment that encourages career development forms the cornerstone of well-being at work. 
“You don’t always have to agree with everyone, and it is possible to challenge opinions without compromising psychological safety. I am proud of the fact that my job and my working community have given me the opportunity to grow professionally.”