Metso Insights Blog People and culture Metso Field Services — where innovation meets operation
Jul 5, 2024

Metso Field Services — where innovation meets operation

In the world of mining, industrial machinery is indispensable, and within its operation lies a critical yet often overlooked role: that of a Field Service professional. Three Field Services experts walk us through the extent of the role and the boundless opportunities in the field.

Overseeing the entire lifecycle

Field Service professionals is where everything comes together,” says Christian Sandholm, VP of Field Service, Services business area. From the installation of equipment to its operation, maintenance, and eventual modernization, Field Service professionals oversee the entire lifecycle, ensuring seamless function. It's a role that demands a blend of technical skills, problem-solving acumen, and strong interpersonal skills to navigate the diverse landscape of stakeholders, both within and outside the organization.

What exactly does a Field Service professional do? The possibilities are vast, from leading teams in market areas to troubleshooting difficult equipment issues for our customers. Using specialized knowledge in specific technologies such as crushers or grinding mills, Field Service workers play a pivotal role in supporting customers and driving Metso's overarching strategy. Their education backgrounds vary, ranging from mechanical to electrical disciplines, but what unites them is a shared commitment to excellence, maintaining equipment longevity and safety, and continuous learning.

“Customers have always valued our professionalism and quality of work, being in the field puts us on the front line with the customer so having the right knowledge, safety plan and attitude with them is everything. Metso field service takes pride in what we do and how we do it. Bringing quality and confidence to their operations is what we promise and always hit the mark or exceed expectations,” says David Armitage, Field Service Lead, North and Central America at Metso.

David Armitage at work.
David Armitage at work.

A typical day for a Field Service professional is anything but boring.  Whether carrying out routine maintenance regular working hours or working long shifts during a shutdown, they must adapt to unforeseen challenges and quickly devise innovative solutions to keep operations running smoothly. When onsite at remote mine locations, safety is always paramount. From conducting inspections to performing preventive maintenance or troubleshooting, every task is geared toward ensuring the seamless operation of our customer’s critical equipment.

Metso at the forefront of the megatrends

Looking towards the future, Christian particularly emphasizes the megatrends reshaping the industrial landscape, such as automation, digital tools, and sustainability.

"Metso has a big impact," he notes, highlighting the critical role of mining in the production of essential minerals for modern technologies. People may not realize it, but the metals in our devices — whether it's the components in our smartphones or the batteries in electric vehicles — most likely come from mines where Metso provides equipment and services.

Christian Sandholm at work.
Christian Sandholm at work.

As the demand for electric vehicles continues to surge, so does the need for metals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, essential components of batteries that power these vehicles. Field Service professionals at Metso ensure the operation and maintenance of mining equipment, which in turn supports the extraction of essential minerals for electrification and sustainable technologies.

In the future of Field Service, digital tools will be our greatest allies, revolutionizing the way we work and solve problems. From advanced measuring devices to cutting-edge scanning technology, these tools are driving efficiency and precision in our operations and at Metso, we are developing them.

“Technology has had a great impact in our workplace in a few ways, such as remote work, collaboration, and faster productivity. Technology has made it possible for me to work remotely, collaborate with tools like file sharing and instant messaging, and faster communication which make us more productive and help make the customers happier,” explains Leland Williams, Field Service Lead, United States at Metso.

Remote connectivity powered by augmented reality (AR) is the key to unlocking new possibilities in the field. Virtual goggles and AR-enabled cameras will enable us to visualize equipment and provide clear instructions. This will streamline troubleshooting and improve training processes for onsite teams. With remote support capabilities, experts will provide real-time guidance to onsite teams from anywhere in the world, reducing downtime as well as emissions associated with travel. The Field Service role will change in the upcoming years to be even more hybrid.

Leland Williams at work.
Leland Williams at work.

A field of boundless opportunities

For those considering a career in Field Services, the opportunities are boundless. The career trajectory within Field Services is multifaceted. Beyond technical roles, there are opportunities to transition into technical support, design, production management, and even sales. Customer-facing roles are particularly appealing, as they allow our professionals to leverage their expertise to build rapport with clients and understand their needs intimately.

Field Service professionals are also the backbone of product development. Their insights from direct customer interactions and equipment play an important role in shaping future iterations of products.

Our training methodology at Metso plays a pivotal role in shaping field service engineers. We have established a robust training framework that encompasses both theoretical knowledge and hands-on field experience. Mentoring on the field is crucial for nurturing talent and ensuring proficiency at all levels.

“Precision takes patience and practice but, in our division, we have some of the best engineers and leaders in the industry, which take the time to teach you every step of the process so you too can become part of the best field service team in the industry,” David Armitage says.

Field Service professionals are the backbone of product development. Their insights from direct customer interactions and equipment play an important role in shaping future iterations of products.

Our talent development starts with the concept of "License to Service," which goes beyond technical skills to encompass behavior and working standards. Our Training Academy has three progressive certification levels: professional, expert, and master. Each of these levels play an important role in servicing the customer effectively with the right competence for the job. In the end, it's all about nurturing talent, fostering growth, and embracing a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

As Christian reflects, he underscores the impact Field Service professionals have on Metso's sustainability targets. Through energy-efficient solutions, waste reduction initiatives, and proactive maintenance practices, they're not just servicing equipment; they're stewarding a planet-positive future.