October’s SuperSealer is leading efforts to transform our Tijuana facility in Mexico, overseeing an enormous construction project in her first year at Trelleborg. She shares her impressions of the company so far, discusses the Tijuana plant transfer, and outlines her target areas to support Trelleborg’s future growth.
Who are you?
Karen Arias. I’m a Project Engineer at Trelleborg Seals & Profiles, and I’m based in Tijuana, Mexico.
How long have you worked in this position and what are your key duties?
I joined Trelleborg just over a year ago, in August 2021. I’m responsible for delivering our capital expenditure plan at the Tijuana facility, aligning it with our business plan and needs, and optimizing our asset utilization. My other duties are issuing quotes, managing expense and execution, and ensuring our safety, sustainability, and profitability at the site.
How long have you been with Trelleborg in total and what do you like about working with Trelleborg?
In the 12 months since joining the company, I’ve really appreciated the freedom I have to share my opinions and engage with a diverse range of colleagues from all over the world. I also value the company’s focus on personal and professional development: I’ve certainly benefited from the many training programs and networking opportunities on offer. Having access to so many gifted colleagues and managers is probably what I like the most. It’s really helped me build my career.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
I went right in at the deep end with my first project – a full plant transfer! This project required huge amounts of construction, so I had to coordinate activities with different suppliers, as well as conducting careful time and priority analysis. Working closely with the maintenance team, we built areas and installed a new water-cooling and compressed air system. We then had to make electrical adjustments according to the plant layout: these later stages involved floor repairs and machine assembly, disassembly, maneuver, and transfer. The final step was painting the walls and installing the lights. This project had so many moving parts: I’m very proud how we managed everything!
How do you think the business in your area is going to evolve in the future? How are you preparing for this?
My first year has been a phenomenal learning experience. As a senior executor and coordinator of the Tijuana plant transfer, overseeing it has given me newfound energy to keep on helping transform Trelleborg’s processes. My priority now is to assist our business in introducing greater automation across and address the limited lifetimes of certain molds and machines.
By focusing our efforts on these two critical issues, I think our business can thrive in the coming years. My aim is to inspire change throughout the organization by leading from the frontline: reminding people of what can be accomplished when we work together.
What do you do in your free time?
I love being outdoors, and I find the best way to relax is to go for a long bike ride on the beach or join friends at a picnic. I also enjoy traveling and exploring different countries and customs. But when I’m at home, you can normally find me getting my hands dirty taking care of my mini garden of succulent plants.