Lahti Mechatronics Cluster

The most important industrial concentration in the Lahti region is the mechatronics cluster, which consists of companies in machinery, metal, and electronics and their stakeholders. The word mechatronics was originally introduced in Japan in the late 1960s when they realized that mechanics alone was not enough; you also needed intelligence in the form of electronics.

Mechatronics = Mechanics + Electronics

Since then, the software has been added to the equation with an ever-increasing role.

The mechatronics cluster is the most significant industrial cluster in the Lahti region regarding turnover, number of employees, and number of companies. The cluster has about 700 companies with a total turnover of over € 2 billion and 8,000 employees.

The cluster’s vision is to develop and strengthen its industry in the Lahti region, which uses the latest technology and is based on high know-how, to become more networked, internationalized, and innovative.

History

At the turn of the 20th century, railway, shipbuilding, and mechanical engineering were bringing jobs to the people of Lahti. At the time, a lot of small workshops were set up in Lahti. Most of them were family businesses.

Lahden Rautateollisuus Oy (Lahti Iron Industry) was founded in 1908. The company manufactured metal products from iron beds to woodworking machinery. Today, it is known as Raute Corporation, and it manufactures machinery and production lines for the wood processing industry. Raute’s projects include entire factories, production lines, and individual machines.

UPO Oy, Founded in 1938, started as a manufacturer of steel tubular furniture. In the 1950s and 1960s, production grew strongly with the manufacture of household appliances and plastic pipes. In 1946 the UPO foundry was founded in Lahti. In 1977, UPO Oy was merged with Asko Oy. The plastic pipe business grew, and in 1992, UPO Home Appliances was established.

Although most Lahti metal workers were employed by Raute and Upon after the war, there were also other major metal companies in the Lahti region in the early 20th century.

Vaahto Oy was founded in 1874, and it manufactured, among other things, boilers, sheet metal ovens, stoves, and washbasin covers. Today it is a global high-tech company that servers the process industry in papermaking technology and process equipment.

Joutjärvi Oy was founded in the 1930s. It manufactured tubular beds. Later it was acquired by Merivaara that also moved its head office to the same premises. Merivaara manufactures high-tech surgery room solutions.

Actual Mechatronics can be said to have started in Lahti in 1949 when Martti Kemppi began manufacturing electrical equipment. Today Kemppi Oy is a global manufacturer of advanced welding technology equipment.

Around the metals industry has risen a significant subcontracting network. The Lahti region has significant expertise in the manufacture of weighing and dosing systems. Stone is crushed, and tunnels are built worldwide with impact hammers and stone-working machines made in Lahti. Local conveyor technology know-how is evidenced by the tens of thousands of belt conveyor kilometers delivered worldwide. There is a long tradition in manufacturing injection molds and cutting tools, and the apartments are heated with burners made in Lahti.