FMS is a highly automatic manufacturing system that enables robots to work independently at Joensuun CNC-Machining Oy at night and partly during weekends. The FMS production cell is one example of what kind of investments in automation the Joensuu-based company has made.

– Visiting the Mazak power tool factory in Japan a few years ago opened my eyes. I started to wonder how automation and robotics could be used in our production, explains Petri Holopainen, CEO of Joensuun CNC-Machining Oy.

Expert – someone a company wants to hire; someone who will be in increasingly high demand in the future of the business world. Petri Holopainen is also an expert. He hadn’t been working as an employee for long wen Konekorjaamo Riikonen realised their growing need for mechanisation.

– My family friend Jari Riikonen encouraged me to start a company and become an entrepreneur. I gave it some thought and here we are, says Holopainen.

To be precise, Holopainen and his 35 employees are now the leading Finnish company in light and mid-heavy CNC machining, whose turnover has increased to over EUR 4 million. Their pace and development have escalated constantly since the company was established in 2007.

Making time for what’s essential

Joensuun CNC-Machining serves forestry machinery manufacturers, the mining industry and the wastewater sector. The company could be called a subcontractor as well as a contract manufacturer.

– Since we started, we’ve had successful cooperation with the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. From the beginning, investments have been essential because we started from a clean slate.

Initially, Holopainen managed the investment subsidies himself. Planning independent production facilities for the company in 2012, he realised that an investment of this scale would require outside help. This help was provided by Veikko Tahvanainen, Business Specialist at Business Joensuu (Joensuu Science Park at the time), who was implementing the Digikarjalasta kajahtaa project funded by the Regional Council of North Karelia.

– I realised that my time was better spent on the development and everyday management of the company. It’s a great relief to get help with funding applications as early as the investment preparation stage.

Industrious investor

In 2013, Joensuun CNC-Machining invested over EUR 2 million in its own production facilities and equipment. Last year, they invested approximately EUR 2.8 million in automation and real estate.

Automation entailed investments in digitalisation. With the Joensuu-based Process Genius Oy, the company has built monitoring for the duty ratio of production.

– Production transparency has improved and bottlenecks have been identified.

Holopainen intends to continue investing in automation and digitalisation. An eagerness to keep improving is the best guarantee that cooperation with customers and clients in the global market will carry on in the future.

– Clients continue to grow and develop; the same is expected of subcontractors. For CNC-Machining, using the FMS manufacturing system is one example of an important investment in the future. Recruiting experts will only become more challenging, and at the same time, you need to keep the labour costs per unit produced at a reasonable level, Business Specialist at Business Joensuu Veikko Tahvanainen reflects on the benefits of investing in automation.

Useful trips

Joensuun CNC-Machining has actively taken part in benchmarking and exhibition trips organised by Business Joensuu. Petri Holopainen feels that these trips have opened their eyes in many ways. Holopainen is convinced that in many respects, Finland is pioneering the utilisation of digitalisation.

“My time was better spent on the development and everyday management of the company”