Decades of first-rate machining
In 1974, Swedish company Oy Atlas Copco Ab opened a factory in Kiviranta in Iisalmi, Finland. The company specialized in the manufacture of pneumatic hammers and related spare parts. Amongst other decisive factors, the establishment of a factory in Iisalmi was strongly favoured by the region’s available labour supply and the Finnish State’s regional development policy at the time.
Lack of space at the Iisalmi factory was a problem from the start, so it was always clear that the premises would be only temporary. An industrial village was being built north of Iisalmi at that time, which is where Oy Atlas Copco Ab's new factory started in early 1976. Toolfac Oy operates in the same location today.
In the 1980s, Oy Atlas Copco Ab’s Iisalmi factory served principally as a prefabrication unit with the further processing of the products such as finishing being completed at the company’s Masala factory. The Masala factory was also responsible for material procurement, and for operational and production planning.
In 1987, the company announced its decision to discontinue all production operations in Finland. Closure of the Masala factory was foreseeable, but it was hoped that the Iisalmi factory could continue its machining shop operations on a sub-contracting basis. The negotiations were drawn-out, but were successful in the end. In 1988, Oy Toolfac Ab was established by twelve owners in Iisalmi.
The company purchased the machines, equipment, uncompleted production from Oy Atlas Copco Ab. The new company also acquired ready components, some of which are still on display on the company's premises. In addition, a large volume of production equipment was transferred from Masala to Iisalmi.
Oy Toolfac Ab came into operation on 1 January 1988. At the time, it only had a couple of small clients in addition to Oy Atlas Copco Ab. Marketing operations were started immediately and in the following autumn, the company participated in the Subcontracting Fair in Tampere. This was a valuable opportunity to make contact with prospective customers.
The economic recession of the early 1990s did not significantly harm Oy Toolfac Ab, and the company continued to make new investments annually. The company expanded its client base, and extended its expertise through new investments and diverse training. New assignments were received for the grinding machines, which facilitated the company’s transformation into a manufacturer of precision mechanic products. Oy Toolfac Ab developed its operations in accordance with the ISO 9001 quality control and management system from early on. The company developed and diversified constantly throughout the 1990s.
The new millennium began with the attainment of the ISO 14001 and other certified quality control systems. Oy Toolfac Ab also made several major equipment investments, including a Studer grinding machine and a Mazak multitask lathe.
The next major change of ownership occurred in 2004, when the company’s longterm Production Manager Erkki Huuskonen reached a partnership agreement with Pekka Koponen and Sentica Partners Oy. Together they completed an asset sale, and Pekka Koponen was appointed Managing Director. Later, Kari Lappalainen became a partner also. The company’s name was changed from Oy Toolfac Ab to Toolfac Oy.
The early years of Toolfac Oy were marked by strong growth and development into an even more modern machining shop. An occupational safety and health system (OHSAS 18001) was established and certified. Over the ensuing years the company grew slowly but surely. At its largest, the company had a staff of 55 people and the factory operated in two shifts. Machine and equipment investments were continued each year to ensure competitiveness and expertise in modern production methods.
The company’s most recent momentous change happened in late 2012, when Erkki Huuskonen and Kari Lappalainen both sold off their entire share capital. Following the sale, Finnish capital investment company Canelco Capital Oy became Pekka Koponen's sole partner in the company. Pekka Koponen is now the company’s main owner and Managing Director.