Finnish wood is a raw material that is refined into many products by skilled hands. Lameltec Oy in Pyhäjärvi has been manufacturing products for the construction industry for more than 25 years.
Lameltec Oy’s main product is solid wood and glue laminated wood blanks, which are delivered to door and window factories all over Finland. The products are suitable for even the most demanding projects: detached houses, public buildings, special renovation projects.
Instead of mass production, Pyhäjärvi has invested in special expertise and high quality. It has been needed, for example, in Helsinki and Turku’s valuable properties and architectural sites.
– We only make non-finger-jointed products, ie blanks that are not just “chunks” joined together. We have kept it and we want to keep it this way, says CEO Pekka Väyrynen.
A blank is a product that, after finishing, results in a finished window sash or frame. In addition, Lameltec Oy has also started to manufacture further processed products.
– We have started to make more profiles. The products are planed into form, and the customer is left with only surface treatment and assembly, Väyrynen says.
Lameltec Oy uses domestic pine as the main material, and some hardwood. Väyrynen is concerned about the availability of good quality raw materials: the amount of knot-free wood in Finland is declining, and intensive cultivation reduces the quality of wood.
– We have high quality standards, and we have to hold on to them by all means.
Good wood comes at a price. When you can get cheap stuff from around the world, Lameltec has to look for other competitive advantages. The advantage of a domestic operator is providing a flexible and agile service. If necessary, batches of just the right size can be delivered to the customer, even on a quick schedule.
Quality is also guaranteed by the supply chain, where no one is “trampled into the swamp” not even the last subcontractor.
– Then the result is the best for the end user as well, Väyrynen says.
Renewing the company with help from the family
The wood business has passed through the Väyrynen family as a family heritage. Lameltec, founded in 1994, was originally an employer for Pekka Väyrynen and his father. When the Väyrynen family acquired the indebted company in 2005, the goal was to secure jobs.
– First, we started cutting costs, and we stopped our own field saw and dryer. Today, all timber comes to us pre-sawn and dried, Väyrynen says.
In the beginning, there were plenty of challenges. New investments were followed by a recession that began in 2008, which temporarily halted operations and caused sleepless nights for the entrepreneurs. However, there was demand for Lameltec’s special expertise, and after the recession, work continued.
Lameltec Oy is owned by three brothers, two of whom work for the company. After his father passed away, Pekka became CEO a couple of years ago. In total, the company employs six people, and the turnover for the last couple of years has been around 1.5 million euros.
Lameltec has always been supported by long-term domestic customers. Through manufacturers, products also go abroad, including Russia.
In the past, wood blanks have also been exported to Germany. According to Väyrynen, the significance of our own export has diminished all the time, and this year all of our production will go to domestic customers.
– It’s a question of price. Our products are mainly made by hand and to special order, so we are unable to compete globally on price. There has been enough demand in Finland, so we will work here as long as there is work.
The timber sector is an important pillar of the region
Arto Junno, NIHAK’s business services manager, considers Lameltec a good example of how a wood company should invest in special expertise and in finding its own segment.
– With specialization, quality production and good partners, operations have been brought to a sound level.
Timber construction has been on the rise for some time, which has been helped by many public timber construction projects.
– For companies, this situation is both a challenge and an opportunity, Junno states.
The NIHAK area has a wide range of wood products industries, including sawmill industry, housing industry and carpentry industry, as well as door and window factories. It also brings with it a large multiplier effects across the region.
– The wood industry handles large material flows, which employs companies in the subcontracting chain well. All in all, it is an important pillar in the business world of our region, Junno states.
Junno estimates that companies in the sector have recovered well from the beginning of the corona pandemic. Although construction and housing sales slowed down for a while in the spring, production at the factories has continued.
In January-June 2020, the net number of all companies in the NIHAK region increased by 24. 71 new companies were established and 47 companies quit business.
– This speaks to the fact that the effects of the corona have not been so great here and that entrepreneurship is still seen as a good option.