Lapela, a traditional engineering company from Rauma, created its base. Today, the core of the business is in industrial automation, which is reflected in the name: Lapela Technology. A small company from Rauma wants to reach abroad. More specifically, to China.
– A lot of product innovations and unique projects are made in Finland. Would it be possible to make them the right products and sell them to the big market, Lapela’s CEO Janne Riihimaa asks. The question is rhetorical and Riihimaa’s answer is a strong yes.
Exports are a big part of the business
Lapela has been bringing Chinese CNC control systems and robots to Finland for years. Now money is moving in the other direction as well.
– The situation becomes more meaningful when we can also take Finnish know-how there. The share of exports in our turnover is still small, but I believe it will become a big part of our operations. Without Robocoast, we would not have been able to leave for China on this scale. We have really gotten inside Chinese industry and a network with Chinese decision-making contacts, Riihimaa says.
Robocoast is a centre of expertise run by Prizztech. Robocoast is involved in China’s state-owned industrial development project. The pilot city is Ningbo.
Packaging problems at the pump factory
Visits to China have given birth to concrete projects for Lapela. For example, a pump factory was in problems with returns. There was nothing wrong with the products, but the packages broke during transport.
– The problem was because the pumps were packed wet in cardboard. We developed a drying solution.
Lapela is trying to bring a flame surgery cell to the Chinese market as its first product.
– It is made in China, from a Chinese point of view and from a Chinese material to keep the price competitive. At the same time, we ourselves are learning more about automation and its utilization, which is also vital in the domestic market.
Robocoast’s Heikki Perko (left) and Lapela Technology’s Janne Riihimaa talked about China projects with Rauma’s Robocoast morning coffees.