Celebrating 100 years of Finnish design

Elematic comes from Finland – from a true design nation! On December 6th 2017, Finland has been independent for 100 years. Join us to celebrate Finland through our design innovations, which have transformed the world.

The declaration of independence in 1917 was the starting point for the Finnish design. Finland wanted to renew its identity, which led to taking inspiration from the surrounding nature. The creation of the Finnish style focused on subtle and functional features. Back then, the aim was to create easy-to-use products.

Small, yet efficient
Photo: Fiskars Scissors

Exactly 50 years ago, Fiskars, a Finnish company, transformed the way the world saw scissors. The innovation was a lifesaver, because they replaced old and heavy forged scissors. The new design provided comfort, ease of use and incredible cutting performance. The orange-handled scissors highlight the simplicity and functionality of the Finnish design. Over one billion pairs have been sold around the world, which shows how a simple design can have such a big impact on your life.

Photo: FaMe Shuttering System

Similarly, in 1995 Elematic patented their first FaMe shuttering system for precast wall manufacturing. The system provided ease of use and straight window and door openings for wall elements. Later the system was complemented with totally new type of magnets. Thanks to their innovative design, these simple and extremely functional pushbutton-magnets, introduced in 2006, were and still are quicker to use and much lighter compared to any other existing solutions. The risk for finger injuries was minimized in both – in the scissors and magnets.

Industrial design is not all about appearance – it’s also about functionality and safety. The aim is to make the product best suitable for the purpose, safe to use and as efficient as possible.

Practicality and productivity matter

You may have heard of the iconic Aalto vase by Alvar Aalto, which has inspired designers ever since 1936, but did you know that he is also behind many architecturally interesting buildings? Alvar Aalto designed hundreds of houses from private to public sector and from town plans to urban centers. He was eager to try out different construction methods and designs. Hence, in 1920s Aalto designed the first building with elements comparable to modern precast concrete elements, but at the time it didn’t get wind under its wings. However, in 1930s concrete was already the most used building material in Finland, and after World War II, the construction boom began. During the intense industrialization in the 60s and 70s, more and more people wanted to live in the city centers. The situation required quick and cost-efficient construction for which precast concrete was ideal.

Photo: The First Vibrating Extruder
Photo: The 4th Generation Shear Compaction Extruder P7

The concrete construction boom, and the need for industrialized construction that followed it, drove the need for new kind of machinery as well, and who was there if not Elematic, or the company that later grew to be Elematic – Toijalan Teräsvalmiste. For example, the history of Elematic’s extruders dates back to 1971, when Toijalan Teräsvalmiste manufactured its first vibrating extruder. It was designed for efficient and productive manufacturing of hollow-core slabs. After years of work and R&D, Elematic introduced the 4th generation shear compaction Extruder P7 in 2010. The design focused on creating an extruder, which minimizes production costs and produces the most reliable casting result. Today the most modern Extruder P7 needs minimum amount of cement and concrete for high quality hollow-core slab production and its automatic compaction reacts to any changes in the concrete mass. It provides a safer working environment to employees, and ease of use and maintenance. When the world changes and working methods develop, the machinery design needs to keep up.

Step towards the unknown

Invented in 1987, Mobira CItyman 900 was considered the first-ever mobile phone and it put Finland on the world map as a country of great skills for designing and manufacturing electric devices. The phone weighted 760 grams and was angular in shape. Years later, mobile phones had become much smaller with circular edges. For instance, globally known Nokia launched the world’s best-selling mobile phone, NOKIA 1100, in 2003. The goal was to design a simple GSM-phone, suitable for severe conditions for electronics in developing countries. The goal was clearly reached – the phone was very functional and easy to use.

Photo: The Nokia 1100 mobile phone

As we know, Nokia couldn’t keep up with the trend of smart phones and tablets with wireless internet connections and a countless number of apps to use, but other Finnish companies followed as forerunners in their fields of technology. Nowadays people all around the world utilize these innovations, but they can – and also will – benefit the precast concrete industry. Elematic sees a paperless precast factory in the future, where smart devices have a major role. It’s all about optimizing the whole construction process, about mobilizing it all the way from the design to construction. The information shall be shareable every inch of the way. It’s the future, inspired by earlier innovations and R&D.

Elematic congratulates Finland on its 100 years anniversary!

Did you know that Finland has been ranked 5th among the World’s most innovative countries in the 2016 edition of Global Innovation Index (GII)? This benefits precasters around the world, because Elematic is constantly developing something new. We strive towards development and innovation – towards making your production even more cost-efficient and productive. If you have any ideas for improvement, please contact us!

Featured image: Suomi 100 / Leena Koskela

Leave a Reply