Information about science based innovations, solid facts to support decision-making, performance and business development for VTT’s partners, customers and anyone interested in high technology and its applications.
A magazine on science, technology and business

​​​​​Ponsse’s machines are designed and manufactured in Vieremä, Finland. Photo: Ponsse

Swift and agile in business and in the forest

Paula Bergqvist | 4.6.2015

​Forest machine manufacturer Ponsse is transforming. Its new products will enter serial production in phases during 2015. As a result of quick growth in the past years, the company has emerged a leading manufacturer of industrial harvesting products in several markets.

The new 2015 models mark the most significant product range overhaul in ­Ponsse’s history, introducing new solutions and engines that call for major changes in the factory, says Ponsse’s President and CEO Juho Nummela.  

When renewing the products, Ponsse has focused on efficiency, structural durability, easy maintenance and ergonomics. The new models’ engines will also be compliant with the new environment requirements of the EU. 

– Financial cycles have shifted rapidly since 2009, and last year was the most successful in our history. We have been doing the right things, creating demand for and interest in our products.

Ponsse shows that it is possible to run a viable business in Finland and Northern Savonia, far from industrial hubs. 

Nummela names three factors that have en­abled Ponsse’s success: renewal, high level of education and an effective innovation system.

– The company’s quick ability to adopt new product and manufacturing technologies makes high-technology manufacturing possible in Finland. Productivity must also be at a sufficient level to make business viable here. Finnish competitiveness has been hit by the global financial ­crisis, which involves some risks, but we have kept both our product development and manufacturing operations in Finland.

In addition to extensive in-house manufacturing, Ponsse works in close cooperation with a supplier network. Operations are based on the principle that the suppliers must also be able to grow, make investments and network. 

– Ponsse designs and manufactures its products­ together with its partner companies in the Vieremä business park, which facilitates communication, Nummela points out.

Ponsse’s product range consists of forest machines suitable for all kinds of conditions from harvesting on steep slopes to dense eucalyptus forests. The quality of infrastructure in the countries to which Ponsse exports products varies greatly, making spare part delivery and machine maintenance more challenging.

– Our task is to ensure that the machines work in the forest. They must be maintained so that they work reliably, even in the freezing conditions in Siberia. We need to develop our parts and maintenance networks continuously, to keep up with sales and product development. Good networks are a foundation for long-term operation, Nummela says.


 

Product development ideas stem from the forest

Customer-oriented approach is an important part of product development at Ponsse. 

– It’s good to know how the machine operators work and what kind of needs they have. Our best product development ideas originate in harvesting sites. We also get valuable feedback from our resellers. 

– We maintain regular communication with forest companies home and abroad. All our machines, frames included, are manufactured in our own factory in Vieremä. For us, the frame is an important part of the product. We do much more than just assemble parts in our factory, Nummela points out.

Ponsse’s product development and testing are also carried out in Vieremä, managed by Director, Technology and R&D Juha Inberg. The new prototype testing facility opened for business in March. 


 

Customer needs guide product development

Nummela and Inberg do not want to venture guesses about the next technological leap in the industry. According to them, digitisation will provide new opportunities for a long time to come. 

– Ponsse’s machines are increasingly monitoring themselves. As the products develop, we acquire a growing pool of data from the product network on how customers use them. This data is valuable for both production and product development, Inberg explains. 

– There are numerous interesting technolo­gical opportunities. We focus on those that can enhance harvesting technologies, machine productivity and reliability as well as ergonomics. 

– Our customers need reliable machines. Machine operators work in demanding conditions that require focus and quick decision-making, making ergonomics important. Spare part deliveries and effective maintenance are the ultimate deal-maker, Nummela says.


 

​Juho Nummela (right), Juha Inberg and the Scorpion harvester from Ponsse’s 2015 series. The Scorpion boasts special features such as minimum surface pressure, stability, high productivity and excellent ergonomics.​ Photo: Paula Bergqvist


 

Participation in network programmes

Over the past years, Ponsse has been an active participant in the network programmes coordinated by the Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster, FIMECC Ltd. Cooperation with VTT and universities is ongoing in programmes such as MANU (Manufacturing Competence through Digitisation), which aims to develop supplier networks by digitisation. 

In the past, research cooperation with VTT has involved, for example, reduction of vibration and safety assessment of control systems.

– FIMECC, Ponsse and VTT have established a great cooperative triangle, Nummela says. 

– It is worthwhile for VTT to focus on the recognition of customer needs to provide great results. General research topics tend not to be of use to us, and more often than not, we need quick results. 

– VTT readily supports product development in cooperation with companies in many industries. We are currently working on several projects to produce new and innovative machinery products. At the new VTT Ltd, we aim to deepen this cooperation and provide services that complement the customers’ own product development seamlessly. Bridging the gap between research and product development is one of our key objectives, says VTT’s Key Account Manager Pirkka Tukeva


 

From a workshop to a manufacturing group

Forest machine company Ponsse was founded in 1970 by Einari Vidgrén (1943-2010), a logger in Northern Savonia. 

Logging was hard work for a young man. There were no durable machines available, so Vidgrén decided to build one. His machine was robust and agile in the forest terrain. When others expressed interest in the machine, Vidgrén decided to open a factory. The company was named after Ponsse, an agile cross-breed dog renowned in Vieremä for its hunting skills.

The manufacture of first factory-made Ponsse machines started in Vieremä in 1970. Ponsse’s first harvester was manufactured in 1986, which also marks the year Ponsse started manufacturing harvester grapples and measuring devices. Demand for the products was steady, and the company already had interested buyers. 

Ponsse was sold to Interpolator Oy in 1988, but as recession hit Finland in the early 1990s, the Vidgrén family purchased it back. Exports pick up, and Ponsse is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange in 1995. Strong growth has continued ever since.
Ponsse’s foreign subsidiaries are responsible for sales, maintenance and parts deliveries in their respective areas. To date, Ponsse’s forest machines have been sold to 40 countries. 

Ponsse Group consists of the parent company Ponsse Plc and subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, UK, France, USA, Brazil, Russia, China and Uruguay as well as Epec Oy in Finland. In 2014, Ponsse Plc’s net sales amounted to EUR 390.8 million. International operations accounted for 75 per cent of Ponsse’s net sales.

Ponsse’s machines are designed and manufactured in Vieremä, Finland. Since 2000, Ponsse has emerged a market leader in Finland and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forest machines for the cut-to-length method. The Group employs some 1,200 forest machine professionals.

 

 

Impulsehttp://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseImpulse
Impulse 1/2015http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2015.aspxImpulse 1/2015
Impulse 2/2015http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2015.aspxImpulse 2/2015
Impulse 1/2016http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2016.aspxImpulse 1/2016
A birthday gift from us to ourselveshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-birthday-gift-from-us-to-ourselves.aspxA birthday gift from us to ourselves
A future without wastewater?http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-future-without-wastewater.aspxA future without wastewater?
A machine is more humanehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-machine-is-more-humane.aspxA machine is more humane
Are environmental claims believable?http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Are-environmental-claims-believable.aspxAre environmental claims believable?
At the digital forefront of mininghttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-digital-forefront-of-mining.aspxAt the digital forefront of mining
Boost for propeller developmenthttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Boost-for-propeller-development.aspxBoost for propeller development
Challenges conceal opportunitieshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Challenges-conceal-opportunities.aspxChallenges conceal opportunities
Comfy but energy efficient homeshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Comfy-but-energy-efficient-homes.aspxComfy but energy efficient homes
Converting rags to design clotheshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Converting-rags-to-design-clothes.aspxConverting rags to design clothes
Designers needed in printed technologyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Designers-needed-in-printed-technology.aspxDesigners needed in printed technology
Developers of the futurehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Developers-of-the-future.aspxDevelopers of the future
From ideas to major innovationshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-drawing-board-to-major-innovation.aspxFrom ideas to major innovations
Intelligence for machineshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligence-for-machines.aspxIntelligence for machines
VTT Impulsehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/MainPage.aspxVTT Impulse
Jari Gustafsson: Old and new workhorses as recession beatershttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Old-and-new-workhorses-as-recession-beaters.aspxJari Gustafsson: Old and new workhorses as recession beaters
Same old routine for the next 100 yearshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Same-old-routine-for-the-next-100-years.aspxSame old routine for the next 100 years
Serious efforts to boost the Finnish economyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Serious-efforts-to-boost-the-Finnish-economy.aspxSerious efforts to boost the Finnish economy
The creators of the future get down to businesshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-creators-of-the-future-get-down-to-business.aspxThe creators of the future get down to business
The new agenda enhances the use of research infrastructurehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-new-agenda-enhances-the-use-of-research-infrastructure.aspxThe new agenda enhances the use of research infrastructure
We must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investmenthttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/We-must-maintain-Finland-as-an-attractive-target-for-investment.aspxWe must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investment
Demand for energy storage is growing rapidlyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Demand-for-energy-storage-is-growing-rapidly.aspxDemand for energy storage is growing rapidly
Let's make bioeconomy a realityhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Lets-make-bioeconomy-a-reality.aspxLet's make bioeconomy a reality
Risk management in an increasingly complex worldhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Risk-management-in-an-increasingly-complex-world.aspxRisk management in an increasingly complex world
Brazil paves the way for bioenergyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Brazil-paves-the-way-for-bioenergy.aspxBrazil paves the way for bioenergy
Health benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food qualityhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-benefits-and-efficiency-without-sacrificing-food-quality.aspxHealth benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food quality
Modelling and simulation facilitateshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Modelling-and-simulation-facilitates.aspxModelling and simulation facilitates
Return on investmentshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Return-on-investments.aspxReturn on investments
Finland is good investmenthttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-is-good-investment.aspxFinland is good investment
Impulse 1/2017http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2017.aspxImpulse 1/2017
Impulse 2/2014http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2014.aspxImpulse 2/2014
Impulse 1/2014http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2014.aspxImpulse 1/2014
By measuring you can improvehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/By-measuring-you-can-improve.aspxBy measuring you can improve
What's going on in Australia?http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Whats-going-on-in-Australia.aspxWhat's going on in Australia?
Using personal know-how to promote the common goodhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Using-personal-know-how-to-promote-the-common-good.aspxUsing personal know-how to promote the common good
Impulse 2/2016http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2016.aspxImpulse 2/2016
Senior Scientist Jukka Hemila, VTT: From technology hype to customer understandinghttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Senior-Scientist-Jukka-Hemila-VTT-From-technology-hype-to-customer-understanding.aspxSenior Scientist Jukka Hemila, VTT: From technology hype to customer understanding
The future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Ouluhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-future-5G-network-proceeds-to-test-phase-in-Oulu.aspxThe future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Oulu
An export product tougher than nailshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/An-export-product-tougher-than-nails.aspxAn export product tougher than nails
Gerontechnology providing everyday assistance and safetyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Gerontechnology-providing-everyday-assistance-and-safety.aspxGerontechnology providing everyday assistance and safety
Better beer based on long-term researchhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Better-beer-based-on-long-term-research.aspxBetter beer based on long-term research
Business angel speaks out: Growth from the international arenahttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-angel-speaks-out-Growth-from-the-international-arena.aspxBusiness angel speaks out: Growth from the international arena
Miniaturising devices to fit on your palmhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Miniaturising-devices-to-fit-on-your-palm.aspxMiniaturising devices to fit on your palm
There is no better innovation model in the worldhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/There-is-no-better-innovation-model-in-the-world.aspxThere is no better innovation model in the world
VTT’s spin-off GrainSense puts a laboratory in farmers’ handshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/VTTs-spin-off-GrainSense-puts-a-laboratory-in-farmers-hands.aspxVTT’s spin-off GrainSense puts a laboratory in farmers’ hands
Leca – filtering a cleaner futurehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Leca-filtering-a-cleaner-future.aspxLeca – filtering a cleaner future
Pilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activitieshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pilot-plants-forge-innovative-ideas-into-business-activities.aspxPilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activities

CONTACT US

P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland
Tel. exchange +358 20 722 111
Opening hours Mon - Fri 8:00 - 16:30,
UTC +2 time zone

CUSTOMER SERVICE

info@vtt.fi
Tel. +358 20 722 7070
Opening hours Mon - Fri 9:00 - 11:00 and 12:00 - 15:00,
UTC +2 time zone