01 July 2020
LANKA_FINLAND: MANUFACTURING OF PLASTIC & STEEL WIRE PRODUCTS, SINCE 1950
The Roots of company can be traced in the yearly 1950s. Brothers Eino and Heikki founded with their father Yrjö the Pohjanlehto import and wholesale business which started under the name Lypo. The offices of the business were at that time in Pori, within a sauna chamber in Vanhakoivisto. Own production was planned gradually, and the first developed product was a cooking whisk. A new company was established for this purpose in 1955, Lanka and Muovi Ky, and a small workshop was built in Niittymaa, Pori.
When developing new products, the problem became surface coating treatment of products.
Since the necessary technology was not available in Finland, Eino Pohjanlehto set out to find the solution abroad. A solution to the problem was discovered between late 1956 and early 1957, when Eino found in Italy a company manufacturing polyethylene raw-material. He received a small sample of the raw-material from this manufacturer; surface coating experiments were made in Pori, in the regular kitchen oven of the Kiertokatu apartment. The successful experiment in surface coating led into significant investment, and we were the first company in Finland to introduce the polyethylene coating of metal.
This insight launched the strong growth of the business. Product portfolio quickly expanded to cover all household storage needs. In the early 1960s, a new interest in household plastic products led to new investments. Plastics gradually grew into an important product family, and the company became one of the market leaders in household plastics in Finland. By the end of 1960s, 80% of the business turnover originated from the manufacturing of plastics products. The Oil Crisis Changes Everything Early 1970s was the start of a world-wide oil crisis which lead in to a huge price hike of plastic raw-materials.
This in turn lead into unhealthy competition, and started hard price competition among the industry’s businesses. At about this time, Rosenlew, the refrigerator manufacturer located in Pori, made a major export deal. At the time, Rosenlew manufactured their own steel wire shelves.
However, Rosenlew wanted to give up the production of steel wire products, and discovered us. A new partnership agreement changed the direction of the entire company, and the product portfolio started again to develop more strongly into steel wire products. Extensive investments in manufacturing technology were made, and gradually steel wire works became a significant business. The main portion of production consisted of sub-contracting in various industries, but at the same time we continued manufacturing, selling, and marking our own storage products. Technology changes the Industry Manufacturing of steel wire product was very labour intensive, and even in 1970s, the company had 150 employees. At the same time, new technology was introduced in the market, and we started to develop new working methods. In 1986, the first robots appeared to help with lifting heavy pieces, and the company employed 120 employees even at the end of 1980s. The cornerstones of the company consisted of high quality and the adjustment of production according to the customers in different industries. At the end of 1980s, the lead of the family business was taken over by Eino’s son, Harri Pohjanlehto.
For more information contact Mr Harri Pohjanlehto:
LANKA ja Muovi Oy
FI-28580 PORI / Finland
Tel. +358 2 6347700