Tehomet turned 40 in Autumn 2019. A company that originally produced washing machines has grown through the decades to Nordic countries’ largest lighting pole manufacturer. Tehomet has three production units: Kangasniemi, Parikkala and Kiiu (in Estonia). Tehomet lighting poles are featured all around Finland, and they are exported throughout Europe and also through mother company Valmont Industries’ network worldwide.
Jarkko Kettunen’s expertize was noted in Valmont’s management and he was named as a managing director of Valmont EMEA region. Jarkko carries alongside this task also Tehomet’s managing director’s duties. As an instruction to the job he was advised to tune Valmont EMEA’s entities to the same shape as Tehomet.
Tehomet’s mother company awarded Tehomet as the best entity amongst over 100 participants. This highly valued Chairman’s Award is issued one at a time and only once a year. Tehomet’s innovativeness and actions as a part of Valmont supported by financial figures were the factors behind this acknowledgement.
Continuous development of wood pole production and product range boosted exports sales significantly. Wood pole sales to Sweden tripled, and France and other continental Europe remained a strong market as well. The production was further automatized e.g. with new painting line, and R&D actions realized several new pole models.
Tehomet will deliver the Arab Emirates with 788 decorative wooden poles equipped with individual solar panels. The poles will be located in the first about 400 hectar part of the upcoming Dubai Zoo
The project has been in the works for a little over year between the local representative in Dubai and Tehomet people both in Kangasniemi and Parikkala. This significant order of wooden poles has enabled Tehomet to hire three new employees to the Parikkala factory. The undertaking will also employ several workers at Kangasniemi as well as sub contractors for manufacturing the metal parts.
Suomen Asiakastieto Oy selected Tehomet as the strongest company of Southern Savonia county in 2014! This was a result of extraordinarily successful business, constant growth, financial solidity and payment behavior. Also ownership related features combined with other background influenced this award.
On January 1, 2012, a succession strategy at Tehomet was implemented. Pentti Kettunen left his Managing Director’s position to his eldest son, Jarkko Kettunen. Pentti himself continues working at Tehomet as the Business Development Director.
Jarkko Kettunen is not a new face in the Tehomet work community. He has worked both in the office as well as on the production line for years. In fact, since 2006, Jarkko served as Deputy Managing Director at Tehomet. Therefore, moving on to the Managing Director’s position has come naturally.
Jarkko Kettunen has been involved in many important projects, including launching the production at Tehomet Baltic ÖU in Estonia and taking part in Valmont’s executive training program at the company's U.S. headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
In 2011, Tehomet expanded its functions to MS-Metal’s former production space. Before starting production, the space was renovated and the outside area was also modified. The facilities also provided room for Tehomet’s important cooperation partners, FSP Oy and KS-Rahti.
As part of the renovation, one of the largest powder coating chambers in Finland was created. In fact, Tehomet can now powder coat and thermoplastically coat poles and masts up to 12 meters in length.
Suomen Nuorkauppakamarit Ry myönsi Tehomet Oy:lle Vuoden vientitykki 2009-palkinnon. Kilpailussa haettiin kansainvälisesti menestynyttä yritystä kokoon katsomatta. Erityistä kiitosta Tehomet Oy sai kasvustaan ja markkinoidensa laajentamisesta ulkomaille sekä yrityksen pitkäjänteisestä kehittymisestä alallaan. Tehometin vienti onkin levittäytynyt laajalle alueelle Eurooppaan sekä muille mantereille.
Laajennettuaan toimintaansa puisiin erikoispylväisiin vuonna 2007, Tehomet Oy aloitti puupylvästuotantonsa ensin Keiteleellä, josta toiminta siirrettiin Parikkalaan loka-marraskuussa 2008. Parikkalan kiinteistö vapautui syksyllä 2008 PariWood Oy:n konkurssipesältä.
Tehdas sijaitsee Kirjolan teollisuusalueella Parirealty Oy:n kiinteistössä. Parirealty on Parikkalan kunnan ja Tehomet Oy:n omistama kiinteistöyhtiö, jonka kokonaispinta-ala on n. 8500 m2
Tehomet expanded its product range into custom wooden light poles in December, 2007, when the company purchased the business operations of Luxiwood Oy, based in Keitele, Finland. As a result of the deal, Tehomet became the largest manufacturer of metal, and now also wooden, special lighting poles in Finland and the Nordic countries.
The advantages of Tehomet wood light poles include the use of natural materials, environmental friendliness and the exciting options available in terms of decorative designs and finishes.
The majority holding in Tehomet was sold to Valmont Industries, Inc., in April, 2007. Valmont is a global leader in engineering and manufacturing lighting and traffic poles with production facilities spanning the globe. As a result of the agreement, the Kangasniemi facility will increasingly focus on designing and manufacturing custom light poles and special lighting masts. The manufacturing of standard lighting products will increasingly take place at the Estonian factory.
Pentti Kettunen and Tehomet Oy were honored by the National entrepreneur award on 7.10.2006. This award highlights the importance to the entire business sector of companies acting on their own initiative and taking financial risks. It also represents public recognition of excellent entrepreneurship. The award criteria further include continuous development work on products and services, as well as the extent to which a private enterprise is appreciated in the community.
A production plant comprising 600 sq.m of production space and 200 sq.m of office space was built for Tehomet Baltic Oü at Kiiu. Strategically located next to Estonia’s largest galvanizing works, the production plant started up in 2007.
The list of awards earned by Tehomet continued unabated in 2000 when the company was designated provincial entrepreneur of the year for Etelä-Savo by Suomen Yrittäjät (Finnish Entrepreneurs).
For its highly successful work Tehomet has earned several awards: Kangasniemi entrepreneur of the year award (1996), Hot dip galvanizing award of the year (1999), Provincial entrepreneur of the year award (2000). In addition, the company has received an award in recognition of its innovative illumination for the City of Kuopio’s market square. The illumination along Helsinki’s Esplanade has received as many as three prestigious international awards.
Within the short space of two years, in 1990, the ownership changed again when Pentti Kettunen bought the company. At the same time it was made into a limited company. This is where Tehomet Oy’s success story really begins. In terms of the size of the company and its market share, Tehomet Oy has grown into Finland’s largest manufacturer of lighting poles and arms. For instance, cities and municipalities, Finnra, the sector’s wholesalers, and street lighting contractors are among Tehomet Oy’s most important and demanding customers. In addition to Finland, the market area spans the Baltic states, Sweden, Russia, and indirectly the entire world. One exotic delivery included outdoor lighting for the Ruler of Kuwait’s palace.
The Ursins sold Tehomet Ky to Artjärvi Metalli Oy in 1988, the marketing manager of the time, Pentti Kettunen, being appointed managing director.
The first lighting poles were manufactured in 1980. Pulsator washing machine and cooler manufacturing was quickly abandoned, leaving telephone junction boxes and spare fuse cabinets on the production program. However, there was now greater focus on the designing and manufacturing of street lighting poles and arms. Despite the years of the depression during the 1990s, the growth of the firm’s street lighting pole production was extremely vigorous due, among other things, to the Finnish road administration Finnra’s ambitious road illumination projects.
When founding Tehomet Ky at Kangasniemi in 1979, Pentti and Airi Ursin could hardly have foreseen that a company starting off as a washing machine manufacturer would in time become the market leader in regard to street lighting poles. The original plan was to make Siniviiri pulsator washing machines for Upo and to serve as a subcontractor for several other domestic appliance brands. However, these activities were not sufficiently profitable and of necessity more use had to be found for the production equipment. Consequently, the range of products was rapidly expanded into kitchen coolers and other sheet metal products, including snow shovels and mail boxes.