As the 1800s gave way to the 20th century, the construction of railways, ships, and machinery gave employment to the inhabitants of Lahti. Several small workshops and machine shops were founded in Lahti at this time, most of them family-run.
Lahden Rautateollisuus Oy was founded in 1908. The company manufactured metal products ranging from iron beds to woodworking machinery. Later, the company became Raute Oyj, which is currently based in Nastola and manufactures machinery and equipment for the woodworking industry. Today, Raute’s project deliveries comprise entire plants, production lines, and individual machines.
Founded in 1938, Upo Oy started out as a manufacturer of metal pipe furniture. The 1960s brought strong growth, as the company started manufacturing household appliances and plastic pipes. Upo’s foundry business, which has now been dissolved, started in Lahti in 1946. Upo Oy and Asko Oy merged in 1977, and, with the expansion of the plastic pipe business, Uponor Oy was founded in 1992.
After the war the majority of metal workers in Lahti were employed by Raute and Upo, but there were also other signifi cant metal businesses in the Lahti region in the early years of the 20th century.
Vaahto Oy, founded in 1874, manufactured kettles, sheetmetal stoves, sauna stoves, and washing stand tops, among other articles. Today, this international high-technology company supplies paper manufacturing technology and process equipment for the process industry.
Merivaara Oy began its history in the 1930s as Joutjärvi Oy, a manufacturer of metal pipe beds. Currently, Merivaara Oy concentrates on the manufacture of hospital furniture.
Martti Kemppi, the founder of Kemppi Oy, started his business soon after the war with the production of electrical appliances. The company has now evolved into a global provider of advanced welding technology.
The metal sector has given birth to a remarkable degree of business concentration and a network of subcontractors. The Lahti region boasts extensive expertise in the manufacture of weighing and dosing systems; all over the world, stone is crushed and tunnels are constructed with percussion hammers and stone processing equipment made in Lahti. The tens of thousands of kilometres of conveyor belts delivered globally are proof that Lahti is a trusted provider of conveyor technology. The manufacture of injection moulds and cutting tools is based on long traditions, and homes are heated with burners made in Lahti.