Manufacturing in Finland is a financially viable option for some knowledge-intensive products.
Outsourcing production to low cost countries outside the European Union is common. It used to be frowned upon, but accepted as an unpleasant but necessary part of the success of companies with high volume production. The direction is changing for some parts of production, however. Several companies told a different story at the Nordic MedTech Investing and Partnering event in Helsinki.
Low production numbers of hi-tech products with optimal production costs
Finnish Optomed has created a hand held device for screening eye diseases. It is the smallest portable retinal camera with pricing leveling at less than 30% of current competitors (Canon, Topcon, Carl Zeiss). Earlier on, production of the devices was outsourced outside Finland, but this decision was reversed recently. “Having production close to the R&D team has turned out to be the right decision,” says Optomed CEO Seppo Kopsala. “The production line isn’t big, but keeping the margin of error low is crucial for our niche product. It made both fiscal and product development sense to have production in Finland.”
HUR, manufacturing pneumatic fitness equipment, also has all of its production in Finland. “We require very specific sheet metal parts. It’s easier to implement changes with evolving products when we can walk to the sheet metal manufacturer and discuss the changes and oversee production.” says HUR CEO Lena Karjaluoto. “We ship our products globally, China and the United States for instance, but we’re not in the mass production phase, so smart design in the production process means cost effective products.”
TEXT: JOHANNA EIRAMO