Kouvola Plant Extension Ceremony

Since the plant extension of Lumon is nearing completion as planned, the topping-out ceremonies could be held in mid-May in the new warehouse for storing glass sheets. The event offered a perfect setting for contemplating the completion of the first Lumon plant and the start-up schedule of the new plant. In addition to coffee and cake, delicious grilled sausages were available at the end of the event.

The first Lumon plant was put into use in 1999

Tapani Kinnunen, Chair of the Board at Lumon, reminded the participants of the fact that Lumon bought its first real estate 35 years ago from the same plot where the topping-out ceremonies for the plant extension were presently held. Lumon's first own plant was ready in 1999. It enabled Lumon to start its own glass processing operations. The capacity of the plant was sufficient for about ten years. However, the growth in operations impelled Lumon to increase its production capacity. This is the reason why Lumon acquired a straight-through furnace and brought an extensive automation project to a conclusion, in connection with the new plant investment.

Last autumn, when another ten years had passed from the previous investment, it was, again, time to estimate what to do next. Is it possible for Lumon to continue to invest in Kouvola? The answer was: ‘Yes’. “In Kouvola, we have skilled employees who carry out their jobs persistently. We want to keep the essential expertise in our own hands, respond quickly to European customer needs, and, thus, deliver quality products efficiently. These investments are also vital to our home city, Kouvola, and its surrounding areas and make it possible to keep the area economically viable,” sums up Tapani.

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Modifications have not disturbed the customer interface

CEO Jussi Kinnunen opened his speech by saying that it is a pleasure to be in a positive situation like this. Lumon had only plans ready at Christmas, and now, in May, the project has progressed this far already. “It is great to reach this point after last winter's huge amounts of snow. Even the construction work has progressed on schedule,” Kinnunen rejoiced.

“It is great that there has been no need to upset customers with unfavourable messages about production disturbances during the project. We have excellently maintained control over the operations and the modifications have not disturbed our customer interface,” praises Jussi.

All in all, the total value of the plant extension is EUR 16 million, which is a massive investment for the Kouvola area. “The result has been attained together. We have all contributed to the end result through our seamless cooperation. The purpose of the investment was to protect future opportunities of Lumon and its surrounding area. I would like to thank everybody who has been helping in the successful implementation of this project,” rejoices Jussi.

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The contractor's glass terrace is made by Lumon in Kouvola

Ahti Junttila, CEO at Tekova Oy, also said a few words at the event. He thanked Lumon for the confidence and the opportunity to participate in the implementation of the extension project. Junttila also thanked Lumon for its desire to keep both its production and ownership in Finland.

“We acted as the contractor when the new Visor plant for making pleated blinds was constructed in Kempele a few years ago. The project obviously went quite well, as we were chosen to participate in the construction of this other extension,” says Junttila. The project schedule was very tight, but the project has progressed according to schedule. Junttila's own terrace has also been equipped with the Lumon glazing system. According to him, no other company made an offer on the 2.7 meter high sliding glass solution for his terrace. “It is great to work with a company when you know that their product is flawless and of the best quality.”

Responsible Foreman Ville Nikkinen from Tekova told that the role of the responsible foreman is often emphasised on the sites. “In my opinion, it is not possible to foreground the role of only one person, since jobs are agreed upon and carried out together,” states Nikkinen and continues: “Lumon has top experts on the payroll. They have flexibly worked in a seamless cooperation with us. This is how jobs will get done well.”

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In the picture, from left to right: Jussi Kinnunen, CEO at Lumon; Ville Nikkinen, Responsible Foreman at Tekova Oy; Pekka Oikarinen, Production Director at Lumon; Tapani Kinnunen, Chair of the Board at Lumon; and Ahti Junttila, CEO at Tekova Oy.

The summer is full of challenges due to the progress of installations

According to Production Director Pekka Oikarinen, the new tempering furnace and grinding line will be installed at the beginning of June, which is a critical stage in the project. The glass sheets will be moved to a new location at the beginning of July. The jumbo sheets will also be moved at the same time. This is also one of the most challenging stages in the project. The progress of installations may pose a challenge next summer, as the aim is to keep the project on schedule and put the new plant into use in September. Many thanks to everybody who have made it possible to keep the project on schedule.

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Text and photos: Mira Warva