Tehomet, the Nordic countries’ largest manufacturer of custom steel and wooden lighting poles and high masts and FSP work in close co-operation in Kangasniemi Finland, where the companies operate under the same roof. The results of the partnership became visible this year in the lightning poles project in the city of Lahti.
The partnership, since 2004, has deepened in the last few years so that FSP does the surface treatment for all the products that are manufactured by Tehomet in Kangasniemi. Usually the partnership deals with innovative new products, which FSP treats with effect- and special coatings.
On the other hand, the partnership can also be used to deliver on some more unusual orders as well. An example of this is the project, which was started last spring in the city centre of Lahti, in which the worn out lightning poles were repaired to be as good as new.
“The refurbishment project of the poles was an interesting challenge. Early in the year, the City of Lahti began a large reconstruction project on Aleksanterinkatu, where the driveway of the main street was made narrower and the pavement was widened. All the surface materials of the street were renovated and at the same time the city wanted to update the lightning poles,” says the Tehomet production manager Tomi Pasanen.
According to the calculations conducted by the city it was easier to repair the old lighting poles than replace them with new ones. Tehomet and FSP took up the challenge, during which the repair- and coating works needed to be done following the city’s refurbishment schedule and also in such a fashion that there would be the least amount of disturbance to traffic.
Quality coating treatment makes public cleansing easier
“The dismantling of the old poles was begun in April and was conducted in six stages. There were a total of 39 posts. During the project Tehomet was in charge of scheduling of the surface treatment, mechanical renovation and manufacturing of necessary new parts. After that FSP treated the surface of the poles, “says Lauri Leppänen, the head of Kangasniemi surface treatment facility unit.
During the coating process the poles were also given an UV-lacquer treatment and a special coating on the lower parts, which prevents stickers and other glued products from adhering to the poles. Due to the efficient surface treatment a lot less pollen- and street dust clings to the poles and it will be easier to them keep clean.
After the surface treatment the ten meter long poles were reassembled, transported onto the main street and mounted.
“The project was worked on by five surface treatment specialists and lasted approximately four months. The surface treatment was done in three separate stages, each of which lasted about 3 to 4 days. Of course, other products could be done also during this project,” Leppänen says.
The old poles had originally been manufactured by Tehomet.
Two companies, one attitude
According to Tomi Pasanen Tehomet and FSP play well together. Together, new and significant renovations have also been made. Among the most important of these is the environmentally friendly powder painting procedure developed in 2007, which completes traditional wet painting. In regards to painting procedures, the market changed drastically a few years ago.
“About 10 years ago 90 percent of all targets were wet painted, now 95 percent of them are coated using a powder painting process. The powder painting process guarantees a quick turnaround time: products, which have been painted in the morning, can be packaged and prepared for transport in a few hours,” says Pasanen.
In Kangasniemi, the output of both companies has been on an upward trend. Pasanen thanks FSP for having an active working stance, which means that problems and challenges are handled preemptively and keeping in mind a fluent dialogue.
“We have big production facilities, high quality of workmanship and efficient production. In principle, personnel from two different companies are working in the same space, but practically everyone feels like they are part of the one and same company,” Pasanen sums up.
From Dubai to Helsinki-Vantaa
In 2015, Tehomet received the biggest single order of wooden lightning poles in its history, which consisted of delivering 788 wooden poles equipped with solar panels and steel lighting masts into Dubai zoo in the Arab Emirates.
FSP coated the poles using the powder painting process, providing their bottom pipes and top blocks with a bronze coloured special effect coating. The Tehocoat-powder painting provided the 4-8 m high poles with a visually stunning, durable and elastic surface.
In the spring of 2016 Tehomet worked on nine 27 meter high flight obstacle masts for Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The masts came already zinc coated from Poland to Kangasniemi, where Tehomet polished and trimmed the masts.
After that FSP made for the two-part poles a traditional surface treatment with sandblasting and painting. The method used was wet painting because, in using that, the process line is able to work on especially long structures, such as the masts, more efficiently than when using the powder painting line.
The masts were given a red and white surface as per flight safety regulations. All buildings, factory chimneys, towers and masts, which are near airports and air fields, and which are of a certain height—depending on the area it’s 30 or 45 meters – need to be equipped with flight obstacle lights.
The Helsinki city street image also bears the handiwork of Tehomet and FSP. At the beginning of the year, Helsinki introduced the first completely electric driven buses. The buses, which can be automatically boost charged, get their power from sturdy electrical charging masts, their sticker rejecting surface having been made by FSP.
The surface coating of the charging masts was begun in Kangasniemi last fall and the work will continue in pace with the production of the masts. In April 2017 two charging units were being worked on.