RT-Tuote Oy, operating in Imatra, is a family-owned company launched by Raimo and Tarja Hovilainen in 2005. It was previously located on Sukkulakatu, but in the spring of 2015, the company became a tenant of Imatran Seudun Yritystilat Oy on the same street. More production space was needed, as a five-axle machining center moving on linear guides was acquired for the company. At the same time, the first employer from outside the family was hired in the company.
RT-Tuote Oy produces dies and molds for e.g. car and shipbuilding industries and other industries. The products are not serial production – the customers usually need an individual die made by RT-Tuote.
Raimo and Tarja Hovilainen have been entrepreneurs in a different field since the 80s. “Reinforced plastic came along into the picture in the 90s, when we thought about making molds for industrial use,” Raimo Hovilainen says. “We have made e.g. model ships for over ten years, and we’re the only company making them in Finland. In the beginning we made all molds by hand, but nowadays only a part of the molds are made by hand.”
The new machining center has enabled the milling of new kinds of dies and molds. “The machine is able to mill 8,000 x 4,000 x 1,800-millimeter pieces made of e.g. plastic, wood or urethane. It can’t mill metal, so metal pieces need to be made by hand,” Raimo Hovilainen explains. “Imagination alone is the limit with what these molds can be used for in addition to the industry. A good example could be an 8-meter salmon as an advertisement or signpost for a fish farmer.”
The staff at RT-Tuote Oy have received training in plastics with a contract made with a vocational and adult education institute located in Kuopio. “This way we’ve gotten great tips, networks and cooperation with operators in the field,” Raimo Hovilainen explains. “As far as I know, we’re the only company in South-West Finland with a machining center of this size; there are only a few corresponding large machines in Western Finland. Thanks to networks, we can advertise our own production, but that requires other marketing, too. At the moment, our most important marketing tools are the mouth, phone and grapevine”, Hovilainen laughs.
For the future, the company plans to e.g. build a paint shop and increase the stock of machinery by acquiring e.g. a pasting machine. Paste is used for coating milled dies and molds, after which the products are milled, polished and on demand painted.