Background of our Company
If Ajatec Prototyping is new to you, maybe you know us by the name Electrolux Rapid Development, Alphaform RPI or PL Finland? We have been operating in Finland for more than 30 years under the names of different owners, so many designers and designers already have personal experiences of our services.
Our company was originally founded in the late 1970s, when Elomatic set up a small prototype workshop in Turku. The unit’s first works were scale models of ship and engine rooms for the Turku shipyard. The then CEO, Pentti Jäntti, set out to develop the company with the intention of utilizing the latest technology in prototyping.
Electrolux Rapid Development
Electrolux became interested in operations in the 1980s and integrated the operations into the Electrolux Group’s product development unit. This meant an increase in staff for us as well as a refocus of the operation.
The prototyping unit was developed into an international R&D support unit. Engineers were hired and investments were made in manufacturing technology and design expertise. We designed CATIA workstations, at a time when most new products were designed on a drawing board with paper and pen.
We continued to manufacture prototypes, but a lot of work was also done in the 1990s on process design, manufacturing technology, and suitability analyzes. Many of the technologies of the time are still in use. Stereolithography, vacuum casting, precision casting and laser sintering were introduced to end customers during this period.
Together with TEKES and leading Finnish companies, the first steps were taken to make extensive use of 3D printing. Our collaboration with EOS, DuPont (today DSM Somos) and 3D Systems continues. Electrolux installed Europe’s first 3D Systems SLA equipment in 1996.
First deliveries to Finland were memorable, not least because we were excited about how to get the parts intact. Durability of materials when not at the same level as today. At that time, our personnel also had metallurgists who developed the first metal powders used by DMLS technology. The unit was later sold to EOS GmbH.
At the turn of the millennium, we took the next step forward. As 3D printing became a normal step in the product development process, we joined forces with the German Alphaform Group. Together with this technology company, we developed Rapid Tooling solutions combining 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding.
As part of Alphaform, we were able to focus on 3D printing and molding of plastic parts in Finland and relocated machining and injection molding to Germany. By combining our own production products with the resale of parts manufactured by the Group, we developed our customer service and project management expertise.
In 2015, Proto Labs acquired the Aphaform Group and with it, the shares of the Finnish company will also be transferred to American ownership. This short-lived phase taught us from a pioneer in digital manufacturing how 5G, IoT, and the Internet will combine into the manufacturing technology of the future, called “Industry 4.0”.
Thanks to our history, we are at the top of our industry
Behind the new name, you’ll find the same professionals today as before. In addition to the manufacturing mentioned above, our total solutions include part finishing and finishing according to customer requirements.
3D printers doesn’t finish parts, but craftsmanship is required to produces surface structures as well as the right color tones. This requires often years of experience to get a good result.
Parts we supply are used for ideas verification, functional tests and small series configurations but also for the marketing needs of trade fairs and companies in the showrooms.
Based on our long experience, I feel confident about our staff and our ability to respond to the technical challenges our customer submit to us each day. We work miracles every day when we succeed combining tight customer schedules with their quality requirements
I look forward to working with you!