Heavy machinery is made in automated factories and serves the customers intelligently
Unikie has assumed a leading role in developing software for the manufacturing industry. It is one of the first international operators to develop smart industrial solutions for secure real-time processes and applications.
A couple of years ago, Unikie initiated the launch of the VAMOS ecosystem project facilitated by Dimecc. Its ambitious goal is to boost the symbiosis between software development and industry and to rise to a new level faster than any individual company could.
“The progress of digitalisation within the machinery industry is not just the IT department’s responsibility. It is a strategic business decision by the company management that impacts the opportunities for success of the entire business,” says Esko Mertsalmi, the founder of Unikie.
“Digitalisation should not be seen as just software or a service; it is a comprehensive change that affects the entire production chain, operational methods, and the end products. It is a new way of thinking about business and its possibilities,” he continues.
Technology industry is the largest Finnish export sector – green transition brings growth potential
The competitiveness of the technology field is highly dependent on continuous innovation, developing new technology, and smart utilisation of digitalisation.
Unikie’s Mertsalmi highlights the significance of the VAMOS ecosystem to Finnish companies, as well as the important strategic focus on nearby markets: “Germany is a massive and promising market near us, where people understand industrial operations and appreciate the added value that our software offers, especially to the automotive industry.”
The green transition adds to the digitalisation pressure of manufacturing industry, guiding it towards focusing on electrical machinery instead of combustion engines. This transition will open new markets to agile operators, and Unikie has a key role in creating this kind of competitive edge. Software development not only makes production more efficient, but it also gives the machinery intelligence that the industry can utilise to reduce its carbon footprint.
“It is clear to us that all our customers are unique, and it is our duty to provide them with solutions that best serve our customers’ business objectives,” Mertsalmi states. “All in all, our work is not just about the technology; it’s strategic business development together with our customer,” he adds.
“Business Finland’s funding for the ecosystem operations in Finland allows us to fully focus on what we do best: creating software technology that will take Finnish manufacturing industry to a new era while maintaining its competitiveness,” Mertsalmi summarises.
Application of automation at a critical point: work machinery benefits from the development of automotive software
Thanks to the intelligent solutions Unikie has developed for the automotive industry and ports, it is also able to cost efficiently provide exceptional added value to technology companies that manufacture work machinery. Developing autonomous systems is not just a trend – it is essential.
Harri Kulmala, managing director at Dimecc – a provider of industrial innovation platforms and the VAMOS ecosystem – states that automation is not a new concept, but its development has now reached a critical point.
“Unikie brings world-class software solutions to the market. They do not only meet the demands of today, but also predict the future challenges of the manufacturing industry,” Kulmala continues.
Kulmala describes Unikie’s role in the VAMOS ecosystem as significant: “The ability to work side-by-side with the manufacturing industry is a key factor in developing innovations. Individual coders or small in-house teams alone cannot meet the extensive needs for change within the manufacturing industry.”
Finnish companies have a solid reputation as manufacturers of reliable, safe, and durable work machinery, with forestry machines as an excellent example. The next development stage will add even more intelligence and autonomous movement to heavy work machinery and equipment.
Unikie’s customers include several leading automotive and machine manufacturers, industrial companies, telecommunication operators, and international research institutes. Examples of the company’s world-class customers include Nokia, Ponsse, Sandvik, Valmet, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Unikie’s diverse technological competence and experience with the needs of manufacturing industry are seen in their commitment to long-term solutions. “The service life of work machinery ranges from 20 to 30 years, which is why it is our responsibility to make sure that our intelligent solutions can be seamlessly integrated with our customers’ products and processes,” Mertsalmi says.
A panel discussion moderated by Tomi Kankainen from Dimecc in Teknologia Trade Fair 2023 featured Juha Pankakoski from Konecranes, Janne Heikkinen from Innofactor, Tero Hämeenaho from Etteplan, and Juha Ala-Laurila from Unikie.
In addition to Unikie, the VAMOS ecosystem includes operators such as Abloy, Cargotec, Ceterio, Deal Comp, GIM, Huawei, Immersal, Konecranes, Kempower, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Logisnext, Mevea, Murata, Nordic Inertial, Plugit, Solteq, Posiva, Remoted, Rightware, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.