Bulletin 2/2008



Bulletin 2/2008
Oy Robit Rocktools Ltd customer magazine 2/2008
When the going gets tough,
The Tough Get Going
Barcelona’s Subway Worksite Report p. 4
Super Efficient Pyhäsalmi Mine p. 10
Robit in the Emerging Eastern
European Market p. 15
Leading Article
A small company must be STRATEGICALLY AGILE!
Leading Article ................................................................... 3
When the going gets tough, The Tough Get Going ................ 4
Open-door event with Traditional Finnkampen ...................... 6
Robit in The Wild West ....................................................... 9
Super Efficient Pyhäsalmi Mine relies on Robit´s drill bits ..... 10
Robit listens to the client ................................................. 12
A logistics talent who always finds time ............................ 13
Brainstorming in Turku from 2nd to 5th of April 2008 ......... 14
Robit in The Emerging Eastern European Market . .............. 15
The picture on the cover:
Ikea worksite, Tampere
Editor-in-Chief: Jussi Rautiainen
Contents and typography:
Advertising agency Mainio Oy (Ltd)
Circulation: 1500 pcs
Place of printing: PK-Paino Oy
The next issue of Robit Bulletin will be published
in April 2009.
Robit Bulletin is the Robit Rocktools Ltd
customer magazine.
Robit lights up your road ................................................... 15
Robit – as well as the whole industry
– has enjoyed an upward trend. Our
export currently reaches 45 countries
and resellers has approximately 100 distributors for something like a hundred.
The number of users of our products is
steadily growing.
So are we now lulled into complacent
sleep? Quite the contrary! It is clear as
crystal to all our workers and employees
that it is not us who choose the client
but the client who chooses us.
So what do we do to have the client
consider us the right choice? It is selfevident that product development is
continuous and new solutions emerge,
especially in the ground drilling sector. Our product range is continuously
renewed both in the rock drilling and
ground drilling sectors.
Much is invested in automated lines that
allow us to serve our clients better and
better and to guarantee an absolutely
even quality and delivery reliability. However, our manual lines are at least as
important a part of the production. If the
client wants custom-made models, that
is what the client gets. We will have many
special products in the future, as well, as
each drill bit user has a well-grounded
opinion of his own. We manufacture
also small quantities rapidly. Flexible
customer service is, in fact, our asset.
Above all, it is us at Robit who need
to be flexible and ready for even quick
changes at all times. During autumn, our
staff’s tasks are organised to become
even more customer-oriented. Through
these arrangements the information
flow between, for example, production
and sales, and R&D and the end-user
will be better than ever.
The same strategic agility is shown by
our subcontractors. Our quickness and
flexibility is much down to our quick and
flexible contractors. For this reason the
material flow management, for example,
is one of the central questions in which
we aim for as close collaboration as possible with both our subcontractor and
our client.
I hope our reader will again find plenty
of interesting reading material in
Robit Bulletin.
Jussi Rautiainen
Managing Director
Oy Robit Rocktools Ltd
Vikkiniityntie 9
FI-33880 Lempäälä, Finland
Robit Bulletin
Robit in Barcelona
When the going gets tough, The Tough Get Going
The extension of line 5 in the Barcelona
subway is a very challenging project widely
known even outside the specialist circles.
Unfortunately. In January 2005, the tunnel collapsed, forcing more than 1,000
residents of the Carmel district to leave
their homes – most of them could return
later, though.
The project had to be modified almost
completely. GISA, the Catalonian infrastructure management agency, had to
replace the old Austrian drilling system
with a new one in which the emphasis
was on the systematic structural reinforcement and strict monitoring of the surface
The project was handed over to the new
contractor on 5th October 2006. The 2.5
km extension, including three new stations, was to be completed in 30 months.
The total budget amounted to 111 million
The actual condition of buildings up to 100
metres from the tunnel has been carefully
inspected, and geological measurement
and investigation are on-going activities,
as is probing the effects of the drilling with
sensors. The local government and the
residents’ association are continuously
provided with updated information. Safety
is obviously the primary issue.
IT. Hard & Wear Technologies S.A.
– probably the most extensive in the world
– in complex and demanding tunnel drilling were decisive in the selection of Robit
Rocktools Ltd. More than 500,000 drill
meters sold and a market share of over
80% in Spain and Portugal also spoke
for themselves.
Reliability of the Robit RoX+ 101,6/10
forepoling system has been one of the
main factors in ensuring a constant and
safe production phase. Robit’s vast experience in forepoling applications made
the development of this unique RoX+
101,6/10 casing system possible. Special
jobsite requirements were analysed and
the information was processed by Robit’s
R&D and design department.
The outcome was again a new, patented
product which is reliable, easy to use and
superior in comparison with any other
system or method in the market. Several underground stations, including their
main, connection and service tunnels, are
drilled at the same time - Progress in all
of them is enabled by Robit forepoling
The length of the micropiles varies from
9 to 23 metres, with two injections
valves per meter for grouting. Additionally, a special model of drainage pipes,
manufactured of a mixture of steel and
PVC, has been developed specially for
this application.
– Robit’s agent in the area since
2002 – were designated to supply the
micropiling system.
The references and extensive experience
Robit Bulletin
Open-door event
with traditional finnkampen
A Friday afternoon in September. Robit’s yard is transformed into Disneyland.
In one corner, the race involves electrified toilets, in another, the bows are drawn,
and right beside it, a skeet competition is on. The ‘sport’ made familiar by the strong
men of the circus arenas, where one tempts to ring a bell with a sledge-hammer, gathersmen to test their strength. Drilling performance is ongoing, and the showgirls charm
the stark drillers. There is plenty of food and drinks, the band plays on the stage.
Some take part in factory tours, and surely products are sold, as well. And when three
LIFA buses filled with Swedish drillers curve in, the sight evokes feelings similar to those
in the traditional Finland-Sweden athletics tournament.
Christer Wretman (GDS)
has brought 15 people,
including both drillers and
production managers, to a
two-day tour in Finland and at
Robit. ‘This is a nice industry.
You are always the first to be
on the site, whether it is about
houses, bridges or tunnels.’ ‘It
is great to have time to speak
with customers about other
than work issues and to get
the chance to befriend them.
We’ll talk about these trips
long afterwards.’
Kent Skogman (Hammarö
bergsprängning), a 21-yearold hand-held driller with a
hammer in his hand, was the
strongest man in the Finnkampen. The young man’s CV
already includes professional
training in mining school in
Filipstad with top marks and
two years in the working life,
building roads and doing drilling and blasting. But where
do you get that power? ‘From
hand-held drilling!’
‘Damn, aren’t those Swedes strong’
Unknown Finnish driller
Robit Bulletin
Jan Heinonen (Nordkalk,
Tytyri mine) has always been
present at Robit’s parties.
Because of his hobby of 20
years, shooting, he decided
not to participate in the skeet
event. Another reason may
have been the rigorous view
according that after sipping
some cider, one should not…
Heinonen brought along 23
colleagues – everyone who
could make it from the production. Along came also the
friends who were among the
first to have taken the exam
via apprenticeship contract.
‘I’m really proud to work in
the mining industry. We have
a good staff in the sector, and
the co-operators are the best.’
Jyrki Koljonen (Talvivaara
project, Sotkamo) takes his
hat off (and indeed, everyone
present wears a blue Robit
cap) to salute Pekka Perä, the
founder of the Talvivaara project. Excavation area larger
than the city of Helsinki has
an immense local effect in an
area where employment and
subsistence are much longed
for. In Talvivaara, the speed is
constantly increasing – and
all the equipment present is
the biggest in Finland! Koljonen has brought along 10
drillers for a excursion: ‘Anyone in the team who managed
to come along did so. Community spirit gets high and,
above all, it is important that
the drillers see how the drill
bits are made. We also have
lads coming directly from the
Do you mind if a good product is
Robit in
were naturally many end-users. Robit
The traditional ConExpo
also arranged a memorable dinner for
exhibition was arranged
approximately 60 guests.
in Las Vegas which is
situated in the Western part For the first time Robit’s stand was
graced by Export Assistant for USA and
of the United States, all right Canada, Ms Kaisa Välikoski. The target
was to obtain more information on the
– amidst a landscape that
markets and to get acquainted with the
seems as if drillers visited
people one is collaborating with. At the
the town a long time ago and same time, the resellers naturally had
the chance to get to know their contact
made a clean sweep of it.
in the factory.
The western wildness was,
however, more emphasised
in Robit’s exhibition area
Kaisa Välikoski described the exhibition
that had been constructed
as a good and useful lesson. Las Vegas
to resemble a saloon, in
also attracted with its excellent shopping
possibilities: the current exchange rate
the spirit of the Wild West.
for the dollar did not by any means slow
Instead of shots, the bar was down the shopping.
decorated with the entire
The very same exchange rate is quite a
HT Series and a cartridge
challenge to Robit in the United States
assortment from 88.9 all the market, and the steel material outlook
in the world is no delight, either. ‘Luckily
way to 610 mm.
we have invested in production automaThe door hinges of the saloon were
creaking. Current Robit resellers had
arrived from all over the world and in
large numbers. New resellers especially
from the United States and Canada but
also from Central and South America
Robit’s Swedish reseller LIFA attended
with a group of 20 people, among whom
Robit Bulletin
tion in order to keep costs in a reasonable level,’ states Export Director Mikko
‘Our intention was originally not to participate in other Las Vegas exhibitions,’
Mattila continues, ‘but the great interest
shown towards our products and the
opportunities in mining made us reserve
a stand also for the Minexpo fair held
in September.’
SUPER Efficient
Pyhäsalmi Mine
The Finns have always been effcient, and we
have a relatively low grade ore and hard rock.’
Teuvo Jurvansuu
actual office is 1.5 km above. ‘They do
not invest in people elsewhere the way
they do in our company,’ he says on the
grounds of his long work experience.
‘People stay in our company’s employment for at least 20 years, sick days
are very uncommon, and work safety
and comfort in general are top level,’
he continues.
Pyhäsalmi Mine Oy is one of the deepest in Europe, and in its own
size category, it is the world’s most efficient underground mine. From
the bowels of the earth more tons of ore per worker are lifted up here
than anywhere else. Reasons are many, but the essential one is careful planning combined with an extremely advanced automation and
a motivated and skillful personnel.
‘The Finns have always been efficient’,
states the Mine Manager Teuvo Jurvansuu, ‘and we have a relatively low grade
ore and hard rock. We have always been
able to exploit the latest technology, and
we have personally been involved in testing and developing them.’
Pyhäsalmi Mine Oy – situated slightly
south of the centre line of Finland and
halfway between Oulu and Jyväskylä –
was acquired by the Canadian Inmet
Mining Corporation in the beginning of
2002. Momentarily the ore containing
copper, zinc and pyrite is being mined
at a 1.3 million tons annual rate, mainly
from the depth of 1,050–1,410 metres.
The main shaft that has been built down
to the level of 1,410 metres is an area
that through the ordinary visitor’s eye
looks rather like a small village centre.
There one can find service spaces,
workshops, a neat canteen, automatic
control points for the machines, site
supervision spaces and – since we are
in Finland – also the deepest-located
sauna in the world.
A miner’s work is independent and, at
the same time, one’s accomplishments
are immediately visible. Unlike for many
other practical jobs, labour shortage
here is unknown.
Operating Engineer Markku Tikkanen
enjoys working underground, even if his
Robit Bulletin
Men are sitting in the air-conditioned,
soundproof cabins of their drill rigs, but
the drilling itself is managed almost like
a video game – by operating the joystick
in a faraway cabin. The loading of ore
and waste rock can also be remotecontrolled, if necessary.
The distance to the ground surface
is 11 km via spiral tunnel. The heaviest equipment is brought in through
it, whereas the crew uses the lift constructed in what is called ‘Timo’s shaft’,
covering the direct distance of 1,410 m
that separates the ground surface from
the depths of the mine.
According to Teuvo Jurvansuu, the drill
bits are not a great expense item in the
overall costs, but if no holes are drilled,
the company will pay dearly for it. Upon
ore prospecting, they are the first things
that touch the rock. In Pyhäsalmi, for
instance, a day’s stop in the production in the concentrating mill would cost
about half a million euro. Reliability is
therefore the primary factor expected
of the drill bits. Because of automation, sufficient endurance is essential
as there will not be a driller available
by the drilling unit to change the drill
bit at all times.
The Mine Foreman Matias Suomela
agrees that ‘as the drilling rigs evolves,
new demands are also set on the drill
1. Mine Manager Teuvo Jurvansuu
2. Operating Engineer Markku Tikkanen
3. Mine Foreman Matias Suomela
bit for bolting was developed according
to the client’s wishes. Markku Tikkanen
sums up the co-operation with Robit in
a few words: ‘The right price–quality
ratio, delivery reliability, flexibility and
co-operation. ’I would also like to add
that Robit has been taking care of us
and that is what we find important.’
Common development projects really
do exist. Robit’s men have been seen
in Pyhäsalmi trying out drill bits that will
one day revolutionise the entire rock
drilling process. We will hear about them
in the future…
Pyhäsalmi has co-operated with Robit for
a long time. For instance, the 33 mm drill
Robit listens to
the client
1. Drilling with the bits at Ikea’s
upcoming store in Tampere.
2. Paavo Lindvall
3. Petri Aho
4. Leena Aho
finds time
PLP-Kivi Oy Ltd’s story began in 1963 with one tractor compressor. At the time, a road was being
constructed at the company’s doorstep, and the work then was done by hand. Now the company’s
eight track drills and four smaller Commando drill rigs are being used for road construction in
different parts of Finland from the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant site to the Talvivaara mines and
the Ikea of Tampere. The company’s knowhow has been needed as far as in Portugal.
The first jobs included construction
of foundations of houses which were
erected in Hervanta, at the time a new
suburb in Tampere. The major road
leading to the area was the worksite for
twelve hand-held drillers – 40,000 m³
in three months. Paavo Lindvall thinks
back at the accommodation facilities
of those times: ‘In Merikarvia we’d be
living in a summer cottage that we managed to heat up to 60 Celsius degrees
with a gas fire in the evening, to find the
temperature down to –5 degrees in the
morning.’ Facilities in Kuortane were no
better – four men were crammed into a
small tent that had a broken zip.
Nowadays, comfortable hotels are in
order even while living on the road. One
is likely to stay in PLP-Kivi’s employment
for 20 years or even longer. Managing to
employ young people is not easy – this is
a problem common to all western countries in professions that require manual
Robit Bulletin
skills. Leena Aho, the company’s Chairwoman of the Board, is the country’s sole
female drilling company owner. Of course,
none of the three primary owners, Leena
Aho, Paavo Lindvall and Petri Aho, have
time for simply enjoying the ownership
as they all are involved in the company’s
tough everyday work.
When it comes to equipment, PLP-Kivi
tends to favour the domestic choice. Tamrock has been the main drill rig, although
others have also been tested. The same
is true with the drill bits. It is worthwhile
for a smallish entrepreneur to examine all
the available choices with an open mind.
A logistics
talent who
Paavo Lindvall has tested, for example,
Chinese drill bits and does not want to
criticise them either, even though the
test batch did contain some drill bits with
loose buttons and other small failures.
Lindvall considers Robit’s drill bits reliable. Prompt availability and service are
naturally an asset. ‘When driving by, the
drillers have many times stopped in the
factory to pick up drill bits. And we always
got the drill bits, even in the evening or
during a weekend,’ says Lindvall.
It is important that the factory listens
to the client’s needs. ‘In ground drilling,
the location of the flushing holes, for
example, is crucial for the drilling process.
Robit supplies even small batches rapidly
when required,’ Petri Aho compliments.
‘This is one of the reasons our choices
have lately fallen mostly on Robit’s drill
Mikko Rajala, born in 1973, has been
Robit’s Production Manager since 2004.
He was employed by the company right
after he graduated from the Tampere
University of Technology in 1997. By
then, Mikko had already acquired an
education, done his military service, and
worked at the Rauma shipyard.
Robit, as well. The right amount of items
– not too many, not too few – must be
available and (their supply) planned with
forecasting. Not only is Mikko Rajala
responsible for production within Robit’s walls, but he also maintains close
contact with subcontractors and other
Finding time seems to be one of Mikko
Rajala’s guidelines, at least from an outsider’s viewpoint. Let’s start with his
civilian life. Mikko is married and has
two sons, one 18 months old and the
other five years and six months. The
family also has a big Beauceron dog.
There should be enough to do after a
workday. Or so one would think.
Work at Robit provides challenges. The
company has expanded and developed
vigorously, and there has never been a
still moment. The growth takes place
with the subcontractors who have also
made important investments over the
past few years. It is all about companionship, really: the long term co-operation contracts are only a part of the
matter. Meetings take place at least
two or three times a year, even weekly,
if necessary; quality control is carried
out together, etc. All this aims at one
common target, which is to serve the
customer even better.
Yet this has not been enough: besides
everything else, Mikko has built two
houses. The first one, which he built on
his very own, with the sole exceptions of
electricity, piping and the brickwork for
the fireplace, was completed in 2000.
The second one was finished in 2007.
Anyone who has ever built as much as
a playhouse knows how much work is
involved and what a logistics mission
impossible it is.
His logistics talent has been useful at
Rajala never gets tired of thanking his
own team. Everyone is happy to come
to work, and new employees are made
to feel welcome. Work should not be
too formal – a twinkle in one’s eye is a
positive thing.
in Turku from 2nd to 5th of April 2008
Even young and dynamic
companies have their
traditions. At Robit, these
include flexibility, quality
and service. One thing
that by now is nearly a
tradition is the ditributor
gathering – justly called
‘Brainstorming’ – which
this year brought 12
professionals from all
over the world to the city
of Turku in Finland. They
spent a few intense but
also fun days discussing
product development.
It is by no means a coincidence that
Turku was chosen as the location for the
gathering. The theme was namely piling,
and Turku, formerly sea bottom, is one
of the largest foundation underpinning
areas in the world.
One thing the participants got
acquainted with were the challenging
piling conditions of Turku: beneath a
thick clay layer lies moraine and ultimately granite where the piles must be
drilled into.
The fact the event was called Brainstorming was no coincidence, either. Top
specialists in the bridge and infrastructure piling fields were present. One of
them was Mr Jouko Lehtonen, Chairman
of the International Micropiling Association. New products from Robit’s product
designers were examined from every
possible viewpoint, and precious tips on
further development were exchanged.
Thanks to awesome technical developments and the versatility of methods
available today, there is no need to fear
the destiny Venice is facing. The knowledge of project owners out may not have
kept abreast of all the technical developments, so the sharing of information
should be improved. It would be useful
to plan the piling works together with the
structural engineer and contractor, as
this would result in saving both money
and time.
The NS System (a working title), developed by Robit and likely to be presented
at the Intermat 2009 show, awoke great
interest. The advantages of the product
include anchor drilling that takes place
in one phase, which results in time saving and economic efficiency from the
end user’s point of view. It is possible to
use a smaller drill tube and at the same
time get a thicker grouting layer that
is approximately 20 mm larger, almost
double the normal size.
One of the many development ideas for
the new product family is ECO (working
title, an economical ring bit). Since the
ring bit is left in the hole when drilling
a pile, it should be cheaper while maintaining its other qualities unchanged.
This and other fruits of Brainstorming
can be enjoyed in future, but everything
cannot be revealed yet.
A short time ago, Eastern Europe was still a blank spot in Robit’s map but
the economies in the area are emerging fast. The spirit of action is high and
people have initiative abound.
The upturn began with a market
research carried out among Bulgarian
end-users. The new drilling equipment
is quickly replacing the old ones, and
distributors services are required. The
next step for Robit was in Romania, and
now we are conquering Serbia. The Slovakian, Polish and Lithuanian markets
have also been opened up with a breathtaking speed.
Being Finnish is, however, one of our
assets: Kimi Räikkönen, Nokia and
many others are unconsciously doing
marketing for Robit. People in these
countries know that there are metal
industry all over Finland. The fact gives
rise to astonishment and admiration.
What really matters is naturally the way
the drill bits bite into the Balcan rock
and Lithuanian water wells.
The Bauma fair, as a meeting point
and great opportunity for creating new
contacts, is an important channel for
the Eastern European market, as well
– yet the actual work is made beside
the drill rigs.
Modernisation is sweeping over Eastern
Europe very quickly, yet the countries
are fortunately preserving their own
basic nature.
Their culture will not accept the distance
A rechargeable
quality Mag-lite may
soon be yours
maintained in some countries, and nothing will come out right unless a close
relationship is established between the
Thousands of kilometres driven with
a local interpreter have taken Robit to
immense mines where number of drill
rigs are drilling side by side, as well as
to cities that for strategic reasons used
to be closed. Contrary to many guesses,
some annual contracts have also been
signed, and the Eastern European riches
are indeed being mined using Robit’s
drill bits.
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