Jyväskylä, Finland-based equipment maker Tana Oy says its first 50 years serving the waste and recycling industry have been “marked by exceptional innovation and a pioneering spirit,” and that the company has “refused to stick with the most common solutions unless they are the most sensible for any given situation.”
In a news release recounting its 50-year history, Tana says Matti Sinkkonen, founder of predecessor company Kone-Jyrä Oy, was a technical innovator and inventor whose first product was a landfill compactor “built around an ordinary tractor equipped with rubber wheels.”
Tana says Sinkkonen understood from the outset that the Finnish domestic market was too small to support the efficient large-scale production of landfill compactors, and by 1971 the company exhibited at an international trade fair in Hanover, Germany. “Ever since then, Tana has been international in its DNA,” states the firm.
Tana changed ownership 25 years ago, when its current owner Kari Kangas acquired the company along with two partners. The new owners also collaborated with Norwegian importer Gitmark to further develop the business.
By the early 2000s, as “it was clear that the disposal of waste in landfills was declining,” writes Tana, the company conducted a market study that “confirmed that shredders would be in demand in almost every circular economy.”
After product development work, Tana launched its first shredders in 2006. “The decision has since proven to be the right one: the demand for shredders today is clearly higher than for compactors, even if many still think of Tana mainly as a manufacturer of landfill compactors,” states the company.
Subsequently, Tana has decided to follow the example of companies in some other industry sectors and remain a design and engineering firm while switching to what it calls production collaboration, or outsourcing.
Tana says its last self-manufactured landfill compactor was made at the Vaajakoski, Finland, plant in 2008. Since then, Toijala Works about 120 miles away has been responsible for manufacturing.
Tana also says it has been a pioneer in adopting “digital solutions,” such as its ProTrack tracking tool for compactors and shredders. “The focus shifted from steel, diesel and hydraulics to electronics, the data from which revealed the profitability of the customer’s processes,” writes the company.
According to Tana, “The development of machinery and digital solutions is by no means over. New machine adjustment possibilities optimize profits and minimize the environmental footprint. Better fuel efficiency means remarkable savings as fuel costs create a major share of the machine operating costs.”
Tana says it has set for itself “the ambitious goal” of increasing sales from about €40 million ($47 million) today to approximately 100 million euros ($117 million). “The waste treatment industry is still relatively young and has many small and medium-sized operators. In the future, some companies will grow larger, while others will fade away or merge with larger ones. Tana intends to be one that continues to grow with its own, strongly customer-oriented strategy.”