Arcteq powers up electricity networks
Smart grids are facing considerable change worldwide. Finnish protection relay and smart grid expert Arcteq has what it takes to benefit from the transformation.
Simply put: the current age of technology innovation is often mind-boggling. Yet we still live in a world where many crucial functions of developing countries are subject to frustrating power failures. Nevertheless, transition for good is an inevitable phenomenon, and Finland is at the forefront with its high smart grid expertise.
“Over 90 per cent of our production is exported to countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brazil and South Africa,” says Arcteq managing director Juha Arvola, pointing out that more established markets such as the US are also on the company’s radar.
Smart grids are tipped to bring major changes to people’s lives. Governmental control of electricity grids is being reduced, while grids are being more decentralised and meticulous, yet increasingly environmentally friendly. Ultimately, this guarantees increased energy efficiency and integrating renewable energy resources into the system.
“Our products cut off electricity selectively in order to ensure the best efficiency, while creating better safety for people and devices,” Arvola explains.
Bang for the buck
The company’s business idea consists of complete solutions for transmission, sub-transmission and distribution power protection needs. It is renowned for its truly intelligent devices and markets itself as the provider of the most accurate relays in the world, supplying organisations such as CERN.
Arcteq has revolutionised the industry’s measurement technology and is able to provide more accurate information about the state of a network than anyone previously.
Its success is based on experienced personnel with exemplary expertise. While the company’s major competitors are huge multinational, multi-function companies, specialising only in protection relays and smart grid has given it a considerable advantage.
“Our customers appreciate our independence,” Arvola tells. “Our comprehensive offering, know-how and agility serves to help our customers to add value. Our typical customers are different electricity companies and transmission system operators, but on the other hand heavy industry as well.”
Arcteq was found in 2010 as a spin-off from Vamp, after it was acquired by French company Schneider. The founders, who already had a strong background in international sales, saw it clear to go immediately abroad.
“We are proud to continue building on the long tradition of Finnish protection relay design,” Arvola remarks.
The company is headquartered in Vaasa, Finland, with a research and development centre also in Poland. All Arcteq products are designed and manufactured in Finland using the latest technologies.
“During the first three years we focused on research and development, and now it has continued with commercial activities,” Arvola explains. “Close collaboration with local universities and laboratories at the Technobothnia Research Centre forms an integral part of our success.”
During the past seven years of its existence, the company has been growing steadily. Today, Arcteq employs 20 people in Finland and 15 abroad, whereas the turnover has been increasing annually around 30 per cent. It is expected to reach five million euros in 2017.
“We have been growing pretty well corresponding to our business plan,” Arvola explains. “Our aim is to increase the growth in the upcoming years, but do it controllably.”
Currently, Arcteq has established a worldwide network through local offices and partners. It is doing business on all continents in over 40 countries.
“Usually companies have a product first and then start to build the network,” Arvola laughs. “We started to proceed contrariwise and we are doing just fine.”
Text: Tuomas Koivisto