There has been a change in the board of the Finnish Hydraulics and Pneumatics Association FHPA. In January 2020, Tapio Lehti, Parker Hannifin, was elected Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Hydraulics & Pneumatics Association. He followed Kalle Tuohimaa, Bosch Rexroth, who actively represented FHPA in CETOP for a long time.
The Finnish Hydraulics & Pneumatics Association was founded in 1977 by several Finnish hydraulics and pneumatics companies. The association's objective is to develop the industry in Finland and ensure the conditions for success in international operations. The association has roughly 60 member companies, and Tapio Lehti has been a member of the Board since 2011.
Tapio Lehti has more than 35 years of experience working in the hydraulics industry. Lehti is a graduate of the Tampere University of Technology and wrote his thesis on hydraulic manifold technology for Rauma-Repola Oy (Lokomo) in 1985. In the same year, he launched his career at Rauma-Repola's Lokomec hydraulics unit, which designed and manufactured hydraulic systems for the needs of Lokomo's range of mobile machinery. When Lokomo's mobile machinery production began to decline, Lokomec turned its focus to hydraulic manifold technology, and the company rapidly grew into a pioneering supplier for the manufacturing industry in Finland and elsewhere in the Nordics.
The recession of the early '90s also affected Lokomec, and to secure the company's survival, the operational leadership, together with the employees, purchased the company in a management buyout and started Lokomec Oy. The company now had four new main owners, one of whom was Tapio Lehti. Headed by the new management, Lokomec became the largest manufacturer of hydraulic manifolds in the Nordic countries, with net sales growing from less than EUR 1 million to EUR 10 million. In 1998, the U.S. company Denison International acquired Lokomec, and in 2001, Lehti was appointed Managing Director of the company. Since 2004, following Parker Hannifin's acquisition of Denison Hydraulics' entire share capital, Lokomec has been part of the Parker Hannifin Group. At the same time, Lehti was named Parker Hannifin's Tampere Business Unit Manager. The company's net sales reached as high as EUR 30 million. Today, Lokomec is still part of Parker's European Industrial Systems Division, supplying customer-specific control systems for applications such as mobile machinery, marine equipment, industrial machinery and offshore oil and gas industry.
In 2011, Lehti took on the role of General Manager for Parker's Finnish sales company, Parker Hannifin Oy. Parker Hannifin is one of the largest companies in the world in motion and control technologies, and the largest in its sector in Finland. Parker Hannifin Group's net sales exceed EUR 14 billion. The total hydraulics and pneumatics market in Finland is valued at more than EUR 600 million annually. Several global OEMs operate in Finland, for instance in the mobile and marine sectors, and Parker enjoys close co-operation with them in both engineering and manufacturing.
Lehti currently heads the Group's Nordic sales company as Sales General Manager of Parker Hannifin Ab. He started in the role in 2017, when the operations of the Nordic sales companies were merged. Parker Hannifin Ab's net sales are approximately USD 500 million. Parker is known for its premium products, and in addition to its sales company, has eight production plants in Finland and Sweden that co-operate closely with Nordic OEM manufacturers and industry.