Our Story

2002

Two Finnish engineers, Ville and Antti, strongly believe in enhancing efficiency in the business processes of industrial companies.

On a cold January day they file a new company registration form and toast with warm beer instead of champagne, to save money for the company. The name VILANT on the registration form comes from their names.

 

2003

The entrepreneurs had their first glimpse of the company future success as they nearly stumbled into a project that required a more durable solution than barcodes. The technology chosen was RFID (passive HF in those days).

From one perspective the project was the biggest stroke of luck for the company as it certainly demarcated the future route. Yet back then the technology was everything but mature, so bumps on the road were not to be avoided. To ease up the pain at the customer end, some pain relief fluid (a.k.a Finnish Vodka) was delivered alongside the system.

2004-2005

Although GS1 had not yet ratified the EPC standard for UHF RFID, the first UHF RFID readers became available. This made it possible for Vilant Systems to implement its very first Goods Inbound logistics project. And this was not a small one. The customer was ABB and the implementation became a benchmark for many afterwards.

2005 marks an important year in the Finnish RFID history as RFID Lab: the non-profit organization to promote the technology was founded. During the RFID Lab first years Vilant Systems played an important role in the organization of the operations. The picture shows Antti with a HF RFID reader from the company Softronica.

 

2006

Everybody benefits when GS1 standardizes the technology as it lowers barriers to invest. But as the EPC Generation 2 UHF RFID standard was first introduced in 2006, it meant a lot of work from 2004 and 2005 was thrown to bin and the hard work started yet again.

Vilant Systems always had the entrepreneurs throw themselves hands on to  work. The picture shows a UHF RFID gate from 2006 finished in the early hours of the morning together with its creator.

2007-2009

With a ratified standard to follow, the UHF RFID market finally began to form. There were tag manufacturers, chip manufacturers, reader manufacturers and integrators. Even large companies such as Oracle and IBM had a go at creating RFID middleware. The Vilant TURNKEY solution offering seemed to appeal to the selected segment of large companies, yet the market in Finland is limited. In 2008 already 40% of the turnover comes from export.

At this stage the company had grown to have some 10+ employees, yet the entrepreneurs were very much hands on both in project installations as well as cleaning up new office space.

When the company is small, it is important to get 150% out of your team. A culture that allows trial-and-the-occasional, yet needed error, a culture that nurtures people who speak frankly and a culture that allows the team to have fun at work is not easy to create. However when the management sticks to continuous honest communication, arranging free-time activities and being involved in every-day tasks, such culture can be born and is still today valued and nourished at Vilant.

A very engineering, hardworking, yet fun-lowing team is gradually built up.

Employee Summer Day 2008

So much work that one computer won’t do 2009

Employee summer day activities in 2009

2010-2012

After the 2009 recession companies started getting their budgets fast back. This meant that after slowing down in 2009, Vilant had to speed up faster than ever in 2010 with a 100% turnover growth as well as. In a short time a lot of new employees entered the company.

Coming into 2011 the company was really set for international markets with Sweden and Switzerland as main target markets to start with. The acquisition of Swisscom Auto-ID Services AG (then a subsidiary of Swisscom AG) made Vilant a micro-multinational over night. At the same time still a relatively small company, yet a very capable team serving international markets with complex UHF RFID projects.

And even if some international colleagues had been there before, all of a sudden there was a whole Swiss team to be integrated to Finnish habits. Lucky enough they were engineers and outdoor enthusiasts at heart too.

2011 Celebration of 1st of May in Finnish office

2012 Winter games

The hunger to grow means more sales people, more operations and nice turnover.

Pack Move exhibition in 2014

Logimat exhibition in 2016

Helsinki Logistics & Distribution exhibition in 2017

Proud members

of the Turck Group.

A strategic move the company had been looking for was finally made in 2017 as majority of Vilant Systems shares was sold to Turck Group. Joining the global automation giant allows Turck Vilant Systems to leverage the Turck international sales organisation as well as the hardware product portfolio. Further international growth is certainly ahead.

2017_Turck Acquisition with Christian Wolf, AnttiVirkkunen and Ville Kauppinen

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