LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter

Decades

  • 1940’s
  • 1950’s
  • 1960’s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s

1940’S – THE ENGINE FACTORY OF LINNAVUORI IS BORN

Finland’s second aircraft engine factory was built in Linnavuori, a village in Siuro Nokia in 1942.  The main mission of the factory was to function as a core place for repairing aircraft engines.

Since Europe was threatened by outbreak of war, the engine department of the State Airplane Factory, located in Tampere, had been relocated to Kokkola in Western Finland. The difficulty by the distance created the need for founding a new factory for airplane engines. Prehistoric Linnavuori (castle mountain) near the village of Siuro in Nokia was selected. The mountain offered good opportunities for underground caves, a railroad was nearby and electricity could be easily arranged. The building started in November 1942.

The production was started in partly unfinished premises in March 1944. The first product was the assembly of 30 fuselages for the VL Myrsky II (Storm) fighter. This was shortly followed by rework of airplane propellers and at the end of summer the bearing foundry started operation. The initially intended operation, rework of airplane engines, could be started only after the war in 1947.

After the end of World War II the factory was fully transferred for production of war reparations. Since the engines were nearest, production of nearly all diesel engines as well as air compressors were selected for Linnavuori. The extremely tight delivery schedules offered no time for own development, but licensing was seen as the only alternative, luckily these could be sourced for Sweden. Totally 60 units of June-Munktell crude oil engines were manufactured for schooners built for war reparations. With license from Skandiaverken diesel engines were manufactured for locomotives and air compressors with license from Atlas Diesel. Only these compressors remained in production until 1960’s.

Production of diesel engines based on own development and design was started in 1946, when small series of 440 and 648 type engines were made mainly for propulsion and power generation applications. Part of them were delivered already for war reparations and later they were continued to be sold to the Soviet Union by Valmet Shipyards. In 1947 also the development of 4 cylinder otto-engines was begun with intention for powering the first Valmet tractor, fueled either by gasoline or petroleum.

In the late 1940’s State Railroads had a need for light rail cars that should be powered by a diesel engine. Rail cars would be manufactured by the Valmet Airplane factory in Tampere and the natural selection for an engine supplier was Linnavuori Works. So the decision for development of a larger diesel engine was made. It was to be an inline 8 with 12-liter displacement developing 180 bhp. In further development it was made also mainly for power generation applications featuring charge air cooler and twin turbocharger technology and developing 250 bhp.

1950’S – POWER GENERATION OF AGRICULTURE MACHINES BEGINS

The golden 1950’s brought along the serial production of petrol engines for the Valmet 15 -tractor. Development of a three cylinder diesel tractor engine begun. It was considered an innovative success.

The serial production of the petrol engine for Valmet 15 model tractor, ”Tensioner of Barbed Wire”, rated at 15bhp was started in 1951, later the power was increased to 20hp. This was the beginning of power source production in Linnavuori for farming equipment that would continue powerfully developing until the next millennium and beyond.

In the early 1950’s also development of small three cylinder diesel engines was started with focus on farm tractors and the production started in 1957. Construction proved to be a direct hit. The engineers in Linnavuori succeeded to foresee future demands so well that it was not necessary to change the basic concept throughout the coming decades. The engine featured ao. wet cylinder liners, direct injection and cross flow cylinder head. Some 50 years later another engine manufacturer launched an engine with similar features as “world premier”.

1960’S – MORE POWER, PLEASE!

Tractors become larger and a bigger four cylinder engine is taken into production. Production of engines for ships and boats also keeps the factory workers busy.

The power demand of tractors continued to increase and so a four-cylinder diesel was developed. This was introduced to production in 1963 for the new, big Valmet tractor. Further in 1969 a new Valmet was launched as first farming tractor in the world powered by turbocharged diesel engine manufactured by Valmet. This engine was then developed also for other applications such as Valmet forest machines and Sisu trucks.

With license from Burmeister & Wain also larger auxiliary engines were manufactured for Valmet Shipyard until early 1980’s.

In 1950’s and 60’s also some 15.000 single cylinder Vire engines were manufactured. These were mainly used in small fishing boats, but also quite widely as auxiliary engines in sailboats.

1970’S – GETTING NOTICED

An engine series that is meant for more extensive use is developed in Finland. An engine equipped with a Comprex-brace gets special attention.  A crew transport vehicle called Pasi (equipped with a Valmet turbo intercooler engine) gets noticed internationally – it became a favorite of the UN troops in the Nordics.

1974 saw already the birth of the 50.000th engine. Beginning of the decade had been effectively used for developing an all new engine range for which also other major applications had been considered, not only in Valmet tractors or other “family” products.

In the mid 1970’s an all new engine assembly facility was inaugurated, whereas the first member of the new engine family, the six cylinder 6,6-liter turbo engine saw daylight. By the end of the decade also three and four cylinder models were introduced. Among these was also the four pot engine with special pressure-wave charging technology from BBC in Switzerland. This engine was even called “the mother of high torque engines” with torque as high as 424 Nm and 27% torque rise, figures never seen before in tractors. Thus this engine, first in the world with Swiss Comprex charger in serial production, also set off vivid discussion around the topic in the engine world.

Since the early 1970’s Sampo-Rosenlew combines were powered by Valmet engines. As of 1974 Danish combine manufacturer Dronningborg was a customer for Valmet, later on to become an especially good reference for high power 6 cylinder engines.

Both 4 and 6 cylinder Valmet diesels were in production for Sisu trucks, buses and mobile libraries until the early 1990’s. International reputation was gained by PASI, armored personnel carrier (APC), also made by Sisu, powered by Valmet 612 turbo intercooler engine. PASI was especially popular with Nordic UN troops due to its safety.

Sisu was not the only on-highway vehicle manufacturer to use Valmet engines. 4 and 6 cylinder engines were also installed by the importer of Fargo and Dodge trucks and buses, majority of these vehicles were sold to Finnish Post. A number of 4 pot engines were installed also by the same importer in Jeep SUV’s.

Valmet forest machinery were naturally users of Valmet engine, but also other Finnish off-road machinery manufacturers became customers, such as ARA, Lokomo and Lannen excavators became Valmet engine customers. Other off-road applications were among others Lokomo road graders and mobile cranes, Valmet forklifts and straddle carriers, which gradually conquered container harbors all over the world and collected rapidly thousands of hours and experience contributing to engine development, as well.

Engine factory also manufactured diesel powered generating sets, which were usually tailor made projects and sold mainly to domestic customers. In 1992 space saving V type genset series was patented and these were sold to German Bundespost in significant numbers.

One typical application since the beginning of operation has been marine propulsion and these have been selling to all seas worldwide. Also power packs for running irrigation pumps were delivered e.g. to Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

1980’S – COMPETITIVE EDGE FROM TECHNOLOGY

New fuel and supercharging techniques and innovative engine development brought along achievements, which are trademarks of AGCO produced engines even today.

When Valmet acquired tractor operations from Volvo in 1979, the component exchange with Volvo BM was an important issue on the negotiation table. Valmet 3 and 4 cylinder engines were selected to power the new tractor model range. For this purpose, the only a few years old engine range was further developed to the second generation modular engine family. The most significant difference to old was that the engine would become part of the load bearing chassis of the tractor. This feature has remained and further developed, in fact has also become the feature of all AGCO tractor families. And has been adopted also by some competitors in their products. With new fueling and turbocharging technologies excellent torque characteristics were achieved, which has become the trademark of Valmet / SisuDiesel / AGCO Power engines over the course of years.

Big combines and trucks required constantly more power. For this reason, the company started to develop a robust 7,4 liter 6-cylinder engine in the early 1980’s. This was introduced in production in 1985. During the development of this engine a major innovation was made: the wet cylinder liner was supported also at mid-stroke. This was a unique technological solution in this size engine. The configuration has many features not seen in many competing engines even yet today. The stiffening effect eliminates the cavitation corrosion created by the vibration typical of wet cylinder liners. The support also ensures the liner to remain round, resulting in reduced oil consumption and consequently reduction in particulate emissions. Respectively the coolant circulates most effectively around the top part of the cylinder, exactly where the heat load is at peak.

1990’S – TIME OF BIG DECISIONS AND CHANGES

In the 1990’s many important decisions with long-term effects were made in Linnavuori. In addition, the factory transitioned to producing big six cylinder engines. The specialization in off-road engines began.

Several significant and far-reaching decisions and changes were made in Linnavuori during 1990’s. In 1986 Valmet had made an agreement of cooperation with Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG. One of the objectives was to jointly develop a new diesel engine generation and to share the manufacturing between factories in Nokia and in Steyr. Due to finance and technology conflicts the cooperation came to an end and finally Steyr discontinued its own engine manufacture, whereas Valmet decided to finalize development and start serial production.

New engine range was introduced in record time and conveniently for new generation Valmet tractor models by the end of 1991. Already from the very beginning of development the upcoming emission requirements and noise emission reduction were taken into consideration. It was also apparent that engines were dimensioned for turbocharging and charge air cooling.

Steyr Landmaschinentechnik became a Valmet engine customer in 1993 when it was developing its own large size tractor range. With this Steyr came back to square 1 as drafted in 1986, the user of Valmet engines. By the end 1990’s the fluent collaboration brought to market place the first electronically controlled SisuDiesel engine, which was driving the tractor with a stepless CVT transmission developed by Steyr.

Valmet do Brazil was founded in 1960 and local tractor manufacturing started in 1962. At that time, the engine had to be a local make and Valmet chose MWM as its partner. The first delivery of 50 Complete Build Up (CBU) 420 DS engines was made for Valmet 985S models in 1993.

Into big sixes

Massey Ferguson had received so much good feedback from 6-cylinder Valmet diesels in its tractors and combines made by Dronningborg, that in 1995 it decided to enlarge the tractor range with Valmet engines up to 200hp range. The highest rated tractor would be with the all new, long stroke 7,4-liter engine, while the smaller continued with a 6,6-liter turbo engine.

How the robustness of 612 engines could be benefited in future, it was contemplated in Nokia? So it was decided that the most powerful Valmet diesel ever would be created: 6 cylinders, 8,4 liters, potential for over 330hp, even up to 400hp in combine harvesters. The engine was introduced to the public in the Agritechnica exhibition in Hannover, Germany, November 1995. That same year Valmet diesel had a 13% market share in combines in Europe, main customers Dronningborg Industries and Sampo-Rosenlew.

Specializing in off-road applications

In the early 1990’s it was pondered if an engine manufacturer with only 12.000 engine annual production volume can survive in the market, when competitors in the same power category are making more than 100.000 engines annually. Experience over the many years in the industry had proven that the same engine properties do not work properly both on highways in trucks and in the field in tractors, or in forest machines in the forest. In addition, the upcoming emission requirements for on-road vehicles would be different to those for off-road machinery. It was also understood that resources would not be sufficient for development of both. There were also strong doubts, if enough customers would be found for profitable operation. Conclusion was that the factory will specialize in engines for off-road applications.

This definition of policy lifted the engine position separate from mass products and the company started clearly to focus on customer oriented application development. Flexibility was adjusted to meet customer demands with principle: “tell us what kind of engine you need and we will make it for you”. Engine was also personalized with the name of the assembler on the decal on the side of the engine.

Linnavuori restructuring

When coming to 1990’s, Valmet Works in Linnavuori had several product lines, while diesel engines were the largest. Factory became the leading designer and manufacturer of special machine tools and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) in the Nordic countries. As part of the heritage of the original business plan were the operations underground tunnels for assembly and maintenance of jet engines of the Finnish Air Force. Along with engines the manufacture of power generating sets had been developing since the 1950’s.

When the structural changes were begun within Valmet Corporation in the early 1990’s, three separate units were formed in Linnavuori: Valmet Diesel including gears and power generation, Valmet Factory Automation and Valmet Aviation.

After the operation in ownership between Valmet Co. and Sisu was made in 1994, Valmet Diesel and Factory Automation became part of new Sisu and Aviation moved to Patria Finavitec. Since the business idea of Sisu was based on vehicles and machinery moving on rubber wheels, Automation was sold to Mercantile Co. at the end of 1995. Valmet Diesel was renamed to SisuDiesel and a little later also the engine brand name was changed to SisuDiesel. 1994 was the first year in company history to exceed 10.000 in annual production volume.

SisuDiesel became the largest gear wheel manufacturer in the Nordic countries, besides its own engine manufacture, the tractor plants the biggest customer. More foot hold brought the agreement with Canadian Bombardier Corp. for delivering Syncro transmissions to the snow scooter plants. Snow scooters have been an obvious “hobby” for Linnavuori factory, it did in fact develop an all-terrain band vehicle already in the early 1970’s. Sampo-Rosenlew was also a customer for complete transmissions.

Deliveries to other manufacturing units with Sisu Corp. increased rapidly in the mid 1990’s. Sisu Logging, today known as Komatsu Forest, leading developer and manufacturer of forest machinery with roots in Valmet tractors, uses own SisuDiesel engines. The experience from Sisu Terminal Systems’ users proved that with own engines the material handling equipment had longer life than with competing engine brands.

Ownership changed again in 1997, when Partek acquired the majority of Sisu Corp. shares from the government. This change brought considerable increase in resources for engine development and production. Engine deliveries started also to Partek Forest manufacturing units in Wisconsin, USA, and also to Canada.

2000’S – DIGITALIZATION INTENSIFIES PRODUCTION

In the year 2000 over 20 000 engines were produced in Linnavuori for the first time. After the turn of the millenium an electronic control system was introduced in more and more engine types and customer solutions.

Beginning of the new millennium increased further the speed in engine research and development. The electronic control system was implemented in several engine types and customer applications. Cooperation with customers became ever more intense in pressure of stricter emission requirements.

Year 2000 was yet another milestone for the factory; more than 20.000 manufactured engines in Linnavuori.

In 2002 the next change in ownership: Kone Corporation acquired the complete capital stock of Partek. This didn’t last too long, already in August 2003 the personnel were informed that Kone had made a preliminary agreement with AGCO Corp. based in Georgia, USA, for selling the engine factory. Early 2004 competition authorities both in the USA and in Europe had approved the acquisition.

Technological development continued with rapid steps, fuel injection based on common rail technology was introduced, which is controlled with the SisuTronic control system, now already in third generation. By the AGCO ownership the deliveries began also to corporate facilities in Kansas and Minnesota in the USA. Due to the ever increasing performance demand, in 2007 a quite unique engine configuration in this power category was launched: inline engine with 7 cylinders.

When the engine was launched in Linnavuori, a new company name was revealed: AGCO Sisu Power with the idea of getting the engine factory closer to corporate image. AGCO has meant significant investments in research and development, production systems as well as in facilities and the company has become an organic part of a globally operating corporation.

In 2008 yet another milestone: over 30.000 manufactured engines in Linnavuori annually and with the Brazilian operations included a total number of nearly 45.000.

The new name and international production point to a bright future filled with growth.

2012 business operations integrated even closer into AGCO corporationäs core business by shortening the company name to AGCO Power Inc.

The third AGCO Power engine plant was opened in 2012 next to the AGCO tractor plant in Changzhou, China, in leased premises. At the same time AGCO Corp realized one of its biggest investments ever by building its own plant a short distance away in the same town. Engine production moved into this facility in early 2015 for manufacture of approximately 10.000 three- and four-cylinder diesel engines developed for a new global tractor family of AGCO.

An engine assembly plant was launched in 2015 in Argentina. Production capacity is aimed for production of engines for tractors and combines for the local market, approx. 2.000 units annually.

 

Career at AGCO

Check out the vacancies

Read more

AGCO Power

Read more about AGCO Power

Read more

Latest articles

Show all