Passing on the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Roxia Oy is a part of the family business which roots go all the way to 1960’s when it started with Nuutti Vartiainen. This and other companies in different proportions of shares belong to an investment company Capillary Oy (companies such as Rocsole, Process Genius, Coloured Wood Products (CWP), Savroc, Aurelia Turbines, …). Capillary Oy is fully owned by Nuutti’s children Timo Vartiainen, Karoliina Kupias and Katariina Aaltonen and their children Noora and Petteri Vartiainen, Pietari, Pyry and Roope Kupias and Henriikka, Matias and Matilda Aaltonen. Family’s aim is to invest in attractive sectors and contribute to their growth. The owners’ vision for Roxia is to act as an industrial operator in Lappeenranta and meanwhile develop into a significant, global company in its fields of expertise. The owners have a long history of cooperation with the LUT University of Technology that they wish to nurture and further develop.

1960-1970

1960

  • Face-to-face meetings, personal contacts and expertise played a major role in building a business.

1962

  • Family business Murskaussuunnittelu (“Crushing Design”) was founded by Nuutti Vartiainen.
  • Murskaussuunnittelu designed crushing and screening plants for other construction companies.

1963

  • Laatusora (“Quality Gravel”) trade name was registered.
  • Laatusora sold, produced and delivered gravel, sand and landfill. The company also manufactured semi-finished and finished goods for the construction industry and carried out contracting work for excavation.
  • The most advanced tools in the workshop were a forging hammer and welding equipment.

Laatusora’s gravel pit in Hollola around 1965.

1965

  • Murskauskone Ky (“Crushing Machine”) was established to manufacture crushing machinery and equipment.
  • Murskauskone’s first in-house products were industrial conveyors. Murskauskone also produced individual items and prototypes for customer needs, not only mass-produced products.
  • Customer demand quickly expanded Murskauskone’s business to include after sales services.
  • One of Murskauskone’s customers was a Finnish mining industry pioneer Outokumpu.

    Murskauskone’s headquarters in Salpakangas, Hollola in 1965.

1970-1980

1970-72

  • Murskaussuunnittelu and Laatusora merged with Murskauskone.
  • Murskauskone facilities expanded. The company developed expertise and readiness to offer turnkey deliveries.
  • Murskauskone started designing and manufacturing crushers.

1972

  • Murskauskone opens an engineering shop in Outokumpu to provide mining, sub-contracting services and products for mines in the region.

Murskauskone’s large design department at the beginning of the 1970s.

1974

  • Murskauskone company name changed to Roxon – easier for the growing international clientele.
  • Subsidiary Roxon AB established in Sweden.
  • Roxon acquired majority shareholding in Lappeenrannan Konepaja Oy.
  • Roxon and Lappeenrannan Konepaja signed a licensing agreement to manufacture, develop and sell automatic filter presses.

1975

  • Roxon sales office established in the UK to better serve the local market.
  • Paraisten Kalkki (Partek) acquired 10% of Roxon’s shares and became a close partner.

1976

  • Kone Oy acquired 45% of Roxon’s shares. Kone’s subsidiary Härkäkorpi’s conveyor belt business became part of Roxon.
  • Roxon’s net sales is reaches 50 million FIM (8M€) and the company employs more than 500 people.

Some of the products produced by Lappeenrannan Konepaja Oy and later on by Larox Oy: vacuum filters, pinch valves and pressure filters.

1977

  • Nuutti Vartiainen sold Roxon’s shares to Kone.
  • Nuutti Vartiainen left Roxon and acquired the remaining shareholding in Lappeenrannan Konepaja, which then became Larox Oy.
  • Larox Oy’s mission was to revolutionise the mining industry’s solid-liquid separation and classification of mineral substances.
  • During the following three years, agent agreements were signed with companies in 17 different countries to expand the network and be able to operate closer to customers.
  • Larox Oy delivers its first pressure filters that contribute to sales of 12 million FIM (2M€).

1978

  • Larox Oy’s sales company established in France with Soffco-France SA.
  • First Master’s thesis completed in direct cooperation with LUT University.

 


Left: The world famous Nuutinnokka sauna diploma features the original log sauna. During the coming years thousands of visitors received such diploma and they still do today.

Right: Talouselämä magazine wrote an article in 1977 about Roxon being sold to Kone, saying: “Nuutti Vartiainen is widely respected for his dogged and determined entrepreneurial spirit; he is a man of one idea and solid personal relationships. He says ’The pioneering age is never over’.“

1980-1990

1980

  • Larox Oy’s subsidiary Scantec established in Peru.

1981

  • Subsidiary Larox Pty Ltd established in Australia
  • Joint-venture started with Inversiones Mineras to operate a gold and copper mine in Peru.

1982

  • Subsidiary Larox Inc. established in the USA.

    The first Larox Oy’s mine in Peru was situated near Arequipa.

1983

  • Timo Vartiainen joins Outokumpu Equipment in Canada that represents Larox Oy. After one year in Canada, he moved to the USA where he worked for Larox Oy’s American subsidiary for 4 years.
  • Katariina Aaltonen also starts to work for Larox Oy.
  • Close cooperation started with LUT University in language studies. Some language classes were even held in Larox Oy’s basement that was repurposed as a state-of-the-art phonetics and speech classroom equipped with modern booths, headphones and microphones to practice pronunciation.
  • Cooperation with LUT also meant that several LUT graduates were hired to the company.

Katariina Aaltonen boating with her daughter Henriikka in the 1980s.

 

1984

  • Larox Oy was awarded with the annual Entrepreneur Award by the Lappeenranta Businessmen’s Association in recognition of the company’s rapid growth. Larox Oy’s turnover had doubled in just four years to 42 million FIM (7M€).

1985

  • Subsidiary Larox GmbH established in Germany to strengthen the presence in German-speaking market.
  • Subsidiary Larox AB established in Sweden.
  • A silver, lead and zinc mine purchased in Peru.

1986

  • Acquisition of shareholding in an Austrian company Lindeberg Gesellschaft.
  • Larox Oy receives the Finnish President’s Export Award.

 


Heikki Kupias joins Larox Oy as Foreman of its workshop in early eighties.

1987

  • Larox Oy’s mining operations are underway at the Peruvian mine. The mine was also used for R&D work and a new quarrying technique was developed at the mine in the late 1980’s.
  • Nuutti Vartiainen is awarded with LUT Medal of Honour number 19 in recognition of his many years of activity in the field, representing local industry and successful cooperation between the Larox Oy and the LUT.

1988

  • Timo Vartiainen returns to Finland and becomes Vice President and Marketing Director of Larox Oy
  • Larox Oy’s shares were listed in Helsinki Stock Exchange.

1989

  • Larox Oy premises expansion started – the company had shifted from a component supplier to supplying entire lines.
  • A new Larox Oy R&D center opened in Lappeenranta.
  • Representation agreement signed with Metex for the Polish, Czechoslovakian and Hungarian markets.
  • New hydraulic pressure filter series is launched.

 


Nuutti Vartiainen at the Trujillo mine holding chunks of ore in 1987.

1990-2000

1990

  • Capillary Oy established by Vartiainen family. This is an investment company through which the owners invest into several businesses over time.
  • Timo Vartiainen becomes President of Larox Oy.
  • Nuutti Vartiainen acts as R&D Director of Larox Oy on a fixed-term basis. He also becomes Chairman of the Board of Larox Oy, taking over from his wife Tyyne.
  • Heikki Kupias joins Larox Oy as Head of Sourcing.
  • Subsidiary established in Chile to strengthen the presence in an important mining area.
  • Larox Inc. to represent Canada and Mexico.
  • Larox Oy’s turnover reaches 120 million FIM (20M€)

 


Timo Vartiainen in Larox Flowsys Oy’s office in mid-nineties.

1991

  • Larox Oy’s UK sales office promoted to subsidiary.
  • Subsidiary Larox Southern Africa Pty established in South Africa to offer local support and service.
  • Metex’ Polish representation replaced by Larox B.T.I. sales office.
  • Larox Oy received it’s biggest ever order from China, 35 million FIM (6M€).

1991-1994

  • Nuutti Vartiainen acts as Chairman of the board of the LUT University’s Research Foundation.

1992

  • Katariina Aaltonen becomes CFO of Larox Oy.
  • The new slogan “Separates the best from the rest” represented the shift towards focus on solid-liquid separation.
  • Classification business discontinued.

 


Group photo with the new slogan in the background

1993

  • Larox Oy started a joint venture in China with the China National Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Corporation (CNNC).
  • Several new products launched along with a new pressure filter.
  • Larox Flowsys Oy established to separate pinch valve product line to its own company.
  • Jukka Aaltonen becomes CEO and Member of the Board of Larox Flowsys Oy.
  • Timo Vartiainen becomes Member of the Board of Larox Oy and Chairman of the Board of Larox Flowsys Oy
  • Katariina Aaltonen becomes Member of the Board of Larox Oy.

1994

  • Large development project between LUT and Larox Oy concerning robot welding.
  • Timo Vartiainen continues Nuutti’s legacy by chairing the Research Foundation of LUT.

 


Newspaper article featuring Jukka Aaltonen, CEO and Member of the Board of Larox Flowsys Oy.

1995

  • Larox Oy’s R&D center opened in Lappeenranta, housing a valve laboratory for Larox Flowsys Oy’s R&D purposes.

1996

  • Subsidiary Larox B.T.I. established in Poland that developed from a previous sales office with a goal to expand the customer support activities in the area.
  • French, British and German subsidiaries combined into Larox Europe GmbH.

1997

  • Center of Separation Technology (CST) established at LUT University.
  • Larox Oy donated 1.5 million FIM (250.000€) to LUT University which ensured a solid-liquid separation professorship at CST/LUT University for five years.
  • Katariina Aaltonen becomes Member of the Board of Larox Flowsys Oy.

 


In 1999 Nuutti Vartiainen was awarded an honorary doctorship in technology by LUT University.

1997

  • Timo Vartiainen becomes Chairman of the board of CST (and holds the position until 2020).

1998

  • Larox Oyj becomes global representative for Scheibler filters.
  • Larox Oyj’s Chinese joint-venture discontinued.

1999

  • LUT University awarded Nuutti Vartiainen with honorary doctorate in Engineering.
  • Nuutti Vartiainen retires.
  • Larox Oyj’s sales office opened in Zambia.

 


Nuutti Vartiainen retired from business activites in 1999.

2000-2010

2000

  • Timo Vartiainen becomes a full-time Chairman of the Board of Larox Oyj. Katariina Aaltonen steps down from the CFO position at Larox Oyj. Toivo Matti Karppanen was appointed President and CEO of Larox Oyj. He was the first outside hire in the President and CEO position. From this time on, senior family members focus on top-level planning and decision-making positions within Board of Directors.
  • Larox Oyj launched new series of filters for mining and metallurgical industries.
  • Larox Oyj’s turnover reached 60M€.

2000-2009

  • Numerous research and development projects together with LUT University.

 


Larox Flowsys Oy moved to new facilities but remained in Lappeenranta, its hometown.

2001

  • Larox Flowsys Oy moved to new facilities in Lappeenranta.
  • Kauppalehti (Finland’s commerce-oriented newspaper) published a list of most successful companies in each Finnish region. Larox Flowsys Oy was included in this list for South Karelia. At the time, Larox Flowsys Oy had 35 employees and net sales of over 41 million FIM (6,8M€)

2002

  • Larox Oyj acquired Scheibler Filters Ltd.
  • Larox Flowsys Oy’s US subsidiary Larox Flowsys Inc. established to establish a strong presence in the American market.
  • New kind of hose pump developed and introduced to the Larox Flowsys Oy’s product portfolio.

2003

  • New Larox Oyj pressure filter introduced to the pharmaceuticals industry.
  • Heikki Kupias becomes Member of the Board of Larox Flowsys Oy

 


Valve World magazine published an article about Larox Flowsys Oy and featured it on its cover page.

2004

  • Acquisition of Outokumpu Technology’s filter business. Larox Oyj doubled its turnover to more than 100 M€.
  • Larox Oyj and its subsidiaries had 460 employees.
  • Timo Vartiainen is awarded with LUT University Medal of Honour number #54 for development of cooperation between industry and university.
  • Timo Vartiainen is elected chairman of the board of LUT University foundation.

2005

  • Larox Oyj’s subsidiary established in Brazil which expands the presence and local customer service in the continent.
  • Nuutti Vartiainen receives Medal of Merit #37 awarded by the Finnish Association of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers for a long and worthy career in the service of the Finnish mining and metallurgical industry as founder and president of Murskauskone, Roxon and Larox Oyj.

 


Timo and Nuutti Vartiainen at Vuorimiespäivät in 2005,
an annual event an annual event of Finnish Mining Association.

2006

  • Dosing pump introduced to Larox Flowsys Oy’s hose pump portfolio.

2007

  • Larox Oyj donated solid liquid separation professorship to CST/LUT University for five years.
  • Nuutti Vartiainen donated 1 M€ to the University foundation.

2008

  • Larox Oyj acquired Turku Ceramics, a manufacturer of ceramic disc elements.
  • Acquisition of JFD Pumps Rotors Oy brought pump service to Larox Flowsys Oy’s portfolio.
  • Jukka Aaltonen steps down as Larox Flowsys Oy’s CEO

 


The iconic Nuutinnokka cottage

2009

  • Heikki Hyttinen is appointed as President and CEO of Larox Flowsys Oy. The family continues to appoint non-family members to this position.
  • Larox Flowsys Oy acquired Destasol, a centrifugal pump service company.
  • Knife gate valves introduced to the Larox Flowsys Oy’s product portfolio.
  • Larox Oyj opened a production plant in China.
  • The family announced their plan to sell Larox Oyj‘s shares to Outotec Oyj.

 


Timo Vartiainen awarding a Sauna diploma to a Nuutinnokka guest

2010-2020

2010

  • Larox Oyj was sold to Outotec Oyj. During its history, Larox Oyj became market leader in its field. Larox Oyj and its subsidiaries had more than 600 employees and net turnover of around 200 M€. More than 3500 Larox Oyj filters operate in more than 50 countries.
  • Capillary Oy acquired Larox Oyj’s shares of Larox Flowsys Oy.
  • Since the acquisition, Larox brand is the property of Outotec Oyj.
  • Larox Flowsys Oy’s Australian subsidiary Larox Flowsys Pty Ltd established and contributed to better customer support coverage across the globe.

2011

  • South African subsidiary Larox Flowsys (Pty) Ltd established.
  • Company name changed from Larox Flowsys Oy to Flowrox Oy.

 


Materia magazine wrote an article about family’s business history after Larox Oyj was sold to Outotec Oyj.

2011

  • Timo Vartiainen and Heikki Kupias continue in their roles in Flowrox Oy’s Board of Directors. Katariina Aaltonen steps down as Member of the Board of Flowrox Oy. Ilkka Mujunen and Jyrki Uurtio are appointed as Members of the Board who are not part of the family owners.
  • Progressive cavity pumps introduced to the Flowrox Oy’s portfolio.
  • Vartiainen family donated 1.6 M€ to LUT University.
  • Pietari Kupias does his BSc Industrial Design thesis project in relation to designing a valve product family for Flowrox Oy. During that time, he works for Flowrox Oy for approximately a year until the completion of the project.

2012

  • New premises for LUT University chemical department and CST opened. The new building is named “Vartiainen”.
  • LUT University awards Timo Vartiainen with a honorary doctorate.

 


LUT University awarded Timo Vartiainen with a honorary doctorate in 2012. Timo (left) and Nuutti (right) Vartiainen.

2013

  • Petteri Vartiainen moves to USA and starts working for Flowrox Inc., the American subsidiary.
  • Russian and Chinese subsidiaries Flowrox LLC and Flowrox Co. Ltd. established.
  • Professor for mixing, flow control and pumping nominated at LUT University.

 


Left: Petteri Vartiainen spent 6 years in the USA, working for the American subsidiary of Flowrox Oy.
Right: Pietari Kupias did his BSc Industrial Design thesis project in relation to designing a valve product family for Flowrox Oy

2015

  • Jukka Koskela was appointed President and CEO of Flowrox Oy. Following senior family members’ decision to focus on top-level roles, he is also an outside hire.
  • Pulsation dampeners introduced to the product portfolio.
    Flowrox Oy and its subsidiaries have 130 employees.
  • Decision to enter filtration business was made.
  • Flowrox Oy’s turnover reached 33 M€.

2016

  • Digital services became part of Flowrox Oy’s offering.

2017

  • The founding father Nuutti Vartiainen passes away.
  • Timo Vartiainen donated 100.000€ to LUT University.
  • Acquisition of Spare Parts Depot Inc. was the first big step towards re-entering filter business.
  • Packaged pumping systems introduced to the Flowrox Oy’s product portfolio.

 


Timo Vartiainen donated 100.000 € to LUT University – one of the many donations made throughout the years of successful cooperation.

2017

  • Nuutti’s children Timo Vartiainen, Karoliina Kupias and Katariina Aaltonen (second generation) retain 10 % shares of the family’s investment company Capillary Oy. They pass on the rest 90 % among their children, the third generation: Noora and Petteri Vartiainen, Pietari, Pyry and Roope Kupias and Henriikka, Matias and Matilda Aaltonen
  • Pyry Kupias moves to Australia where he starts working full time for Flowrox Oy’s Australian subsidiary
  • Matias Aaltonen starts working for Flowrox Oy.

2018

  • Chilean and Swedish subsidiaries Flowrox SpA and Flowrox AB established.
  • Acquisition of NovaTek Filtration AB strengthened the Flowrox Oy’s  filtration portfolio with filter presses.
  • Flowrox Oy’s portfolio also expanded to ceramic disc filters, smart filtration and mobile geotextile dewatering units.

2019

  • Petteri Vartiainen returns to Finland from the USA.
  • Petteri Vartiainen and Pietari Kupias join the Board of Directors of Flowrox Oy as representatives of the third generation of the company owners.
  • Roope Kupias starts working full time as Test Engineer for Flowrox Oy.
  • Pyry Kupias returns to Finland from Australia and starts working as Technical Product Manager, Environmental Technologies for Flowrox Oy.
  • The third generation starts attending the Lappeenranta University of Technology’s business management training program that they complete during the next two years.

 


Flowrox Oy’s main office building in wintery Lappeenranta.

2019

  • Peruvian subsidiary Flowrox SAC established to strengthen the presence and customer service in South America.
  • Acquisition of Polar-Automaatio Oy strengthened Flowrox Oy’s automation expertise.
  • Industrial automation, centrifugal pumps, plasma technology for water purification and smart filter presses introduced into product and service offering.

Left: Pyry Kupias moved to Australia in 2017 to work for Australian subsidiary of Flowrox Oy.
Right: When Roope Kupias first joined Flowrox Oy, he was working as Test Engineer.

2020-

2020

  • Tower presses introduced to the Flowros Oy’s product portfolio.
  • Flowrox Oy and its subsidiaries grew their numbers to 219 employees.

2021

  • Matias Aaltonen joins the Board of Directors as third representative of the third generation.
  • Roope Kupias starts working in a new role as Quality and Expediting Specialist for Flowrox Oy.
  • German subsidiary Flowrox GmbH established which strengthens company’s ability to offer better customer support in Central Europe.
  • Aerators introduced to the Flowrox Oy’s product portfolio.

 


Flowrox Oy’s brand, pump and valve businesses sold to Neles Oyj.

2021

  • Flowrox Oy’s brand, pump and valve businesses sold to Neles Oyj. Flowrox brand became property of Neles Oyj.
  • The company name changed from Flowrox Oy to Roxia Oy.
  • Timo Vartiainen, Heikki Kupias, Petteri Vartiainen, Pietari Kupias and Matias Aaltonen continue in their roles in Roxia Oy’s Board of Directors. Additional board members outside the family were Matti Tarvainen and Mikko Hirvensalo
  • Roxia Oy’s turnover was 46 M€.

2022

  • Roxia headquarters is located at LUT-university campus in Skinnarila, Lappeenranta. The service and spare parts center is in Myllymäki, Lappeenranta. In the same premises, there is also a  laboratory for test filtration and environmental technologies. In addition, Roxia has premises in  Tornio, Keminmaa and Vantaa. The first tower presses are manufactured in Karhula Industrial Park. There are nine foreign subsidiaries: Australia, Chile, South Africa, China, Peru, Sweden, Germany, Russia, and the United States.
  • Capillary Oy buys land next to Lappeenranta’s airport to build facilities for Roxia Oy and bring together all Lappeenranta-based personnel under the same roof.
  • Pietari Kupias starts as Managing Director of Capillary Oy.

Capillary Oy buys land in Lappeenranta with an intention to build facilities for  Roxia Oy.

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Danie Groenewald

Area Sales Manager South Africa

+27 10 590 8374

Kauko Tanninen

President, Russia & CIS

+7985 226 14 91

Russell Beaumont

Senior Service Manager, Filters Australia

+61 408159305

Ettienne Joubert

Sales Engineer South Africa

+27 (0) 81 030 1015

Sun Lin

Area Sales Manager, General Manager China

+86 21 52679628

Lyle Henson

Environmental Technologies Sales Manager North America

+1 443 695 9510

Dan Stenglein

Sales Director North America

+1 667 500-2591

Ronald Gaspar

Technical Service Manager Peru, Colombia

+51 9 7973 5424

Robert Parks

Filter Sales Manager North America

+1 410 636 2250

Maureen Brown Briceño

Sales Manager South America

+56 9 7740 0878

Yury Beloborodko

Director, Filtration MMM & CEEC Russia & CIS

+7 921 959 46 20

Sergey Petukhov

Technical Director Russia & CIS

+7 495 726 57 41

Don Kitchen

Filter Spares Sales & Service Manager North America

+1-410-636 2250

Jesse Saira

Area Sales Manager Nordic and Baltic Countries

+358 44 276 2338

Dirk Otto

Sales Director Central Europe

+49 (0) 2102 420 707

Victor Ortega

Area Sales Manager Asia Pacific

+61 499 156 590

Juho Uusitalo

Area Sales Manager Eastern Europe

+358 40 680 4396

Kimmo Angeria

Head of Field Services, Roxia Automation

+358 400 104 977

Eduardo Paredes

Sales Director South America

+56 994 991 561

Markus Saloniemi

CEO, Roxia Automation

+358 40 571 9520

Fernando Henriquez

Sales Director Peru

+51956360887

Petri Kiljunen

Petri Kiljunen, Regional Director, Middle-East and Mediterranean

+971525252178