Vihtavuori’s 100 Years of Accuracy
The factory was founded as a military facility in the small community of Laukaa. In the wake of World War I, the newly independent Finnish state required a plant to produce propellants and explosive materials for the defence forces. The Vihtavuori factory was founded in 1922 as a military facility in the small community of Laukaa in the middle of Finland. Location criteria were e.g. strategic location, access to clean water and a functioning railway line. The first Managing Director was Gustaf Hackzell, and the actual powder production started in 1926.
Nitroglycerin and shot shell production begins. The constantly developing and growing factory started producing nitroglycerin and shot shells, a product category that would make the Vihtavuori brand a household name in Finland for the next 30 years.
The factory prepares for WW II and production is increased to max level. The tensions related to the beginning of the Second World War built up quickly, and the Vihtavuori site had to start preparing for war in a hurry, buying raw materials and disguising the factory area in case of possible air raids using paint, trees and lumber. During World War II, the production capacity at the factory was naturally at a maximum level.
Powder production decreases and production shifts to other chemicals. After the war, the government decided to transfer the factory from the Ministry of Defence to be managed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Wartime production ended, and the gun powder production decreased from having been more than 1,000 tonnes in 1946 to a meagre 17 tonnes in 1950. The main product was dynamite, the factory also made e.g. shot shells and primers.
The global oil crisis affects the production and export of Vihtavuori products.
Between 1960 and 1980, the Vihtavuori site was producing a vast array of chemicals. The factory produced eg. varnish resin and an explosive called anite. As a result of a merger and subsequent name change, in 1971 the Vihtavuori factory became a part of Kemira Oy, a state-owned chemical production giant. In the mid1970ies, the oil crisis cast a shadow on the production and export opportunities, and some tough times followed. However this crisis also helped develop the company, and in 1982 the new nitroglycerin facility at the factory opened.
Vihtavuori becomes part of Patria Industries, and later a part of Eurenco.
Vihtavuori becomes part of Nammo.
In 2014, Vihtavuori Powders became part of the Nammo group. During the following years, the company continued to develop as an internationally significant player in the market and new consumer products like the N555, the N565 and N568 were released for the civilian market. On the 100th anniversary of the company, the Vihtavuori brand is stronger than ever!