Joptek Composites will deliver composite-based floor structures and part of the interior structures for the new low-floor trams of Helsinki City Transport (HKL), in cooperation with Finnish rolling stock manufacturer Transtech.

In the first phase, Joptek will deliver floor structures for 40 tram cars. In addition, the contract includes an option to order structures for 90 more tram cars. The first tram cars will be completed at Transtech’s Otaniemi facility in the autumn of 2012. The scale of the sale makes it very significant for Joptek, a leading composite technology company based in Lieksa.

Joptek will be responsible for delivering the floors and a significant part of the interior structures of the tram cars. For Joptek, an expert in composite and lightweight construction technologies, the current order is the largest yet for the construction of low-floor tram cars. The first of the trams will be tested in Helsinki in 2013 and 2014.

"For Joptek, the deal signifies the beginning of a long-term client partnership. We have worked successfully with Transtech before and know that the two companies’ respective competencies complement each other perfectly. International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) certification and our certified expertise in the welding and gluing techniques used in rail transport are proof of our competence and commitment in the field," says Joptek’s managing director, Aku Lampola.

Cutting edge of technology

HKL made a decision to acquire low-floor tram cars at the end of 2010. The focus in designing and building the new tram cars is on environmental sustainability and technical solutions to improve energy efficiency.

"Finland has internationally top-ranked rail transport expertise. Joptek has over 25 years of expertise in composite and lightweight construction technologies. We have determinedly strengthened our know-how. The safety and quality of parts and larger structures alike is a core concern with all forms of rail transport. We at Joptek are proficient in combining materials and at the technical factors that affect the manufacture of composites. We manufacture certified products in accordance with international transportation equipment regulations," Lampola explains.

Transtech is one of the foremost manufacturers of double-deck rail vehicles in Europe, and a significant contract manufacturer of demanding workshop products.

"Our cooperation with Joptek dates back to the early 1990s. We value long-term partnership and a supplier that is flexible and locally based. Both parties have been very happy with the cooperation," project manager Esko Kaappola from Transtech says. Kaappola is very pleased that Finnish companies will implement the low-floor tram car project, which drew interest from international bidders as well.

"Transtech and Joptek will combine their expertise cost-effectively. It has always been part of Joptek’s normal practice to acquire the skills and qualifications required by the client," Kaappola says in reference to the certifications required in rail transport.