DSII excursion to ATA Gears: Warm atmosphere and a great deal of expertise
Updated: May 15
Somehow, it’s always amazing to see how much top talent, expertise, innovations and top technology a quality Finnish factory product needs. This is something that the DSII students came to notice during their excursion to ATA Gears factory in Atala, Tampere.
ATA Gears’ older factory resides in Atala and the newer one is in Leinola, the neighbourhood next to Atala. The excursion started from the old factory where ATA Gears was moved in 1941 from the central city. Company was founded 86 years ago in 1937 under the name Oy Autotarvike Ab.
The area in which it was founded was just a forest at that time. Slowly, people who were working in the factory started to build their houses nearby and so the neighbourhood was named “Atala” after ATA Gears. There are very few – if any other – companies that can say a whole area is named after them!
ATA Gear’s main products are bevel gears – special kinds of gears used for many purposes, like transmission parts for marine and industrial applications.The advantage of these particular gears is their durable quality and the precision with which they are manufactured in this particular factory. The gears won’t break down and they can be used much longer than regular gears.
Some of ATA Gears’ factory machines are invented by the factory workers themselves. There are many self-developed technologies and they even have their own CAD software.
One of our doctoral researchers, Erkka Virtanen, is doing his dissertation in collaboration with ATA Gears. This was one of the reasons we visited there as he invited us.
“It was nice to bring other DSII researchers for a visit to Ata Gears. I believe that many things that I had shared earlier in roundups were enlighted for everyone in this contects and experience. It was also very interesting to share with others what they noticed and thought about the visit.”
ATA Gears is also a sponsor company for Atala School. One can find a lot of colourful drawings on the walls of the company meeting room, made by the students of Atala School.
“Seeing all those drawings on the wall was very sweet. Also, the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming in that factory.”
“We first visited the old factory which resides in Atala. It was very cool to see how history appeared in that factory in many different ways. At the same time one could see the progress and modernity too!”, says Elina Tiainen from Tamlink.
After the visit to the old factory, the group was taken to the new factory of ATA Gears at Hautalankatu.
The newer factory was top modern, and they told us they have the most modern heat treatment line of all Europe.
Gears are expected to function reliably for years or even decades under extreme loads, so case hardening is one of the key development areas in this specific field of mechanical power transmission. That’s why ATA Gears is ceaselessly researching heat treatment and material science. Just like Erkka Virtanen.
DSII makes several excursions in year to different industry destinations to learn more about various industries not just about the ones that DSII researhers are coworking with.
“Visits to different destinations are nice for increasing ones’ own understanding. Many seemingly simple things in everyday life turn out to be such that actually a lot of effort has gone into their production and planning. Different visits shed a lot of light on that huge amount of effort spent on different work phases.” Virtanen sums up.