In 1956, Otto Hautanen started a joinery business in Ylihärmä, South Ostrobothnia. He offered a range of products from garden furniture to ironing boards.
Hautanen first began to manufacture doors and windows in the early 1960s. By that time, he was already selling garden furniture and ironing boards across the country. Doors and windows were initially supplied locally.
By the 1970s, the company had phased out other products as the door and window business began to grow. Otto’s two eldest sons Jarmo and Hannu joined the family business in 1977.
The 1980s saw great progress in automation, sales and product ranges.
The factory at the industrial estate in Ylihärmä was extended more than once. The company focused on window manufacturing and was the first Finnish manufacturer to have integrated custom production lines for windows. At the end of the decade, the company began manufacturing multiple glass units and treated glass. Production was managed based on an information system.
By the end of the decade, the company had grown into a medium-sized national operator in the window manufacturing industry.
The industry was hit by the economic downturn in the early 1990s. The company survived the challenging time, and subsequent growth made it one of the leading medium-sized manufacturers in Finland.
The modernisation of production and management processes continued, as the factory was expanded and fitted with a new machine vision-guided surface treatment line. The custom manufacturing concept was developed, new machining lines were introduced, a new glass unit factory project got under way, and the Lean method was adopted in manufacturing processes. Sales systems also became computerised.
Product quality was a priority, as Skaala became the first Finnish company to adopt the new ‘quality wood’ material concept.
The Skaala brand was launched and the company began exporting. Its main clients were Finnish log house manufacturers.
Skaala continued to grow and became one of the leading manufacturers in the Nordic countries. The growth was partly organic and partly because of new acquisitions. The company opened sales offices in the UK and Sweden.
Skaala received multiple awards relating to business growth and employment. In 2007, Skaala won the national RIL award for the development of a low-energy window. In 2009, the Skaala Alfa window was the test winner in the window edition of the TM Rakennusmaailma magazine and the only window to be awarded five stars.
A number of factory expansions were carried out, and the business grew to include internal doors and installation services. The main factory site in Ylihärmä was extended to house a new door factory and logistics unit.
In 2006, Skaala celebrated its 50th anniversary. The keynote speaker and honorary guest at the gala was Sauli Niinistö, the current President of Finland.
The company kept its focus on product development, and Skaala continued to garner industry awards. The Skaala Frostfree energy window was launched and received the Innosuomi innovation award. In the manufacture of multiple glass units, the company adopted the Superspacer technology in its Alfa and Beeta product ranges. The Skaala Alfa cLean ventilation window received the innovation award of the Asuntomarkkinat house building fair. In addition, Skaala windows received recognition from the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers, which gave its Project of the Year award to the MERA low-energy apartment block concept in Espoo.
Skaala continued to invest in its factories and developed the Green Field & Factory environmental programme. The new factory expansion and state-of-the-art glass line in Ylihärmä were inaugurated at Skaala’s 60th anniversary gala in 2016.
The organisation was developed to match the growing business by establishing subsidiaries in Russia, Sweden and the UK.
In 2017, the Austrian FN Holding Ag group acquired majority holding in Skaala.
Skaala’s ISO 9001-certified system was implemented several years ago. The system covers our production, sales and support functions. Our ISO 14001 Environmental Certification demonstrates that we have an efficient system for maintaining and developing our environmental strategy.
Environmental policies are rolled out through our Green Field & Factory programme. In terms of concrete actions, it means, for example, recycling all old windows and doors from renovation projects, and our factories have a ‘nil to landfill’ target.
We invest in wellbeing at work and occupational safety and health through our Safe Field & Factory programme. Concrete achievements to date include reduction of workplace incidents and accidents.
The ISO9001 and ISO14001 certificates and our Safe Field & Factory programme enable us to follow standardised and optimised practices in a large-scale industrial environment. The certificates also communicate our systematic and modern approaches to managing our operations.
Skaala products and services help to improve energy-efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Skaala promotes sustainability in all its operations via the Green Field & Factory programme. The main objectives of the programme are:
Sales and field operations
Products and production