Leveraging tailored enclosures for tough environments.
"Our slogan is 'Fibox - enclosing innovations,' and while innovation in our products is key for us, our products also protect our customers' innovations."
Fibox Group, a privately owned Finnish company, is one of the largest enclosure manufacturers in the world and is the market leader in thermoplastic enclosures used for protecting electrical and electronic components operating in hostile environments. Fibox enclosures are manufactured in modern factories located in Finland, Germany, USA, India, China and South Korea. In 1966, the company introduced the first modular enclosures, injection molded from polycarbonate plastic. These enclosures began a new era in electrical panel building, especially for water and waste water applications. Fibox's dramatic and rapid growth has been fueled by its commitment to continuous product improvement, ongoing product development and deep application knowledge.
Whatever your application, the Fibox Group features the widest range of high-quality enclosures for the packaging and protection of electrical and electronic components and systems. Fibox's range consists of more than 1,000 enclosures made of polycarbonate, ABS plastic, polyester, and aluminum, and its customers include everything from global companies and start-ups to distributors and wholesalers. Enclosures can be delivered in standard off-the-shelf configurations or customized to your exact specifications.
Tapani Niemi, CEO of Fibox Group, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review about how his company is securing their customers' crucial investments and innovations every day, every year, and every decade.
What was the motivation behind starting Fibox Group?
Fiskars, a Finnish conglomerate, wanted to diversify its plastic enclosure business in 1991, and the current management did a buyout as there was so much potential on the market and a strong vision that it could grow into a successful and global business. With our Nordic roots and headquartered in Finland, we create robust and industry-leading products and solutions, protecting power distributions, control systems, and electronic devices from the realities of their harsh surrounding elements and environments.
Can you explain about your services in brief?
We develop and manufacture "non-rusty" enclosures out of polycarbonate for harsh and demanding environments. We make control panels and custom-designed thermoplastic housings. We also strongly develop and manufacture electric vehicle charging stations. We offer solution partner services for customer-specific plastic mechanics in the first tier. These services cover the entire life cycle of customer solutions, from concept design to manufacturing, and seamless supply to your location. We also develop, manufacture, and supply high-quality electrical and automation systems for demanding equipment manufacturers.
How important is "innovation" to what you do at Fibox Group?
It's at the core of our product development. Our slogan is "Fibox - enclosing innovations," and while innovation in our products is key for us, our products also protect our customers' innovations. For example IoT and telecommunication requires high frequencies for fast, secure and reliable data transfer. This mean that materials protecting these units need to have good radio frequency transparency allowing the radio signals go through enclosing materials without interruption. This allows embedding antennas inside the Fibox enclosures and protecting them from external threats.
What are the most challenging environments that you have worked in? What makes Fibox products endure these harsh environments?
Most of our products are categorized for heavy-duty applications, meaning that Fibox polycarbonate enclosures can take a lot of beating. So you get a steel enclosure with a fraction of the weight! They are made for challenging industrial environments with potentially strong chemicals, drastic temperature variations, UV-radiation and moisture, to name a few. Fibox enclosures are long-lasting and durable, and they can be used in extreme environments like mines, solar farms or marine. You could say that Fibox products are at least the best on the market for demanding applications!
Environmental concerns top the list when it comes to the work Fibox does. What are the multiple input points considered before deciding the kind of material used for the project?
We are not in the throw-away plastic business! Plastic has a bad reputation, but we should make a difference between plastic waste and the long-lasting, reusable, recyclable, and valuable Fibox polycarbonate that we use! It's super durable, and based on the application and usage, we decide which material or product suits the best, and most often, polycarbonate is perfect. Our polycarbonates are recyclable, and we use as much excess and recycled material as possible in manufacturing.
It's a job seeker's market now. It is harder than ever to attract and hire top candidates. How do you identify qualified individuals?
It's challenging to find the workforce in our factories and that is why we invest heavily on automation and work environment. To love and be motivated, you need to have some sort of passion for these products and this business.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful CEO?
Entrepreneurship, fairness, and a big portion of the Finnish "sisu" (Finnish determination, perseverance) are important.
Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
It's trending to replace the rusting steel enclosures with polycarbonate, and we are hopping on that trend. In many applications, metal has been replaced by thermoplastics, and the majority of vital and critical parts (such as car and airplane parts and electrical enclosures) are still made of polycarbonate. Also, our electrical car charging business has been kicked off. Now firstly in Finland but soon expanding to Europe and we are expecting this to be a successful business for us
What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
As always, our customers can expect high quality. We bring new solutions and services to help them grow and be better in their business.