When people show you the number 77, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Undoubtedly anything special. However, that number is extremely revolutionary in the welding industry and hopefully in motorsport as well.  But first, let’s rewind time and go back almost 40 years.

In the beginning of early 1970’s, a group of welding professionals at Kemppi sat down and decided to revolutionize the whole welding industry. Kemppi thought that something needed to be done in order to fully serve the needs of the ever growing welding industry and create something that was never seen before.

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During the development, the device, which would later change the whole industry, was nicknamed VINKU 400 (meaning ‘Squeal’) because of the measurable noise it emitted.  In addition, the noise was not the only issue they faced as engineers encountered multiple blowups and pops.

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“After weeks of grinding away, numerous blown fuses, and various kinds of small and larger explosions, we got the MAG arc to burn one night”, says Tapani Mäkipää, one of the founding fathers of inverter technology. The basis for functional control technologies had been discovered, and Kemppi was able to present the magnificent innovation at Essen Welding Fair in 1977 and to start developing a device that was later brought to the market as the HILARC 250

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Today, the welding inverter is a familiar concept to anyone working in or with knowledge of the welding industry. There are probably many who do not fully understand the impact that inverter technology actually had on arc welding equipment, much less what is precisely meant by “inverter technology”. The core idea behind this technology made it possible to manufacture lighter but more efficient and versatile arc welding equipment. Today’s versatile welding units used in pulse arc welding would not be possible without the benefits of inverter technology.

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Now, let’s look at the same number from a different view. Or more specifically from a Formula 1 driver’s point-of-view. The number 77 is currently used by Finnish Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas, who has been sponsored by Kemppi since his carting days. During the last years, Valtteri Bottas has set his mark as one of the most talented Finnish drivers who ever sat in a F1 car. Last season Valtteri and Williams Martini Racing finished 4th in overall points and Valtteri stood on the podium six times.

This season he is going after his first ever Formula 1 victory as the season closes its half way point. F1 legends such as Sir. Jackie Steward and Sir. Frank Williams have said that it is only a matter of time when Finland will have  its 4th world champion and we at Kemppi believe so too! The whole F1 world witnessed the speed yet again last weekend in Montreal when Valtteri and Williams had an amazing weekend that resulted 3rd place in the Grand Prix.

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In addition, some of you may have noticed that the other, less outspoken Finnish F1 ace Kimi Räikkönen also has close relations with the number as his Ferrari carries the single 7 in its front.

To Kemppi, 77 represents innovation, desire to evolve and  an urge to be the best. Nearly 40 years ago in the welding industry and soon in Formula 1. All in all, number 77 truly marks something revolutionary and this all cannot be a coincident. Or can it? Well you can decide…

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