Thank you team Kemppi!

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The month of Movember is now behind us. On Wednesday last week you could see a bunch of men get together in Kemppi canteen, all in good humour and very determined in their mission. Looking cheerful with some whipped cream in their moustache, the men were celebrating the last week of Movember having coffee and cake.

These men had a good reason to congratulate themselves. The whole bunch of them had survived the strict demands of Movember, obeying the campaign rules from the first day to the last, and with their moustached faces spreading around the message to raise funds for a good cause: to improve men’s health around the world.

A substantial sum of money was raised in Kemppi team during the campaign, and Kemppi’s MM group (Men with Moustache) want to thank all those who made a donation for the good purpose.

 

In the same occasion, the first ever ‘Mr Movember Kemppi’ award was handed to Jukka Perttunen, who was the motivator and inspirer during the whole campaign. Also special price was raffled among the competitors and Lassi Saarinen received Polar sport watch with integrated heart rate monitor. Congratulations Jukka and Lassi!

‘It was our intention to bring some good will with a cheerful and positive attitude to otherwise so dark and gloomy November’, says Mr Movember Kemppi 2014, Jukka Perttunen.

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30 brave men with a moustache

Inspired by their wives or despite their wives’ denial, 30 brave men at Kemppi have entered a risky game: To let their moustache grow wild for the whole Movember without knowing how handsome or ridiculous they will end up looking.

There is of course a serious purpose behind all this: To spread the awareness of the diseases threatening men’s health all over the world, diseases like prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. And of course to make donations for programmes that are saving and improving the lives of men.

Welder or non-welder, you’re welcome to join our group and make a donation for the good purpose through the Team Kemppi. Women with or without moustache can participate as well!

Click here to join: http://moteam.co/team-kemppi

And if you don’t have guts to grow your own stache you can always trust the image manipulation by pasting your own image to this generator:

http://mustachify.me/

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Evolution of the human male during the first 10 days of the Movember period. Observe what happens under the nose area, and notice the change of moods.

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‘The pike climbed into a tree to sing…’

pike1The totem-like sculpture consists of three parts. The pike at the centre has alder branches entwined around it. Next to the pike are two towers made of the lids of concert grand pianos and piles of firewood.

The 13-meter high artwork measures six metres in width and nine in length, and is made of aluminium and steel. The making of the 50,000-tonne sculpture required more skill and time than anyone would have thought.

The head of the pike and the five firewood piles were cast at the Lapinlahden Taidevalu Oy’s foundry. This stage of the project alone took two years.

Efficient welding with a push-pull gun

‘Welding and finishing the teeth in the upper jaw of the pike took several days’, CEOTomi Sinisalo of Lapinlahden Taidevalu Oy says, shedding light on the scale of the project.

The head of the pike is made of 70 separate cast pieces. Sinisalo recalls that 1,600 kg of plaster was used to make the moulds.

The head, weighing 700 kg, and the firewood piles were welded together using aluminium. Sinisalo does not dare to think of the total amount of hours spent on the welding work.

‘We had one to three men working on the pieces for two years. In total, 20 feed rolls of 1.2 mm diameter aluminium wire were needed to complete the project,’ he says.

All welding was done with a KempoMat 3200 machine equipped with a push-pull gun which made wire feeding more efficient.

Sinisalo says the secret behind the successful completion of the project was the right welding machine settings and patience: ‘The weld seams had to be ground and finished to look exactly like the rest of the sculpture, which meant that all weld beads had to be removed. You also had to be patient and give the pieces time to cool to avoid burn-through.’

The welders’ skills in aluminium welding developed as the project progressed.

‘Now we are all very good at welding aluminium.’ Sinisalo says that KempoMat 3200 has also proven highly suitable for other welding work at the company.  ‘The after-sales services are also good, and spare parts can be ordered in Finnish.’

Sinisalo was one of the welders who joined the head of the pike to its body. He was relieved when the challenging project was completed. ‘It was a great achievement.’

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Unique workmanship

The other parts of the sculpture were made at Halikko IKP Works Oy. Plater-welder Marko Yli-Tokola, who was in charge of the production process, estimates that he spent around two thousand hours on the project.

The sides of the pike were made of a 40 mm thick sheet while the tail was made of a 20 mm thick sheet.

‘Most of the work had to be done by hand. For instance, I bent the tail of the pike to shape by heating the sheet metal to a red glow and shaping it with a sledge hammer and hammer,’ he explains.

Yli-Tokola also finished the sides of the fish by hand. That involved making thousands of holes with a router.

‘The edge of each hole had to be ground round to a certain measure to prevent the painted surface from cracking and causing rusting. The aim was to produce high-quality work which would be as durable as possible,’ he sums up.

He says the project required spatial perception in addition to workmanship. The position of the pike was one of the biggest challenges. It reaches for the skies, leaning back around six degrees. Because of its height, the fish had to be assembled in a horizontal position.

‘The shape of the pike was difficult to visualise when you were standing next to it. I had to keep using a ladder to check that it still had the right shape.’

The fascinating world of welding

Sculptor Reijo Hukkanen’s Laulupuut sculpture won the 2010 Helsinki Music Centre Art Competition, which received nearly 800 entries in total.

Hukkanen got the idea for his sculpture from ‘The Pike’s Song,’ a poem by Aaro Hellaakoski. It was first published in the anthology Ice Mirror in 1928, and is one of the most discussed poems in 20th-century Finnish literature. In the enigmatic stanzas, a fish is singing a hymn and biting on a red cone at the top of a fir tree.

The poem, which Hukkanen had heard on the radio as a schoolboy, came back to his mind when he was sketching entries for the competition.

‘I had a lot of ideas and even made some scale models, but nothing really worked. Then my eyes fell on a plastic whale I had bought as a souvenir at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, which was leaning against the wall. I said to my wife that even fish can sing here, but I cannot do anything.’

At the same moment the poem about the pike came back to Hukkanen and gave him the idea for the sculpture.

‘Still, my idea was not to illustrate the poem. The sculpture is like a piece of knitting that turned out as a mitten thanks to good luck,’ he describes.

When he was sketching the sculpture, Hukkanen was not thinking about the practicalities yet.

‘Thinking about the technical details early on is restricting. The time to sit down and think about how an artwork can be produced comes after the brainstorming stage.’

Hukkanen was closely involved in the production of the artwork. He is very impressed by the workmanship he witnessed.

‘Assembly and weld seams are an important aspect of the sculpture. The weld seams have their own visual characteristics. That is why each joint had to be considered carefully.’

He was surprised at how complex and demanding welding work is. ‘It still looks like a miracle when two pieces of metal are joined together.’

Hukkanen has been touched by the number of people who have told him about their affection for Laulupuut.

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This was not first time Kemppi Oy’s welding machines had been used to create a famous work of art. Jukka Lehtinen’s sculpture Oma maa mansikka (‘Where the Strawberries Grow’) is located at the front of the Finnish Parliament Annex in Helsinki. An article about the sculpture, made with Kemppi machines, was published in ProNews 2/2007.

The Kempomat 3200 machine used for the assembly of the pike sculpture belongs to Kemppi’s world-famous KempoMat range of products. Ever since their introduction to the market, Kempomat machines have been popular MIG/MAG welding devices among professional welders.

In 2012, Kemppi replaced the Kempomat range with the new Kempact RA range, which boasts 21st-century usability and technology. Kempact RA was recognised with the prestigious iF product design award soon after it was introduced.

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Kemppi lands a movie role

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Kemppi is going to get some movie glamour next fall when movie “Werther” will premiere in Finland. In the movie, the main character is metal sculpture who uses Kempact RA 181A when making his art.

– “Werther” is a story about a man who finds out he has a son, but only after the son has died in an accident. The man sets out to find out what kind of person his son was. It’s like a melancholic detective story, says the film director Jarmo Lampela.

“Werther” is Lampela’s fifth feature film. Previously Lampela has depicted human fates in movies like “Sairaan kaunis maailma”, “Joki”, “Eila” and “Conversations between men”. “Werther” is starred with preeminent Finnish actors such as Juha Kukkonen in the leading role, Iina Kuustonen in her first major film role and young Jyri Ojansivu as the son.

Kukkonen’s character is an artistic welder who has a shop at Suomenlinna sea fortress. Lampela decided to make the character metal sculptor, because on an island artists usually make their art from scrap and recycled material.

– Welding is also lot more cinematographic than traditional sculpting or drawing, he says.

Actors had to learn some welding, naturally. Movie crew contacted Kemppi after they had some difficulties with other welding equipment.

– When our scenographer got his hands on Kempact RA, we were getting somewhere. With easy-to-use Kemppi machine even the actors learned it quickly, Lampela describes.

The movie “Werther” is now in postproduction and will hit Finnish theatres around September.

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The position of welding and welders in cinematography and other arts was also discussed in the joystory “Master of the Grooves“, published in Kemppi’s customer magazine ProNews #2/2008.

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