Planmeca Group has stayed on the cutting-edge of health care technology for more than 45 years. The company was founded in Finland in 1971 by Heikki Kyöstilä, who is still the President and owner of the company. Kyöstilä has seen his company and the industry evolve hand in hand. According to Kyöstilä, one of the biggest factors behind the success of the company is unwavering commitment to continuous research and development.
The story of Planmeca Group started in Finland. What is the importance of this to the company?
“We are very proud to be a Finnish company and we have always had firm belief in Finnish expertise. Our headquarters as well as most of our production is still located in Helsinki. This year Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence, so it is a big year for us. High quality education, investment in research, and collaboration between industry players are the keys to progress. Accordingly, Planmeca has celebrated by donating to Finnish universities. We also donated to a great campaign raising money for a Finnish organisation called Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), which works to prevent and resolve violent conflicts. Nobel Peace laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI and now that he turned 80 this year, this campaign was his surprise birthday gift. Peace and cooperation are the cornerstones of humanity, and therein also business. We are proud to be able to support this wonderful cause through CMI.”
Finland is important for the group, but what is the company’s situation in Austria?
“As important as our Finnish roots are to us, we are a global company through and through – the largest privately held company in the field. Our products are distributed in over 120 countries. There are a lot of areas where we have a strong foothold in, and also many where we see great potential. Europe as a market area is very important for us. Austria is a great example of an area where we’ve had great success but still have room to grow and introduce our service concepts further. I’m happy to say, that many of the leading universities and clinics in Austria are our customers, and this makes me optimistic for our future in the country. Plandent GmbH. in Austria is part of Planmeca Group and Plandent Division, and they have great visions for Austria. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
Can you tell us a bit about what is going on at Planmeca Group right now?
“I’d say our new product launches this year are a great cause for excitement. For example our new X-ray unit is raising the bar for all CBCT imaging units. Also our new algorithm for patient movement correction is groundbreaking. Movement during an X-ray causes blurry images, which means retakes. This algorithm corrects that movement and that means less retakes! It’s especially useful with lively patients, like children, who can’t stay still. This is a great example of an innovation that truly contributes to better patient care and more efficient workdays. I also have to mention our new intraoral scanner, which is small, light, and fast. We have been getting wonderful reviews for it and users have been blown away by its features.
Our presence in the medical field hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Planmed – part of Planmeca Group – designs and manufactures truly unique imaging solutions for mammography and orthopedic imaging. Our extremity scanner for example enables weight-bearing imaging, which means the imaging can be done with the patient standing. This kind of exam is very useful in many foot and ankle conditions for example. We also offer solutions for veterinary professionals, including this extremity scanner. So there is a lot happening indeed and a lot to be excited about. Ultimately it’s all about helping dental, health care and veterinary professionals to give their patients the best possible care.”
What lies in the future for Planmeca Group?
“The digital revolution is full on and in the future dentistry and health care will be completely digital. This transformation also increases the demand for education and training for dental and health care professionals. We are constantly strengthening our product training concepts around the world to answer this demand. On the academia side, our joint venture with the University of Turku – Nordic Institute of Dental Education – offers high-quality continuing education courses for international dental professionals.
I have said this before, and I will say it again, we are living in an exciting era. We believe that 3D technology is going to transform the entire field. Software-driven innovations are the heart of progress and all devices and software must work together seamlessly. We must keep investing in R&D, and it goes without saying that listening to the customers will be as important in the future as it has always been at Planmeca Group!”
Copy: Sanna Tolmunen/Planmeca
- Products distributed in over 120 countries
- Turnover in 2016 MEUR 730
- Employs 2,700 people worldwide
- Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, where Planmeca dental units, X-rays as well as mammography and software solutions are also designed and manufactured
- 98% of products exported around the world
- Consists of Planmeca Oy, Planmed Oy, Plandent Division, LM-Instruments Oy, E4D Technologies, Nordic Institute of Dental Education Oy
Heikki Kyöstilä, President and founder
- 1971: Founder of Planmeca Group
- 1999: Member of the Finnish Foundation for Entrepreneurs
- 2005: Honorary title ‘Teollisuusneuvos’ (Industry Advisor) granted by the President of Finland
- 2010: National Defence Medal, with swords
- 2011: Helsinki Golden Medal
- 2012: Honorary Consul of Jamaica in Finland
- 2017: Honorary Doctor of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland