From garage to global stages
The Story of Trombia
The Story of Trombia
How it all started and took off
Snowek Oy founded
The vision of Snowek Trombia was from the very beginning to redesign a fully new decade modern portfolio of high end road maintenance attachments . Snowek founder Jaakko Happonen has 20 years of experience in developing cutting edge solutions for snow and sand removal. We started with a snow plow portfolio that has since become a leading snow plow brand in the Nordic Europe. We sold snow plows with over 1M USD already in the first winter!
We then expanded our portfolio with a range of high end broom attachments and sand spreaders until the birth of the true global flagship - The Trombia.2011
The Roots of Trombia
We come from Nordics. Every spring all our streets and sidewalks look like this!
Due to environmental reasons Nordic European countries prioritise use of gritting sand over salt - even in city streets. This leads to what we call a Nordic spring cleaning havoc. All our paved areas are filled with thick layers of sand every spring, and as soon as snow has melted, this sand starts to grind into street dust.
Needless to say, Nordic cities need the most advanced methods for both mechanical pick-up of the sand and the powerful removal of the finest dust particles.
Back in 2013, when we were promoting our high-end mechanical sweeper attachments, a range of cities approached to us and said: "We can't afford a snail-speed moving half-a-million euros costing street scrubber in every street corner. After winter all our snow plowing loaders are idle in the yards, can you innovate something....."
We guess you know already, what happened next.2013
Early stage hiccups
At the starting point, a big hiccup! Our only power source were the tractor/loader auxilliary hydraulics.
Suction sweeping and regenerative air sweeping technologies are known to be completely inefficient in terms of power usage. They literally turn diesel fuel into noise, heat and waste of energy. As we were standing there with only hydraulics as an input, we had to reinvent the wheel big time.
In this photo our team is digging in to the root of the problem back in 2014.
After 2 years of trial and err.... finetuning, during the summer of 2015 the Trombia technology started to perform.
Our R&D Lab found their way around to provide the world with a completely new sweeping method - capable of managing dust during sweeping but improving the accuracy of permanent dust removal. A method that would answer most of the problems set by the street and area cleaning customers.
Trombia technology already back in 2015 was:
- Enormously efficient and fast
- Simple but brilliant
As a conclusion, global-wide patents for the full Trombia technology and side inventions were filed (and in due course granted).2015
A key part of the Trombia development of the very beginning has been industrial design. We at Trombia believe that modern time contractors and operators want to have good looking machines - even broom attachments.
The visual concept of the Trombia sweeper attachment seen these days was designed by industrial designer Veli-Matti Kinanen and the final production design was drawn in the hands of the Snowek founder Jaakko Happonen.
The year of the awards
As the first Trombia commercial series were rolling out to streets in 2016-2017 we also received a range of public recognition for the innovation development.
In 2017 we participated in our home country, Finland, to the nationwide SME growth competition KasvuOpen gathering over 1000 internationalisation-driven growth companies under the same hoods. Trombia - Sweeping Reborn growth ambitions were awarded, as we won the nationwide Future of Traffic Growth Track and were awarded the second place amongst all SMEs in the country across industries.
Even more significanty was the European PM2.5 test certification achieved in Germany. The EUnited PM2.5 Test is considered as the global benchmark for highest calibre of sweeper vehicles in dust control and dust removal. Trombia became the world's first waterless attachment to achieve the certification. At the SGS Research Institute we also heard an off-the-record quote about Trombia: "You guys deserve 6 stars with these results, but they only have a 4-star category available..."
In this photo our founder Jaakko Happonen, and Automation Designer, Partner, Petri Heikkinen, in good moods after the PM2.5 Test.
Trombia today - Rolling out
Following constant production capacity upgrades we have now reached total production capability for over 500 high end road maintenance attachments annually, selling products to three continents and rolled out the Trombia sweepers in seven countries. We are continuing the global expansion with new dealers continuously and even the Covid-19 crisis did not slow down the demand for Trombia.
As cities and industrial sites continue to look for better return on their money, cleaner environment and more all-round all-year solutions, Trombia sweeping technology delivers all their needs. Going to new decade we continue to expand our product and solution portfolio based on the global-wide patented Trombia sweeping technology.
We're looking forward to hearing from you, what we can do together!2020