Metlab Oy’s journey began as a result of the banking crisis of the 1990s, when a traditional factory, Tampella, ran into difficulties and was chopped. Tampella’s metal laboratory and its leader Pekka Mäkinen remained unemployed. At the same time, another traditional factory in Tampere, Lokomo, finished testing for external companies. Olavi Ahlstedt worked in Lokomo’s laboratory and was also responsible for the external testing services.
Mäkinen and Ahlstedt had in mind their own company. They merged their strengths and started the story of Metlab.
Metlab was founded in 1991 and its testing activities began in 1992 in the Tampella factory area in Tampere, in the premises of the current Vapriikki Museum, one and a half floors underground. At first, Metlab employed three people: two owners and one employee. Operations continued in quite cramped and difficult-to-access facilities until 1997. As a stroke of luck for Metlab’s development, the museum terminated the lease and took over the premises for museum’s archival use.