The Laboratory Advantage

Ensto’s own laboratory not only gives it a market advantage – it’s also a point of pride.

It’s not normal at all for a company the size of Ensto to have its own laboratory. That’s why it’s a huge market advantage.  

It’s not a small lab, either. It’s almost 2,000 square meters and staffed by 11 electrical engineers and testing professionals, all of this in Porvoo, Finland. It serves Ensto’s product development and does product and materials testing. The lab holds the ISO 17025 accreditation granted by FINAS (Finland) and it is within scope of ILAC-MRA (international) agreement, meaning tests done in this lab are valid anywhere in the world.

Nerding out

If you want to nerd out, the lab offers full type testing for underground medium-voltage products, including heat cycle tests (five testing areas that can handle at least two tests at the same time for a total of ten), robustness tests, salt and humidity fog tests, AC and DC voltage tests, and partial discharge measurements in addition to lightning impulse tests. And, on its premises, Ensto also has testing facilities for overhead line network products. You name it, Ensto can probably test it.

Over the years, Ensto has made significant investments in the lab, with close to two million euros committed over the last four years, plus the overhead to keep it all going.

But why? What does Ensto get? What does Ensto’s customer get?


For starters, your own lab gives you control. Before, when Ensto had a product in development that needed testing, it was not unusual for an external lab to say there was a 12-month queue and a testing price of 100,000 euros.

“With our own lab we accelerate testing processes and product development cycles,” says Janne Lappalainen, Laboratory Manager, who has, over 20 years, grown the lab from a staff of two to its current top technological state. “It means we control time to market. It gives us independence in test scheduling and develops our competences in house.”

What the customer gets is a great product, one Ensto can confidently stand behind. “We’re not just designing products,” says Lappalainen. “It means we know the product limits so we can push them. Not just standard limits, but true limits. When we change suppliers for something, we can ensure the final package is high quality. Sometimes the customer wants to test with a specific cable or has special request. We can do all that, too.”

Human development

The lab has also played a key role in helping Ensto recruit and develop talent. Jenna Aarnio, Senior Laboratory Engineer, is one example. “I came to Ensto in 2010 as an electrical engineering student to help with material testing during Christmas holidays,” she says. “Now, almost 13 years later, I’m working with underground products and have taken responsibility for organizing underground product testing.”

Aarnio says that learning to be laboratory engineer isn’t something that’s taught in school. “It’s a great platform for whatever your career. Some who started in the lab have moved on to other jobs inside Ensto – like product development and product management – and some of us have had long careers in the laboratory.”

One of the best in Europe

Ensto has always been known for quality, and this lab is one way to guarantee it, especially as Ensto steps into new business areas like accessories for underground lines. A top lab, as Ensto sees it, is just part of doing business as an expert and top supplier to DSOs.

It’s not within the Finnish character to brag, but Ensto’s lab is one of the best in Europe, and most certainly the best in Finland, if not the Nordic region. And in addition to all the practical advantages, there’s an intangible benefit, too.

“There’s a real sense of pride to have this lab,” says Lappalainen, who adds that a lab means learning possibilities for Ensto’s own experts and is a good selling point to attract new talent. And of course the very nature of testing in a lab means that a lot of things fail – so there’s also real pride when a product succeeds. “It’s motivating to know that if a product passes the tests, then it’s got a chance in the market.”

Get to know Ensto Laboratory

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