Noptel expands manufacturing capacity for optoelectronics to meet current and future demand
FN Herstal has announced that production capacity at Noptel in Finland has been increased by acquiring more surface area and taking on additional specialised technicians.
The expansion program began in November 2022 and was completed in March 2023. At an acquisition and renovation cost of more than 1,150,000€ the production area was increased from 450 sqm to 620 sqm. This now provides sufficient space for current production, and will allow more workstations to be added to cater for future requirements. The program was completed on time, to budget, and is already operational.
As Noptel’s CEO Arto Sepponen explained: "Noptel’s location in the Tecknocent building situated in Northern Finland’s technology hub at Oulu Teknologiakylä has been a great asset, the flexibility of the space will enable and support the growth and expansion of our business far into the future".
Noptel was set up in 1982 as a high-tech start-up.
Noptel worked for several years in close partnership with FN Herstal, during which the FN® FCU fire control unit for 40mm grenade launchers was developed and produced by Noptel to FN Herstal specifications. This program allowed FN Herstal to fully appreciate the technical know-how and production skills of the Finnish company. In 2011, FN Herstal acquired Noptel as a fully owned subsidiary. By combining FN Herstal’s expertise, in the field of small arms, with Noptel’s almost unique skills, it has been possible to successfully develop high-value products, such as accessories and training systems for FN Herstal’s customers.
The FN® FCU is now in its Mk3 version, it is fully mature and in service. By allowing a high probability of first round hits by day or by night it radically improves the operational capabilities of 40mm grenade launchers.
More recently the FN Elity® entered the FN Herstal product range. Its multiple features, including a rangefinder and ballistic solver, visible and IR lasers and IR illumination, greatly simplify sighting corrections for long range direct fire weapons such as sniper/precision rifles and spotting scopes.
"FN Herstal’s acquisition of Noptel twelve years ago seemed at the time a daring decision for a small arms company. However, we now see proof that Noptel brings extremely valuable complementary skills that enable FN Herstal to provide modern, high-performance systems to our military and law enforcement customers", said Julien Compère, CEO of FN Herstal.
The expansion of production capabilities at Noptel, together with the announcement of plans to build an entire new facility for production in the US, and the new specialized production line for electronic components at the main facility at Herstal, are all proof of FN Herstal’s determination to widen its product range, and meet increasing demand.