Well-managed industrial environment increases end-product added value

Nov 17, 2016

Ruukki renovated the facade of Metsä Wood’s production building in Vilppula, Finland

Vilppula, in the town of Mänttä-Vilppula in the Tampere region, is home to a site of around 100 hectares where a Finnish export, wood, is processed.

The Vilppula sawmill processes pine and spruce logs into planks and board. The sawmill’s modern, automated saw line can process an articulated truckload of logs in 12-14 minutes. During one day, the mill saws 90 truckloads of logs. No less than 90% of Vilppula’s output is exported. Significant export areas include the Middle East, Africa, China and France.

“The market is suitably spread so that we are not dependent on the economic conditions of just one geographical area,” says mill manager Jari Väkeväinen.

Elegant framework for modern sawmill

The production facilities have been modernised and given an elegant facelift. When the new saw line, including buildings, was completed in 2012 it looked completely different to the some 30-year-old building next to it. A decision was made to refurbish the shell of the building to make it completely match the new building. Refurbishment was carried out with the help of Ruukki Renovation service.

“We wanted to give the exterior walls of the refurbished building the same look as those of the new building, which featured Ruukki’s panels. Now all the buildings on the site have been given a new look, the result is a very harmonic and pleasing environment,” enthuses Väkeväinen.

But should an industrial environment somehow have a pleasant appearance?

”A pleasant environment affects job satisfaction. Safety and work and job satisfaction are really important to us and key figures show that we have also been highly successful on these fronts. The Vilppula sawmill is Metsä Wood’s flagship and is where we take customers when they visit us. A good environment impacts the image of the product made, in this case sawn timber,” explains Väkeväinen.

Customers have noticed the change

Ruukki supplied a total of 2,200 square metres of steel Lamella Groove 20 cladding, including accessories, for the refurbishment project. In practice, Ruukki acted as the project lead contractor since we were also responsible for design, dimensioning, installation and work supervision.

Metsä Wood’s mill manager Jari Väkeväinen notes that Ruukki’s project went exactly as planned, the delivery content and timetable were as agreed. Väkeväinen also pointed out the fitters installing the façade panels knew how to work in industrial surroundings and took safety into account when working. “The refurbished building is now in harmony with the new building next to it. The whole thing is impressive. Customers visiting us here have definitely noticed the difference. This was a successful project all round.”

Besides Vilppula, Metsä Wood’s Finnish sawmills are also in Renko, Lappeenranta, Merikarvia, Kyrö in the municipality of Pöytyä and Eskola in the municipality of Kannus. From the end of 2016, internal restructuring will see Metsä Group’s sawmills becoming part of the Group’s pulp industry, Metsä Fibre. This move is being made to take full advantage of the synergies between the pulp and sawmill industries. The new setup will enable better optimisation of the use of raw materials and transport costs.

Nice to know

  • The average journey from forest to Vilppula is around 110 km.
  • The Vilppula sawmill employs 100 persons.
  • The sawmill’s own biomass power plant provides around half of the electricity used at the mill.


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