If you happen to find yourself aboard the biggest cruise ship in the world, you might notice something familiar in the cabins.
The cabin fixtures in Allure of the Seas, completed in late 2010, feature an abundance of Koskisen’s moisture-resistant KoskiPan chipboard. The immovable cabin furniture was built by Rauma Interiors, STX Finland Cabins’ subcontractor, and delivered in pre-assembled modules to STX Cabins’ factory in Piikkiö, where they were installed in the ship’s passenger cabins. The cabins, ready with electrical installations and plumbing, are put together in Piikkiö and from there delivered to the shipyard and raised onto the ship.
Every one of the 15 largest passenger ships in the world have been or are being built at STX Europe’s shipyards, which boast some of the world’s biggest, most professional and popular cruise ship companies as clients. The company is also one of the three biggest car ferry builders in Europe.
Building passenger vessels requires more than just traditional shipbuilding skills; the level of innovation, quality and finishing of the components installed in the ship’s hotels and other passenger areas all play a crucial role in the vessel’s success.
“Moisture resistance is one of the most important qualities of the furniture materials. Even though the fixtures are installed and the cabins built inside a hall with dry conditions, the finished cabin modules are stored for a certain waiting period during which they may be exposed to varying weather conditions. The fixture chipboard supplied by Koskisen has been very weather resistant,” says Heikki Sillanpää, project manager with STX Finland Cabins.
Although STX Cabins’ final shipowner client is American, Sillanpää says the goal has been to favour Finnish suppliers in building the cabins.
“The colour schemes and material choices are often decided on according to American preferences, but here in Finland we strive to replace them with domestic products that match as much as possible.”
Jari Laine, Koskisen’s Chipboard sales manager, says Koskisen has supplied chipboard for the fixtures of luxury liners since the 1990s.
“Nearly every luxury liner or ship built in the Turku shipyard contains Koskisen chipboard products.”
A typical delivery consists of 16-millimetre-thick moisture-resistant chipboard that is usually laminated before being built into furniture fixtures. According to Laine, chipboard is the preferred building material for cabin furniture because it is lightweight, highly workable and durable. Furniture components for around 400 cabins are built from chipboard for the biggest ships. That equals to around eight lorry-loads of chipboard!
“Every cabin requires a huge amount of different products, and chipboard is one of them. It’s a very competitive industry, but we have strived to create chipboard products that are competitive for the user in terms of both quality and size,” says Laine, describing Koskisen’s success factors.