The quality of chipboard goes beyond simply a good product and satisfied customers: High-quality and clean chipboard affects the customer’s business also in terms of production costs.
The chipboard mill founded in 1975 by Koskisen Oy is the only one in all of Finland. The mill produces chipboard from the by-products of the mechanical forest industry. Koskisen offers the most comprehensive range of traditional chipboard products for the furniture and construction industries.
One of Koskisen’s satisfied chipboard customers is Olli Salo from Vaajakoski. Olli works for ITAB Concept Shop Finland, a company that specialises in designing and creating retail shop environments. “Koskisen has fast and flexible delivery and good service. The price difference to its competitor is so minor that we are happy to use Koskisen’s products,” says Salo.
With the company’s lead times for shop fittings so short these days, Salo says flexibility is extremely important. “We might have to make a delivery four weeks from when an order is placed, which leaves no time to start looking for raw materials,” he stresses.
Koskisen’s chipboard mill meets customers’ needs very well. According to Tarja Behm and Riitta Jaakkola, who work in the chipboard mill’s laboratory, the mill’s modern production and quality control equipment enable the manufacture of customer-specific products.
Behm and Jaakkola explain that Koskisen’s raw material is always clean, as sand and other heavy impurities are efficiently removed before the chipboard is produced.
Salo confirms Behm’s and Jaakkola’s claims. “Koskisen makes the best chipboard in Europe or the Nordic countries – the quality is excellent. Koskisen does not use bark, which often contains impurities, whereas central European manufacturers use a lot of recycled raw materials,” he says.
Salo additionally points out that high-quality chipboard affects the customer’s business in many ways. “If the quality of the chipboard is questionable, the sawmilling blades wear more quickly due to the impurities. Clean wood is good for the blades,” he says, adding that “with other boards, the blades wear twice as fast, and blades that are in good condition cut board better and more beautifully.”
Behm and Jaakkola agree that, for Koskisen, good quality comes down to more than just a good product: “It encompasses all the functions required before the product reaches the end user – and even beyond that, when the product is in use and when it reaches the end of its useful life. Basically, from the forest to the rest of the world.”
Quality control for chipboard involves testing the product’s technical properties. It is based on the SFS EN quality control standards for wood panels and standards for measuring the technical properties of wood panels. As Behm and Jaakkola explain, quality control also entails raw material testing during the process: “In chipboard quality control, it is important that the measurement results are quickly available in case of any deviations to help in the continuous control of the production process.
“Chipboard testing accounts for roughly half of all testing performed by the Panel Industry’s lab. We also test plywood, Hirvensalmi’s thin veneer plywood and the house factory’s products.”