The Future Sawmill concept developed by Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has won the Business Innovation Series of the Quality Innovation Competition organised by Excellence Finland. The Future Sawmill concept improves the efficiency of sawn timber production, occupational safety, production operating model and product quality management.
"We are delighted and proud for this recognition. Our business is based on continuous improvement. We aim to develop the mechanical forest industry by taking a clear technological leap towards industrial efficiency. We wanted to create a concept for the most modern sawmill in the world, which in terms of technology, operating model and efficiency is a frontrunner and trendsetter in the industry on a global scale. The result of this work is the award-winning Future Sawmill concept, which we have used in our Rauma pine sawmill, launched last year," says Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre.
"Close cooperation with equipment suppliers has played a key role in the development work. The starting point was the new technology and equipment solutions required to control all sawmill operations from a single central control room. To develop these solutions, the suppliers challenged and developed their own expertise and technology solutions and sought lessons from other industries," says Virva Juhola, SVP Sawn timber production, Metsä Fibre. "The know-how and technical advances achieved in this work will benefit equipment suppliers and the competitiveness of the entire mechanical forest industry in the years to come."
The Future Sawmill concept is a solution for improving the efficiency of sawmill production and can be replicated in other sawmills, either as such or in part. For example, the machine vision and robotic solutions now being developed are expected to become standard solutions for the sawmill industry in the coming years.
Metsä Fibre won the Finnish Quality Award competition in 2012 and has participated in the international EFQM Quality Award competition since 2015. Last year, the Finnish Quality Association rewarded Metsä Fibre for its international success by being the first Finnish company to receive a 7 Diamonds rating in the EFQM International Quality Award 2022.