Chemigateâ€™s Customer Magazine 2019
By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest. â€“ Agesilaus
EDITORIAL TOM SCHAUMAN
Let’s all be stingy Australia baked in record-breaking heat of 40 degrees – January the hottest month ever measured (HS February 1). Melting rate of the Greenland Ice Sheet quadrupled in a decade – scientists consider this a turning point (HS January 23). Extreme weather shatters records around the world (CNN February 2). These are just a few examples of the headlines we now encounter on almost a daily basis. I believe that I am not the only one about to despair. Is the situation really this bad? Is there even any point in trying to change it? Like Miss Marple, I recommend concentrating on the motive. There is no denying that the climate is changing (really, you climate sceptics, get a new hobby already) and that the situation is not good. However, the ultimate purpose of a journalist or blogger is probably to get people to read their article or post. They are not paid to find a solution. I don’t mean to sound like a hypocrite. I admit that the meals that appear on my table and the mortgage payments are funded by the selling of chemicals. On the other hand, I am not paid to give up, either! Even though the green products provided by Chemigate and the paper and board produced by our customers are part of the solution, not the problem, there is still much we can do to save natural resources. This issue is dedicated to saving in particular. We have expanded the concept to include not only resource conservation but also cost savings. These stories are about trying and succeeding but also about completely f****** it up. As always, these articles combine serious content with humour. I hope that you can tell the difference (a millennial would place a trendy emoji here). We’ve followed the saving theme to the extent that it was possible. Even the Fingerpori comic strip consists of only two panels (facepalm). We were able to finish the toughest savings project in Chemigate’s history last year. This year, we aim to turn our gaze into the future again. Our strategy project is called POLKU (path) 2019. Our goal is to clarify the vision concerning our starch business, and to achieve that, we must traverse the path by the end of May. Many regard ‘strategy’ as a vague concept that means different things to different people. With the aid of the word ‘path’, we make it clear what it means to us. Before we start our journey along the path, we must first take a moment and have a look at the map and compass. The landscape has changed since we last set our course. Our PrimeBOND and RaiFIX businesses are really on the rise. At the end of last year, we decided to invest in these product areas. Even though our toolkit now contains a few new products that interest clients, this investment is more about raising our profile. Many of our customers still see us as a mere starch operator, which is a misconception we would like to correct. With the aid of our bio-based polymers and the related competence, we can optimise paper strength and runnability in a way that provides added value to our clients. I hope you have the time and energy to browse through this magazine and that it contains something that provokes new thoughts. Above all, however, I hope that we have once again been able to compile a package that also benefits entities other than printing companies and re-cycled paper, of which there is such a shortage. Maisa and I enjoyed the making of this magazine very much. If you have any feedback or suggestions, drop an e-mail to marketing@ chemigate.fi. Your editor-in-chief –Tom
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Contents THE BRIDGE 2019 CHEMIGATE’S CUSTOMER MAGAZINE
‘I hope you have the time and energy to browse through this magazine and that it contains something that provokes new thoughts.’
Green alternative to expanded polystyrene When you unpack a fragile product, you typically encounter expanded polystyrene or some other plastic material. Now there is a new alternative: a moulded inner package made of recycled paper.
Kuva: Karina Tess/Unsplash
A life without plastic We consume plastic all the time, both willingly and unwillingly. Is it even possible to lead a plasticfree life? Teija Tynkkynen took up the challenge and tried it for a week.
Collaboration between Copam and Chemigate Chemigate has strong competence in the production of dry-modified starches. Now Chemigate helps Portuguese Copam to expand its business into the same area of expertise. The collaboration benefits both.
Bags from wood Not many materials are as versatile as Finnish wood. Paptic’s packaging material, which is made of wood pulp, replaces plastic in, e.g., carrier bags, flexible packaging, and shipping packages for online stores.
The Bridge is Chemigate’s customer magazine Editor in chief: Tom Schauman (email@example.com) Layout: Jenga Markkinointiviestintä Oy Cover picture: Tom Hauk / Unspash Printing house: Arkmedia Paper: Galerie art silk Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
40 saving ideas Janne Vähämäki was given the task of innovating areas where savings could be made at Chemigate’s site in Lapua. The collaborative process proved that there is not, at least, any lack of ideas.
You received the Bridge magazine, since your name is in Chemigate’s stakeholder register. If you do not, for some reason, wish to receive any post from us, please inform us of the matter by sending e-mail to email@example.com. You can also order the magazine or provide us with feedback via the same e-mail address.
CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 3
TEXT TIMO KANKAANPÄÄ PICTURE PAPTIC
Bags from wood EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE all around the world to reduce the use of plastic and its related environmental damage. A start-up company from Espoo, Paptic Oy, whose bio-based wood pulp packaging material, called Paptic, replaces plastic in, e.g. carrier bags, flexible packaging, and shipping packages for online stores, also participates in this current megatrend. Paptic was founded in 2015 as a spin-off company from VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and its patented technology is based on the research and development work carried out at VTT. The innovation of the company has a solid scientific foundation that is based on longterm development work performed in relation to foam forming, with the aid of which wood pulp can be used to manufacture completely new kinds of fibre products in an effective manner that saves both water and energy.
A strong message from the field – Our story actually already began in 2013. At that time, the owners of large brands around the world started to ask whether plastic could be replaced with something. The EU directive to ban the use of plastic bags in the future also played a part. Even though launching a new product is always slightly more expensive at first, the message coming from the field was so strong that we knew that the time was right for a wood-based option, reflects founding partner Esa Torniainen, who is responsible for business development at Paptic Oy.
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Paptic is suitable for several applications. It is used for manufacturing carrier bags, flexible packaging, and packaging solutions for online stores. The material feels comfortable, and its durability and strength equal plastic. What it all boils down to, however, is that it is an environmentally friendly, recyclable, and renewable next-generation material.
Finnish wood as raw material – In the past, companies just wanted to reduce plastic use, but now they want to give up using plastic entirely. We’re making an effort to meet the need, as we have the required competence, technology, and the first-rate Finnish wood as raw material, Torniainen says enthusiastically. Paptic’s main clients include retail chains and brand owners around the world. – Consumers worldwide have become more and more environmentally aware, and the demand for alternatives is growing. Our
aim is that in 2020, we will have production capacity of our own. At the moment we are operating through a subcontractor, but the acquisition of a machine for the company will enable the production of all Paptic products, Torniainen explains.
FACTS: Paptic Oy Established: 2015 in Otaniemi, Espoo Founders: Tuomas Mustonen, Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski and Esa Torniainen Personnel: 15 employees Other information: In the autumn of 2018, Paptic won the Meriroskahaaste (sea litter) challenge competition organised by the Finnish Environment Institute. www.paptic.com
TEXT AND PICTURES TEIJA TYNKKYNEN
A life without plastic - mission impossible?
A mother from Kokkola and tourism entrepreneur of Wanhan Kartano, Teija Tynkkinen, 35, took up the challenge and tried to lead a life as plastic-free as possible for a week. In addition to her husband, Tynkkinen’s family also includes two sons under the age of six.
The consumption of plastic, and the reduction of it, is discussed everywhere. We consume plastic all the time, both willingly and unwillingly. How about quitting, or at least reducing, the use of plastic for a week? 1 PÄIVÄ DAY 1. I took up the challenge to lead a plastic-free life, I took up the challenge to lead a plastic-free life because I wanted to pay more attention to and reduce the plastic use of myself and my family. We sort our plastic waste, so I was aware of the amount of plastic produced by our household. I knew that meeting the challenge would not be easy. I rummaged through the cupboards to find something quick to cook for the children and realised that, of course, noodles are packaged in plastic. Inside is even more plastic, in which the spice mixes, to be separately added to the meal, are packaged. That means, one noodle meal includes four different plastic packages! Cucumbers that I slice for the children’s plates are tightly wrapped in plastic. (I had not yet started the challenge while I was making these choices.) On the other hand, are noodles even available without any plastic packages? Not by that brand, anyhow, and that brand is the only one that my extremely selective son agrees to eat. In addition to the noodles, my son eats spinach pancakes, macaroni, Karelian
pies, and bread, which are all packaged in plastic, except for some loaves of bread which are packaged in paper bags that often include a small plastic window. Luckily, my son eats fruit and vegetables, which are something that I usually buy without a bag. Bananas do not require a bag, as they are equipped with sturdy peels and a handle. Single onions, or any other vegetables, come to think of it, do not require a bag. I did not go to the store today. The next time might be quite challenging. In the evening, I brush my teeth with a plastic electric brush. That’s because there are no other kinds and, according to dentists, there are no good alternatives for brushing your teeth. Luckily for me, the toothbrush heads are not completely disposable. I feel like there is a lot of plastic that I just do not notice. In fact, everything I have used today contains at least some plastic – even this computer. The solution to the problem may not necessarily be the avoidance of products that produce plastic waste, but the development of plastic-replacement materials and, at least, a reduction in the use of disposable plastic.
2 DAY The challenge is on, and I keep seeing more and more plastic everywhere. In the morning, I notice my cream jar, lip balm and deodorant. Then, my makeup and their packages. You might guess what they are wrapped in. CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 5
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Give us options, and we’ll choose correctly.
The plastic packages of minced meat, which my meat-eating children eat, are now smaller, but could the shelf life be reduced in order to reduce the amount of plastic? Perhaps we could keep the food in the freezer for a longer period of time, if necessary. Or buy it only when we need it. The same applies to the vegetable-based products I use, such as Härkis and pulled oats. Could vegetarian food be a pioneer in this matter? I did not go to the store today, either, and going to the store is starting to feel really challenging. My husband went to the store and brought some more plastic home. Almost everything that I use and need seems to contain plastic. I could not refrain from buying toothpaste. Or could I make it myself? Perhaps the time for excuses is over now. This week, I will make an effort to only buy the essential plastic-containing products. But where to draw the line? Do my children need bread?
3 DAY Nothing new on the plastic front. I have still managed to not buy plastic, as I have not gone to the store. Life feels the same as during a strict diet: not at all easy, bland, and something you wait to be over so that you can indulge yourself again. I need a new diet and more alternative products so that I do not feel like I’m giving up anything too important. Do I have to buy a box of candy because I cannot buy bread? Today was the first day I went to the store during this challenge. Horrible! I did not refrain from buying the products on my list, but replaced the products with plastic-free alternatives whenever possible. That was not, however, possible all that often. Of the 18 different products in my cart, only five did not contain any plastic. Of those five, four were from the fruit and vegetable section. Then, I had to put a price tag on them, too, and the glue in those tags is also said to contain plastic. Thus, in reality, none of the products I picked were completely plastic-free. Anyhow, the five products that contained the smallest amount of plastic included pumpkin, banana, tomato, and champignon. (My fellow consumers disapproved of me carrying the loose mushrooms to the scales for weighing.) The fifth product was a carton of eggs. Unfortunate adversities that I encountered in the fruit and vegetable section included, e.g. the cucumber and cauliflower that were not available without plastic wrapping. At the supermarket I visited, there were no ecological, biodegradable
fruit/vegetable bags, and I did not see any ‘lasered’ tags, either. Thus, there were no alternatives to packages, bags, or airtight plastic wrapping. Before taking up the challenge, I was already aware of the extent of my own plastic consumption, but during my visits to the store, I had not thought about the matter except for the plastic bags available at the checkout and the fruit and vegetable section. I had not noticed how large a share of the products at the store contain plastic.
4 DAY I did not have time to think about plastic today. Now that it’s evening and I’m sitting at my computer, I can think about the events of the day from the point of view of plastic use. Today, we unwrapped plastic from around the salad, Karelian pies, and noodles that I bought yesterday. I heard that Valio has developed biodegradable packages. Where were these when I went shopping? I hope that alternative packaging materials will appear around the products that are familiar to me.
5 DAY The most shocking moment of this challenge occurred when I went to a children’s club with my child. There was a disco, so the children were offered juice and popcorn. Both of these were provided in disposable plastic cups and there was no other option! The children used a great number of disposable plastic products in a short time before they were all thrown in the trash. I really felt that sting. My son and I used glass cups that we picked up elsewhere. It somehow felt embarrassing, and I wanted to tell the other parents about the ongoing challenge.
I was away from home, so cooking and the related plastic use differed from the usual. I barely noticed any plastic except for the package of bread. At the store, I bought everything I could in its plastic-free form, but such products were scarce. In many cases, plastic is our only option. Leading a plastic-free life is not possible for anyone with a family who gets their food from a store, unless they leave 80% of the products at the store. The solution to the plastic problem must come from above: manufacturers, designers of packaging materials, chemists, decision makers, and legislators.
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Does your boss sound like a broken record again? Is your goal again to increase productivity and reduce costs this year? Maybe the solution is closer than you think.
Looking for competent Agents to fix all?
Meet Mr BOND, PrimeBOND, along
Chemigate bio-based specialty polymers are versatile in use. Based on the type, dosage and dosage points, they cover a wide area of functionalities. Both PrimeBOND and RaiFIX product families are crude oil independent, based on renewable raw materials. All products are delivered in liquid form, allowing easy and safe usage. Take a look at some potential end use applications for Mr BOND & Mr FIX. Maybe these will give you an idea for improvements and/or cost reductions in your current application as well.
PrimeBOND for Spray 225 Scott Bond -lujuus (J/m2)
What’s the weakest link in your grade? With multi-ply grades, this point can traditionally be spotted between the plies. When this starts to interfere with your good night’s sleep, it’s time to call Mr BOND. Take a look at these results, recorded from a trial with a two-ply paper. Here the 4% spray starch was partly replaced with 4% cationic PrimeBOND -solution, using the existing equipment. Simple and easy. And the results are obvious, don’t you think? We would also claim, that with Mr BOND, your runnability issues with the spray equipment will be reduced as well as the waste water COD load. Maybe a solution for your paper grade as well?
PrimeBOND/Spray starch ratio in chronological order
PrimeBOND for improved strength Every paper maker knows that the easiest/cheapest way to improve internal strength is to increase the dosage of wet-end starch. But, what to do when there is no room for more starch? When the system (charge density and/or z-potential) is fed up with the cationic chemicals, the additional wet end starch will start to hang around in the water, causing nothing but trouble… for example, messing up your dewatering and making friends with microbes. Well, let’s see how Mr BOND handles these issues. In this case, we’ll talk about a high grammage paper, where the wet end starch dosage is limited, not only by runnability but also due to cracking. Dosing the amphoteric PrimeBOND before the wet end starch ensures more room for cationic starch on the fibre surface. And the results are visible, as you can see from the graph below. In addition to higher Scott bond, both formation and retention were improved without negative impact on dewatering or cracking. Additionally, the amphoteric nature of the polymer does not negatively impact formation – which easily happens when high cationic polymers are used. Good formation means good strength. Target met – and good form, Mr BOND!
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220 Scott Bond -lujuus (J/m2)
TEXT MAISA KANTOLA PHOTOS MAISA KANTOLA JA UNSPLASH
Versatile and effective products ready to answer many challenges.
200 180 160 140 120 100 10/0
Wet end starch / PrimeBOND dosage (dry kg/ton)
with his cousin Mr FIX, RaiFIX 0,300
max value for strength
min value for strength
PrimeBOND for softer Tissue
Although tough in his actions, Mr BOND also has a soft side. This has already been noticed by many tissue makers. Adding cationic PrimeBOND allows for reduction of refining energy, long fibres and other retention / dry strength chemicals, whilst reducing dusting and improving the softness of the end product. Simpler, easier and cheaper… what else was on the wish list? In our example below, you can see the strength behavior as the chemical/fibre composition is modified. Impressive?
4,25 4,00 3,75 3,50
PAM 2kg/t - - - PEI 5kg/t 3kg/t - - CMC 5kg/t 2kg/t - - PrimeBOND - 1kg/t 1kg/t 1kg/t 1kg/t Long fibres 50% 50% 50% 40% 50%
RaiFIX for dye fixation
Examples with traditional fixing agents:
Without Fixing Agent
With Fixing Agent
Let’s see how Mr FIX has handled this:
Without Fixing Agent
4,50 Strength Index (CD)
With dyed tissues or with coloured graphic papers you often need fixing agents to prevent colour bleeding due to alcohol, water or oil and/or to ensure a clean machine & clear water. The negative impact of all traditional fixing agents is their undesirable impact on shade. For example, a bright, greenish blue gets an undesired reddish shade or bright, greenish yellow turns easily to dull, reddish yellow – as seen below. Let’s see how Mr FIX handles this. In the recent machine trials, replacing 40% of the traditional fixing agent with our bio-based RaiFIX, a higher colour brightness and lower colour bleeding were observed with reduced total fixing costs. The 7% reduction in dye dosage left euros on the table. Not bad, or what do you think?
With Fixing Agent
Chemigate starch-based specialty polymers Both PrimeBOND and RaiFIX are multifunctional bio-polymers designed to improve both process runnability and end product quality. PrimeBOND is focused on strength, RaiFIX on improving runnability and productivity. However, both positively impact properties like retention, drainage, formation, bulk and dusting. All of Chemigate PrimeBOND and RaiFIX products are supplied as ready-to-use liquids.
The products are based on patented technology. Our PrimeBOND range includes cationic, anionic and amphoteric products. All RaiFIX products are cationic.
>>> CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 9
PrimeBOND and RaiFIX • Bio based specialty chemicals. Low carbon footprint. Competing in the field of synthetic, mineral oil-based products • Delivered as ready-to-use liquids. Easy to handle and dose. • Compatible with other wet end chemicals. Boosts the impact of other wet end chemicals e.g. wet end starch, retention aids, fixatives. • All products REACH, FDA, BfR and GB 9685-2008 compliant
RaiFIX benefits in a nutshell Biosynthetic polymer
• flexibility in manufacturing • ecological, sustainable, low carbon footprint
High molecular weight
• low absorption to fibre surface
• high charge density per unit area • same effect at lower overall cationicity
Cationic source quaternary amine
• effective in every process pH, will deliver the same charge at pH 10 as it does at pH 4
Charge density level
• custom design products
• greater selectivity • effective also in closed systems
Strong hydrogen bonding ability
• effectiveness not dependent on charge alone • boosts the impact of wet end starch
PrimeBOND benefits in a nutshell Environment
• ecological, sustainable, low carbon footprint
• acts also as fixative • boosts retention, reduces need for retention aids • boosts the impact of wet end starch • excellent ASA emulsifier • improved printability
Multifunctional (end product)
• improved internal bond & surface strength • increased bulk / caliper • no OBA/FWA quenching
Make up & Handling
• ready-to-use liquid polymer
• no bacterial growth
• small impact on overall sytem charge • performs at higher conductivity level than starch
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TEXT YRJÖ LUNDELL PICTURE KALLE KAINU
Chemigate and the mission in Portugal A couple of years ago, Portuguese starch producer Copam planned to transition to the production of modified starches. In their search for a suitable guide, the Finnish producer Chemigate emerged. The rest is history. ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT investments during Chemigate’s early years was the construction of a new dry-modification line in Lapua. This investment further strengthened Chemigate’s reputation as a specialist in modified starches, although wet modification had been underway since the beginning of the 1980s in both Lapua and Kaipiainen. Traditionally, our raw-material base has consisted of potato starch and we have used barley and wheat starch as grain starches. We have also tested the use of corn starch as a raw material and we have acquired more experience in using it in collaboration with the Portuguese starch manufacturer Copam. We have also tested the use of corn starch as a raw material, and we have acquired more experience in using it in collaboration with the Portuguese starch manufacturer, Copam.
Modified starch Copam is a family company, established in 1937, that operates in the Lisbon area. For a long time now, Copam has manufactured and marketed starches and various sweeteners in Southern Europe and it has established itself there. In Portugal and Spain, there is a significant paper industry utilising modified starches. Copam is about to expand its production into the manufacture of modified starches. The company was on the lookout for a producer of cationic reagents and a partner with extensive experience in the provision of technical starches, particularly to the paper industry. Copam and Chemigate found each other, and since both companies operate in different markets, it was easy to identify collaboration-related factors that benefit both parties.
Functional collaboration benefits both “Chemigate helped us speed up the establishment of the cationisation line and provided us with support so that we could use modified starch cost-effectively in the paper industry”, explains Luciano Gil, Commercial Director at Copam. Chemigate has helped Copam set up a modification line and start new product sales directed at the paper and cardboard industry. This collaboration provides Chemigate with market information from an area larger than its home market. This is something that could also benefit our clients. ‘With the aid of this collaboration, we can also ensure the safe use of cationic reagents at our clients’ end’, adds Yrjö Lundell, Sales and Logistics Manager at Chemigate.
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TEXT AND PICTURES MAISA KANTOLA
The CEO, who likes science fiction and detective stories, turns his gaze even more intently outwards Please introduce yourself. Who are you?
then, as always, our customers’ belief in what we do helped us get through.
– I’m Tom Schauman, 47, and I’m Chemigate’s current CEO and a father of two young boys. I have a Master of Science degree in Engineering, Wood and Paper Chemistry, from Åbo Akademi. A few years ago, I also completed an Executive MBA degree at Aalto University. I wish I were like Alexander Stubb, a highly successful person able to balance his career, exercising, and family perfectly, but the truth is probably quite far from that.
What helps you recover from work, how do you relax? – I make an effort to exercise once a day and do at least one triathlon every quarter. I enjoy the refreshing taste of mineral water and the crunchiness of salad. Whoops, I might have copied that from a Blue Wings column by accident, sorry about that. I also enjoy reading, and particularly American science fiction novels and detective stories are close to my heart. I love the feeling when I break away from reality and enter the imaginary world. I could try to describe this in more detail, but I don’t think that all those references to sex and drugs would be suitable for our magazine.
In your opinion, what kind of a person are you? – According to the Reflect personality survey I just completed, I’m a student for life and an outgoing person who processes things in an abstract manner. Sometimes I’m too outspoken, and I’m not always as well-versed in details as I would like to be. I couldn’t disassemble a moped engine even if my life depended on it, but I have great respect for those who can.
You transferred to your current position from the positions of Business Director and Chairman of the Board. Do you miss either of these and was there something you refused to give up? – I once stated that being the Business Director of Chemigate was the second-best job I had ever had. My best job was being the kitchen help at Pizzeria Bella in the summer of 1990. I got to eat as much pizza as I wanted, and I was the only male employee at that place. In both cases, I realised one day that I wanted to get new ‘kicks’. After that, I just couldn’t enjoy my then-current job wholeheartedly. So, I wouldn’t say that I miss the job itself, but there are aspects to it that I couldn’t leave
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What was the first concrete thing you did as the new CEO? behind. Marketing, and being involved in making the Bridge magazine, was one of these.
What are your most significant achievements? Setbacks? – When we bought Chemigate’s starch business from its previous owners, I had a feeling that everything I had done so far had been some great simulation, the only purpose being to prepare me for the task that was now ahead of me: to build and successfully develop the business. Already the fact that we exist is proof of our success. Of course, there have been some tough times as well. The summer of 2012, when heavy rains ruined the potato crops in Finland, is an example of these. After all these years, I sometimes still wake up in the middle of the night if it rains really hard. Back
– As my first endeavour, I started to develop management group work. In terms of personality, I differ quite a lot from our previous CEO, Seppo Lamminmäki. Moreover, our company is now in a quite different situation than when the company was new. That’s why I wanted to focus on improving management group work and its functionality first. My aim was to create a management group whose members manage themselves better than before. In addition to the allocation of responsibility, we, of course, also had to agree on rules for internal communication.
What are, in your opinion, Chemigate’s strengths when compared with other companies, and where do you see the company in five years? – This is, actually, one of the key questions in our ongoing POLKU 2019 strategy project. The easiest way to answer this would be to say that since the work is still
”Persons who represent the company with such conviction that they could easily be regarded as ownerscan be found all over the company. That is something I do not wish to change.”
in progress, we’ll have to revisit this topic later on. I do believe that our strengths as an innovative company, which utilises a versatile bio-based raw material and has strong competence and vast experience to offer, will lead us to a closer collaboration with the Finnish paper industry. In five years, Chemigate’s role in the operating environment that we have selected must be more clearly defined and our degree of processing higher than it is currently.
What do you feel that you, in particular, can give to Chemigate? What are you going to particularly focus on? – I’m going to focus on turning the gaze outwards. I believe that I can be of assistance in harnessing our competence to meet the changed needs of our clients.
Despite its young age, Chemigate is a very traditional company. Its history dates back all the way to 1929, when the first industrial starch factory in Finland started to operate. What
aspects of the company are, in your opinion, worth saving, and how do you, for your part, intend to affect the continuation of traditions? – Our company has always made an effort to attract competent persons with character. The persons who have started to work at this company have been offered the opportunity to develop their loosely-defined roles. This has created an atmosphere that is difficult to describe. Those who work at Chemigate are proud of their skills and the company. Persons who represent the company with such conviction that they could easily be regarded as owners can be found all over the company. That is something I do not wish to change.
What aspects, then, would you definitely like to change? – We cannot win the game by following the rules dictated by large companies. Despite our relatively large market share and turnover, we are an SME company and we have to act accordingly. Besides our own
employees clients are the most important resource of a small company.
What is your view on the current situation and the challenges the company faces? – Even though the summer of 2018 was sunny and warm, it was no treat for the farmers of starchy vegetables. Our raw material prices skyrocketed like a SpaceX Falcon. This situation is still ongoing. We do, however, believe that the situation will calm down, but since it may take a sharp turn, we have to stay focused.
Finally: What would you like to say to our employees and clients? – Let’s have the courage to change the game. We are all in the same boat, and together we can win. Dare to join us. As Daniel Woodrell has said, ‘A person has to show some spirit – fate just about never shines on chickenshits.’
CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 13
TEXT MAISA KANTOLA PICTURES ECOPULP
Kenneth Sundberg, member of Chemigate’s Board.
A greener al
Board work served with a fresh spin Chemigate wanted someone with a fresh external view to join the Board. An ideal board member would know the business operations well enough to be able to exchange ideas about them. This person should also possess such a high level of professionalism that they could play hardball, when coming across a bad idea. Kenneth Sundberg is such a person. To quote R.E.M., ‘What’s the frequency, Kenneth?’ Please introduce yourself. “When I’m not working on any Board related matters, I work with a number of different companies in a consultative position. I have worked in research and development, commercialisation, and management at various companies. When measured in terms of the number of personnel, the sizes of the companies have varied between three and 100.000. I have a Master of Science degree in engineering, and I am a Doctor of Technology and a docent in the Faculty of Chemical Engineering, laboratory of Forest Products Chemistry, in Åbo Akademi. A few years ago, I completed the Executive MBA degree in Turku School of Economics.”
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What is the best part of your work? “Interaction with smart people, teamwork, and collective success.”
Tell us something about yourself that our readers might not know. “I play tennis whenever I have time for it. A few years back, I was 26th on the world ranking list in the doubles series of 50-year-olds.”
– US FINNS must keep believing in the power of Finnish raw materials and resources. The slogan “Finland lives by its forests” is by no means outdated, asserts Ari Henttonen, the CEO of Ecopulp Finland Oy. Ecopulp was established in 2009 in Koria, Kouvola, and it develops, designs, and produces moulded pulp products. The company’s main products include technical inner packages whose primary raw material is typically recycled newspaper. The Ecopulp packages, which are manufactured using the ‘egg carton technique’, are always extremely environmentally friendly due to their renewable raw material and because they are biodegradable and fully recyclable.
Small carbon footprint – We aim to offer a greener alternative to expanded polystyrene. The overall carbon footprint related to the manufacture of recycled fibre products is smaller than the carbon footprint of any other material used for similar purposes. Ecopulp’s main clients operate in the Finnish manufacturing industry. For instance, ABB, Oras, Nordic Lights, and Ge-
lternative to expanded
berit rely on Ecopulp’s products. In addition to Finland, the company also has customers in the other Nordic countries and the Baltic countries. Environmental friendliness is a global megatrend that makes the personnel of Ecopulp happy. – In recent years, it has become evident that we are at the forefront ecologically. We do not, however, hate plastic, as it is an excellent material. But when it comes to packages, we are able to offer the most environmentally friendly option that does not even differ from the competitive materials in terms of price. We make an effort to save natural resources in our operations. We collect the waste heat from our processes to heat our production facility, and we have also closed our water circulation, Henttonen describes.
New production line increases package size Ecopulp’s products are compact and ready for use as such. According to Henttonen, the challenges are mainly related to the introduction of new kinds of products to the existing market. It is difficult to get on board when the train is already moving. – If a product is, for example, in the middle of its lifecycle, it is difficult to get in at that point. We strive to offer companies a greener packaging material option. – We are about to invest in a new production line, which enables the manufacture of larger packages. We all believe firmly that our company has a bright future. Our growth prospects seem good, as companies are increasingly interested in green issues.
FACTS: Ecopulp Finland Oy Established: 2009 in Koria Turnover: approx. 1 million euros Personnel: 10 www.ecopulp.fi
CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 15
TEXT AKI LAINE PICTURE IRINA LUOTO
Chemigate is the lead REACH registrant for cationic reagents Chemigate’s production facility in Mietoinen, Finland, specialises in the production of cationic reagents that go by the brand names Raisacat 151 and Raisacat 188. They are used in the cationisation of starches and other polysaccharides. Their function is to improve the adhesion of polymers to anionic materials such as fibres. CHEMIGATE USES the majority of its produced material in the production of cationic starches and starch-based biopolymers. Raisacat products are also sold to other operators for various applications around the world.
Chemigate coordinates the REACH collaboration Chemigate is the lead REACH registrant and coordinates the REACH collaboration with other registrants. The reagents have been REACH registered as so-called intermediates, due to which they can only be used in Strictly Controlled Conditions (SCC) for the production of new chemical compounds. The producers and end users of cationic reagents are required to comply with the SCC requirements related to the processing of intermediates. Such requirements include that: • the substance is rigorously contained by technical means during its whole life-cycle including use, purification, cleaning, maintenance of the equipment, sampling, analysis, loading and unloading of equipment vessels, waste disposal or purification and storage; • procedural and control technologies are used that minimise emission and any resulting exposure; • only properly trained and authorised personnel handle the substance; • in the case of cleaning and maintenance works, special procedures such as purging and washing are applied before the system is opened and entered; • in cases of accident and where waste is generated, procedural and/or control technologies are used to minimise emissions and resulting exposure during purification or cleaning and maintenance procedures; and
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Raisacat cationic reagents:
Compound (2,3-epoxypropyl) trimethylammonium chloride Structure Cl-
(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl) trimethylammonium chloride
Jaana Alho at the quality control laboratory in Lapua â€˘ substance-handling procedures are well-documented and strictly supervised by the site operator. Reagents that are registered as intermediates cannot be used, e.g., for the production or surface treatment of items with a functional form. Thus, the use is restricted to the production of chemical compounds.
If needed, Chemigate may provide assistance in matters related to the SCC requirements The operators using cationic reagents are to report to the reagent producer that has performed the REACH registration in compliance with the SCC requirements. If needed, Chemigate may provide assistance in matters related to the SCC requirements concerning the end users of reagents, but the end users are responsible for ensuring that their operations comply with the requirements. Polymers, such as cationic starches, are exempt from the REACH registration obligation. The REACH regulations do, however, require that the monomers of polymers that are imported to Europe must be REACH registered if their share of the polymer is 2% or larger. In the case of cationic starches, this means that the cationic reagent used for the production of cationic starches that are imported to Europe must be REACH registered if the nitrogen content of the cationic starch exceeds 0.18%. In practice, this requirement applies to the majority of cationic starch products. Thus, the REACH registrant of the reagent can be the producer of the reagent, the entity that has cationised the starch, the importer of the cationic starch, the end user of the cationic starch, or the Only Representative (OR) of the operators outside Europe.
CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 17
TEXT ELINA JÄRVENPÄÄ
What kind of saver are you? Saving begins from the first piggy bank and often continues into retirement, although it’s not always clear what we’re saving for. We surprised the Chemigate staff with a few questions about saving habits and found out where they’re willing to skimp – and where they splurge.
I guess I’ve bought into the dream of financial independence. I question wasteful purchases, because they’re a strain on nature, the wallet and nerves. I try also to preserve nature, and my New Years’ resolution is always to start sorting my trash. Maybe this year I’ll succeed. ”Pentti”
I’ll pay for fast and efficient customer service. For anything else, I’ll scrimp to my heart’s content. Saving is fun for its own sake, but getting the best price and quality is even better than money in the bank. ”Kati”
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I don’t save for the sake of saving, but I do leave something for a rainy day. Saving is part of a conscious lifestyle – I could never just live recklessly over my means! My weakness is expensive face creams, but I think of them as an investment... although I’m not sure when I’ll get my return. ”Pirjo”
Take groceries: prices are easy to compare online. After that, it’s easy to pick up discounted products by foot or bike on your daily commute and throw them in the freezer. Saving is definitely something left over from my days as a student. The world could be improved by people giving up personal cars and relying on public transport for long trips. ”Tarmo”
TEXT JANNE VÄHÄMÄKI PICTURE TOM SCHAUMAN
Savings ideas are not just nifty ways of reusing pantyhose Four ways to save, ten pieces of advice for big spenders, saving in everyday life... These are only a few of the results obtained with the search word “saving”, which produced a total of 888,000 links leading to better and better saving tips. AT A QUICK GLANCE, at least some of the advice seems good, such as ‘save the environment by favouring domestic travel’ and ‘choose Finnish potatoes over foreign rice’, so it was not all ideas for reusing pantyhose. Saving has become trendy. According to Statistics Finland, the saving rate of Finnish households turned positive in 2018 after a negative period of approximately two years. Financial growth and low interest rates also encouraged companies to make investments. The developing legislation and the ethical choices of consumers guide companies towards sustainable investments and ecological products. A good example of this is the proposal approved by the European Parliament which bans several disposable plastic products, such as plastic straws and single-use cutlery.
Less compressed air, more dry modification In the spring of 2018, I was asked to innovate areas where savings could be made for Chemigate’s production unit in Lapua. The task was interesting and challenging, as the operation of the production facility is continuously developed. Would it even be possible to find anything to gain significant savings on and how large investments would have to be made in order to gain those savings? I decided to start with ideas that would not require any investments. The first idea that popped into my mind was the use of compressed air and the possible related leaks. A hole as small as 5 millimetres in a 6-bar network costs 5,000 euros a year. We located the leaks
The writer, Janne Vähämäki, M.Sc. (Eng), is 33 years old and works as an operations manager at Chemigate in Lapua. At the moment, Janne is interested in saving, investing, and exercising – although tomorrow he might already be interested in something else.
and switched unused equipment off. The flow of compressed air was clearly reduced during the review period. We will see the actual savings at the end of 2019. Another tempting area for savings was the dry-modification plant, which currently already saves 95% water, 60% electricity, and 80% heat when compared with wet modification. However, even though the plant is extremely efficient, there is still room to increase the capacity of the production line. We made gradual changes and ended up with an approximately 10% better running speed. As a result, an increasing amount of wet-process production can be transferred to the dry-modification line.
A sensible investment pays for itself
type was available at Chemigate’s wastewater treatment plant: an old compressor for feeding air into the aeration tank used in the activated sludge process. We replaced the old machine with a new turbo compressor. The investment, approximately 60,000 euros, will probably pay for itself within a few years due to the improved energy efficiency. During this cost savings project, we identified approximately forty areas for savings, the majority of which were carried out during 2018. The rest will be completed in the course of this year. I myself am happy with the changes we managed to make. Now our operations are, again, slightly improved, more efficient and more ecological.
Some savings can only be gained via investments. An area for savings of just this
Indexed capacity of the dry-modification line 114 112 110 108 106 104 102 100 98 96 94 92 4/2018 5/2018 6/2018 7/2018 8/2018 9/2018 10/2018 11/2018 12/2018 1/2019
CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 19
Life after Chemigate – Tom Lun TOM LUNDIN WORKED FOR CHEMIGATE for almost two years, mainly in sales and product development. Tom’s job description included particularly challenging customer and development projects that required a more long-term approach. At the turn of the year, Tom headed towards new challenges, which he found at MetGen Oy. Dr. Lundin currently acts as a specialist in the Product and Application department and works in product development and with clients. MetGen specialises in enzyme solutions for various applications in which lignin-based biomasses are used. The company provides various customised project-specific biocatalytic solutions. With the aid of these solutions, forward-looking mass, paper, and cardboard producers can gain even significant savings in their production costs. – In this position, I revisit my previous research topics: fibres, their features, and modification. Only in this case fibres are modified with biocatalysts in order to supplement the traditional grinding, and this is already providing real cost savings!, Tom describes. Tom regarded the Chemigate workplace in Mietoinen more as a home than an office. – The atmosphere was extremely cosy despite the fact that my colleagues were super competent persons. It was really rewarding to work with such professionals. I consider the line used for the dry modification of starches to be a real textbook example of high technology. When Tom was asked if he could recall a special event that had occurred during his career, he mentioned a certain ‘road trip’ around the North Sea with Mikko Nieminen. – Mikko has an excellent sense of humour. We were on the same wavelength, and the gruelling trip to several factories did not feel at all bad, as the company was so good. Tom says that he learned all kinds of things about starch, its raw materials, and usability during his years at Chemigate. He regards starch as a particularly versatile product. – In the paper industry, as at Chemigate, starch is considered a self-evident commodity, even though it could be much more. One must seize new opportunities swiftly and not just let them slip by. Tom encourages companies to think about the issue from a wider perspective and start developing their current portfolio in an open-minded manner. Dividing the development work between different operators is, in his opinion, something that deserves further thought. There is a limit to what a single person can achieve, but a larger group of specialists can get any job done. Tom sends his regards to his former colleagues: – Keep up the good spirit, all you aces and pros! Remember to take care of yourselves and each other.
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”Keep up the good spirit, all you aces and pros.”
ndin and Silja Knuuttila At the turn of the year, Silja Knuuttila transferred to Walki in Pietarsaari, where she acts as a process engineer and an occupational health and safety manager. At Chemigate, Silja worked in a similar capacity for seven and a half years and enjoyed herself. From Chemigate, Silja misses her co-workers. She has particularly fond memories of the collaboration with (production manager) Janne Vähämäki. – The style of working changed when Janne came to the company. The exchange of ideas was easier when someone else was there dealing with the same issues. In Silja’s opinion, the funniest incidents of her Chemigate career occurred during the company’s annual spring excursions. She did not, however, give her permission to print all of those incidents. Silja is also remembered as a positive, carefree person whose spontaneous screams of joy and terror are missed by many. When she started at the company, Silja did not have that much work experience. At Chemigate, she learned what working is really like. Silja learned that preplanning the work, analysing the results, and distributing information in all kinds of meetings is work, too. – I realised that I was also able to learn new things in meetings where we were discussing in which direction the current project ought to be taken. – Addressing difficult issues is, however, something that needs to be worked on at Chemigate, says Silja. She specifically mentions matters that affect the health and reputation of people. – If difficult issues are not addressed, they are quietly accepted. Silja sends her regards to her co-workers and her ex-boss Harri Heikkinen. – I’m going to miss the team spirit of the work community and goofing around with my co-workers. Good luck and success to every one of you! Love you!
Silja Knuuttila, process engineer and occupational health and safety manager at Walki – and forever a member of the Chemigate family.
I’m going to miss the team spirit of the work community and goofing around with my co-workers. Good luck and success to every one of you! Love you!
HELLO. DO YOU SELL COPY PAPER?
WE DO NOT SELL ANY COPIES. WE SELL AUTHENTIC PRODUCTS ONLY. CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 21
EDITOR MAISA KANTOLA
Petit Fours 40 years of hard work Not many of us nowadays can pride ourselves on a career as long as those of Pekka Nummelin and Jari Laine, who work at the reagent plant in Mietoinen. They both have accumulated the respectable amount of 40 years’ work experience. Thus, it’s no good to come to Mietoinen and explain how things should be done, as these guys already know. Raimo Perälä, who works at the Lapua plant, also reached the milestone of 40 years. Raimo became familiar via a previous issue of Bridge as the man who participated in making the first batch of cationic starch. Congratulations Pekka, Jari and Raimo!
Mathias Rönnlund is an IT professional operating in Vaasa and a member of Chemigate Dream Team Global.
Exercising that moves you – completely in the cloud THIS SPRING, the Chemigate personnel have been exercising diligently. Our annual exercise campaign, which lasts for almost four months, started again this January and, as customary, we have also challenged many client and collaboration companies to join us. This year, the campaign is mainly run online. The portal, which was already tested last year, has been modified so that it is now even more functional and easy to use. The results can be updated in real time via the portal, which means that the relaxed competitive spirit can be better extended from single coffee break groups to different teams and locations. The man behind the portal is Mathias Rönnlund, an IT professional operating in Vaasa and the founder of the IT service company Exacon. Mathias is happy to demonstrate how the exercising portal works, and he uses it as an example of the practicality of cloud services. ‘Only a few years ago creating a portal using server-based solutions would have required an investment of up to tens of thousands of euros. Now, a more powerful cloud environment costs less than a hundred euros’, says Mathias. The revamped version provided for the exercise enthusiasts not only offers the users real-time data on their success and the success of others, but it also makes the management of the exercising campaign much easier, as the portal produces exercise statistics at the click of a button. The results that have been gained so far can be browsed on our website at: http://chemigate.fi/fi/kuntokampanja-2019
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Yrjö Lundell, 60 years on the 11th of June 2019 People will be celebrating hard this year in Mietoinen, as Yrjö Lundell, who is responsible for logistics, raw material procurement, and reagent sales, turns sixty around the summer. Yrjö is a reliable guy trusted by all at the Mietoinen plant, and he knows the unit well due to having acted as Production Manager at the Mietoinen site. At Chemigate, Yrjö is known for his competence, reliability, and meticulousness. Warm congratulations to Yrjö!
Solveig Fredriksson, 60 years on 15 November 2019 Even though it’s difficult to believe, the power lady from our sales team turns sixty this year. Solveig Fredriksson still spends most of her working time by taking process measurements at our customers’ plants. She provides important support for us in our test runs, and not only her colleagues but also our customers highly value her proficiency in measurement analytics, preciseness, and efficiency. There are probably not that many people working in this field who have not encountered Solveig at some point during her career. Warm congratulations, Solveig!
Chinese business partners visited us At the end of October, we had the great pleasure of entertaining guests directly from China. Our specialty chemical plant in Kaipiainen hosted the visit. In addition to the intensive technical and business discussions, we also had
time to relax and spend time together by, for instance, eating traditional Finnish lamb stew (särä). We were also provided with an effective lesson on cultural differences, the hard way. The green gift beanies given by Chemigate were left unused by our guests since, in China, wearing a green hat is a sign of shame and means one has an unfaithful wife. Whoops!
Je t’aime béchamel What is the best way to give a good impression of a person or, in this case, personnel? Letting them tell everyone about themselves and their interests, i.e., the things that make their hearts race. Harri Heikkinen, who is responsible for Chemigate’s production, begins this series of character profiles in which the brotherhood of the white powder tells about their passions. When Harri is managing production or measuring the equipment performance, he is cool as a cucumber. That’s why it is so surprising to see the eyes of the tough man from Eastern Finland light up when he talks about his passion: culinary arts. In the first part of the series, the gastronomist – not the engineer – tells us what he likes doing the most when not stressing over starch. Then Harri passes the challenge on to the next person. Who will be the next to tell us about their passion?
CHEMIGATE THE BRIDGE 2019 23
Green it must be! The quote on the front page, and on the bag, is borrowed from the Spartan King Agesilaus, who was known not only for his extraordinary courage and energy, but also for his frugality.
wing â€?By solity fruga ap we rety, liber en a goldst.â€? harve us