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Chemigate’s Customer Magazine.


The only source of knowledge is experience. - Albert Einstein -


Chemigate’s Customer Magazine.

■■ Seppo Lamminmäki, CEO, seppo.lamminmaki@chemigate.fi



Silent knowledge.. ............................................................................3 Creatively towards an ecological future. . ................................. 4 Working boldly. . ...............................................................................5 PrimeSIZE Is the result of well-rounded expertise.. ................. 6 20 years since the last accident at Chemigate’s Mietoinen-plant...................................................... 9 Bio-based products for multiple uses.. .................................... 10 Tenacity mixed with tongue-in-cheek humour....................... 12 Together we do it better . . ............................................................ 14 Active cooperation through the years..................................... 16 Fingerpori........................................................................................ 18

W W W. C H E M I G AT E . F I

The Bridge is Chemigate Ltd’s customer magazine | Edition: 1 000 Editor in Chief: Tom Schauman, tom.schauman@chemigate.fi Print house: Tammerprint Oy | Paper: LumiSilk, StoraEnso Cover picture: Gettyimages.com | Texts: Anna-Kaisa Kivikoski page 9: Jarno Keskinen, Vakka-Suomen Sanomat Translations: Sakura Lingua Layout: Mainostoimisto ArtMocca Oy




Silent knowledge


piano tuner came to our house to put our beloved instrument in tune again. He did his job quickly and I was left alone to ponder on the nature of this profession. I realized that the value of the work lies not in the fiddling of the tuning pins. It lies in the fact that through his experience and know-how, he knows exactly which pins to turn, which way and how much. Each one of us gains knowledge through experience, from work and other areas of life. Part of this knowledge is common and widely shared. But a part of it is something special, something gained through the experience of a single individual or a group – it’s unpublished, silent knowledge. Different roles within the same business create various points of view and priceless moments of sudden inspiration. This is how silent knowledge accumulates. A low personnel turnover has a significant effect on how this knowledge remains within a company. When the staff is happy, it creates stability, and these are important factors of success.

this, for our whole organisation, the average experience of working in the starch business is 22 working years. Sharing the silent knowledge is a significant challenge. In Chemigate, the use of mentors and the carefully planned and maintained system of understudies are ways of sharing this knowledge. We consciously set up situations where you have a master and an apprentice, as back in the day. The quality system also helps to document this knowledge. It’s important to us that we have all the necessary information available, so that we can serve our customers with products and services as well as possible. When customers streamline their organization and focus on their core areas of expertise, companies like Chemigate become a necessity. We need companies that are experts of their own products and their areas of operation

Seppo Lamminmäki CEO

We have a huge amount of silent knowledge within Chemigate. The combined experience of starch business among our management is over 170 working years. In accordance with




—— My job is directly linked to the future strategy and operational philosophy of the company. Therefore I feel it to be very meaningful. Maisa Kantola, who originally joined Chemigate last April in the role of Marketing Manager, changed into her current post as Product Manager in September.

photos: Chemigate

■■ Maisa Kantola, Product Manager, maisa.kantola@chemigate.fi

Creatively towards an ecological future

■■ Lapua has got a new landmark. The 40 m tall Scirocco production line can be spotted already miles away and thus helps the visitors to find the right destination.

the most important things to me. All of you “Chemigatians”, it’s a pleasure to work with you! My motto: How can I add value to Chemigate today? How can I have a positive effect on the company’s future? ■

Working boldly

—— I’m responsible for the sales, the technical customer service and the application development of coating starches. In addition, I work on the company’s marketing strategy, as well as with the development of new market areas.

A part of Chemigate’s formerly outsourced financial management services is now done in-house. – We feel that this is a strategically important area for business, as we have quite a big turnover for what is considered a medium size company, says Business Director Tom Schauman.

Kantola holds an MSc in Paper Technology and her background is mainly in paper chemicals and their sales. The biggest difference to my former employers is the company size. In a medium size company, you have to think on a daily basis how your work is related to the company strategy and success. The role and effort of each employee is further emphasized.

Pia Malmi, a veteran of financial management, started working for Chemigate in October. She is now, among other things, in charge of getting the wages right for all “Chemigatians”. Malmi is also responsible for bookkeeping, payroll, financial reports and other duties in the sphere of financial management.

Kantola describes her current work as a fun, customer-orientated cocktail. —— The fact that Chemigate is a domestic company with a green operational philosophy is important to me. I enjoy the open, fair and innovative atmosphere. Decision making is swift and flexible. Nobody is afraid of responsibility, of which the new Scirocco production line is a good example. Its value in relation to the company turnover is also a sign of the management’s commitment to future work and growth, Kantola commends.

This Bachelor of Business Administration, who came to Chemigate from a smaller company in Seinäjoki, explains that she has felt right at home in her new job. – I’ve enjoyed it just as well as I expected. The people are really nice. In addition, Chemigate is a textbook example of proper financial management, Malmi praises.

Kantola tells that she has settled in superbly well.

In her own job, Malmi appreciates independent, meticulous working. She also likes to have a certain boldness and confidence with respect to one’s duties. Malmi reminds everyone that if there are any questions about issues connected to financial management, you can always turn to her. – You can and you should ask! My door is always open. ■

— — At the end of the day, the people and the atmosphere are







photo: Henri Ilanen, Halogeeni

Chemigate’s hydrophobic sizes go back in history almost 30 years and this history is filled with plenty of know-how and cooperation with customers.

– only through years of experience and product development.

— — We actively follow the market, cooperate closely with clients and put a lot of effort into product development. Our vast and strong expertise is the cornerstone of our business. A successful sizing result rimeSIZE hydrophobic sizes are just one example requires an understanding of the of the vast expertise and customer’s processes, as well as skill of Chemigate. Their Case PrimeSIZE AL20 of the functioning and effect of production is centred in ■ ■ Paper grade: Newsprint other chemicals used – herein Kaipiainen, the logistically optimal lies our strength. Experience crelocation. ■■ Raw material base: virgin pulp ates trust. (75 %), recycled (25 %) —— To successfully make some■■ Target: Reduced linting and dusting thing hydrophobic is the sum without cost impact of many parts. Simply finding the right product is not enough. ■■ Dosage: 3kg/ton into thick stock It’s important to have an underAmong the benefits of PrimeSIZE, standing of the entire field. Our Nurminen mentions the extremely ■■ Results: improved quality and comprehensive knowledge is good stability, storability and supe reduced total costs due to based on the fact that all hydrorior retention of the product, which • improved linting and dusting phobic sizes, such as AKD, ASA give rise to cost-efficient runnability • significant reduction in dosages of and rosin, have historically been and a desired sizing level. both retention polymer (up to a part of our concept. Further 35 %) and cationic wet end starch more, we manage both starch —— It’s important that the prod (up to 20 %) modification and synthetic uct isn’t spoiled, even if clients polymer chemistry. We know how to make everything store them for a longer period. PrimeSIZE is excellent for function well together, summarizes Product Manager intermittent use, because of its good storability. The finMarkku Nurminen. ished product is easy to use, separate dispersion machines are not needed as, for example, in ASA-sizing. Hydrophobic sizing, according to Nurminen, is a hi-tech application sector, in which know-how accumulates slowly (Will continue on the next spread.)


Easy to store & use

Raisio 1984

Polymer Chemistry



is the result of well-rounded expertise 6



Ciba 2004

Comprehensive Expertise


in all sizing chemistries (e.g. ASA, AKD, resin) and

BASF 2009

both natural & synthetic polymer chemistry

+ Chemigate 2010

wax chemistry






20 years since the last accident at Chemigate’s Mietoinen-plant

is the result of well-rounded expertise The products have a wide range of applications, from print and copy paper to packaging boards and more demanding liquid packaging boards and specialty papers.


n this week’s Tuesday, Chemigate’s Mietoinenplant reached its 7,374th day without a single work-related accident. 7,374 days ago, one worker hurt his leg and had to go on sick leave. Before that there had been 5,207 accident-free days. In other words, Chemigate has survived 35 years with just one workrelated accident. If it’s not the safest place to work in Finland, then it’s probably very close to it.

—— In case you are using surface sizing, it’s worth your while to combine PrimeSIZE with our PrimePRINT surface sizing product. By dosing PrimePRINT onto the surface, you will get the desired sizing level with a smaller amount of size needed. This way it is easier to adjust the sizing level and reduce problems in the wet-end, Nurminen recommends.

Unique expertise The packaging business is constantly growing. Resources in factories are often limited, which increases the importance of chemical suppliers.

Application area

Protective polymer

Wax chemistry


• stock

photo: Chemigate

—— This chemical expertise that our customers need is an organic part of our company. Our new service selection includes know-how, product development, production as well as new innovations. We have been working in the field for a long time now, but our products are not the same as 20 years ago. There is simply no match out there for our unique services and vast expertise. ■


• surface

runnability stability hydrophobicity microbiological sensitivity fibre retention melting point wax content

• natural • synthetic

• C16/C18


• C18




Chemigate’s production is highly automated and demands a relatively low workforce. This reduces the risk of an accident. The end product is modified starch, used in paper-making, and it’s purpose is to increase the strength of paper. The product itself is not dangerous to human beings, which also reduces the risk in part. For many companies, work safety is a key indicator, a good value, which can be used also to acquire new customers or hire new workforce. Work safety is not especially emphasised in the marketing of Chemigate.

Chemigate’s Mietoinen-plant is a chemical factory, where hydrochloric acid is one of the least dangerous chemicals that are processed. Thus, the possibility of even a severe accident is real. Still, even the previous incident was not in any way related to chemicals. Sales manager Yrjö Lundell can think of at least two reasons for the low number of misfortunes.

— When necessary, we do raise issues of work safety also, but generally we are just quietly proud of them. The biggest gain for the employer is in the fact that employees do well and there are no accident-related sick leaves. The employees can also feel that their working environment is safe.

—— We have a very low rate of staff turnover. Our employees are experienced professionals, who understand that they are dealing with potentially dangerous substances. In addition, we have surveyed all stages in our working processes and we know where the risks lie. The biggest risks are connected to the changing weather or, to put it in other words, slippery surfaces, says Lundell.

At the moment, Chemigate’s Mietoinen-plant employs 16 people, of which ten are working in production. In such a small work community, even a single incident can make the workplace feel relatively much worse, than what the number of accidents alone would suggest.

The risk of more serious accidents, however, is connected to the dangerous chemicals. Even a small drop of the wrong substance, when in contact with skin, can send an employee on sick leave. The factory has used an ISO 9001-certificated quality assurance system since 1997. Work safety has a central place in this.

—— We divide the number of accidents with the amount of complete working hours. In a small factory they accumulate slowly, so even a single incident would drop us down to average class. We constantly update our knowledge of work related risk factors by systematically organising meetings of the work safety committee and work safety tours, explains Lundell. ■

—— We have paid attention to meticulousness stressed the importance of being careful in our work. These precautions have yielded good results, says Lundell



Jarno Keskinen Vakka-Suomen Sanomat 27.03.2013



sizing agents



printability polymers


surface sizing starches



spray starches



retention agents

coating binders

Mechanical pulp


Blend chest

Machine chest

Chemical pulp


strength polymers

Raisamyl&Classic wet end starches


Bio-based products

for multiple uses Unique products and the know-how accumulated over the years create a strong package.


The past two years in Chemigate’s history have been productive. The new production technology, combined with our wide expertise and previously well-established methods, has created a basis for new innovations. Examples can be found, among others, in the PrimeSIZE, PrimePRINT, PrimeRUN and PrimeBOND product families that are unique in their product sector, as well as in the numerous approval runs of our Scirocco-based wet-end starches carried out at customer sites. Product Manager Maisa Kantola explains that the quick pace of change has created a need to update and clarify the supply.

—— The aim of our renewed, application-based product categorization is to make our clients’ choice easier. In addition to our familiar, time-tested basic products, we wanted to showcase our expertise, new products and product areas. Just like a weddingdress that brings good luck, our renewed product selection has something old and something new – and plenty of green.



Chemigate’s products have an extremely small carbon-footprint. Furthermore, many of our product families compete in the same sector with traditional, crude oil based products.

Comprehensive expertise is the key The Chemigate product selection is completed by a strong application expertise and a long experience in other product groups as well. — — This is an important part of our service concept. Only the right amount of the right product, correctly handled and applied at the right place, makes a successful result possible, reminds Kantola. In the future, Chemigate wants to continue investing strongly in new innovations and in creating new applications. — — Our active product development will continue. When needed, we are also capable of modifying and tailoring our products f lexibly, according to our customers’ needs. ■


Chemigate in Paper

photos: Kai Rantanen

Tenacity mixed with tongue-in-cheek


The eight-time Finnish champions, Lapua’s “Virkiä Pesis”, with long-standing traditions, represent the elite of women’s baseball.


umber one in the all-time championship records, ”Virkiä Pesis” once more took the Finnish championship in 2012. How did they manage to do it again?

■■ The Finnish national sport – baseball – is a ball game developed from American baseball and the Finnish “Kuningaspallo” in the beginning of the 20th century.

—— Maybe it’s the traditional tenacity and fighting spirit here in Ostrobothnia. We take games seriously, but we keep our tongue in cheek! This is positive “girl power”, lists Coach Timo Kankaanpää.

■■ It is somewhat popular also in Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, England and Canada. The foreign teams are often mixed teams consisting of Finnish expats.

They certainly had enough energy, as during post-season, ”Virkiä Pesis” had to play the maximum number of games in all of its playoff series.

■■ The Swedish ”långboll” and German ”Schlagball” are similar to baseball. The most popular sister-sports, however, are cricket and American baseball.


—— These women train and play on a semi-pro basis. Nobody does this for a living. But starting in November and lasting for way over the


six months, the training takes a lot of time. The team is scattered all over Finland, so we always arrange a couple of training weekends per month, during which we train for six to nine hours in three days.

More colourful than men’s baseball

The city is a big support for us in many ways. People appreciate baseball here. You can even see some city officials in the game.

So, what is it about baseball that Finns like so much? —— It’s a versatile sport. It suits kids and youngsters and there’s not much you need to start playing it. Everyone has played it at least once in school. ■

Kankaanpää gives thanks to the city of Lapua for their good cooperation. —— The city is a big support for us in many ways. The “Patruuna”-arena that was built two years ago is an excellent training place in the winter. People appreciate baseball here. You can even see some city officials in the games. It’s worth it to come and watch, even if you live further away. —— It’s top-notch baseball, but more colourful and eventful than men’s baseball, chuckles Kankaanpää. the



photos: Chemigate


we do it better

The ISO 9001 quality management certificate, which Chemigate received in 2012, coaches each employee towards better results and higher quality.


esponsibility towards the environment is one of the most important values of Chemigate. When the company received the ISO 9001 certificate, no working processes really needed adjusting, because the key strategies of the company have emphasized high quality since the very beginning. Chemigate educates and encourages its staff to consider environmental issues in their work, as well as to prevent problems from arising in the areas of safety and health. The ISO 9001 quality management system only further supports these values.

■■ ISO 9001 is an international quality management standard, which is suited for all areas of industry. ■■ The quality management system is based on the fundamentals of good business conduct, such as customer orientation, leadership, staff commitment and the continuing improvement of operations.

The ISO 9001 is an international quality management standard, which is suited for all areas of industry and based on the fundamentals of good business. All of Chemigate’s operations are controlled by this system. Maintaining these quality standards and developing processes further is a responsibility that is shared by the entire staff.

■■ Quality management helps an organisation to effectively target its operations and supply its clients with finished products that maintain the same, high standards.




Each employee is committed to seeing these requirements fulfilled in their work. —— This is a shared project. Everyone has the right and the responsibility to bring forth issues that can help improve our operations even further, explains Product Manager Maisa Kantola.

Assessments and thought exchange According to Harri Heikkinen, the Head of Production, the main benefits of the quality standard are integrated processes and the fact that the company monitors and assesses quality regularly. —— Everybody works according to set instructions and practises, meaning that important processes are always done the same way, says Heikkinen.

This is a shared project. Everyone has the right and the responsibility to bring forth issues that can help improve our operations even further.

Chemigate’s products and processes are under close scrutiny. In their meetings, the management group goes through all the details concerning quality standards and the functions of the whole company. Daily briefings and the exchange of ideas among employees and the management, are just as important in maintaining quality standards, as regularly held meetings. Quality management includes internal audits, which means assessing the development within the company. They are aimed at improving the company’s operations ever further. A summary of these assessments is presented to the governing board once a year. Another important measure of quality is the feedback received from customers and external stakeholders. According to Maisa Kantola, Chemigate holds the feedback received from external stakeholders in high regard.

—— It tells us that there is interest towards our work. We also gladly offer our customers the chance to audit our company’s processes themselves, says Kantola. ■

—— Our overall service works and it is in balance, Kantola adds.




—— We have a competitive product, a well-performing production process and an extremely professional staff. It’s a complete package.

What customers really need The folding boxboard produced by Metsä Board Simpele can be found, for example, in various food packages and the carton wrapping of chocolates.



through the years Metsä Board Simpele produces folding box board for food packaging, has experienced corporate changes and different trends in the field together with Chemigate.


orporate upheavals, competition or the fluctuating economy have not affected the cooperation between Chemigate and their long-term partner, Metsä Board Simpele.

The board mill is functioning well. Simpele is in possession of the world’s most productive folding boxboard machine and their own, integrated sheeting plant. During the last years, the mill has invested heavily in its machinery. After 2005, production efficiency and streamlining has been improved by approximately 100 million Euros in investments. The production capacity of the factory has risen from 170,000 tons up to 300,000 tons.

— — We are currently working hard to fully take advantage of the whole potential of these investments. We are further developing our production concept and learning new every day, explains Development Engineer Aripekka Rytkönen.




We have developed an extremely competitive product in terms of its performance and cost-efficiency.

Our product is especially well-suited for food packaging. In the last ten years, we have steadily improved the product. We have focused on what’s relevant and accomplished in creating an extremely competitive product in terms of performance and costefficiency, says Development Manager Antti Aronen. According to Rytkönen and Aronen, the most important goal of product development at Metsä Board Simpele is to find the qualities that most benefit the customer. Product safety is extremely important, when producing cartonboard that come into contact with food products.

—— We do not take any risks when it comes to product safety. New products go through strict approval procedure, before we even take them out for testing.

Swift problem-solving ■■ Metsä Board Simpele produces, folding boxboard for food packaging. ■■ The mill was founded in 1896. ■■ Production capacity is 300,000 tons a year. ■■ The capacity of the sheeting plant is 240,000 tons. ■■ The mill employs about 300 people. ■■ Over 95 % of the products go to exports.

Metsä Board Simpele and Chemigate share a long history. Among the important elements in a long supplier relationship, Rytkönen and Aronen both especially mention trust, well-rounded expertise and good personal chemistry.

When you know the people, it’s always easy to ask for help. Chemigate’s problemsolving skills are top notch. (Will continue on the next spread.)


Favorable prospects


through the years

The future prospects of Metsä Board Simpele are positive. — — We possess top products, modern equipment and a really knowledgeable staff. With this combination we will make board also in the future, says Aronen.

—— The product of course matters, but so do the know-how and working process of the supplier. Chemigate inherits its expertise already from the time of Raisio Chemicals. The people at Chemigate have a long experience in the starch business, a wide-ranging knowledge of applications and a good network of contacts. They are always ready to help even with products outside their own selection, commends Rytkönen.

The cooperation with Chemigate looks bright. —— We hope that the people at Chemigate maintain and improve their expertise in the years to come. We also wait with anticipation for completely new, innovative ideas and products, Rytkönen throws as a challenge. ■

—— When you know the people, it’s always easy to ask for help. Chemigate’s problem-solving skills are top notch. Product manager Markku Nurminen always hurries to the scene to find a solution. Through the years we have gone over many issues together, got to know each other and spent several nice evenings, too, chuckles Aronen. Rytkönen also reminds of the importance of the swiftness inherent in a small company, as well as of the fact that they are a domestic business. — — In large businesses, working processes can be slow and rigid. Decision-making can travel quite far in the organisation. With Chemigate we have, in a way, returned to good old times. Flexibility is back. And it’s also nicer to discuss matters in Finnish.

Fingerpori – Wet End




Perunatärkkelystä jo vuodesta 1952

441 878 Printed matter





the of



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