Kontakti Customer magazine of Kiilto Oy and KiiltoClean Oy
Is the Finnish future in hands of seniors or juniors? English Summary
Kiilto invests in R&D of biopolymer adhesives with TEKES
Kiilto is awarded for using renewable energy Minister of Economic Affairs in Finland, Mauri Pekkarinen granted Kiilto Oy “A Renewable energy measure of the year” -award. According to the jury, Kiilto’s investment in the solar power plant is to advance solar energy utilisation rate in Finland, which is still quite low. Kiilto’s solar power system has been in use for a year now. It consists of 332 solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the Kiilto production unit in Lempäälä. The solar system is estimated to be in operation for the next 35 years. On an annual level it will reduce Kiilto’s CO2 gas emissions up to 60.000 kg. – It feels good to get accreditation of our actions. It encourages us to continue with renewable energy,
Unit Manager Timo Määttä (on the left) congratulates Antti OK Nieminen for the "A Renewable energy measure of the year" -award. Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen on the right.
comments Ph.D. and Docent Antti OK Nieminen, Kiilto Oy’s Managing Director. – In the chemical sector Kiilto is known as a forerunner in environmental issues. We produce e.g. totally solvent-free products and products that comply the most exacting emission criteria. Our investment in the solar power system was a natural continuation of our energy saving- and clean production process -projects, says Nieminen. Kiilto’s solar power plant will generate over 60.000 kWh per year accounting only 2% for the plant’s total electricity consumption. However,
the amount is enough to keep Kiilto offices supplied with electricity. A small fraction goes to the production process. . The award was granted on 18 September in the prize-giving ceremony that took place in the Savexpo forum in Vantaa. Kiilto’s solar power plant will also be used for research, education and development purposes. Kiilto works closely with the system supplier Naps Systems Oy and Tampere University of Technology. With this project Kiilto promotes use of solar electric in the entire industrial sector.
Kiilto believes in strong growth in use of biopolymer adhesives in the near future. Lactic acid based organic polymers are more pro-environmental than traditional, synthetic polymers that are used in adhesives. In the decomposing process biopolymers release CO2 as mush as plants - of which polymers are produced - bind. Kiilto has done a pioneering work in studying the possibility of using lactic acid polymers in the industry. Kiilto has succeeded in developing technical properties of biopolymers to correspond with traditional adhesives. – After long and persistent research work it is now time to explore how these adhesives can be used in an industrial scale, says Mikko Viljanmaa, Technology Director of Kiilto Oy. – The packaging industry is very interested in biopolymers, since they want to produce fully biodegradable packages. Packages with degradable adhesive can be disposed by composting or burning. The project is already launched and the aim of it is to study the possibility to produce lactic acid based adhesives industrially. This two year project is carried out in collaboration with Åbo Akademi and is financed by TEKES.
Kiilto J ready-to-use joint plaster is a new product for fixing reinforcing tapes of gypsum board plates in dry rooms indoors. Kiilto J’s grey colour matches well with gypsum board plates.
Kiilto merged its two industry departments into one Last spring Kiilto rationalised its company organisation by merging two of its industry departments into one. The Paperconverting, packaging and graphic industry department was merged with the Wood and metal industry department into a new Industry department, which started on 1 May, 2009. Kari Laakso was named as Director for the new department. He has worked at Kiilto Oy since 2005, lately Factory Manager. About half of the products of the new Industry department will be exported. Laakso believes that sales, domestic as well as the export, will pick up gradually after the weak period. The Industry department organisation in Lempäälä consists of four persons with five regional sales representatives. – Our clientele and our sales representatives’ sphere of responsibilities are now wider than before. But all our representatives have strong expertise in the field and are capable of serving our old as well as new clients, ensures Laakso. For further information on the Industry department, go to www.kiilto.com, contact details/Kiilto Oy. 2
A new, very fast drying plaster Kiilto SR is a quick drying cement based straightening plaster for walls in dry and wet room areas. It is suitable to be used under waterproofing and tiling, and it hardens fast. Recommended layer thicknesses: in overplastering from 2 mm to 5 mm and in patching from 2 mm up to 15 mm. Kiilto SR forms a smooth surface. Due to good filling properties Kiilto SR suits well for various fill-in works e.g. in renovation. Classification: M1 Package: 20 kilos Coverage: 1.4 kg/mm/m2 Drying time: 5 mm Kiilto SR layer can be waterproofed after 4 hours
Kiilto Lumpeenkukka all purpose cleaner spray is the first spray to have granted a Swanlabel with the new, stricter criteria. The Nordic Environmental Label - the Swanlabel - lays strict criteria for all purpose cleaners that pertain to product’s chemical composition as well as effectiveness, packaging materials and user information. Kiilto Lumpeenkukka all purpose cleaner spray is ready-to-use cleaner for all washable surfaces at home, e.g. doors, cupboard doors, tables and furniture.
Minna Konttila steps into Rainer Laiho’s boots
Kiilto J ready-to-use joint plaster for fixing reinforcing tapes
Classification: M1 Package: 3 and 10 litres Maximum layer thickness: 2 mm Drying time: 24 hours
Swanlabel for Kiilto Lumpeenkukka all purpose cleaner
Refreshing Sade for public premises
KiiltoClean is launching a new hygiene product line Sade for public premises. – Kiilto Sade product line is for public premises, such as hospitals, spas and factories, tells Juuso Viherlaakso Sales Director of KiiltoClean Oy. – We are very satisfied with this product line. Once again we are able to serve our customers better. Sade products are hygienic and easy to use. These high-quality products are produced for KiiltoClean Oy as contract manufacturing. Sade product line includes various liquid soaps, shampoos, a hand disinfectant and a hand lotion. They are packed air-tight and used with a dispenser. Being air-tight products they do not contain any preservatives. Sade product line includes also non-fragrance and eco-labelled products.
KiiltoClean Oy’s professional cleaning unit has separated its sales and marketing operations. The change was made after Rainer Laiho’s, Customer Support Manager of the department, retirement in September. Laiho’s successor is Minna Konttila who was named as Product and Customer Support Manager for professional cleaning. Lately Minna worked in the same department as a Product Manager. – I am enthusiastic about my new job. Laiho made remarkable work and I want to convert his ideas and accomplishments further, says Konttila. – We will see in which direction we will develop our training. It is evident that the popular floor cleaning trainings will be KiiltoClean Oy’s asset in the future also. We really have done pioneering work in that sector. I will also continue close collaboration with different floor material producers, like Laiho did. In the separation of the two units Juuso Viherlaakso,lately Sales Manager, was named as Sales Director being now responsible for all sales operations in the professional cleaning sector.
Eeva Solja, the middle child, had just graduated as Master of economics and felt suitable for the position. She was appointed as member of the Kiilto Family Oy Board as of the beginning 2008. Engagement to far-reaching company vision
The Solja family in the lead of Kiilto
Familybusiness has always been part of Erkki (left) and Antti Solja’s life - sometimes more and sometimes less.
Now 90-years old Kiilto has belonged to the Solja family almost since its establishment. Now the 4th generation of this family is learning company operations, managing and decision-making. Company is devoted to set future purposes without any rush. Text Marjaana Lehtinen, photos marjaana malkamäki
oliday season has surely brought the thoughts of Erkki Solja, 55, Kiilto Family Oy’s main owner and CFO, away from the business: as we emerged in his lovely summer paradise in Nauvo at the appointed time to make the family interview, he is really surprised. Luckily, Teollisuusneuvos (a Finnish honorary title) Antti Solja, 85, is present. But unfortunately Eeva Solja, 26, has already returned to Helsinki. A spit - actually a small island - in the Turku archipelago provides excellent settings for enjoying
the Finnish summer. Even though the sea tempts for yachting, the sun is shining and blueberries wait to be picked, the father and son find time to sit down and talk about past and future. We have always had a continuator
In 1919 the Teknokemiallinen Tehdas O/Y Santalahti (Technochemical Factory Ltd. Santalahti) was founded in Pispala, near Tampere. It manufactured cosmetics for chemists, shoe polishes, waxes and adhesives for the shoe industry and varnishes and polishes for the furniture business.
In 1922 Kiilto was bought by Ville Solja and his brother – a year before Antti Solja was born. A bit later the company name was changed into Kiilto Oy. – Our family lived in the accompanied building with the Kiilto-factory, and we used to visit the factory often, especially when my dad Ville was not there. He was a strict man. He worked hard and kept us in good order. He worked even on Sundays, recalls Antti Solja. Ville Solja was Kiilto´s Managing Director for over 40 years, until Antti Solja took over in 1964. In this very decade Kiilto decided to specialise in adhesives. Plastics unit was detached from other chemical production in the 70’s and was moved to Virrat. – I do not follow Kiilto’s undertakings much nowadays. I see the development of the company through three directors: Ville brought Kiilto from Pispala to Hatanpää, I took it to Lempäälä and Erkki has taken Kiilto abroad. He did pioneering work in establishing our first subsidiary in Sweden. As a former soldier I was a bit scared
to go to Russia, says Antti Solja. As a matter of fact I do not give any instructions for Erkki, but every now and then I ask him, is everything ok. Director is quite alone for not having a possibility to share business matters with his personnel. The continuator issue was brought up, when Antti Solja bought the whole company in the mid 1980’s. To continue with the Kiilto-business was not a matter-of-course for Erkki Solja: – I never imagined working at Kiilto. After graduating as Master of economic sciences I worked in a company that made men’s suits. After that I worked in the publishing sector. I had worked at Kiilto as a youngster in summer and at weekends to get some money for disco, Erkki Solja recalls. Some 20 years later the same question was presented again: how to get the new Solja generation involved in the business? Erkki Solja’s eldest daughter Anna-Sofia, 28, was graduating as a dentist, and Ville, 22, the youngest child, was already starting his agriculture and forestry studies.
Ten years ago, Kiilto introduced a vision according to which Kiilto will produce and sell products profitabily in 2080 and aims for market leadership in its field. – A good vision is sustainable and long-lasting. Every one can easily engage her/himself with it. We have no rush. Small-scale management with identifiable faces is privileged for not having to get acceptance for investments or operations from the share holders in every three months, or not having to rack up top results. A family company can build a vision that lays foundations for the business and motivates people to work for it, emphasizes Erkki Solja. Our vision entails the word “profitably” and that means that our target is, of course, to make profit, but we have not absolute need to make as much money as possible like quarter-economybound companies. Many international companies are interested in buying of Kiilto. But the vision has a clear message for those companies: Kiilto is not for sale and has no intentions to go public. Kiilto has survived from wars and depressions. The prevailing recession has affected the industry sector most. We have always held up quite well. We have interesting product sectors which are not so strongly inflicted by depression. For example, plumming renovation projects in the capital area have increased sales of wet room systems. I believe that the current depression will only strengthen our company. You have to seek for measures to hold up the bad times and these measures will bring added value as the situation normalizes, says Erkki Solja. Going international in full speed
Under the last two decades Kiilto has established subsidiaries around the Baltic Sea. Internationalisation prosess reached an entirely new level as Kiilto started adhesive production in Ramenskoye, south-east of Moscow in 2008. Another Russian production plant, a Dry Mix -plant in Maloyaroslavets, will start-up in autumn 2009. Product manufacturing near the customers is in line with Kiilto’s aim to be internationally local. – Products must be manufactured where they are used. Russia is a huge country, and future production facilities must be established to cover the whole area. A question is that will there be enough demand from other countries, which would enable construction of new production facilities, ponders Erkki Solja. Going international increases also intellectual 5
growth in form of increase of knowledge and understanding. If you operate in one country only, you perspective remains narrow. Being abroad you have a chance to hear and experience many valuable things. – Kiilto has grown enormously under Erkki’s management. I personally could not have imagined extending Kiilto anywhere but the Scandinavia. Erkki has a significant role in the development of the modern Kiilto, adds Antti Solja. Let us move forward in slow speed and with determined objectives
– I foresee an excellent future for local production with decent values. Especially in the chemical sector, such things as environment and coal footprint do really count. We have to be able to show and quarantee the quality of our work. That builds added value. As an example of this kind of publicity is the largest solarpower plant in Finland – located on the roof of Kiilto’s production unit in Lempäälä, explains Erkki Solja. And what will Kiilto be like ten years hence, at the age of 100? From an international point of view, Kiilto will be a relatively big company. Our essence is still the same and we have the same principles in spite of our growth and internationalisation. You must not set the targets too high and take too big steps – proceed at slow speed with determined objectives. At the time Kiilto celebrates its 100th anniversary, we will still have 60 years to realize our company vision. We have now finished with our coffee and talked about business much more than usually. Father and son Solja change the subject swiftly and ponder whether to go sailing or walking or just be without doing anything. After all, it is a holiday. ■
Products must be manufactured where they are used.
The first 90 years of Kiilto history 1920 1930 1919 Technochemical factory Ltd. Santalahti is founded
1922 The company is acquired by the Solja-family 1924 The company name is changed to Kiilto Oy 1925 Kiilto Oy moves from Pispala to Hatanpää 1926 Kesto-brand is introduced
1940 1938 Production of Kesto cork adhesive starts
1950 1950 Production of furniture polish (“Pulituuri”) is discontinued 1950’s Kiilto decides to start paint production, but keen competition in the paint sector makes Kiilto to discontinue with paints
1960 1961 Kiilto decides to specialize adhesives 1964 Ville Solja decides to hand the company over to Antti Solja 1965 Carpentry adhesives are added to the product range 1966 Kestokol 66 -adhesive is launched
Fresh blood in the Kiilto Family Board My father and grandfather have made Kiilto a successful company and managed it well, so I must admit me having some sort of pressure. Expectations are quite high. Being in the board does not automatically mean that I will be working at Kiilto in the future. I do have siblings. But this is a good way to learn ownership and to try how does it feel and whether is suits me, says Eeva Solja, 26, a member of the Kiilto Family Board since 2008. This young woman has assumed her new task fine, even though the start is naturally mainly learning the procedures and policies. – I have no active role yet, but before long I surely will. Maybe my role is now to ask questions and bring some fresh blood in the board. Already now I have learnt a lot of Kiilto’s operations and business culture. I feel very positive about being in the board. Eeva Solja, who is only starting her job career, has specialised in brand-issues and wants to engage herself in the Nordic Cosmetics where she is working as a Brand Manager. Own career and boardmembership go hand in hand. In both positions I learn new tasks that benefit both jobs. We have not dealt with brand-issues in the Kiilto Family board yet, and to work with Kiiltobrand would need a more active role in the company’s everyday business.
1970 1970’s Kiilto establishes a nation-wide sales representative network 1971 Kiilto moves to Lempäälä 1979 Kesto-adhesive for the building sector is launched
1980 1980’s Kiilto branches out abroad 1983 Kiilto starts detergent production and regular customer training 1984 Heimo Honkanen is appointed as Managing Director 1986 The first waterbased parquet lacquer is introduced: Pu-2001 -parquet lacquer 1987 Kiilto establishes a subsidiary in Sweden
1990 1990’s Quality, environment and safety aspects are integrated in the business idea 1992 The first 100% solvent-free floor and wall adhesive Kesto 10 is launched 1994 Erkki Solja is appointed as Managing director 1995 A subsidiary in St.Petersburg
1996 Kiilto’s first waterproofing membrane Keragum is launched 1997 A subsidiary in Poland 1998 Kiilto’s first Swanlabel and M1-emission classified products are launched 1999 Detergents for retail trade are launched 1999 Subsidiaries to Estonia and Moscow, Russia
2000 2000’s Internationalisation accelerates and Kiilto starts production in Russia 2003 Detergent production unit is transferred to KiiltoClean Oy, Kiilto’s new subsidiary 2004 Subsidiaries to Latvia and Lithuania 2005 A subsidiary to Ukraine 2006 A subsidiary to Kaluga, Russia 2006 A new dry mix -plant to Lempäälä
2010 2008 Company restructuring: a parent company Kiilto Family Oy with CEO Erkki Solja. Antti OK Nieminen is appointed as Kiilto Oy’s new Managing Director 2008 Adhesive production starts in Russia 2009 A subsidiary to Belarus 2009 Building of a new logistics centre starts in St.Petersburg 2009 A new Dry Mix -plant starts production in Russia
Text PAULI SALOKANGAS, photos KIRSI TUURA and TAPIOLA
Extensive investment employs hundreds of people
a conceptual images Arkkitehtitoimisto SARC
Tapiola, a famous district and residential area in Espoo, will have a new façade as its namesake Tapiola insurance company will be having a new and modern headquarters in January 2010.
new, eye-catching building has been erected along the Western route. Tapiola, a well-know Finnish company in the insurance and finance sector will have new headquarters that will give a totally new appearance to Tapiola, which is maybe the most famous district in Espoo. – The building is an excellent landmark to those who do not now the area, some sort of Tapiola gateway to the visitors, describes Construction Manager Antti Leivo from KiinteistöTapiola Oy. Tapiola-groups’ former head office remains in Tapiola. Additional space is needed due to strong growth; nowdays Tapiola operations are located in seven different places. As of the beginning of 2010 there will be only two different locations: the existing head office will locate thousand employees and the new 1500. Espoo locates a plenty of headquarters of major companies, but only a few of them are as gorgeous as Tapiola’s new building. - This new office building houses biggest office space under one roof, says Leivo. The building has looks and size. Gross area totals 71 000
m2 and there is room for 1500 people. Six of the floors are above the ground level and three under. Money spent for this 2,5-year building project totals 170 million euros. – As for now costs won’t overrun the budget. Elegance has been one of the main ideas in this project, but we did not want to be too grand, says Leivo. Insurance company knows how to play
Grand or not, one must say that the building is quite a spectacle. Looking it from outside, one pays attention to the sturdy stonewall that surrounds the building - this stonewall represents Finnish culture, traditions and loyalty. What really catches one’s eyes are the heavy steel pillars at the entrance. This pompousness is compensated by a more slender window area that covers the whole wall.
If built a few years earlier, this large window area would have caused significant heat loss, but not anymore since windows and window materials have improved a lot during the past years, tells Leivo during the presentation tour. The head architect of the building project is SARG Oy, which is one of the leading architects’ offices in Finland. From the outset of the project Tapiola wanted to make far-reaching solutions combined with life-cycle thinking. – The building is big but flexible in use. It comprises of three cubes that can be separated from each other. Later it is possible, to rent one cube to an outsider company, for example, says Leivo. The building frame is built to last for 100 years, which is double time compared to an ordinary building. - In practise it means that more cement is mixed with concrete, tells Petri Saarinen, General Foreman at YIT Rakennus Oy.
The building comprises of three cubes that can be separated from each other.
Personnel has lunch at top places
The tour continues inside, which is full of meeting areas. Halls and open-plan offices are open and light. One of the architectural specialities is the stair flight in the main hall. The Tapiola personnel was 9
1. How extensive was your subcontract work? 2. Describe your work 3. How would you describe your collaboration with Kiilto?
Levelling and painting Reijo Konttinen /LTU-URAKOINTI OY 1. We started in October 2008, and we will be finished in January 2010. Normally we have had eight painters, six levellers and one supervisor on the site. 2. The project is demanding largely due to tight schedule and all work at site need to be organised carefully. Our quality system has helped us to meet the exacting quality standards of the project. 3. Our collaboration has developed and benefits us both. We know each other well, which guarantees good quality and performance.
Waterproofing and tiling Jussi Lunden /SJM-TEAM OY 1. Our work takes about eight months. We have some 5 000 m2 to be tiled and the work is done by 4-5 tilers. 2. The project has been very demanding, especially schedule-wise. All toilets and bathrooms are tiled with small mosaic tiles and that work is time-consuming. 3. Very positive. High-quality Kiiltoproducts are always delivered on time and we can always contact Kiilto, if we need any help.
Tommi Romanoff /PARKETTI ROMANOFF OY 1. About 2000 m2 different kinds of parquets will be installed in the building. It takes 3.5 months for two parquet men to do that. 2. The project is very exclusive. For example, massive plank parquet is installed in social rooms. We need to think carefully what kind of products to use, for example, for numerous movement joints. 3. Our collaboration has continued for 30 years now, partly due to the fact that my father used to work at Kiilto in the 70’s. Kiilto is our biggest adhesive and lacquer supplier.
Matti Korkeakoski /SUOMEN PINTAURAKOINTI OY 1. Our work takes about nine months with three workers. 2. The project is huge: the area to be covered by carpet totals 25 000 m2. Carpets are installed in the final stage of the project and that can make our schedule tight, but we won’t make any compromises with quality. 3. Our collaboration is excellent. Products work as promised, which is paramount for good performance.
strongly involved in the planning. To avoid hierarchy at work none of the 835 car parks in the underground car parking lot are numbered. Personnel canteen is situated on the top floor. Its terrace provides lovely view over the sea and to the Western route. Also numerous lifts and big balconies provide a beautiful scenery. Not all building projects are halted
Energy efficiency of windows has improved significantly in the past years, says Tapiola’s Construction Manager Antti Leivo. In the background YIT Rakennus Oy’s General Foreman Petri Saarinen. 10
Tapiola-group’s building project is part of a larger project with which the Espoo city is trying to increase its appeal. The essence of this garden city will be cultivated, a new building stock will be constructed for diverse use and communications will be developed. According to Leivo, the project has confronted no resistance. From the very start, the Espoo city has been very positive towards the project. The building work started in June 2007, after tearing down an old, fungus contaminated school. Rocky terrain was first to set back the start, but after changing the working order the
a conceptual image Arkkitehtitoimisto SARC
Subcontractors of the Tapiola construction project think highly of Kiilto-products and appreciate Kiilto’s strong experience as a material supplier for big projects.
The Tapiola construction project in a nutshell: Constructor: Kiinteistö-Tapiola Oy Floor area: 35 193 floor square meters Total area: 71 339 square meters Number of floors: 6 overground and 3 underground floors Building schedule: June 2007–January 2010 Costs total: ca 170 million euros Main architect: SARC Oy Structural engineer: Finnmap Consulting Oy Main constructor: YIT Rakennus Oy
project was started on schedule. In the first year the frame of concrete and steel was erected. In the second year it was time for enclosing structures and interior work. The project staffs now 200 people, 1/4 of them are from YIT Oy. The record is over 300 workers simultaneously. The number of subcontractors totals some 50. – A year ago when building the frame, we lacked skilled workmen. But suddenly, the situation changed. For YIT this project has been very important and helps us through these tough times, says Saarinen. Topping-out party took place in April 2009, and the project should be completed in an half a year. – We are on schedule, but there is still plenty of work, especially inside the building. Time for transfer is defined and everything should be finished on 15 January 2010, promises Saarinen knocking his knuckles on the board. ■
• born in Tampere in 1946, lives in Tampere • married with four children, already adults • hobbies: reading and travelling • According to Laiho, the most significant change in the cleaning sector has been the reduction of water in the cleaning process. ”Earlier water used to be the ultimate solution for all dirt. Now when methods have improved, cleaning work is lighter and more meaningful. Robots did never break through in the cleaning business. They cannot beat keen human eyes and hands”.
The guru of the Kiilto customer training swears by knowledge After retiring from his job, Kiilto’s Customer Support Manager Rainer Laiho will leave Kiilto an unparallel customer training system. For 25 years Kiilto has been a leap ahead other doers in the field as regard customer training.
iiltoClean Oy’s Customer Support Manager Rainer Laiho, who will retire at the end of September, says that he ended up in the cleaning business by accident. – After graduating from commercial college, I worked as a sales representative. Then I applied for a job of a Sales Coordinator with no idea that the company in question operated in the cleaning business. Now 40 years later, I have quite strong experience from the field, tells Rainer Laiho. Laiho was appointed as Kiilto’s Product Manager in 1983 after Kiilto’s acquisition of Sarvis, a chemical factory, where Laiho used to work at that time. It is not too much to say that the Finnish cleaning sector had missed a lot, if Laiho had decided to specialise in something else. Straight away in 1983 Laiho initiated systematic trainings at Kiilto. Later the training was modified in e.g. Adhesive Institute and Cleaning and care -Institute. In 1980’s Kiilto published its first detailed instruction bro-
chures for surface care. In the past years the cleaning training consisted merely on product demonstrations. Kiilto decided to do something else. At the beginning the lecturers in the Kiilto Cleaning and Care -Institute avoided using Kiilto product name for not to sound too commercial. Nowadays it is all right to mention which of the Kiilto-products would be suitable for the purpose in question. – We have some ten trainings per year here at Kiilto Oy. Cleaning experts come here at Kiilto and we give them education how to treat different floor materials, says Laiho. – In addition we have dozens of training sessions around Finland every year. Kiilto has trained sales assistants, cleaning workers, their managers as well as teachers. At first participants were divided into groups according to their profession, but later the groups were mixed. At the beginning Laiho used to compile the training material all by himself but now also other KiiltoClean experts give their contribution to the training material. – Training and marketing do not exclude one another. Think about the loyalty between the cleaning equipment store and the consumer. It really makes a difference, if the sales assistant can tell the customer all about cleaning agents for not having to call the manufacturer in the middle of the discussion. In the past few years Laiho has had a chance to train also Russian and Estonian customers. To his saying, especially Russians are very keen to learn. The Internet has chanced also teaching methods. Training material can be distributed via Internet, but the best way to learn is, of course, to do things in practise. – Even a video demonstration does not give as good learning results as practical training. 11
Text Juha-Matti Aronen, photos Kiilto Oy and Juha-Matti Aronen
R&D helps us to cope with the economical depression An Estonian company Eurowest has risen to the challenges of the gloomy economical situation by developing a water-proof freight container that can be used for example for fish transport.
he bodies of trucks, as well as all enclosed bodies built by Eurowest, are made by sandwich-technique. On the floor of the body is installed a one-piece water-proof basin layer. Not a single rivet is used. –Adhesive gives a durable and uniform surface, says Inna Koger, Managing Director of Eurowest. Sandwich-technique enables us to manufacture thermo insulated freight containers, which protect products from heat and cold. The outer layers of the panels are made of several laminate layers with RTM-insulator and veneer in different thicknesses in between, according to the intended use. The panels are very light and resist moisture. The car industry has used sandwich-technique in the car body construction for years, but Eurowest’s basin-construction is totally new. The first eight delivery trucks have been taken into use this year. With delivery truck production the company fights against the prevailing depression. Last year we noticed some signs of economical recession and decided to invest in R&D, says Koger. She believes in the company’s strategy and that the company will launch many new products in the near future. – Now that the volume of orders has fallen, it is time for developing and testing, since material, workforce and facilities are available. Maybe next we contrive to develop next year’s hit-product.
New people, fresh ideas
Managing director Koger has rejuvenated the company by recruiting new staff. – A person who has done R&D for ten years in the same company does not necessarily come up with new ideas very easily. S/he may not be able to see the underlying potential of the company. That’s why I have invested in new managers and 12
Eurowest Oy • established in 1991 • located in Tartu • staff: 36 • main market area: Scandinavia • main products: insulated enclosed bodies and containers
sought new perspective for production and marketing, say Koger who has been in the company lead since 2000. One of the new talents was found near: Koger’s own daughter Sandra Koger is a technical graduate and is preparing her diploma work on delivery trucks and their strength and endurance.
Time for the new generation
Managing Director Inna Koger has a history of a top athlete and has won several championships in athletics in Estonia. She has adopted her persistent attitude in the business as well: – Complaining does not take you anywhere. What you need is clear goals that are fitted with existing facilities and conditions. – It is time the new generation to step into light. I want to ensure that our business will not expand too much and become scattered. I want to run the show and help the older generations to adapt to new tasks, equipment and techniques. There are not many women managing industrial companies in Estonia. But Koger believes that women could promote Estonian business culture and success - Women are far more honest that men, she says. ■
Estonian Eurowest Oy manufactures purpose-built transportation equipment. Waterproof fish delivery truck was built on a finished car body: an 8-meter-long floor panel was lifted against the inner wall of the truck. Truck holds the panel as Kiilto PU-adhesive is spread on the floor. After that the one-piece floor panel is installed on the floor.
1. 2. 3.
According to Sandra Koger, the actual assembling work was not a very demanding project after all. – We heard that Kiilto produces effective polyurethane adhesive that enables installing the floor without rivets. And then we found a Finnish company that was willing to sell us a floor coating big enough for our construction. –The most difficult task was to figure out how to get the floor panel in the truck already in the assembly phase. But surprisingly enough, at time of assembly, we had our trucks already ready. Finally we got an idea of erecting the 8-meter-long floor panel against the delivery truck wall with a truck. The truck holds the panel and men have 60 minutes time to spread the adhesive. Everything went just fine, describes Sandra Koger the assembly work.
– Complaining does not take you anywhere. What you need is clear goals that are adjusted to existing facilities and conditions.
Sandra Koger studies in the Technical University of Tallinn, but the actual innovations and ideas generate in the factory.
Felt shoes are not needed anymore for warming feet or dampening footfall: Kiilto, Nereus and Themisol have developed a pioneering floor system that will benefit both the building designer and the constructor and most of all, the people living the house. Text pauli salokangas, photos Risto Kaskelo/nereus
he joint project of three Finnish companies was initiated by Kiilto Oy at the beginning of 2009: there was a clear demand for a sound proof floor system compatible with underfloor heating. - Our customers were asking about sound proof tested flooring materials about a year ago. Constructors find it easier to get into projects, if having a document on floor’s decibel-values, says Kari Poikulainen, Sales Manager at Kiilto Oy. Kiilto took the bait and started to plan the development process. Kiilto chose Nereus and Thermisol to co-operate with. Nereus is expert with under floor heating systems and Thermisol is known among other things for producing high-quality impact sound insulators. And Kiilto has years of experience of cement based levelling compounds. The joint project was initiated at the beginning of the year. Persistent R&D work, planning and testing took some six months, until the product – Pro dB -heat floor system – was finished. Now
Farewell to feltshoes
all of the three makers Nereus, Thermisol and Kiilto Oy market the product in its own business sector, and first offers have already been received. The head of the project is Nereus, especially in major projects. Safe and fast solution
How to install a dB-heat floor system: Cover the intermediate floor of the room with ThermiSol’s insulate panels. Install Nereus floor heating pipes on them. After that install Kiilto’s fibreglass mesh on pipes and apply pumpable levelling compound. Apply Kiilto after treatment agent on the surface on the following day. Isolate the floor system from walls with Nereus edge insulating strip. Pro dB-floor system is safe and easy both for the customer and the constructor; it needs only top coat. The structure made of cement-based levelling compound is extremely solid, smooth, longlasting and easy to coat. – Kiilto Pro Plan Base - pumpable levelling com-
The room space increases, since no radiators are needed. 15
pound hardens quickly and saves hours, even weeks’ work. If the floor is casted with concrete, the hardening takes much longer, says Poikulainen. The dB-floor system has a keen price and is extremely easy to use. – The system allows installing heating pipes in spirals which provides optimal heat in the area. Also room space increases, since no radiators are needed. Unique insulation panels
ThermiSol’s insulation panels form the basis of the dB-floor system. They are elastic and retain strength in all circumstances and are water resist-
ant. So there should be no problems with mould growth. – Especially woolbased floors in older buildings are a real risk and sensitive to moisture. ThermiSol’s panels are tested, certified and extremely durable. You will not find as good a product as it is, says Tapio Kilpeläinen, R&D Manager at Thermisol, and gives an example: If your dish washer breaks down, Pro dB will not fail. There will be no mould formulation later, if the damages are fixed properly. Sami Mäki, Sales Manager for Nereus, shares these positive experiences. – All three companies have been very active.
Now we have a complete floor system that clearly meets the most exacting decibel-norms. The project has required a lot of work and now we are only waiting for the product to be launched, says Mäki. – Kiilto clearly is willing and has resources to invest in R&D. They really get things done, he continues. Poikulainen is also truly enthusiastic about the new floor system. – We really needed that kind of system. We produce high-quality levelling compounds in our new Dry Mix -plant, so we are expecting a growth in our levelling compound sales, he says. ■
Excellent test results Coat Kiilto Jälkihoitoaine Kiilto after treatment agent Kiilto Pro Plan Base levelling compound Kiilto Pro Plan fibreglass mesh Nereus PE-RT 16 x 2,0 mm pipes+ clips 30 mm ThermiSol Step Floor Heating -panels Intermediate floor
Pro dB floor system got excellent results in sound laboratory tests executed by the State Technical Research Centre. The Finnish standards require that room’s impact sound must not exceed 53 dB. But dBsystem is so solid and steady that dB-values are significantly below that level. – Good sound impact level enable to install ceramic tile floor without any other extra sound impact insulations. This enables the customer to use different kinds of covering materials, says Poikulainen. Kilpiläinen wants to point out that the installing work must be done carefully. – Unless the panels are not tightly buttjointed, the compound will pour into gaps and acoustic bridges may occur. But if done right and under supervision, there should be no problems. Those moving to new apartment houses in the coming years may be the first ones not needing to suffer from noises from the upper floor anymore. – I am sure that soon this system will be introduced in one-detached houses also. Soundless environment is one of the main elements of comfortable living. The more we want to invest in comfortable living and quality, the more attention will be paid on sound insulation, says Poikulainen. Product data sheet: www.nereus.fi/prodb Test report no.: VTT-S-02177-09