Good practice

Quality and material efficiency go hand in hand

Quality and material efficiency go hand in hand
(c) wip-studio, image #98260251, 2018, source: Fotolia.com
Resources:
Materials
Sector:
Timber and woodworking
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Efficiency at Finnish funerary specialist

  • Carpentry company specialised in coffins and funerary urns maximised raw material use
  • Significant material savings by optimisation sawing process
  • Shorter wood cut-offs are used to make flower bases and the rest as fuel

SHT-Tukku Oy specialises in coffin and funerary urns. The factory in  Punkalaidun, Finland does everything from sawing to the upholstery of the final products. Production is based to a large extent on handcraft work. Material efficiency has evolved during the company’s 60-year history, hand in hand with the careful management of product quality.

The key is to use raw material optimally in different products. The company purchases lumber in two quality categories: with or without knotholes. The product range also includes three different levels of quality. The knot-free wood is used for the highest quality products with visible wooden finish, whereas the wood with knotholes is used for products that are draped (not visible).

Variations in the quality of raw material batches are handled efficiently. In the sawmill, each board is cut carefully so that different quality sections can be sorted for different products, and each board is used to it full potential. Intermediate products from sawing and gluing are sorted according to size and quality, and used for producing different parts – the cover, the long or the short edges of the coffins.

Pieces considered too short for coffin components are machined into flower installation bases – providing a more ecological option than those made from plastic.

The smallest cut-offs, pieces with defects, and sawdust are not wasted, either. The company has invested in its own combustion plant, where energy is produced for the manufacturing halls and drying processes. Excess heat is sold to the municipality as district heating for a nearby school.

Key benefits

  • Utilising the raw material efficiently brings raw material savings
  • Using optimal quality allows maximising the value created
  • Less wasted materials – less waste-management costs
Testimonials:

“It has been easy for us to improve our material efficiency. Certain processes are needed for the sake of quality in any case, and recycling and sorting of materials come naturally as a side effect. And maximising quality has not brought any additional costs for us – on the contrary, there are less reclamations, which means savings for us.” - Jari Leminen, Production Manager at SHT-Tukku Oy

 

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