The sawn timber used by the furniture industry must meet extremely high quality criteria. At Metsä Fibre, the top logs best suited for the manufacture of furniture are separated from the others at the harvesting stage by the operator of the forest machine.
In the next step of the production chain, the logs are sorted with X-ray at our sawmills. Our quality assurance is based on strictly controlled sawing and sorting processes and thorough drying.
“Our whole quality chain begins in certified forests and the separation of sound-knotted top logs. Control of the drying process is the next important step. The sawn timber must not contain cracks or tensions, because they would also weaken the quality of our customers’ products,” emphasises Tommi Saarnisto, who works as the Area Sales Director for Africa, the Americas and the Middle East.
Quality assurance continues in the logistics chains
In many cases, the whole sorting, production and delivery process was built in cooperation with customers.
“This is how we ensure that the sawn timber is exactly what our customer needs in terms of its quality and dimensions. And the timber is supplied to our customers at the right time for their production,” Saarnisto adds.
The logistics chain from the sawmills to the customer is designed to avoid additional storage and the risk of changes in moisture content. Most often, this means a direct lorry delivery from the Metsä Fibre production plant to the customer. The delivery times may be calculated down to the day.
Nordic wood is beautiful and durable
In this segment, Metsä Fibre’s customers are mainly subcontractors and component manufacturers for the furniture industry who are located in Finland and abroad. In their hands, the top-grade sawn timber continues to be refined, after which it goes on to furniture manufacturers to be made into everyday furniture for homes and offices, such as worktops, tables, cabinets, beds and shelves.
One large customer base is the manufacturers of glulam board. Metsä Fibre supplies over 30,000 cubic metres of top-grade pine sawn timber for the manufacture of glulam board, mainly to Denmark, Estonia and Finland, but also outside Europe.
“In addition to the quality aspects, the furniture industry prefers a supplier of sawn timber that can provide large volumes. Many industrial customers want to reduce the number of their suppliers so as to reduce inconsistencies in quality, delivery issues, and so on. Only a few sawmill companies are able to meet this need,” says Ville Valio, Area Sales Director for Europe.
The furniture industry values the Nordic wood supplied by Metsä Fibre due to its regular knot structure and the consistency of its quality. In addition, the wood is distinguished by its very good strength/weight ratio.
“The origin and sustainability of the raw materials also matter more in the furniture industry than in many other areas of application. So certified wood, for example, is an absolute requirement in this sector. This is also a clear asset for us, because the share of certified wood in Finnish forests is top of the world. We are also able to verify the origin of sawn timber all the way to the site where the trees grew.”