UPM | Future wood processing

UPM is continuously developing concrete measures to mitigate climate change. The switch to more energy-efficient equipment has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from log handling by more than 70% at the company’s plywood mills. The right partner plays an important role in achieving future targets.

Adolf Lahti reacted quickly when UPM expressed its intention to switch to renewable fuels in the machinery used in its plywood mills. Now, UPM’s plywood mills in Savonlinna and Pellos run on renewable fuel oil, which produces up to 90% less CO2 emissions than fossil diesel.

Adolf Lahti is responsible for receiving and feeding the raw material, birch logs, into the process at UPM’s Savonlinna plywood mill, where the new practices have been in place since the beginning of 2022. In Pellos, the role is the same, but the raw material is coarse spruce logs, which are also soaked. In addition to using renewable fuel, Adolf Lahti’s machines are lighter, so fuel consumption is lower. The technology is also modern. The Caterpillar 988 hybrid loader on site in Savonlinna uses its own internal combustion engine, which uses an electric motor, further reducing fuel consumption. The log stackers also represent the best emission class in the industry. The new machine types have a lower risk of hydraulic leakage. They are also quieter, which is important when working 24/7 in a sensitive environment on the shores of Lake Saimaa.

Responsible machinery procurement is a multi-million investment that requires a lot from both the customer and the supplier. UPM Kymmene and Adolf Lahti work together on a large scale and over the long term, which enables completely new innovations.

Achieving emission targets or even exceeding them requires concrete actions, words are not enough, says Pekka Pöllänen, CEO of Adolf Lahti. Working with UPM is good when the goal is clear, and the will is shared.

“The development of equipment solutions will continue in order to further reduce greenhouse and noise emissions. This means both lightening and electrification of the fleet. A challenging equation requires good cooperation and new ideas. We are open to trying out completely new solutions. The partner, on the other hand, must have interactive ideas, a similar mindset and the ability to develop the fleet – just like Adolf Lahti. A common strategic vision is also needed. Safety and reliability must be of the highest order. And competitiveness must be ensured in good times and bad. This means for both parts, among other things, not counting every penny.” says Juha Korhonen, Wood Procurement Director, UPM Plywood.

Adolf Lahti is also a pioneer in the use of electronic machinery. For a decade, UPM Pietarsaari has been operating an electric material handling machine that has broken records. The machine, which works 8 000 hours per year, has significantly lower emissions than a diesel-powered machine that consumes 30 litres per hour.

– We are talking about almost 2.5 million litres of diesel, which in terms of carbon dioxide emissions is about 6.5 million kilograms,” says Pöllänen.

Adolf Lahti’s all-electric truck has been in operation since 2019, and Finland’s first 16-ton Kalmar all-electric truck with a lithium battery is also in operation. According to Pöllänen, electric machines have proven to be more reliable than internal combustion engines, for example in freezing weather. He promises that completely new and unique technology is also being developed on the electrification front for large machines, with ground-breaking changes on the way later this year.

UPM Plywood

UPM Plywood manufactures high-quality WISA® plywood and veneer products for construction, vehicle flooring, LNG shipbuilding, parquet manufacturing and other industrial applications.

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