Chemigate is a Finnish company that has three production units around the country. To our company’s product range belong modified starches for industrial applications and a range of cationic starch based polymers in liquid form. We produce the cationic reagent which is used in the company’s own starches and starch based polymers, and it is also sold to the starch and chemical industry.
In Chemigate we are experts in our field; we know our products, the applications they are used in and the market requirements.
Introduction The Production Manager of PM 1 parks his hybrid car, nods to the lady guard at the gate and dons his helmet with goggles before inspecting his machine. Yes, this is his paper machine, his domain. After all, he is the one responsible for fulfilling the 500.000 metric ton production target annually. He pauses to glance at the film press with a satisfied smile – it is running smoothly and very, very fast; a bit below to 2000 m/min. There is something reassuring about the hum of the newly installed steel of the edge of liner technology. However, the very basic principle of this technology is not that new. Were we to take a jump across time and space we would find a similar expert taking pride in his work, size pressing hand sheets 600yrs ago in Germany, 2000yrs ago in China or 4000years ago in Egypt.
The media industry has faced radical changes in recent years. Busy lifestyles and digitalization have paved the way for new players in the field. But paper still holds its own as a user interface. Excellent printing quality, high-resolution images, and carefully planned content make for a special experience that is hard to surpass. Reports of the death of print media are greatly exaggerated, at least if you are to believe Jyrki Rehumäki, the director of Finnish media house A-lehdet. And with more than two decades of experience of various aspects of the media under his belt, he is a man you should listen to when it comes to media. “Despite recent advances in digitalization, paper is in a league of its own as a user interface. Excellent printing quality, high-resolution images, and carefully planned content make for a special experience that is hard to surpass. This goes for both magazines and books,” says Rehumäki. According to him, the crisis experienced by the print-media sector has opened doors to the media market for enterprises that are not traditional media houses. Digitalization and changes in consumer behavior have led A-lehdet to assess its operations from a new perspective. While keeping abreast of current issues is essential, one must also anticipate future developments, he explains. At the heart of operations, the customer “A-lehdet’s strategy places the customer at the very heart of the operation,” says Rehumäki. He describes a new approach: “In the past, our strategy was to create new products and then [...]
Chemigate is looking for two paper and board professionals to join our expanding team. If you think you’re up for the adventure get comfy, take a load off and keep on reading. SALES ENGINEER We are on the look-out for a SALES ENGINEER who can do business in both Finnish and English. Being able to make sales på svenska is seen as a bonus. You need to be a sales minded person who feels at home in Chemigate’s customer focused, relaxed but ambitious company culture. The pay is good but we guarantee that there are easier ways to make money. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER The PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER we are looking for needs to have a strong competence in paper and board. We in Chemigate, we tend to know our stuff but when we don’t we will turn to you for an answer. You need to have a strong theoretical background in chemistry but we can’t have you be a full-fledged nerd either. You have to be able to sell your ideas when asked to do so. This also means that you have to be able to communicate fluently in English and be ready to travel. Troubleshooting skills are highly valued. In Chemigate the future is in your hands. You will have a lot of freedom to operate. If this scares you then you should not apply. Your qualifications are important but even more so is your fit in our company culture. You can find more information about the jobs if […]
Logistics can be organized in a myriad of ways. The main thing is to deliver the goods to the right place at the right time safely and reliably. Sales and Logistics Manager Yrjö Lundell, in charge of logistics at Chemigate, emphasizes the importance of meeting delivery schedules. “For us, delivery schedules agreed on with the customer are extremely important,” he stresses. Collaboration with transport companies Chemigate arranges its deliveries in cooperation with transport companies. Working with local companies often brings additional benefits in the form of increased flexibility and improved quality. “Our main targets, in addition to delivery times, can be expressed in two words: safety and cost-efficiency,” explains Lundell. Safety is the cornerstone of Chemigate’s logistics operations. Lundell continues, “On the other hand, we need to be cost-efficient to be competitive in the market. We strive to improve our cost-efficiency in collaboration with transport companies.” Clear instructions, for smooth work processes Chemigate’s products are delivered all over Finland, to elsewhere in Europe, and even sometimes to East Asia. Bulk deliveries of powders or liquids account for some 90% of deliveries, with the remaining 10% consisting of products transported in IBC containers or big bags. For the transport chain to be efficient, both loading and unloading must run smoothly. “Receiving clear instructions from the customer makes drivers’ work easier. They often unload the goods independently,” explains Lundell. Putting safety first However important delivery schedules and smoothness of the work are, safety always comes first. This includes driver safety but also […]
Raija Savolainen, D.Sc. (Tech.), has joined our team in Mietoinen as a product safety expert, starting in the position on 2 May 2016. Before this, Raija worked at Raisio Chemicals in product development for the Raisamyl, RaiFIX, and AKD products and at Finlayson with a wide range of tasks related to development and product safety. The topic of her doctoral dissertation, written for the Lappeenranta University of Technology, was hydrophobic sizing. She has also worked for the University of Kuopio, where she had studied toxicology and for the University of Turku, lecturing on chemical safety and risk management. Before joining the Chemigate team, Raija earned a qualification as a nurse and health visitor and also worked in occupational health care in Loimaa.
Lapua’s coat of arms. Bad-ass design, wouldn’t you say? A well-built man is riding a bear, with his fair hair blowing in the wind. In his hand, he holds a mallet, ready to teach a lesson to those at risk of straying from the straight and narrow. As if the bear weren’t enough to keep people on their toes… No, we haven’t wandered into a fantasy story or a LARP convention; instead, we have both feet firmly on the ground in Finland’s Lapua. I am looking at the town’s official coat of arms, and, even though I may not be qualified to evaluate its artistic merits, I can tell you it’s one bad-ass design. Full marks for that, as no-one could accuse the locals who designed it of suffering from a lack of self-confidence. ‘Networking’ is the word on everyone’s lips these days. Knowing people with different backgrounds and skills is seen as valuable. Nobody can be the master of everything, and you can never tell which skills will be essential in a project slated for 2025. That’s why I can warmly recommend networking with residents of Lapua. You never know when a man riding a bear, waving a mallet, may be needed for a project. On the other hand, what project couldn’t use one of those!? Because of that, I’ve decided to offer you a unique set of networking instructions. The process consists of two stages. Enter Lapua into Google Maps, and locate it on a map of Finland, […]
When agriculture is plagued by drought or heavy rains, raw-material prices tend to skyrocket. Being prepared for rapid changes is critical – and the Swedish SCA is prepared. In dry summers, farming is at the mercy of the weather. Drought has a detrimental effect on crops and may lead to a shortage of potatoes. This causes the price of potatoes and potato-based starch to rise. “Fluctuation in raw-material prices is always to be expected. It’s part and parcel of agriculture,” explains Chemigate’s Business Director Tom Schauman. The Chemigate business philosophy is based on flexibility, which enables rapid reaction to price changes and to fluctuations in the supply of raw materials. “Raw materials account for about half of the cost of the end product. This is why our product selection should include as many raw materials as possible,” says Schauman. Chemigate’s current product range includes tapioca, barley, wheat, corn and side stream starches in addition to potato starch. Efficient products and considerable savings When potato prices started to soar, Chemigate’s collaboration partner in this field, Swedish kraftliner manufacturer SCA Packaging Munksund, was able to make a rapid switch from potato starch to the more cost-efficient tapioca-based starch. “We want to utilize efficient products in our production and be able to buy these at competitive prices. Having the option of replacing a raw material with a substitute is an important step toward reaching these goals,” says SCA Packaging Munksund’s Purchase and Logistics Manager Magnus Blomberg. Any raw-material replacements are handled locally in […]
Spanning nearly three decades, the history of Chemigate’s hydrophobic sizing is rich in know-how and close customer collaboration. PrimeSIZE hydrophobic sizes are another example of Chemigate’s extensive expertise. Production is centralized in Kaipiainen, Finland, an ideal location in terms of logistics. “The creation of a hydrophobic product requires many pieces to fall into place. Our broad expertise stems from a long history of working with all hydrophobic sizes, including AKD, ASA, and rosin. In addition, we have thorough knowledge of starch modification and synthetic-polymer chemistry. We know how to make things work together,” explains Product Manager Markku Nurminen. Expertise in hydrophobic sizing can only be accumulated over many years of experience and product development. “We actively follow the market, collaborate closely with our customers, and invest in product development. A broad knowledge base is one of the cornerstones of our activities. Expertise inspires confidence,” Nurminen says. Easy storage and use Among the benefits of PrimeSIZE listed by Nurminen are its extremely high stability, long shelf life, and superior retention of the product, providing excellent runnability and the desired sizing level cost-efficiently. “It’s essential that the product remain suitable for use even if the customer has to store it for an extended time. Thanks to its long shelf life, PrimeSIZE is ideal for occasional or intermittent use. The product is easy to use because a separate dispersion machine isn’t required,” explains Nurminen. The products are suitable for a host of applications, from printing and copy paper to packaging board and more […]
Tarmo Korpela has started with us as a Product Development Chemist on the 7th of December. He will strengthen our resources in the Green Opportunities product line development. Tarmo is originally from Kauhajoki and he finished is doctorate in material chemistry at the University of Eastern Finland in 2014. Before moving to Lapua to join the ranks of Chemigate he worked as researcher at the university and as class teacher. Tarmo has also functioned as the Chairman of The Chemists Society of Eastern Finland. Tarmo can be reached at 040 735 7467.
Finnamyl Oy and Lapuan Peruna Oy produce potato starch for Chemigate Oy from potatoes grown by their own contract farmers. The starch is delivered to the paper industry for further processing, used as a raw material for the food industry, or packaged for consumer use. In this process, the campaign, which extends from the latter part of August to November, is critical. This creates additional pressure for the company’s entire staff. In fact, the starch-campaign is the most hectic time of the year for Chemigate. In recent years, however, several changes have improved the flow of the production process. “Three decades ago, all the starch produced by Lapuan Peruna was routinely subjected to chemical processing and dried to produce various modified products. These products were then stored. Back then, the campaign was even for more hectic for Chemigate than now, since all the starch coming in was chemically modified. Over the last few years, we have switched to a procedure in which around half of the starch is dried without a modification. These products are called native starches,” explains Chemigate’s production manager, Harri Heikkinen. According to Heikkinen, the storage of starch during the campaign requires meticulous planning: “The final product is packed into sacks and stored. Both native and chemically processed starch need to be stored in large quantities during the campaign, because they are produced more rapidly than they can reach the market.” Chemigate’s factory area has enough silo space to accommodate 4,000 tons of starch. The total amount […]