100 years of corrugated board in Finland
Recently DS Smith Finland celebrated 100 years of corrugated board in the present DS Smith location of Tampere, Finland.
To mark this landmark event, DS Smith Packaging Finland hosted a celebration on May 19th in which 480 attendees from employees, customers and other interest groups enjoyed a milestone event at the box plant in Tampere
Speeches were given by Michael Cronin along with Mr. Timo Hanhilahti from the City of Tampere and Sari Rämö, Managing Director Finland.
This informal event also hosted entertainment from the famous Finnish rock band Popeda along with good food and drink. “The evening was enjoyable with good food and good entertainment.” stated Sari Rämö. “We feel lucky to have such great employees and long term customers who had made the 100 years possible. We were also very pleased that Michael Cronin was able to share the celebration with us.”
The History of the Past 100 years!
We started manufacturing corrugated board by the Tammerkoski Rapids in Tampere 100 years ago. Today we are part of the DS Smith Group.
Our history with corrugated board extends back to 1911 when the local company “Takfilt och Pappersbruks Aktiebolaget i Tammerfors” started to manufacture corrugated board with a corrugator ordered from Dresden, Germany and was the first company to manufacture corrugated board in Finland.
During this time, the corrugator only made single-faced corrugated board. To make single wall corrugated board, the other liner glued to the single-faced corrugated board by hands. In the beginning years, the annual production was 35 000 kg. The width of the track in corrugator was 1500 mm and maximum daily capacity was about 2000 kg.
The most used raw material was fluting made from straw. There were shredders and caldrons for the straws in the mill. The paper mill was situated in the same building next to the box plant.
In 1923 the old wooden plant burned in the Tampere and parts of the machines were destroyed.A new corrugator was bought in 1926.
In the beginning, the jobs were piecework and work was done until a supervisor from the converting department said it was enough. There were no lunch breaks and packed lunch was eaten next to the machine.
In 1917 G.A. Serlachius bought the box plant and its impractical name was changed to TAKO OY in 1932. And the 1930’s saw only great changes and expansions.
During the war the biggest customer was the army. The army ordered huge numbers of boxes to carry bread to the front-line. The box plant was bombed during the World War II and parts of the plant, like the wooden office building, were completely destroyed. After the war the box plant was rebuilt and production continued.
During the 1960’s corrugated board consumption more than doubled in Finland. In 1960’s the annual consumption was 4,3kg per person and by the 1970’s it had increased to 13,1 kg per person.
The crowded facilities hindered production as the factory in Tampere city centre was never designed to generate high production requirements. Limited space in the factory hall and facilities being located on several floors began to set limits on the companies’ ability to buy new machinery and handling materials and goods. There were no storage facilities and therefore all finished products were loaded on trucks for transportation as soon as possible.
As a result of Operation “speed”, a new box plant was built in the Lielahti industrial area of Tampere in 1971. At that time the new box plant was biggest and most modern in all of Europe, and it continues to this day to be one of most modern factory in Europe. The new plant sat on 3,1 hectare and 270.000m3 of land and that immediately enabled the company to add additional production to the operations and also helped with the modernization of the plant later on.
In 1986 the companies Serlachius and Metsäliitto Teollisuus merged and to reflect this change, the new owners of the box plant renamed the site Metsä-Serla. However, in 1992 Metsä-Serla separated its corrugated board business into one group and after that the name changed once again to Neopac Oy.
As of 2000 the box plants in the city of Tampere and the city of Nokia were joined under one roof in Lielahti, Tampere. The factory hall and store were re-built completely and even today the box plant is still one the most modern in Europe.
SCA to DS Smith
In September 2000 SCA bought the corrugated business from Metsä-Serla and the box plant became part of SCA Packaging.
Today, in Finland DS Smith Packaging not only have plants in Tampere and in Nummela but also in Kuopio, Ii, Viiala and Raisio.