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Behind the scenes: Quality controllers are the gatekeepers of plywood products

Story 5.5.2021 0:00 EEST

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Quality control helps us guarantee that our customers get a product that is safe and meets quality specifications as well as the legislative and other product-specific requirements set for it. Each UPM plywood factory has its own quality control team. At UPM Pellos, one of the quality controllers is Seija Tirkkonen. Seija started her career with plywood already at the beginning of the 1990s at UPM’s former plywood factory in Kuopio.

 

As a quality controller, Seija participates in the plywood production process all the way from the veneer turning to the polishing of the final product. Quality assurance is carried out in two 12-hour shifts, and the tasks of quality controllers vary depending on the shift and day.

”From a quality point of view, the most essential thing in my work is measuring the strength of the ply, spreading the adhesive in assembly and strength tests done by cutting the plywood sheets. These steps help us ensure that both the ply and the plywood are strong enough and that all the measurements are within the required tolerances”, Seija explains.

he most important tools for any quality controller are a set of scales, a viscosity cup, a stopwatch, a saw, a thickness gauge for ply and plywood sheets, a tape measure and an oven for moisture measurements. ”And of course common sense, good social skills and a twinkle in the eye,” Seija says while laughing.

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If something does not the satisfy the requirements, the quality controller makes a notification of a product irregularity. Quality irregularities are always dealt with promptly, so they do not cause issues in the final product. ”This is why our customers can rely on our monitoring systems and quality assurance work and that our products remain uniform in terms of quality,” emphasizes Seija.

Industry quality control is also a part of EU legislation. WISA plywood’s CE marking confirms that the product meets the requirements of EU’s construction product regulations and can move freely in the EU area and it is a safe product for permanent construction. All of UPM’s WISA plywood products have been CE certified.

 

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Our Behind the Scenes article series introduces the people working for UPM Plywood and offers a glimpse into modern plywood production.