”The Gävle and Frövi experience” – A story brought to you by Björn and Joakim
So blog, once more it is time for me and Joakim to tell all of you about our experiences during our trainee year. This time we will try to do this a little bit differently. I will tell about our awesome days in Gävle, and Joakim will thereafter talk about Frövi and the days we spent there.
Gävle mill; a place of history
I’ll start with a cool fact about the site. The mill placed in Gävle today actually started out at a different spot in Sweden. I know, it really sounds weird. The production started in a village called Korsnäs outside of Falun in Sweden in 1855. In 1899 the management of the mill decided that the cost of transport was way too high to make great business. So how to solve this? In BillerudKorsnäs we have our strategic platform where we believe that people drive change, and that thinking in new ways is something that we do to challenge the conventional. Well this must be some kind of new thinking, because the management’s solution to the cost of transport was to TRANSPORT the whole factory to Gävle! Around 100 kilometers, in 1899! On top of moving the whole factory, around 2000 people also moved along with it. It’s amazing to hear these kind of stories, and to get astonished about the power that lies within the forest industry. In the picture we see the mansion belonging to BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle, where we stayed during our days here.
Okay, so back to our stay in Gävle. The first day we had the pleasure to be introduced to the mill by Johanna Svanberg, acting Mill Director at the mill. She told us about the history of the site, for example the one mentioned above. The mill produces mainly Liquid Packaging Board and Liner to cardboard boxes, and is also the home site of around 900 people.
Besides being introduced to the mill by Johanna, we also met with people connected closely with our customers. We were introduced to the Liquid Packaging Board segment, where we have customers such as Elopak. We were also given an introduction to the customer which I am involved with; Tetra Pak.
We got a guided tour in the Gävle mill by Krister.
Being little more than 7 months in to the trainee program I’d like to reflect a little. The more time we spend in the trainee-program even the more I appreciate it. We are truly introduced to the whole company, and it’s really a privilege to be part of it. I can more than recommend it if you as a reader are thinking of applying in the future. This said about Gävle, it’s now time to hear more about our stay in Frövi.
Me holding a book that was printed 1712 during our stay in Frövi.
I give you Joakim!
Frövi; Two mills with one stone
Thanks Björn! Believe it or not, Gävle is not the only mill in our company with a long historical heritage. The location of the current Frövi mill, our second stop of the theme week, has its roots in the iron industry and was founded in late 1500s by Sweden’s first King, Gustav Vasa.
In connection to the modern Frövi mill, there’s a paper-mill museum where we were given a tour of how the place had transformed throughout, history. The site started off as an iron production facility to support the Swedish army during the late 16th century. We were then introduced to the 20th century expansion of pulp and paper production in Sweden, which was (and still is) a crucial part of the Swedish economy. We actually got to see a pair of paper machines from the beginning of the previous century. Even though technical advancements have refined the process over time to the high-tech machinery we have today, it’s astonishing to see that they used the same principle back then as we do now.
Entrance to the museum next to the Frövi mill.
One of the very old paper machines in the museum.
Besides the history lesson, we had the opportunity to meet and listen to several colleagues at the mill regarding the production, R&D and Safety at Frövi. Furthermore, we got an insight to the market aspect of Cartonboard, which is one of the segments under Division Board. One thing that I really like about these theme visits is that you get a really good overview of the mill and its processes and products. From how the production works and more technical information to the market aspect for the products manufactured at these sights.
Some of the trainees watching out over Frövi mill.
Visiting two mills wasn’t enough for this week, that’s why we went to Rockhammar pulp mill (located roughly 10 km from Frövi), which is not your everyday pulp mill! At Rockhammar, we produce Chemi-Thermomechanical pulp, or simply put CTMP. The process differs from pure chemical pulp manufacturing in the way that the fibers are mainly separated via mechanical grinding, which gives it other properties and the pulp-exchange is much higher than with chemical pulp production. The output pulp is primarily used as a component in the carton board production at the Frövi mill.
The last stop of this theme week was a customer visit to Schur Pack, a packaging converter. There we got to see how our packaging material is converted to all kinds of different products, ranging from bandage containers to frozen pizza boxes. These customer visits give great insights in how our packaging materials are manufactured in to products for end consumers and to gain understanding of our customer’s perspective and their needs.
Alas, this was the last theme week of the trainee program but there’s more to come here on the blog! May is quickly approaching and that is the time for our month abroad, all trainees will be spread out in the world visiting our Customer Service Centers and the following blog posts will give you an update on how that is going!
Björn, Joakim and the rest of the trainee gang
Picture from the mansion at Frövi mill, where we had a fantastic dinner!