Hilti's Multi-duty channel systems used in Metsä Fibre's mill in Kemi

Faster, easier, more efficient

Faster, easier, more efficient

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Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is building a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. The mill will be started-up as planned in the third quarter of 2023 and it is being built using the best available techniques (BAT). The technological level meets and even exceeds the EU BREF requirements. The project is implemented as buyer-driven subcontracting, which also allows for the participation of smaller companies. For local businesses, the mill investment createed demand directly related to the mill construction. Hilti Finland has been involved in the project in cooperation with TT-Teknologia and LVI-Pitkälä Lappi Oy as they have used the Hilti modular installation system Multi-duty channel system (MT) at the site.

- Hilti has supplied different support structures and brackets for the pipelines and ductwork, as well as the related documentation, the quality of which has been excellent. With the documentation, it has been easy to check and solve possible issues on the construction site and go through structural analysis and load capacities, says Jari Koskela, HVAC Manager of Metsä Fibre Kemi bioproduct mill project.

According to Koskela, when someone proposes bearing load structures for a project, there must be plans so that the structure can withstand the load. - In this case, the quality of the documents was so clear that there was no need to make any changes or to go over them with a Structural Engineer. Based on the documentation, the installation work could be started immediately on the construction site. It has made the progress and operation of the project easier on an everyday level, he says.

The installation environment has been done at a height and this has created issues to be considered to ensure safe working. The MT installation system has proven to be a functional in many ways. - When I have visited the site and seen the installations on the wall, the impression has been neat and the hangability good. The best thing is that it has not been necessary to do any welding on site. Similar work could be done with steel, which must be welded and painted. Now those work phases have been completely omitted.

According to Koskela, all the requests from Metsä Fibre to Hilti have been channeled through TT-Teknologia and LVI-Pitkälä Lappi Oy. - In my opinion, this three-way co-operation with our partners has worked out well.

Training to the products

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TT-Teknologia has delivered large air conditioning ducts and a heating and cooling piping network to three process areas of the Kemi bioproduct mill. TT-Teknologia specializes in versatile steel structure planning, manufacturing and installation works. - We implement steel structures from ready-made assemblies, or fully custom made. In steel structure planning, we pay extra attention to structures functionality and safety, Site Manager Markus Rasimus explains.

According to Rasimus, TT-Teknologia´s role was to plan and implement the support system at the Kemi bioproduct mill project. - We have cooperated with LVI-Pitkälä Lappi Oy, which already had a connection with Hilti and they suggested we talk to them, so we got in touch, and that's how our cooperation with Hilti started, Rasimus explains.

The planning and documentation from Hilti were good from TT-Teknologia's point of view. - It was a huge advantage for us to be able to go through the dimensioning plans and related products with Hilti's International Business Developer Harri Koskinen. We also received training in the Multi-duty channel System and got to know the product line, Rasimus thanks.

Customization at the site

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According to the TT-Teknologia Site Manager Ossi Littow, the biggest benefit of the MT-system has been its modularity and flexibility. - When working in high places, there are certain challenges with the installation work of U-shaped brackets. Being able to partially dismantle the Hilti structure during air duct installation progress was a game changer compared to ready-made welded support. Installing supports to heights piece by piece was safe and lightweight to do from personnel lift, there was no need for separate loader crane. Modularity and flexibility were also a key thing, since there are always needs for changes.

Littow explains that possible changes and modifications are easy to do. – The key thing is that we can use the puchased Hilti products in different places. If you weld items from steel structures, it will be a huge job to dismantle the whole thing, build, weld and paint again. With a few minutes of planning you can make changes with Hilti´s system on the go.

According to Rasimus, product losses were also minimized. – When using the MT-system product series, it doesn't matter if the products are of different sizes and dimensions, they can all be connected like lego blocks. Therefore, there is a minimal amount of surplus material in our hands.

Successful ventilation installations

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According to Joona Salonpää, LVI-Pitkälä Lappi Oy's Foreman, the Hilti cooperation had a significant impact on the success of ventilation installations of the  bioproduct mill process areas.

- The cooperation went smoothly, and the upcoming issues were sorted out with fast notice. The required strength checks for structures installed high up in the production facilities were obtained directly from Hilti. In the initial stages of the project, the installation documents also had a clear accelerating effect on learning how to use the Hilti Multi-duty channel system.

Salonpää says that once the system was learned, all that was needed from Hilti was flexible and fast delivery of goods to the site. - As far as the orders are concerned, things have worked out well. In addition to that, we still needed some technical support in project planning and strength assessments which we received from Hilti.

Practical experiences working with the MT-system have been positive. - It was a functional alternative for welded steel structures in a project, where the available working time was limited. The MT-system does not require preliminary preparation before installation, and the installed products are immediately ready for use without post-treatment and spot painting. With the easy-to-use system, you can quickly get a support structure for channels, pipes and pumps without welding, and when installing in corrosive conditions.

The price perception changed

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All the interviewees admit that the price perception of Hilti was high beforehand, but now that they look at the whole, it has changed. Jari Koskela from Metsä Fibre sums it up like this:

-Perception of Hilti price point has been basically quite high, which has advocated staying with traditional solutions. However, the experience of this project showed that all things considered the price-quality ratio is right.