Incap Furniture Ltd, the furniture sector of Incap Group, is starting a new surface treatment line in its Kärsämäki Unit today. The new line will double the Kärsämäki Unit’s surface treatment capacity and also enable the company to grow in the future.

Surface treatment has traditionally been one of the bottlenecks in furniture industry. The new line will increase the company’s production capacity by twenty percent. The investment of five million marks has been done without any public funding, and it is currently one of the biggest investments in mechanical wood processing in Finland.

Incap Furniture’s net turnover in January–March this year was 10.4 million euro (nearly 62 million FIM). Exports account for 96 percent of the net turnover, and the main market area is the European Union. Recently, special efforts at export marketing have also been made in the USA. The company has production units in Kärsämäki and Varpaisjärvi in Finland and subsidiaries in the USA and Latvia. Incap Furniture has about 270 employees; the present investment will not increase the number of employees.

Incap Group is a contract manufacturer of electronics and furniture. The group’s net turnover in 1999 was 70.8 million euro, and it employs over 920 people.

For further information, contact Sauli Huikuri, President for Incap Furniture Ltd, at +358 400 389 700.

Incap Group’s interim report 1–6/2000 will be published on 11 Aug. 2000.

Manufacturing process at Kärsämäki Unit

The Kärsämäki Unit of Incap Furniture manufactures solid pine furniture. The first stage in the process is the drying of sawn timber. The dry raw material is then pre-cut and glued into blockboard blanks. Part of the raw material is also supplied as dried blanks.

The blanks are passed through machining lines, where they are turned into unfinished components of furniture. The machining lines are modern and highly automatic. The unit has lines for flat components and bed components.

The unfinished components are surface-treated on spray or roller painting lines and then are stained and varnished or merely varnished to natural colour. Finally, the finished components are packed into final product packages.

Volume of investment in surface treatment

The investment covers the renovation of the roller lines in the Kärsämäki Unit. The old equipment was replaced by a new roller varnishing line, and the old line was renovated to the same quality level as the new line. On the new lines, the handling of components is notably automatic. The investment will increase the unit’s surface treatment capacity and improve its quality. Thanks to the easy exchange of colours, the production lines are flexible. The total value of the investment is about five million marks.

Surface treatment methods and practices in roller varnishing

The new line can be used to treat flat components of solid pine furniture, such as the sides and tops of cupboards or chests of drawers, desk and table tops, etc. The surface treatment agents are spread with rollers. The process consists of the following stages: surface polishing, staining, priming, polishing and final varnishing.

The components to be treated are inserted into the surface polishing machine, from which they continue along the line through the above stages and end up at a machine that stacks them on pallets. After that, a roller conveyor transports them back to the beginning of the line for treatment of the other side. When both sides have been treated, a roller conveyor takes the components into storage.

The stacking machine will be installed on week 32, which is why it cannot be seen in operation yet.

Surface treatment agents

Environmentally friendly agents are used, such as water-dilutable stains and UV-acrylate varnishes. These varnishes are dried with UV irradiation. None of the surface treatment agents used on the lines cause harmful solvent or other emissions into the environment.

Suppliers of machinery

The lines have been supplied as turn-key deliveries by Penope Oy. The following machines operate on the line: Costa polishing machines, Giardina rollers and drying kilns, and RBO stacking machines. The electric and HVAC installations were done by YIT Service Oy.