Forest & Bio crossborder event: Industry and SME presentations

Forest & Bio crossborder event was organized online 19.11 through Teams. The event attracted over 70 participant from industry, SMEs and other actors to hear and discuss about process and paper industry’s  digital future.

Previously published news story focused on Peter Wallin’s keynote talk. This news story focuses on industry talks presented by Stora Enso, Smurffit Kappa & Metsä and gives a brief overview of the SMEs presentations.


Industry presentation: Marko Yli-Pietilä - Head of Smart Operations, Stora Enso

In his presentation, Marko focused on telling where Stora Enso is currently going, and what they have already achieved related to digitalization. Marko shared Stora Enso’s Industrial Digitalisation Mission which is to: “achieve highest possible operation efficiency by digitally augmenting the capabilities to our people and equipment”. In practice, this means that Stora Enso is creating capabilities and tools for employees to help them to do their work better with the aid of AI and mobility. Marko then pinpointed that “augmenting the capabilities to our people” means that Stora Enso is adding intelligence like IoT to their equipment and automation systems.

Some of the main industrial digitalization topic areas for Stora Enso are increased safety, intelligent production and network maintenance:

  • Advanced digital tools have capability to improve safety on hundreds of Stora Enso product lines.
  • Adding intelligence to existing manufacturing capabilities helps Stora Enso to use existing data better.
  • In future, Stora Enso’s maintenance is predominantly planted, proactive and fully mobilized. Predictive maintenance is already possible and is currently been scaled in Stora Enso mills.

Stora Enso is using cloud solutions effectively. Marko introduced some examples of digital solutions for safety, production and maintenance, which are scaling out in Stora Enso’s mills. Finally, Marko talked about Stora Enso’s IoT platform, emphasizing:

“We always claim ownership of our data. All of our data is going through our platform. All the data in our platform is general data.”


Industry presentation: Ulf Öhlund – Section manager system & automation, and Robert Ekberg – IT Manager, Smurffit Kappa

At first, Ulf and Robert took design thinking perception to industry digitalization. At Smurffit Kappa, they try to visualize Smurffit Kappa’s digitalization vision by putting persons behind different roles. When Ulf and Robert were asked how they introduced design thinking in Smurffit Kappa’s processes and what were the main barriers to overcome, they replied:

“We started design thinking small. One by one we introduced design thinking to different areas in Smurffit Kappa. In the end, the key was to get business division’s support. When they believed in design thinking, we began to make good progress.”

Ulf and Robert presented visualization of Smurfit Kappa’s digital vision. The vision is built around smart digital ecosystem where factories, warehouses, customers and consumers act together in a cycle with the help of digital technologies like analytics and IOT. The vision gives a great overview of Smurfit Kappa’s goals and helps to understand how actors help each other to succeed in digitalization.

Ulf and Robert listed some of the most important steps to smarter factories. These steps are:

  • Change processes from industry 3.0 to industry 4.0
    • Legacy systems are challenge to overcome. Investments to Industry 4.0 have to be motivated
  • Shift from predictive maintenance to more preventive maintenance
    • Change to preventive maintenance means changed tasks and profiles for staff
  • Implementation of standardized communication interface
    • Important to set standard requirements for customers to simplify information sharing
  • Clear approach to how staff access information
    • Are smart phones better option or should the staff use tablets or other tools? What is safe and suitable to work environment?


Industry presentation: Matti Toivonen – VP of Technology, Metsä Group

Matti’s presentation focused on Metsä Group´s current digitalization status and areas. Metsä Group sees digitalization as one of the most critical areas to be successful in the future.

Metsä Group’s high degree of mills automation and existing data reserves are great advantages for digital development. Matti pointed out that Metsä Group should aim to harmonize its data further so that the data could be transferred seamlessly between Metsä Group’s and partner’s systems. Matti noted that there is still a lot of cross-organizational development areas that have to be taken into account to thrive in digitalization. He emphasized that from its nature, digitalization is a cross-organizational challenge:

“We are thinking about how we can take "digi" to our daily activities and duties. Everything is affecting everything in the mill”

This cross-organizational digitalization challenge is not easy task to handle. Industry companies need digitalization help from external partners. Thus, Matti devoted the rest of his presentation by pinpointing digitalization areas, ideas, and needs of the industry companies which partners could respond to. These were related to e.g: digitalization way of work, transformation of data to information and actions, use of AI and Machine learning, analytics, and digitalization competences.



SME presentations: Macon Oy, Hiottu Oy, M-Solutions Oy, Optimation AB, Dataductus AB & Mobilaris AB

After the industry presentations, six SMEs that offer solutions for industry digitalization gave business presentations. The presentations began with Finnish SMEs presentations. Mikko Ahokas from Macon Oy started. Macon Oy focuses on helping companies in bio-economy and circular economy business challenges and opportunities. Satu Lapinlampi from Hiottu Oy continued by introducing Hiottu’s machine vision solutions and their productivity improvement opportunities for the industry. Finally, Janne Montonen from M-Solutions Oy presented M-Solutions M-IDIS® industry data integration system which offers a scalable data platform for the industry’s digitalization needs.

After a short break, the presentations were continued by Swedish SMEs. Olle Nilsson from Optimation AB started. Optimation AB focuses on the process industry’s needs for qualified services and solutions in control system technology and simulation. Annacarin Falkman from Dataductus AB continued by higlighting pains, gains and risks which industry companies face related to digitalization and pinpointed how software engineering consultancy company like Data Ductus could help to face them. Finally, Viktor Linde from Mobilaris AB gave an presentation about their decision support solutions for industry needs.


Closing remarks

The event day continued with business to business matchmaking meetings, where SMEs and industry companies held discussions on cooperation opportunities.

Overall, Bio&Forest crossborder event met expectations. Online broadcast was successful, presentations were on the spot and the event gathered a lot of attendees. Now that the digital format of DigiProcess events is implemented successfully, we can continue planning the future crossborder events in the fields of steel, mining, and energy with high spirit. We hope to see you there!

On the behalf of DigiProcess-Interreg Nord project, we want to thank all companies, attendees and other co-operation partners who made this event possible!


Main contact and inquiries:

Peetu Virkkala, DigiProcess Project Researcher, University of Oulu, +358 45 644 3202,

Jani Sipola, DigiProcess Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Science, +358 50 316 7677,

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