Head of LVL Process

Juho Höglund

"Wood shouldn't need to be burned at all; the raw material should be able to be used entirely."

LVL globalizes Juho's perspective on cultures and work style

Raute's Head of LVL Process, Juho Höglund's career in mechanical wood processing didn't really come as a surprise to anyone. "Mechanical wood processing is sort of a family legacy for us. My father was a forest engineer, and my grandfather was a plywood mill manager." At the same time, machines and mechanics have always intrigued him. "I've been a Lego engineer since I was little and enjoyed playing around with all sorts of machines," Juho says with a smile.

For Juho, the path to Raute followed a typical route to finns, through summer jobs. "While studying mechanical engineering at Lappeenranta University of Technology, a friend of mine recommended applying for a summer job at Raute. At that point, I basically knew nothing about Raute." Later on, Juho completed both his bachelor's and master's theses at Raute, and a permanent employment contract was signed right after graduation. "During the first few years, I worked as a mechanical designer and the lead designer for mechanics, until I transitioned to working with plywood lay-up and pressing technologies. A few years down the line, I took on the role of a product manager in that same team."

Hannu Sinko (Left) and Juho Höglund (Right) at Nastola, Finland

Around the time of 2015, Raute made several significant LVL mill deals, and consequently, the LVL team led by Hannu Sinko (Head of LVL Process) needed more reinforcements. With lay-up and pressing being crucial parts of LVL production, it was natural for Juho to join Hannu's team. "Since then, I've been working exclusively with LVL. Hannu's role as a mentor of mine is invaluable. I've learned pretty much everything about LVL and the related manufacturing technologies from him."

LVL has since taken Juho around the world, broadening his perspective on different cultures and ways of working. "Raute's customers' factories are often located outside major city centers, allowing me to see and experience the authentic everyday lives of people."

LVL – The best engineered wood product

In LVL, Juho is primarily captivated by the technical characteristics of the product. "As an engineered wood product, LVL is the best possible – it's easy to appreciate a well-engineered product. Additionally, an LVL factory is an impressive entity. It's fascinating that we've been able to automate nearly the entire production process."

However, not everything has been seen yet, and there is much development ahead. "Even though the level of automation has increased, and economies of scale are emphasized in new factories, LVL as a product is quite similar to how it was in the 80s when production began. I look forward to seeing innovations related to LVL itself, and I believe these innovations will also drive the advancement of LVL manufacturing technologies."

Juho emphasizes that naturally, needs and markets vary by continent. Based on these factors, there's a requirement for technology providers to be flexible. "Especially new companies entering the field of LVL manufacturing need support from technology partners to ensure their diverse needs can be fulfilled in the best possible way."

Challenging raw material (veneer), brings its own set of challenges to the equation. "Technological development is crucial to be able to process veneer in the best way possible around the world," Juho emphasizes. He also highlights that understanding wood as a raw material is an essential part of technological development. "You need to get on-site and see how veneer is processed into LVL. This is something you can never learn behind the office desk."

Future of LVL

Juho sees that one of the biggest goals is to further increase the utilization rate of the processed raw material. "Wood shouldn't need to be burned at all; the raw material should be able to be used entirely." Similarly, Juho hopes that the trend of wooden building continues, and with it, new and new applications for LVL are discovered. "In a way, our work is like exploration. The product and production process are constantly being developed. It is not always easy, but when breakthroughs are achieved, it is extremely rewarding."



Started at Raute 2013

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