Bespoke plywood solutions for vans
There is nothing new about using plywood or wood in cars and especially vans. However, many may be surprised to learn that wood-based materials are used in the automotive industry. Koskisen birch plywood has also been used for van linings for ages.
In 2010, Koskisen launched the KORE range in order to provide its European customers with ready-machined and ready-to-install birch plywood panels for use as vans’ floor, wall and wheel-well liners. There are KORE floor and wall liner sets available for all of the most common van models, and the sets include all the required fixings.
“We have worked hard to make the sets’ installation easy, and based on customer feedback, we have succeeded,” says KORE Business Manager Mikko Tarula.
KORE initially required a fairly substantial amount of R&D work for Koskisen to be able to start manufacturing solutions that meet customers’ requirements. The solutions and materials used in vans vary slightly from country to country, so different configurations had to be created for different markets.
“Positive and constructive feedback from our customers helped our R&D team to find the proven solutions which we have been able to adapt for other uses too,” Tarula adds.
A key objective for the KORE concept is to focus on further development of the products and solutions in order to find the most efficient options for the products in terms of both time and costs. In fact many of the fixings and supplementary materials have been developed by Koskisen’s KORE team.
Wood-based products with a small carbon footprint
Finnish birch plywood is renowned for its quality and highly valued among customers. Selling wood-based materials especially to customers in the automotive industry is challenging, since there is tight competition from oil-based products (plastics). Birch plywood offers, among other benefits, excellent fixing strength. Shelf and drawer systems, for example, can be reliably fixed to the plywood flooring. It also has sufficient wear and impact resistance and good dimensional stability, i.e. it does not expand or shrink with changes in temperature.
Besides, wood-based products are the ecological choice. Koskisen has calculated the carbon footprint caused by harvesting and the production process. It turned out to be very competitive when compared with alternative materials due to the use of renewable material in the production processes.
“It’s fair to say that the concept is now practically ready. Naturally we will continue our R&D work and there will be new products, but the fundamentals are in place. We have a great team and support from our sales offices. We see our varied offering as an opportunity, as we are able to offer the same raw material in a more or less processed form, depending on the customer’s needs. In future, we hope to be able to focus more on new types of collaboration with existing customers,” says Riikka Kirvesniemi, KORE Sales Manager for German-speaking areas.