UPM Plywood, Finnish furniture manufacturer Isku, sign partnership agreement to convert Isku's operations in Lahti to thermo-formable UPM Grada Wood; partners expect conversion to halve manufacturing time of form pressed components

LAHTI, Finland , March 19, 2014 (press release) – UPM Plywood and Finnish furniture manufacturer Isku have signed a partnership agreement on Finnish thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material and WISA birch plywood. Along with the agreement, Isku converts all of its Lahti mill’s form press production to UPM Grada. Moving to Grada technology enables Isku to cut the manufacturing time of form pressed components to half compared to traditional manufacturing method.

”In order to succeed in international competition, top-class design is a must as well as taking a front runner position in applying new materials and techniques. Co-operation with UPM opens us new opportunities to innovative design while fulfilling all quality and environmental criteria we have set to our products” says Arto Tiitinen, CEO of Isku. ”Being made in Finland is an important value to Isku. Thus, a material made in Jyväskylä in Finland, is a perfect choice for us”.

UPM Grada is a thermo-formable wood material made of Finnish birch based on UPM’s patent pending composite technology helping and improving the form pressing process. Grada technology revitalises the forming of wood with heat and pressure and opens up new opportunities for designs not achievable with traditional methods. UPM Grada’s unique forming properties enable high quality and ecological designs which are also visually appealing.

”We are delighted to partner with Isku and to help them in improving their production efficiency. At the same time Isku’s products’ sustainability will improve as UPM Grada contributes to material efficiency and helps to reduce material waste. Products made of UPM Grada are also safe in use as the material is free from harmful compounds”, says Mika Sillanpää, Executive Vice President of UPM Plywood.


Isku is a Finnish family owned company established in 1928 in the city of Lahti. The company employs about 800 persons, of which, about 450 in Lahti. Isku designs, manufactures and markets furniture and comprehensive interior solutions for homes, schools, offices and public spaces. In addition to wide domestic Isku store network, Isku operates in Scandinavia, Baltics, Russia and the Middle-East.

Isku’s own manufacturing facilities are located in Lahti. Isku follows ISO 9001 quality standards and develops actively ecological production methods. Isku was awarded ISO 14001 environmental certificate as the first company in the industry and today all production is PEFC certified. Thus, all wood used in the production comes from sustainably and responsibly managed forests and the raw material’s chain of custody is known. www.isku.fi

Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 21,000 people and its annual sales are approximately € 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

UPM Plywood manufactures high-quality WISA® plywood and veneer products mainly for construction and transport industries and the new thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material for the form pressing industry. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2013 were EUR 429 million and it has about 2,300 employees. UPM Plywood has six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland, and plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. www.wisaplywood.com, www.upmgrada.com 

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