Olvi is a popular Finnish beverage company whose story began in 1878, when Master Brewer William Gideon Åberg and his wife Onni founded a brewery in Iisalmi. Olvi creates positive and enjoyable beverage experiences and has remained in independent Finnish ownership throughout its history.

Roots in the heart of Upper Savonia

The brewery milieu in Iisalmi on the shores of Porovesi, in the heart of Upper Savonia (Ylä-Savo), is impressive with its factory buildings and museums. “We are Finns and want to be Finns,” summarises Production Director Lauri Multanen.

According to Multanen, Olvi is a combination of traditions, and the company lives and operates according to consumer desires. Olvi is a listed company, but at the same time its family business character can be seen and felt in everything it does.

The OLVI Foundation was founded in 1955 and awards almost two million euros a year to social projects. “The OLVI Foundation supports Finnish society through what Olvi achieves,” Multanen explains.

LEAN and responsible operations

Olvi focuses on both efficiency and quality. In accordance with LEAN principles, the facilities and processes have been thought out to the last detail. Continuous improvement is an integral part of the LEAN philosophy, and work to achieve this is done all the time, Multanen confirms.

Safety is a key component in the company’s responsible operations. Hannu Fränti, Production Technician and Health and Safety Manager at Olvi, is an expert in the company’s culture of safety. “Do not fumble or touch” is one of Olvi’s own slogans that encapsulates the company’s occupational safety approach. Everything in the production facilities is arranged in a straightforward and sensible manner. Olvi also encourages employee initiatives related to safety, environmental, quality and waste issues.

Hannu Fränti, Production Technician and Health and Safety Manager at Olvi, with Marko Ilvonen, Regional Manager for Europress.

From waste centres to recycling centres

Efficiency and environmental issues are also strongly related to responsibility. Fränti and Multanen are proud of the overall responsibility at Olvi. “What we have done with Europress is also connected to responsibility,” Multanen illustrates.

Europress has supplied waste management solutions that have helped make Olvi’s waste management more efficient, as a result of which its waste centres have become recycling centres. Everything that can be recycled is recycled. At present, Olvi’s recycling rate is 63%, the recovery rate is exactly 100% and the landfill waste percentage is absolutely zero. This reflects the company’s responsibility and how effective it is. In addition to utilising valuable recycled materials, Olvi also relies on Finnish renewable energy.

Europress waste balers and waste compactors operate seamlessly as an extension of Olvi’s production.

140 – 40

Olvi has a history of 140 years, while Europress has more than 40 years behind it, and the two companies have worked together already for a while. At Olvi’s recycling centres, several Europress waste management equipment takes care of efficiently collecting materials: three H&G screw compactors for cardboard, PET bottles and aluminium cans, plus CombiMax compactors for energy fractions. In addition, Balex-30 waste balers are used to bale plastic throughout the production facilities. The efficient operation of the equipment is very important, as is the availability of the equipment at all times.

“Europress equipment is an extension of our production. If something happens, it will be visible immediately,” says Fränti.

Europress equipment has not only enabled a cultural change from waste centres to recycling centres, they have also worked seamlessly as an extension of Olvi’s production.

According to Fränti, the introduction of the latest Europress equipment went very smoothly. Installations and commissioning were performed on the same day. These units are also equipped with Europress SMART, which enables the equipment itself to automatically request emptying when full.

“There is no need to intervene in emptying,” Fränti sums up. “Robust equipment,” Multanen adds, describing the Europress units. In addition to their functionality, Fränti and Multanen have been impressed by the quality of maintenance. Maintenance has been regular, and a service technician is available in the Iisalmi area if necessary.

Olvi has successfully applied the LEAN management philosophy in business control and development. Olvi’s determined work was recognised through the second prize in the annual national competition “LEAN work of the year 2016” arranged by the Lean Association of Finland.