Sawn wood piled at sawmill

Renovation Project for the Kuhmo Sawmill

AFRY has provided engineering and consulting services to the Finnish company Kuhmo Oy for the renovation project of the sawmill located in Kuhmo, Finland

The construction of the new saw line is part of Kuhmo Oy's extensive investment program, which also includes a new debarking unit, saw feed, packaging facility, and two new kiln dryers.

After the completion of the investment program, Kuhmo Oy's production capacity will increase from 400,000 to 600,000 cubic meters of sawn timber per year. The raw material for the new saw line will be sourced from the sawmill company's current procurement area in Kainuu and the northern parts of North Karelia.

AFRY has acted as the engineering partner for Kuhmo Oy and provided services for the construction of the saw line, including layout, HVAC, machinery safety, and infrastructure design, as well as project management services. The layout engineering phase started in the latter half of 2021. The intensive engineering phase concluded at the end of 2022. Construction work began in the second half of 2022, and the first log was sawn on the new saw line on August 2, 2023.

Digital modeling was utilized in the project

Digital modeling was utilized in the project's various phases. The modeling was based on 3D scanning data obtained from the existing facility, generated through laser scanning and aerial photogrammetry. The 3D models of different design disciplines were integrated into a factory model, which served as a valuable tool for communication with various stakeholders throughout the project. For example, the mill's operational and maintenance staff were able to examine the future facility through the factory model. Later modifications during the facility's operation can be designed by utilising the factory model.

"In this project, the challenges included integrating different subprocesses and connecting them to existing processes. The nature of handling sawn timber and by-products required expertise, especially in the design of building compartmenting. This also had implications for layout design, structural design, and building services engineering. Safety engineering of the interfaces between the equipment was also a challenging aspect. Good collaboration between different engineering disciplines and with authorities ensured effective solutions," stated Jeremias Heikkilä from AFRY, who served as the project's engineer and project manager.

New saw line in Kuhmo Finland
New saw line. Photo by J. Heikkilä/AFRY

AFRY's Expert Services from "One Source"

AFRY's service model, where the client receives services from multiple experts and design disciplines from a single partner, has streamlined the implementation of the project. Special praise has been received for the utilization of 3D models in the layout design of the factory.

We have been very satisfied with the cooperation with AFRY in this renovation project. Integrating multiple equipment suppliers and engineering disciplines into the same 3D model has allowed for the coordination of the disciplines and equipment deliveries during the detailed engineering phase, making project management much smoother.

- Tommi Ruha, CEO of Kuhmo Oy

Project Details:

Project: Main Saw Line Renovation
Client: Kuhmo Oy
Location: Kuhmo, Finland
Schedule: 2021-2023

Services Provided by AFRY:

  • Owner's Engineering Services: scheduling, construction management, procurement, installation supervision, documentation
  • Layout Engineering
  • Infrastructure Design
  • Architectural Design
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Engineering
  • Building Electrical Systems
  • Building Automation
  • Expert Services
    • Fire Safety Assessment
    • Machinery Safety
    • ATEX Inspection
Pine Forest in Finland

About the Client:

Kuhmo Oy is an internationally operating sawmill company with its roots in the forests of Kainuu. The company delivers defect-free sawn timber, cut to the customer's dimensions, dried to the customer's desired moisture content, sorted, and delivered on time. The new saw line incorporates the best available automation and imaging technology. The renovation of the main saw line is a significant step in modernizing the company's production facilities.

Wood is a natural, renewable, and sustainable raw material with unique material properties.

Renewably and responsibly produced wood is the only building material in line with sustainable development. The use of wood as a raw material is increasing in the construction industry, as companies are encouraged to adopt more sustainable building methods to reduce high CO2 emissions.

Wood is a fully recyclable building material, and it sequesters carbon dioxide throughout the entire life cycle of a building. Forests in Finland are managed in accordance with sustainable development, and the amount of forest is continuously growing. AFRY has extensive experience in the entire value chain of the wood processing industry.

Forests provide various services, such as recreational opportunities