UPM Grada

UPM Grada ® New Thermoformable Wood Material

UPM Grada is a new thermoformable wood material for the form pressing industry. 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.

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Efficiency made easy

Efficiency Made Easy

UPM Grada revolutionises form pressing, cuts labour costs and enhances production efficiency easier than ever before. UPM Grada is an efficient solution for manufacturers looking for ecologically sustainable business.

Safe, durable and ecological

Safe, Durable, Ecological

UPM Grada material is safe to use and it has a long life in use, after which it can be safely recycled or burned as a carbon source for energy.

News

New UPM Grada 2000 Makes Furniture Manufacturer’s Processes Even More Efficient

New UPM Grada 2000 Makes Furniture Manufacturer’s Processes Even More Efficient 26 Jun 2014

UPM has further developed the Grada technology, which enables forming of wood with heat and pressure. UPM Grada 2000, the new member in the product family, requires only 95ºC forming temperature and consequently further improves the form pressing process efficiency and saves energy simultaneously.

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ACP school chairs

New Sustainable Design Possibilities

If you can create inspiring designs with a zero or even negative CO2 balance and without risk of toxic compounds, would you like to create something new - something with additional value for all of us?

The new UPM Grada wood material is a natural, renewable and sustainable material - and the number one material choice for future designers. The recyclable wood in UPM Grada panels is FSC or PEFC certified and the glue line does not contain added formaldehyde or other harmful compounds.

UPM Grada offers inspiring possibilities for creating designs that have not been feasible before:

ACP school chairs

Form pressing revolution: new, easy and efficient!

Would you be interested in cutting your labour cost to half while increasing quality to a new level in a sustainable way?

With UPM Grada thermoformable wood material and a new way of working your form pressing operations will become leaner and more efficient. The new technology enables you to even halve your form pressing labour costs and take the product quality to a new level.

Grada technology means you can reduce your environmental impact by using this high quality recyclable wood material with a negative CO2 balance and without any harmful compounds to damage health or the environment.

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UPM Grada panel products

UPM Grada panel products

The UPM Grada panels are made solely from rotary cut birch veneers bonded together in a cross bonded construction. UPM Grada panels are available in full size or cut-to-size panels and CNC machined preforms.

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UPM Grada Foil products

The surface material (e.g. laminate, veneer) on the UPM Grada panel can be bonded with UPM Grada Foil adhesive foils under heat and pressure. Minimum gluing temperature is 130°C and typical pressure 0.5N/mm2. UPM Grada Foil adhesives do not contain any formaldehyde.

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ACP school chairs

Applications

The design process and prototyping can also be fun and easy with UPM Grada® because of the convenient way of handling the material – heat and mould over and over again until you get the exact shape you want!

The end product design process benefits from the easy handling of the material which can lead to new possibilities in creating for example thinner and lighter furniture structures with excellent strength properties. The new technology offers many opportunities for creating designs that have not been cost efficient with the traditional technology.

UPM Grada Sales

UPM Grada Sales

  • Niemenkatu 16
  • P.O. Box 203
  • FI-15141 Lahti
  • Finland
  • Tel +358 204 15 113
  • Fax +358 204 15 112
  • info@upmgrada.com

About Us

UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. We create value from renewable and recyclable materials.
UPM consists of six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper ENA (Europe and North America) and UPM Plywood.

In 2013, UPM's sales exceeded € 10 billion. UPM is present in 65 countries and has production plants in 14 countries. The company employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide. UPM shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.

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

Contacts

If you have any questions or feedback about this site, or would like some more infotrmation about us or our products, please use the form below.

UPM Plywood

  • Niemenkatu 16
  • P.O. Box 203
  • FI-15141 Lahti
  • Tel. +358 204 15 113
  • Fax +358 204 15 112

Efficiency Made Easy

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Heat – Press – Cool

UPM Grada wood panel only needs to be heated, formed and cooled. The panel can be surfaced before forming with different materials e.g. laminate, veneer or textile. Heating and forming can also be applied to a selected part of the board, enabling even very large objects to be created affordably.

Heat: The ready-made UPM Grada wood panel must be heated to 130°C throughout the panel to enable forming. A heated flat press is the most efficient heating method. Before heating, lay-up surfaces and cut-to-size or CNC machine the panel to the desired shape.

Press: It is recommended that a mould and pressure are used in forming the wood panel. In the Grada process the mould needs to be cool. The mould temperature should be under 30°C for efficient processing. The hot wood panel is transferred to be formed immediately after reaching the forming temperature at 130°C.

Cool: The thermoformable wood panel cools simultaneously when forming. The formed component needs to be cooled to fewer than 80°C to keep its shape. After cooling the component can be finished, if needed.

Safe, Durable, Ecological

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Safe

UPM Grada is a safe material, which contains no harmful compounds. Because the material does not contain any added formaldehyde or volatile organic content it is ideal for public and private spaces.

Durable

UPM Grada has been manufactured using a new revolutionary adhesive film which makes products using this wood material strong, of high quality and impact resistant. Thanks to materials durable structure, products made of UPM Grada will make a reliable and long-lasting partner in day-to-day life.

Ecological

UPM Grada is an ecological choice. It is manufactured using PEFC or FSC certified raw materials and following the best practices for sustainable and responsible forestry. UPM Grada material stores CO2 and the products made of the material can be safely recycled or burned at the end of their lifecycle.

Carbon Footprint Profile » (PDF)
Plywood Profile » (PDF)
Biofore in Ecodesign »

For Businesses

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The wood forming industry, like any other manufacturing sectors in Europe, is continuously looking to increase global competitiveness in the challenging market conditions. This industry sector is relatively labour intensive in comparison with many other manufacturing industries and faces additional pressures from low wage economies such as China and some other Asian countries. European labour costs are the highest globally and are rising rapidly.

According to our extensive research and development to aiming to reduce the pressure in this industry the ready-made UPM Grada panel is an efficient solution and an inspiring way to make form pressed components without additional fingerprints.

UPM is the leading plywood producer in Europe and we have extensive competence in automated veneer handling, high quality and efficient production. With the new Grada technology, manufacturers are able to take actions that will ensure the wood forming industry’s long term success globally, especially in Europe.

CNC machine, water and laser cut UPM Grada panel before forming

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Variable thicknesses in designs can be created cost effectively

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Light weight structures can be created easily

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UPM Grada panel surfaces can be pre-processed before forming

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UPM Grada panel products

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The UPM Grada panels are made solely from rotary cut birch veneers bonded together in a cross bonded construction. UPM Grada panels are available in full size or cut-to-size panels and CNC machined preforms.

UPM Grada panel standard thicknesses and weights:

Thicknesses and weights

Nominal thickness Thickness (mm) Weight (kg/m2)
(mm) Min Max abt
4.5 3.7 4.7 2.6
7 6.7 7.7 4.5
10 9.7 10.7 6.5
13 12.5 13.5 8.5

Other thicknesses are available for special applications. Availability and production is based on mutual agreement with customers.

The UPM Grada panel is not a face grade product for the furniture industry. The final surface e.g. veneer or laminate for the end product is selected and applied by the customer.

Dimensions

Quality and surfaces

Veneer sheets are bonded together with weather resistant bonding (EN 314-2/class 3). Face veneer quality in standard panels complies with EN 635, Quality III (BB) classification. The UPM Grada panel is available with adhesive foil surfaces for special purposes.

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UPM Grada Foil products

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The surface material (e.g. laminate, veneer) on the UPM Grada panel can be bonded with UPM Grada Foil adhesive foils under heat and pressure. Minimum gluing temperature is 130°C and typical pressure 0.5N/mm2. UPM Grada Foil adhesives do not contain any formaldehyde.

UPM Grada Foil adhesive films

Product Type and Dimensions
Core Roll, 1280 or 1560 mm width
  Sheets in roll, 1560 x 3120 mm
Top Roll, 1280 or 1560 mm width
  Sheets in roll, 500 x 500 mm
  Sheets in roll, 500 x 1000 mm
Top+ Roll, 1280 or 1560 mm width
  Sheets in roll, 1560 x 3120 mm

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UPM's new formable plywood bends easily to many end uses

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(UPM, Lahti, 27 January 2011 at 12:00 EET) UPM Plywood has developed a new way to manufacture layered composites. The first application of the new technology is formable plywood which will be introduced at the furniture industry's international Interzum trade fair in Cologne, Germany on 25-28 May 2011.

The core of the new technology is a special adhesive film which allows the plywood to be formed after manufacturing. Formable plywood can be used to make bent wooden structures for example for furniture easily and effectively. Owing to the new adhesive technology, the products will also be stronger and more stable. UPM has applied for patents for the technology and its applications.

The forming process starts by heating the plywood boards after which they can be bent to the desired shape. As the plywood cools down, it will remain in the given shape and maintain its original strength properties.

The Finnish furniture manufacturer Isku will be the first to take formable plywood into use in mass production. The company has also been a partner for UPM in applying the new technology to furniture manufacturing. "By using the formable plywood instead of traditional form pressing technology, we can simplify and enhance our production and make stronger and more durable products easier than before. Easy formability of the plywood allows furniture designers to explore whole new opportunities. The stability and accurate formability of the new plywood will also decrease production loss significantly", says Kari Soljamo, Product Development Director at Isku.

The new adhesive bonds not only wood but many minerals (rocks, ceramics etc.), glass, metals, textiles, paper and cardboard. Materials can also be combined to create multi-material composites. However, the uniqueness of the technology is best seen when bonding together flexible materials - especially wood veneer, as in plywood.

Formable plywood is very well suited for many end uses such as furniture and various industrial applications. Applying the technology to other materials will broaden the end use field still further. "Formability allows plywood to enter many new end use areas were superior strength to weight ratio is needed. It also diversifies the usage of plywood in many existing end uses", says Kaido Kukk, Director, New Business Development at UPM Plywood.

Formable plywood will be introduced at the furniture industry's international Interzum trade fair in Cologne, Germany on 25-28 May 2011. UPM's stand number is C-080 in hall 5.1.

For further information please contact:

UPM's new composite technology named as Grada

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(UPM, Lahti, 4 April 2011 at 12:00 EET) UPM announced in January a new technology to manufacture layered composites. Products and services, which are based on the new technology, will form a new UPM Grada product family. The first product group to be launched under the UPM Grada family - formable plywood - will be called UPM Grada Plywood.

WISA®, the leading trademark of high quality special plywood and veneer products, will remain as the trademark of UPM's traditional plywood and veneer products.

Plywood products based on the new technology have been located under the new trademark as their technical capabilities are fundamentally different from those of traditional plywood. The end use areas of formable plywood are also significantly more versatile. In the future, many of them may also be offered other UPM Grada products and services based on other raw materials than wood.

Premiere at the Interzum fair

The first member of the UPM Grada product family - UPM Grada Plywood - will be introduced at furniture industry's international Interzum trade fair in Cologne, Germany on 25-28 May 2011. UPM's stand number is C-080 in hall 5.1.

Efficiency made easy - UPM Grada Plywood premiers at the Interzum

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(UPM Plywood, Lahti, 2 May 2011 at 10:00) UPM's new ground-breaking UPM Grada Plywood will be introduced to the furniture industry at the Interzum trade fair in Cologne, Germany, 25-28 May 2011 (stand C-080 in hall 5.1). UPM Grada Plywood enables furniture manufacturers to revolutionize their form pressing supply chain, cut costs and to enhance production efficiency easier than ever before.

UPM Grada Plywood is based on UPM's patent pending Grada composite technology which enables plywood to be formed after manufacturing. Whereas the current form pressing process contains much labour intensive and low value phases, UPM Grada Plywood only needs to be heated, formed and cooled. Heating and forming can also be applied to a selected part of the board, enabling even very large objects to be formed affordably. Furthermore, form pressing with UPM Grada Plywood can be fully automated making significant efficiency improvements easy to achieve.

Due to the special adhesive used in UPM Grada Plywood, components made of it are stronger and more stable than traditional form pressed components. UPM Grada Plywood's glue line is highly homogenous and behaves in a uniform way on every press. As a result, variation between formed components is minimized. This, together with higher overall strength, will reduce production rejects and quality claims dramatically.

Furniture made of UPM Grada Plywood has major benefits also to the end users. The adhesive is free from formaldehyde and other harmful compounds. This makes UPM Grada Plywood particularly suitable to conform to ever growing demand for safer furniture. As the furniture is also stronger, their durability in hard wearing uses is better, reducing need for maintenance and renewal. UPM Grada Plywood is manufactured of certified wood raw material, ensuring that sustainable forest management and harvesting practices have been followed. The material can also be safely recycled or used as a carbon neutral source of energy at the end of life.

UPM at the Interzum

UPM's stand at the Interzum is C-080 in hall 5.1. During the fair, UPM will showcase - in practice - how easy form pressing is with UPM Grada Plywood. There is a fully functional form press at the stand manufacturing form pressed giveaways for the stand visitors. In addition to stand activities, UPM will give a presentation titled "The Magic in Plywood" at the Speakers' Corner in hall 5.1 on 25 May, 2011.

Furniture at the UPM stand features new innovative design demonstrating the exceptional capabilities of UPM Grada Plywood. The meeting room chairs - courtesy of Isku - feature the seat and armrests made from one single piece of UPM Grada Plywood. The chairs have been designed by the awarded Finnish designer Mikko Laakkonen as a concept of form pressed furniture which has been impossible to make affordably until now.

In addition to UPM Grada Plywood, UPM will also have its WISA-Structural veneer and WISA-Parquet veneer presented at the fair.

For further information please contact:

Efficiency made easy - UPM Grada Plywood premiers at the Interzum

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(UPM Plywood, Lahti, 14 Sep 2011 at 11:00) UPM Grada Plywood's unique formability and strength inspire young design students. A group of Finnish and Japanese students designed a new concept for the Finnish maternity package using UPM Grada Plywood. For more information about the project and the design process, please visit the project website at www.tupafinland.com

UPM participates in Aalto campaign

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(UPM Plywood, Lahti, 8 Dec 2011 at 11:00) Two Finnish design houses, Vepsäläinen and Artek, together with Furniture Factory Korhonen and UPM have launched a new Aalto chair called "Nousukausituoli" to boost the economic climate in Finland. The backrest of the chair is made of UPM Grada Plywood.

The Nousukausituoli chair ("The economic boom chair") is Alvar Aalto's chair model 66, designed in 1935. All the blue chairs sold during the campaign have been numbered and are sold as collector's items. The backrest of the chair is manufactured using UPM's new Grada technology. "UPM Grada Plywood's, safety, durability and ecological features, are perfect for the backrest material of the classic chair. In addition, the formability of plywood enables a more cost effective form pressing process", explains UPM Grada's sales manager Sirkku Heinonen.

With this campaign Artek and Vepsäläinen hope to inspire consumers to invest in domestic production and competence during these times of economic turmoil. Design house Artek and furniture retailer Vepsäläinen, together with UPM as raw material supplier and Furniture Factory Korhonen as the traditional manufacturer of Aalto furniture, have made this exceptional campaign a reality through intense co-operation. "In the best case scenario, the consumer's decision may cause a reaction that really boosts the economy", says Mirkku Kullberg, the CEO of Artek, in the Vepsäläinen press release.

A limited edition of the Nousukausi chair will be sold at Vepsäläinen furniture stores in Finland starting December 5th for the price of 195 euro.

One Nordic Company Rethinks Furniture Business

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One Nordic Company is a new furniture brand that bridges the gap between high-end design and flat pack furniture with clever digital and design solutions. Online thinking is the core of the brand, with their online store the main distribution channel. One Nordic Company focuses on interpreting Nordic designs in its collection, which customers can also influence by giving feedback.

One Nordic Company pre-launched its Bento chair and table in the design studio Form Us With Love in February during Stockholm Design Week. A new approach was also applied to the selection of materials. UPM’s Grada™ technology, which allows the heating and bending of plywood panels in simple steps, was used to make the prototypes of the Bento furniture presented in Stockholm.

Stefan Mahlberg, the carpenter who made the table and chair showcased during Design Week, was very impressed by UPM’s new formable material, UPM Grada Plywood, especially how perfectly it suited easy and quick prototyping.

“Grada Plywood enables a totally new way of form pressing. With Grada, the steps are simple. The panel is cut to the desired shape, heated and formed in a press and - voilà, the chair structure is ready. No time is wasted in waiting for the wet glue to dry,” Stefan explained. “I have experimented positively with Grada material in couple of projects and already it feels difficult to go back to form pressing in the traditional way.”

Find out more www.onenordic.com

UPM Grada on a striking role in Helsinki Airport's new Suvanto lounges

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UPM, Finavia, Martela, Fortum, Karelia-Upofloor and Clear Channel have created a lounge concept, called Suvanto, at Helsinki Airport. Suvanto is an oasis comprising work and rest locations, where people can work and relax. Suvanto also provides recharging stations for different electronic devices.

The Suvanto concept has been created as a joint World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project by UPM Plywood and partner companies. It will be a visible part of the Design Capital Year offering at Helsinki Airport all the way to 2013. A total of three Suvanto lounges will be built at the airport.

Suvanto furniture has been designed by Martela's Main Designer Pekka Toivola in cooperation with Interior Decoration Architect Iiro Viljanen. A plywood arc, which is made from UPM's formable UPM Grada Plywood and "protects" the person using the chair, is the most striking feature of the furniture. "Implementing form-pressed pieces of this size by traditional means would be very expensive. However, the shaping features of the UPM Grada Plywood enabled this at a feasible cost," says Kaido Kukk, Development Director at UPM Plywood.

UPM Grada Plywood is based on UPM’s patent pending Grada composite technology which enables plywood to be formed after manufacturing. Whereas the traditional form pressing process contains much labour intensive phases, UPM Grada Plywood only needs to be heated, formed and cooled. Due to the special adhesive used in UPM Grada Plywood, components made of it are stronger and more stable than traditional form pressed components.

UPM Grada Plywood is particularly suitable to conform to ever growing demand for safer furniture. The adhesive of plywood is free from formaldehyde and other harmful compounds. As the furniture is also stronger, their durability in hard wearing uses is better, reducing need for maintenance and renewal.

UPM Grada Plywood is manufactured of certified wood raw material, ensuring that sustainable forest management and harvesting practices have been followed. The material can also be safely recycled or used as a carbon neutral source of energy at the end of life.

As a frontrunner of bio and forest industry UPM takes part in design by developing new sustainable materials and businesses, which inspires architects and designers. UPM’s Plywood products are also impressively displayed also in the unique meeting place of WDC Helsinki, in Pavilion, which is a result from a collaboration between UPM, Aalto University, Design Museum, Museum of Finnish Architecture and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 foundation.

Finavia's press release and pictures of Suvanto lounges:

Finavia press release
Suvanto lounge picture gallery

Together with UPM, Isku awards new talent at St. Petersburg Design Week

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Finnish and Russian designers came together at St. Petersburg Design Week “Scandinavian Design” event last week in May. Five talented young students from St. Petersburg Academy were awarded for their designs in the “Inspiring Meeting” -competition.

More than 20 designs participated in the competition launched in the beginning of this year by the Finnish furniture manufacturer Isku in cooperation with UPM and St. Petersburg Academy. The goal of the “Inspiring Meeting” was to find a fresh look for business meetings and environments.

The material used in the designs is UPM’s formable material UPM Grada.

In the winning design – Array, pieces of bended UPM Grada material builds the backrest of the chair similar to the technique in building wooden boats. In Array, modern design and tradition were successfully combined to a design which has all the ingredients of becoming a classic. Isku has been the first to take UPM Grada Plywood into use in mass production and has been a trendsetter with designer Mikko Laakkonen’s Kaava-chair. Isku hopes to get the winning design into production as a part of its collection.

Find out more www.isku.fi and www.isku.com

Products made of UPM Grada® successful in Slow Wood 2012 design competition

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Designers Pasi Kärkkäinen and Marius Temming have won first prize for their Pumpa stool in the Slow Wood 2012 awards, a Finnish design competition focusing on innovative wood products. The results of the competition were announced on 14 November in Lahti, during an international design industry event called OLO.MUOTO’12.

The inspiration for the winning stool was a pumpkin with eight rounded sides forming the legs of the stool. The Pumpa stool is made from UPM Grada which is UPM’s new thermoformable wood material. This creative and technically challenging shape was only possible using Grada technology rather than with traditional form pressing methods.

“I got familiar with UPM Grada when finalising my diploma work. As Marius and I had an idea on utilising the compressed air in a balloon in the manufacturing process to achieve the shape, UPM Grada was the only material that could be used. Now we are looking for a manufacturing and commercial company to take the stool to the international market. The Milan furniture fair would be the perfect forum to present the winning piece,” concluded Pasi Kärkkäinen.

Panu Turunen’s North door design won third prize in the competition and this also utilises UPM Grada. The unique possibilities of UPM Grada material were again realised in this winning design as lighting is hidden under the curved door panel, emphasising the vibrant wooden surface.

“This design is the first example of the possibilities of UPM Grada. By utilising the material and the new manufacturing process, Skaala can smoothly build a wide commercial product family around the winning North door design. The material lends itself perfectly to curved acoustic panels as well appealing ceiling and wall interiors,” says door designer and window and door manufacturer Skaala’s design manager Panu Turunen.

“The designers had great insight in implementing these exciting designs with UPM Grada. We are happy that the possibilities of the new material are realised in beautiful products and also in new and efficient manufacturing processes,” said Mikko Tilli, the Manager responsible for UPM Grada.

UPM Grada is a new thermoformable wood material for the form pressing industry. Grada technology renews the forming of wood with heat and pressure and opens up new opportunities for designs not achievable with traditional technology. UPM Grada’s unique forming properties enable high quality and ecological designs which are also visually appealing.

UPM Grada – Safe, durable, ecological – www.upmgrada.com

For more information please contact:
Mr. Mikko Tilli, UPM Plywood , tel. +358 40 674 3809

UPM, Corporate Communications
Media Desk, tel. +358 40 588 3284
media@upm.com
www.twitter.com/UPM_News

UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 24,000 people and has production plants in 16 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

UPM Plywood offers high quality WISA® plywood and veneer products mainly for the construction and transport industries as well as UPM Grada® thermoformable wood material for the furniture and manufacturing industries. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2011 were EUR 376 million and it has about 2,500 employees, including 1,700 in Finland. UPM has six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland as well as plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. – www.wisaplywood.com

UPM Grada presented in Mikko Laakkonen’s Northern design at Meet My Project exhibition in Paris

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Awarded Finnish designer Mikko Laakkonen presents his Northern lamp design made of UPM Grada material at Meet My Project exhibition in Paris, France on Jan 18–22.

The Northern is the outcome of the possibilities provided by innovative UPM Grada thermoformable wood material as well as lighting manufacturer Innojok’s knowledge of lighting and LED light sources.

The Northern is a longitudinal suspension lamp for public spaces made of a single piece of UPM Grada thermoformable material. The new lighting fixture is designed to illuminate work areas and large open spaces. The Northern succeeds in creating high-quality LED lighting through indirect light, combined with Mikko’s refined sense of form.

”We are inspired by UPM Grada for being a sustainable material. In addition, the new innovative material contains no added formaldehyde. These qualities make it a perfect material for public spaces. UPM Grada is also an easy material to work with which is great since we have little previous experience in working with wood,” concludes lighting manufacturer Innojok’s Brand Manager Milla Ahti.

Meet My Project exhibition presents a selection of innovative objects in the world of textile, furniture and new technologies. The aim for the exhibition is to increase appreciation for design across the society and make it approachable to the large public.

Meet My Project exhibition, Jan 18–22.2013
Address: 9, rue d’Abbeville 75010 PARIS
Tel: +33 1 56 41 39 02
info@meetmyproject.com

Mikko Laakkonen was born in Espoo in 1974. After graduating as a musical instrument maker, he studied furniture design at Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, and later received his Masters degree from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. After working in design and architecture firms for several years, Mikko founded Studio Mikko Laakkonen in 2004.

Studio Mikko Laakkonen offers product design services, with the main focus on everyday items. Mikko’s designs have been on display in several exhibitions around Europe, the United States, China and Japan. He has been awarded the number of international prizes, including: Reddot design award (2012), Chicago Athenaeum's Good Design Award (2010) and the Young Designer of the Year prize (2009).

Today, Mikko Laakkonen cooperates with several Finnish and international companies, such as Marimekko, Inno, Isku, Martela, Bosa, Casamania, Covo and Offecct.

UPM Grada® is a new thermoformable wood material for the form pressing industry. Grada technology renews the forming of wood by using only heat and pressure. It also opens up new design opportunities unachievable with the traditional methods. UPM Grada’s unique forming properties enable high quality and ecological designs which are also visually appealing. www.upmgrada.com

Innojok, founded in 1993, is a company specialising in the design, manufacture, import and marketing of lamps. Our brands are the Innolux Design range of lights and Innosol bright light therapy lamps. We also offer visually ergonomic office lighting and outdoor and interior lamps.

Our Innolux Design range includes highly regarded, timeless classic lamps by well-known Finnish designers, as well as new models with 21st-century designs. Innolux Design range has been designed and manufactured in Finland. www.innojok.fi

UPM Grada enables MYFLY chair design

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Awarded Finnish designer Samuli Naamanka presents his Myfly lounge chair made of UPM Grada material at Meet My Project Exhibition in Milan on April 9-13.

The Myfly lounge chair prototype is outcome of the possibilities provided by innovative UPM Grada thermo-formable wood material.

“I’m excited about the new designs UPM Grada enables as the panel can be premachined before moulding the component. As sustainability is essential to me as a designer, UPM Grada makes it possible to continue my ecological furniture collection in the future” explains Samuli.

The chair will be manufactured and sold by Finnish furniture manufacturers Piiroinen for public spaces and Arktis for private interiors. Both furniture companies focus on aesthetic, functional and high-quality furniture.

Meet My Project, April 9-13, 2013
Studio Next
Viale Crispi 5
20121 Milan – metro: Moscova
Open all days: 11 am- 7pm
Free entrance

Read more about Samuli's work at Meet My Project »

UPM Grada featured in launch of Artek Classics

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The thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material plays a role as Artek, the well-known and iconic Finnish design company, launches two of its Classics made of UPM’s revolutionary material at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Italy on April 9-14, 2013.

The lounge Chair 26, designed by architect Alvar Aalto in 1932, launches in Milan 80 years after the first prototype was made. The chair has a challenging structure as its backrest and armrests are made of single piece of wood. UPM Grada enables the chair to be manufactured easily and cost efficiently as the chair layout, including the required openings, can be cut out off a straight panel and coated before forming the chair into shape.

The second launch is the Lukki stool, belonging to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s Lukki series designed in 1951-56, is also made of UPM Grada wood material and presented at Artek’s stand in Milan. The seat has a triangle shape with two sides bent down. UPM Grada allows the layout of the stool to be cut from a panel and bend only the two small parts instead of using a full size form press mould.

“UPM Grada material enables easy and efficient manufacturing and ensures high product quality which Artek furniture require”, explains Ville Kokkonen, Design Director at Artek.

Artek stand is located in Milan fair centre, Rho, Hall 20/C08.

Read more about Artek exhibition in Milan »

UPM Grada in spotlight at Taipuu exhibition

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Aalto University space and furniture design department’s graduating bachelor students have explored the technical and visual properties of the thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material. The outcome is an exciting collection of furniture of which 11 pieces are presented at Taipuu Exhibition (N.B. Bend exhibition) in 23.5.-14.6. in Isku Showroom in Helsinki.

Displayed furniture varies from partition boards and acoustic elements to different chairs and a swing for public spaces. The design process has been overseen by designers Timo Ripatti and Timo Sairi. The exhibition is arranged in collaboration with Aalto University, Isku and UPM.

“The assignment was to study the possibilities of thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material and design furniture which is difficult or impossible to make with traditional form pressing. This target was well achieved and I’m very excited about it. The material makes it possible to CNC machine the panel before forming and to create variable thicknesses easily when the right equipment is available. “, explained Timo Ripatti, overseeing teacher at Aalto Yliopisto, School of Arts.

Taipuu exhibition 24.5–14.6.2013
Isku Showroom, Fabianinkatu 19, Helsinki

www.tks2010.fi

Read blog on design process in English
Read blog on design process in Finnish

Art Meets Design

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UPM Grada enables easy and efficient product manufacturing since the technology works with new techniques to simplify form pressing. There are a number of ways to create unique surfaces on the end product, for instance the panel can be printed, painted or lacquered before form pressing. Laser cutting, in turn, is a great way to create texture such as engravings on the UPM Grada component.

Printing can be done even directly onto the UPM Grada panel surface as the liquid glue does not affect the printed surface.

The Motherboard project is an example of printing creative patterns on UPM Grada panels. The outcome of the project, a tribute to the Finnish skateboarding culture and handcraft, is 25 unique skateboard designs. The skateboards were created by 19st, a group of young designers, and carpenter Esa Niiranen, a skateboarder himself. The project was sponsored by skate and snowboard brand Lamina.

“It was fascinating to work with UPM Grada because all of the 12 skateboard designs could be printed at once onto a full size panel. Then the skateboard layouts were cut out and finally heated and formed to shape,” explained Esa Niiranen, carpenter at Uniq design.

Image: Lassi Häkkinen

See video on digital printing on UPM Grada »

UPM Grada inspired designs touring in Lahti Biennale 13’

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Lahti Biennale ’13 is a touring exhibition of industrial design presenting versatile design expertise. The exhibition consists of 11 impressive transportable plywood boxes exhibiting new designs from different businesses.

Pumpa ottoman, made of UPM Grada, is showcased in the UPM box. Because the UPM Grada thermo-formable wood material can be CNC machined before forming, the Pumpa’s pumpkin shape could be created easily.

Pumpa was designed by Pasi Kärkkäinen and Marius Temming. It was the winner at the Slow Wood 2012 competition in Lahti.

“As Marius and I had an idea on utilising the compressed air in the manufacturing process to achieve the Pumpa shape, UPM Grada was the only material that could be used,” concluded Pasi Kärkkäinen.

In 2013 the Lahti Biennale ´13 will tour different design events in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Lahti, Oslo, Helsinki, Tallinn and Eindhoven. Furniture manufacturers Isku, Pedro and HT Collection are also presenting their new designs in the road show.

See video and virtual exhibition »

Formable UPM Grada material in spotlight in ON chairs by Tapio Anttila

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The thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material is brilliantly presented at Habitare at furniture manufacturer Pedro’s stand 6e111 where all the form pressed furniture are made of UPM’s new formable and ecological material. Habitare, the largest furniture, interior decoration and design fair in Finland, is held in Helsinki on September 18–22, 2013.

The ON product family is the outcome of co-operation between Pedro and designer Tapio Anttila. In the ON series Tapio has studied the furniture functionality during its whole life cycle.

“The functionality in furniture includes also raw materials, manufacturing process and recycling – the whole life cycle. When a piece of furniture is both usable and beautiful but also ecologically and ethically sound, it is truly functional”, describes Tapio his design principles.

UPM Grada enables new possibilities which create new light and fresh forms s into designs. UPM Grada is a safe and recyclable material which is easy to work with. The new wood material together with the furniture manufacturing process makes it possible to include unique and practical niceties into products.

“Tapio is already familiar with UPM Grada through earlier projects. He has great insight to the possibilities of the material, of which the one-piece manufactured ON chairs are outstanding examples. As a furniture manufacturer, Pedro is a frontrunner in sustainable thinking and operations. UPM Grada supports these sustainable targets very well”, explains Mikko Tilli, responsible of UPM Grada business.

Image: Teemu Töyrylä

ON chairs made of UPM Grada receive Interior Innovation Award 2014

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The ON series of chairs, made of UPM Grada and designed by Tapio Anttila, have been awarded the renowned Interior Innovation Award 2014. ON chairs speak for functionality, starting from the ecological choice of UPM Grada as the raw material. Innovative use of UPM Grada and the manufacturing environment of the ON chairs have opened new viewpoints to functional furniture.

”In addition to usability, also raw materials, manufacturing process and recyclability – the whole life cycle of the product – is part of functionality. When the product is not only aesthetic and usable but also ecological and ethical, it can be truly called functional. The products have to live up to our values”, describes Tapio Anttila his design philosophy.

The ON product family is a result of collaboration between Finnish furniture manufacturer Pedro and designer Tapio Anttila. The ON chairs have received recognition for their design and functionality ever since the introduction of the series.

ON chairs will be exhibited by Pedro at the imm Cologne international furnishing show in Germany on 13-19 January 2014 (stand E041 at hall 11.1).

Interior Innovation Award is one of most renowned design awards in the interior furnishing industry worldwide. The award was established in 2002 and is awarded by the German Design Council for first-class innovative achievement in interior furnishing.

www.german-design-council.de

Pedro is a Finnish manufacturer of design furniture featuring Tapio Anttila as the head designer. Pedro is also a leading manufacturer of special furniture and has for example supplied furniture to some of the world’s largest cruise ships.

www.pedro.fi

UPM Grada Best Pieces Exhibition at Pro Puu Gallery on Jan 7-31

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UPM presents the crème de la crème of UPM Grada designs at Pro Puu Gallery in Lahti on Jan 7-31, 2014. The exhibition collection is based on both experienced designers’ and young talents’ pieces in which the UPM Grada material have been utilised in an innovative way. The exhibition climaxes in UPM Grada Design Awards Event on the last week of January. The winner for both designer categories – UPM Grada 2013 Designer and Young Designer 2013 – will be announced in the event. The total value of prizes and co-operation agreements are 10 000 euros.

The nominees for the UPM Grada Designer 2013 category are designers Samuli Naamanka, Tapio Anttila and Jouko Järvisalo. In the exhibition Samuli presents two of his UPM Grada designs; Isku’s Lightness chair and MyFly chair sold by Arktis and Piiroinen. Tapio’s UPM Grada works in spotlight are the ON series chairs, Mixhanger clothes-hanger and shoehorn as well as Bird Feeder Finland bird table. Jouko exhibits his Viuh chair which is part of the Mobel collection.

The nominees for the the Young Designer 2013 category are Toni Kalliokoski and Markus Niskasaari, Jesse Christian Perttula and Anne Kärki. In the exhibition, Toni and Markus present their Aalto loudspeakers, Jesse his Moiré seat and Anne her partition board Playwood.

Pro Puu Gallery
Satamakatu 2 A, 15140 Lahti
Opening times: Mon to Fri 10-17, Sat 10-14
Closed on Sunday

Designers Tapio Anttila and Jesse Christian Perttula were awarded at UPM Grada Design Awards

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UPM Grada Design Awards was the climax of the UPM Grada Best Pieces exhibition in Lahti Finland. In the event UPM awarded the designers displaying their works at the exhibition. Well-known Finnish designer, Tapio Anttila, received the prize for UPM Grada Designer 2013 and designer Jesse Christian Perttula was recognized in his category receiving the Young Designer 2013 award. UPM also offers the awarded designers an opportunity for a co-operation agreement. The total value of prizes and co-operation agreements are 10 000 euros.

Interior architect Tapio Anttila is experienced in working with UPM Grada material through many design projects. His ON chair product family made of UPM Grada was recently recognized with the valued Interior Innovation Award 2014. On top of the ON chairs, Tapio also displayed other innovative UPM Grada items in the exhibition - Mixhanger clothes-hanger, Bird Feeder Finland bird table and a light fixture prototype.

For Tapio the ecological value of UPM Grada material is as vital as the material formability. “When a piece of furniture is both usable and beautiful but also ecologically and ethically sound, it is truly functional”, describes Tapio his design principles.

Jesse Christian Perttula, awarded Young Designer 2013, designed the sculpture-like Moiré chair at his furniture design course at Aalto University. In Moiré chair new methods and limits of wood design were tested and made possible by UPM Grada.

“It was my personal target to design a piece from Grada that has not been possible to make from wood before”, describes Jesse. Moiré chair is sent to London Surface Design Show right after the UPM Grada best pieces exhibition.

“We can be proud of Finnish design. The co-operation with the designers and manufacturers has been excellent. I must say that I’m extremely pleased how Grada has broken through in the design community. This is a great foundation to build on this year and I’m looking forward to the Milan International Design and Furniture exhibition”, describes Mikko Tilli, Manager responsible of UPM Grada.

UPM Grada Replaces Plastic in Biofore Concept Car

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The Biofore Concept Car which demonstrates the use of renewable biomaterials in the automotive industry premiered at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show on March 6-16, 2014. It is designed and built to showcase the versatile use of UPM’s innovative biomaterials. Various interior components in the futuristic car - passenger compartment floor, centre console, display panel cover and door panels - are made of UPM Grada®, the new thermo-formable wood material.

In addition, UPM Formi biocomposite is used in the car, and it runs by UPM BioVerno, the wood-based renewable fuel. Together all these innovations will significantly improve the overall environmental performance of the car, without compromising quality or safety.

“The Biofore Concept Car is a fine manifestation of UPM's Biofore thinking. It highlights our commitment to sustainable innovations, renewing with courage and cooperation with future talents,” states Elisa Nilsson, Vice President of brand and communications from UPM.

The car is designed and built by next generation of talent from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The project took 4 years during which altogether 50 young talents have been part of this process.

“We are particularly proud that the venture is now reaching its peak in such an important venue for the automotive industry,” says Pekka Hautala, Project Director from Metropolia.

UPM Grada Is Highlighted at EcoDesign Exhibition in Milan

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Several designs made of UPM Grada thermo-formable wood material are in spotlight at EcoDesign exhibition held at La Triennale design museum in Milan, Italy on April 8–13. Many design focused guests are expected to visit the exhibition since it takes place during the celebrated Salone Internazionale del Mobile design fair held yearly in Milan.

EcoDesign showcases ecological designs in which sustainability has been a focus through the process – material selection, design, production, product use and recycling and disposal at end of life.

The UPM Grada part of the exhibition consist of pieces from the top Finnish designers; Eero Aarnio, Harri Koskinen, Kristiina Lassus, Antti Olin, Kasper Nyman, Jouko Järvisalo, Esa Vesmanen, Mikko Paakkanen, Mika Ihanus, Antti Kotilainen, Samuli Naamanka and Ilmari Tapiovaara. The new innovative material have been used in all designs - chairs, shelves, space dividers and interior items.

“UPM Grada is an ideal material for ecological designs. The material contains no harmful compounds, it is durable and enables new design possibilities. The material has been manufactured using certified raw materials from well-managed forests. UPM Grada can be safely recycled at the end of life,” explains Mikko Tilli from UPM.

The EcoDesign exhibition has been held five times at the design and furniture fair Habitare in Helsinki, Finland. Now, for the first time, the exhibition is taken outside Finland. Aalto University design and furniture design department is responsible for the Milan exhibition design. Partners in co-operation are the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, Helsinki Expo Center, WWF Finland and UPM Plywood. The exhibition producer is advertising agency Valo. www.ecodesign.fi

UPM Grada cuts Isku’s form press times to half

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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.

New UPM Grada 2000 Makes Furniture Manufacturer’s Processes Even More Efficient

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UPM has further developed the Grada technology, which enables forming of wood with heat and pressure. UPM Grada 2000, the new member in the product family, requires only 95ºC forming temperature and consequently further improves the form pressing process efficiency and saves energy simultaneously.

"At UPM we focus on developing Grada technology so that our customer’s can improve their competitiveness by making their manufacturing more efficient. The new development supports manufacturers, who are looking into possibilities to transfer manufacturing back to Europe from low cost countries. The improved product series has been tested by many of our customers and are very pleased with the fact that their process cycle-time improves at least by 25%", explains Mikko Tilli from UPM.

The significantly lower forming temperature makes it possible to use more delicate coating materials on the panel. Since the material needs to be heated to lower temperature, there are more options on heating equipment than before. "I’m delighted that UPM Grada can now be used in more versatile ways and the technology can be easily accessed by many new customers", summarises Mikko.