A Venture Client Partnership between Stora Enso and measuring technology company Wiiste has produced the world’s first digital wood moisture meter. Having met at the Combient Foundry Value Proposition Days in 2018, the companies are currently field-testing the solution to prolong building life-cycles.
Back in Fall 2018, Stora Enso Wood Products participated in the Venture Client Cycle. The team was particularly interested in finding moisture management solutions. Keeping track of moisture content when constructing buildings is crucial planning for a long life-cycle. Moreover, market trends showed a rising interest in wood construction.
“We need to understand the moisture of the material thoroughly to ensure high-quality results,” says Jyripekka Hiltunen, Digital Scout for Wood Products. “Ideally, we could follow up the moisture content inside of wood through the whole supply chain – and this is exactly the problem we wanted to solve.”
“Currently, this is an area we are looking for new digital solutions that can be commercialized and offered to our customers. These new services will then further strengthen our offering and make wooden construction more efficient and safer,” says Pilvi Seppälä, Digital Product Manager for Stora Enso Building Solutions.
Extending Building Life-Cycles
Wiiste and Stora Enso met at the Value Proposition Days in Helsinki to discuss their partnership. The Wood Products team was impressed with Wiiste’s sensor know-how and the Wiiste team demonstrated a great understanding of the challenge at hand. The solution came together from Stora Enso’s wood technology combined with Wiiste sensor technology expertise; a true testimonial to open innovation.
The year 2019 was spent in intense research and development of the co-created tech solution. With the laboratory work completed, the sensors are now being tested in real-world conditions, at the construction of the Finnish-Russian School in Helsinki, Finland. The first results are showing a lot of promise already.
“We can be the first company in the wooden construction business providing moisture sensing through the whole supply chain and construction process on the site,” Jyripekka says. “This solution can provide a digital assurance to our customers and other stakeholders that the building is in good condition and healthy to live inside.”
No other existing solutions can do what the Wiiste sensor is demonstrating right now. Both parties in the partnership are extremely pleased with the progress and looking forward to pushing the solution as far as it can go. “We had a good basis for this kind of solution development and Stora Enso had a well cleared out problem to be solved,” says Topi Luopajärvi, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wiiste. “The development process was agile and fast-paced. We were able to test the prototypes on actual construction sites during the development, which gave us valuable information about the measuring environment and usability.”